Things will never change, ever, ever, ever, AMEN!

Real Estate Agent

What is it about folks who buy real estate and never expect anything to chage ever, ever, ever?

I am noticing a disturbing trend with buyers. As much as they are educating themselves on the internet, couldn't they be educating themselves about the risks? Shouldn't SOMEONE be telling them it's not all moonpies and rootbeer? Sure they sign the lead-paint addendum or learn about cracks in the foundation but who is talking to them about evolution? Highest and best use? Change?

A few years ago, my husband started building on a lot adjacent to a home where the woman of the house did NOT like that her view was changing. I don't know all the details of the ruckus but I believe she was upset my husband was thinning out trees that would likely fall at a later date.He's not a clear-cut type of guy but he wanted to prevent some of the trees from hitting the house if they were to come down.

My theory is that if you want control over your view, buy the lot next door. You can't control what other people do with their land.This same lady went through the trouble of getting a professionally designed banner made up that said "(My husband's company name), the unfriendly builder." What?!

Years later, my husband neglected to tell me about a petition started by one of our neighbors to prevent US from building our personal home- pretty much, once again, because her view was changing. The funny part was, no one signed the petition because they realized the lady was crazy. ;) If you don't want your view to change ever, ever, ever, then buy the lot adjacent to yours. If you can't afford it, don't live in a situation you can't afford.

Recently, in my area, there was an uproar over an existing but dormant landfill. Don't get me wrong, if I lived next to a dormant landfill and the city council decided to crank it up for economic reasons, I'd be upset too. AND, if for some reason my realtor did not tell me there was a dormant landfill near the house I was about to buy, I'd probably be even more upset. But most of the folks complaining at city council meetings seem to be feinging ignorance on the issue.

Here's a tip: things change. Sometimes, as ugly as it is, eminent domain comes into effect. Sometimes, mother nature has her way and takes away all your "stuff." Sometimes, builders build and dormant landfills come back to life.

If you're buying real estate and you can't handle any tchange, maybe you're better off remaining a renter.

Comments (73)

Dave Sato

Thanks for the blog.  But this has been happening for a long time.  Try the people that buy near an airport complaining about the airplane noise or by a golf course and complaining about getting golf balls in their yard.  Near Silverdale, WA there was a movement by the people on a hill overlooking a valley that petitioned the county to force the landowner to keep it agricultural so that it would be pretty for them on the hill.  They actually succeeded.  Crazy stuff abounds!

Aug 02, 2011 04:06 AM
David Evans
HUD NLB Cumming GA

Change is given, it is our short term and long term plans that are "of mice and man!"

Aug 02, 2011 04:10 AM
Mary Sheridan
Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604 - Johnson City, TN
Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655

A client years ago asked the seller about the nice big strip of open land behind that house and several others.  The response was a friendly, "the kids play ball there."   i told the buyer there was more to the story than that , and sure enough, the ballfield is now Father Hurley Boulevard in Maryland. 

Aug 02, 2011 05:10 AM
Ben Blonder
Broker/Owner, Keller Williams - Fort Collins, CO
Buyers, Sellers, Investors!

Change is what makes us who we are. If we don't accept it, well, we are doomed to end up as the bitter lady fighting over land that isn't hers. Acceptance means we are that much more open to whats to come. Embrace it :)

Aug 02, 2011 05:51 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTORĀ®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Lisa - great post.  I try to always know who owns vacant lots around the homes I show, in case they ask.  I'll jot down on the corner of a listing, NE corner and owned since 19__ .  By doing that they know immediately what they are up against.  So sad that people think they have rights to property that they don't own.  Best of luck to you!

Aug 02, 2011 06:01 AM
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Years ago I bought a home on Salt Spring Island. Having an ocean view (which I could ill afford) was most desirable. Being in the price range I was in, there were always several acres between me and any possible glimpse of the ocean over many trees that were not on my property. A frequent topic during these showing appointments was "who controls the view," and how many feet said trees would grow each year further obstructing the view.

Aug 02, 2011 06:04 AM
Alan Grizzle
Chestatee Real Estate - Dahlonega, GA
Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega
I am often asked what is going to hapen next door. I always say you never know. The owner may plan on keeping it the same but their finances could change amd they sell or loose it or they could die and the estate make big changes. You never know.
Aug 02, 2011 06:07 AM
Lisa Duke
High Point, NC

Even mother nature has her say...

Aug 02, 2011 07:00 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Just talked to a customer because someone was building a home close to his 50 acre parcel. His comment was why did they decide to build on ther 50 acre parcel so he could see the homes 300 yards away. His comment was why did he buy that other parcel. OH Well....things definitely change!

Aug 02, 2011 08:01 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Love the 'who moved my cheese image'. Yep, I moved where I moved because it was less crowded. I sure didn't expect that over the next 20 years, no one else would come.  There's more road noise than there was 20 years ago. There are longer lines of traffic at stop signs. My guess is that it's worse where I lived before. And if and when I don't like where I am, I can move my own cheese!

Aug 02, 2011 09:22 AM

Change always happens. A buyer has to take some responsibility to know what might be building in the area..  In Colorado we can go to county records and look at the master plan for the area. That helps with the decision to buy or not to buy in that location.

Aug 02, 2011 09:42 AM
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

I agree that you can only control what you own or have rights to and not everybody else's property. Change happens!

Aug 02, 2011 04:36 PM
Thomas Haught
The Russell Realty Group - Saugus, MA

Thomas Haught

People as a whole are resistant to change.  When looking at land to build on or an established lot, its always good to look at the surrounding land in regards to zoning and/or whether it can be built on if it is a serious concern.

That being said, even those things can be changed over time.  It's a lot like predicting the weather, you can get a good idea of the future but there's always a chance of the unknown!

Aug 02, 2011 04:37 PM
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND

Getting up in the morning makes me realize that things change and a glance in the mirror confirms it. Oh well!

I bought a piece of land at the rear of my house several years ago to reduce the chances of the mortuary on the opposite corner of my city block buying it to install an additional driveway. Nothing against the mortuary, nice people and very quite neighbors, but I love the expanse of grass for my grand kids to play in.

Aug 02, 2011 04:59 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sometimes life can be a witch with a capital "B" but I am tired of whiners running the world.  Deal with it.  And when all is said and done property rights are property rights. 

Aug 03, 2011 06:08 AM
Lisa Duke
High Point, NC

AMEN Gene!

Marshall, good on ya!

Thomas, right. I don't like change much either but if someone else owned the land I was beefing about (is that a word?) then I would probably investigate a little more before I caused a ruckus.

Gerard, I am going to change my tagline to "change happens!"

#66 I agree totally.

Karen, thanks! Move to NC! ;)

Bill, who knows! I guess we all feel things revolve around us, right?

Aug 03, 2011 06:44 AM
Michael Singh,Broker
Singh Real Estate - Corral de Tierra, CA

Some changes you see coming, others hope they don't.

Aug 03, 2011 05:58 PM
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

Yes, Lisa, you are right on the money.  Things change, life happens; sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse.

Aug 04, 2011 02:54 AM
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Love this post!    And, about the sign put up by your neighbor - it takes all kinds to have this world go round.  We have a neighbor who does exactly that anytime anything irritates her!   Buyer beware is a tough thing in a lot of cases....    I drove through  Norwalk (town in CT) today and saw a cute house with a white picket fence, and all sorts of colorful chairs and umbrellas all around the front yard.   The rest of the houses were very normal, boring yards with grass.   I'm sure some of those neighbors are also appalled at what they see, but ...?

Aug 04, 2011 09:56 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I was a builder so I see how this can happen. Sometimes the neighboring lot owners will get lulled to sleep sort of speak, that nobody will come along. It does change the perspective when it happens unfortunately.

Jan 14, 2012 03:40 PM