How do you convince a neighbor to agree to encroachment Oahu

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Best Homes Hawaii RB-13537

A third generation family selling their property of 75+ years have a dilemma that I hope some wisdom will rub from Active Rain members and Rainmakers. Although it remained in the family, different family members, over the years have lived at this property.  Over the years, handy residents have "improved" and "altered" the home without permits.  They are so numerous to mention, that no one can tell the original home.  It was constructed before City and County had stored construction records.House on a Hill

Now a survey has revealed some disturbing encroachments.  The serious ones are as follows:

One - the main staircase going down the slope to the house is encroaching on the neighbor by 1.5 feet for a length of about 10 feet. 

Two - a section of the roofline is encroaching 4 feet into the five foot set back.

Over the years, the neighbors of 3 years, are reclusive and not very friendly, difficult to approach.  Other than cutting off the stairs and costruct new ones would be extremely cost prohibitive at this juncture.  Cutting back the roof would mean cutting off a section of the house, making the potentially odd interior shape a challenge.

This is a home 25 feet below street level on a large down slope lot.  With this limited information, any of you have experience or a unique twist we can try?


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Best Homes Hawaii Bruce Hicks

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Comments (11)

Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

Hi Bruce - Is there someone who has a problem with the variances? 

Feb 24, 2012 03:40 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

The buyer's lender and escrow is requiring a wall agreement or encroachment agreement and now the buyer is demanding one.

Feb 24, 2012 06:02 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

This should be interesting to see how this is resolved Bruce, if it is at all............keep us posted.

Feb 24, 2012 06:03 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Tough one.  How long have these encroachments been in place.  There may be some legal measures that can help it it's been a really long time.

Feb 24, 2012 07:10 PM
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC

Don't you hate it when people start surveying and measuring stuff?  Grandfathered rights, obtain a variance or hope the buyer really, really wants the place...  You need a RE attorney friend!

Feb 24, 2012 11:50 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Keep us posted on developments here about How do you convince a neighbor to agree to encroachment Oahu. We have family there and my experience have a tough road ahead.

Feb 27, 2012 08:32 AM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Cameron, Roger, Gabe, Michelle thanks for the input.  I'm representing the buyer. Will keep you posted as to what transpires.  I recommended the buyer seek an attorney but the buyer wants me to try an negotiate with the seller (represented by the listing agent).  A new twist is that the LENDER has turned down the home to finance.  We could go to one of the 'high risk, non-conforming loans' but the buyer has asked to prepare an amendment "Agreeement of Sale" "Contract for Deed", other words, seller financing.  If it works, buyer will take the encroachments and sign a liability release.

Gabe, apparently, no one knows how long the encroachments have been in place, but we think several decades.  Buyer does not want to cause havoc with the neighbors, so they will just leave things as they are for now....we shall see.

Feb 27, 2012 04:21 PM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Bruce, OMGosh! What a nightmare. Good luck with it, is all I can say.

Feb 29, 2012 08:12 AM
Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC
Royal Pro Real Estate Network - Langley, BC

Woo, Bruce, sounds like you have a challenge on your hands!  I agree with Marge - a real estate attorney should be able to assist with the ins and outs of grandfathered rights (if any).  Would really like to hear the eventual outcome of this!

Mar 09, 2012 12:52 AM
Wai Corp

This is a silly posting from a nosy, troublesome neighbor. My advice is to mind your own business or move to another home in the deep woods where yo have no neighbors. What business is it of yours whether the neighbor improved or altered their home? Its their home not yours! Ands what business is it of yours to worry about a tiny portion of his structure that extends into the setback zone? He owns the setback area not you! Finally, if you want to be a nasty neighbor and force the removal of 1 foot wide by 10 feet long set of stairs, then go ahead. Sue him. It will cost you several thousand dollars in attorney fees to sue him along with immeasurable grief and stress, whereas he will simply replace the stairs for a few hundred dollars. It is unfortunate that the world is filled with people who go out of their way to cause trouble and who have nothing to do with their time but watch the neighbors and meddle in their affairs. Get a life!

Dec 31, 2014 10:32 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

It's been 3 years since I wrote this post Michelle Carr-Crowe-Selling Silicon Valley Homes in Top Schools San Jose, Cupertino, Saratoga, Palo Alto-Just Call 408-252-8900 and @Wai Corp and @Anonymous (apparently not in Active Rain files).  After gathering the neighbors and having a little outdoor cookout at the property, minds were calmed and I was able to get three neighbors to sign wall agreements (prepared by Attorneys), and we sold the property 3 months later.


Jan 01, 2015 02:01 AM