Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting for Legality

We are currently in a rather frustrating holding pattern. This is the escrow period. We have paid our deposit and are hoping to see the contingencies removed in the 45 days allowed. However, not much has happened. Hubby has consulted with the septic and well men, also with the Architect and one builder, and has had multiple conversations with the realtor. But nothing seems to be moving forward. The seller needs to establish the legality of the parcel - which may apparently cost as much as $40,000 to do - and nothing seems to have happened on that yet. We can't move forward on drilling for a well until the parcel has been surveyed and legality established. Until the legal question has been seen to, we don't have confidence about what kind of parcel this is - i.e. whether it is one that will permit building. And the last thing we want is to end up with a Land Lemon...a parcel that we are simply conserving for the pleasure of future generations (and that no one would want to buy from us).

Seems to me that these are questions that the current owner could possibly have looked into before he bought it himself; but apparently the person he bought from insisted that he purchase this land alongside the parcel on which he actually built a house.

Those of a suspicious nature might think this implies there is a problem with the parcel. I guess we shall see.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Forbidden Forest

We are having a new bout of madness. Hubby saw a house for sale up on Skyline that he thought looked pretty interesting. We went to see it, thinking about buying it for a weekend home, but it turned out to be too small for our purposes (which would involve having space for 20 people to sleep!). The realtor let slip that she had a parcel of 40 acres of undeveloped land also for sale, so we asked to see that.

Long story short, we fell in love with it. It is heavily wooded. A former logging area, there has clearly been no forest management for at least 50 years. The place is a tinder box, a potential wildfire hazard...but still.

Hubby is getting back to his family roots, clearly. As we have discovered from our family history work, many of his Scottish relatives farmed around 40 acres in the Highlands during the 19th century. Just as Dr Mom's brother has gone back to the family roots (in that case, canals) by moving onto a narrow boat, so Hubby seems to want to return to crofting (of a sort).

We have made an offer on the land, which has been accepted. Hubby has consulted with a well digger and a septic system creator. We have also taken one builder up there to discuss the feasibility of building (OK), and consulted with our Architect from the remodel, whom we are inclined to use again for this project.

We have a great heap of books and magazines in hand about green building, modern cabins, and sustainable building.

So it seems all systems go. One fly in the today's ointment is that the question of the legality of the parcel is not proving as easy to establish as one might hope. Both the seller's realtor and our realtor are working on establishing the legal title to the plot. Clearly we won't be buying it if that doesn't work out 100% perfectly. Watch this space.

Indeed, watch this space for a whole new phase of Four Go Mad in a Cardboard Box. Except the new box may be made out of metal. We'll have to wait and see!

Update on the Neighbors

The neighbors are officially building a McMansion. 5,500 square feet of living space, with a double height basement and two stories above ground. This for a family of mom, dad, and two wee kiddies.

They deconstructed the old house for recycling, which we were pretty impressed with - took them about 10 days to do. The building has not been too intrusive. There has only been one occasion on which I felt it necessary to ring the owner and ask him to ask the builders to stop work, and that was when we were hosting a party on a Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Neighbors Have Started

Our neighbor's tree protection fencing is going up today, so they must be about to start their tear down/new build. After only 14 months of owning the house, and 16 months of the house standing empty, gradually becoming more derelict. Well, at least if they're starting now, the worst of the noisy phase will be over by the time the summer starts.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Still no Neighborly Action

The neighbors still haven't made a start on their building project. They got their planning permission on September 22, and not so much as a piece of tree protection has gone up yet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


First of all, still no action by the neighbors. Not even their tree protection has gone up. We are gloomily wondering whether they won't get started now till March or so, meaning that next summer will be affected by their construction. In better news, the sidewalk repairs have been completed. The city decided that our path was obviously in the right place, so they have leveled the sidewalk along it; thus removing any need for us to get the hardscape guys back to make an adjustment (and spend more $$). We are now waiting for the ashphalters to get round to repairing the road surface. Should be all done by Saturday.

And last week we had our final bill from the construction company for $1,000, which we have now paid. Site Supervisor II came over and finished the little list of items we had outstanding; and even the electrician showed up and stayed till everything was working.

I think we may be officially done. Hard to believe!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Update on the Neighbors

I forgot to mention, the neighbors have yet to make any start on their new construction. Goodness knows what that piece of kit was that I mentioned in a previous blog entry. Anyway, it doesn't seem to have been tremendously important. Maybe it was something to do with the basement that they're planning to build. Our neighbor's house has now stood empty for a whole year.

In other news, the City looks like it is going to fix our sidewalk in the next two weeks. Yay!