Monday, July 16, 2007


My house sits on a weird little piece of property:
That's me - 12 - highlighted in yellow. When I bought this house 8 years ago 11 and I were the only two houses. Everything on 3rd and 4th Streets from my property line up didn't exist. It was lots of trees and growth. Then they built a bunch of cookie cutter houses which really was OK by me because it almost doubled my property value and allowed me to re-fi and pay off the bloody ex.

11 is Miss Jessie. 14 is the old trolley track easement which is owned by the county. There is chainlink fence between me and Miss Jessie and me and the easement but there is no other fence on any other line because it was never necessary.

When I went to Japan in January 2005 a new neighbor had just moved in at 23. She was a very strange little woman who had GWB stickers all over her car but she was friendly enough the few times we spoke before I left. I came back a few times briefly during that year - in March, May and August. When I came back in May I noticed right away something strange in my yard. When her house was under construction and the property lines were clearly marked I had transplanted some forsythia from up against my house out to about 2" away from the property line. In my absence neighbor Grace had dug them up, replanted them beside her driveway, and planted a cabbage garden in my yard where they had been! I very nicely approached her about this and she flipped on me. I showed her plat copies of the properties and everything but she insisted that it was her yard and she could do what she wanted with it. I decided to deal when I returned for good and when I came back in December the forsythia had been replanted (poorly) back approximately where they had been with cabbages still growing up around them. Luckily Grace moved before I got back. She has now rented her house to a couple of really nice sisters. Blood sisters, not nuns. These ladies are also confused about the property line because they keep mowing about 5' into my yard. Who am I to complain about this?

THEN. I was out in the far reaches of my backyard about 6 weeks ago when I noticed that the gay couple (not that there's anything wrong with that) in 22 had put in a gravel PARKING LOT that covered not only a good portion of the easement but also a portion of my property!!!! Sheesh! When Mom and Dad were here in June I showed them and they warned me about squatters rights. I looked into it (you could also google "Adverse Possession") and I think I have another 19 to 24 years before this is an issue but hopefully in 19 years I will be living in blissful retirement on a tropical island. Still, I will need to sell this place to do that so I want to get it straightened out.

I really don't want to confront my neighbors about this because confrontation isn't a happy place for me. I especially don't want to go there if I am not 100% certain so I have a call in to a surveyor for some pricing info. I have this solid budget plan for getting out from under all of my debt before the end of November except a bit sitting at 0% interest and I hate to blow it by spending money on a survey when I know good and well where my property lines are but I figure it this way. My house and tiny bit of America is the biggest investment I have. It is worth 7 times my 401(k). It is worth more than 15 times my savings. It is essential to me that I look after it.

There is a really crazy lady here in town. Her family goes back generations in this town and she owns a cafe up on Main Street and is one of those small town long time residents who thinks just because her grandpappy originally owned half of the town she has a right to it. She is my neighbor at 2. A few years ago she phoned me out of the blue (I have never met her and don't know her from Adam's housecat). She wanted to talk to me about buying a part of my back property so it would more closely resemble her Grandpappy's original property. I didn't hear back from her for 2 years. Last year she called again and came to my house armed with all sorts of documentation and property plats and it turns out she wanted to buy half of my backyard and her plans were to then sell it to a "nice young man" who wanted to build a house!!!! I told her I was not inclined to sell and she smiled and told me she would let me think about it and would call me back (southern eccentric). Thankfully I have not heard from her. If I do I swear I'll walk up the hill and kick her ass.

I am thinking I have a totally valuable piece of property since everyone seems to want a piece of it. I'm keeping it for now thank you very much!

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