Sell or keep 1/2 lot?

1 Reply

Hi All, 

I am currently rehabbing a house sitting on 1 1/2 lots. The first whole lot is fenced, the half lot is comprised of the south half of the adjacent lot. In this subdivision, if the owners on either side of an empty lot agree, they can split the lot, each purchasing the half that is next to their property. Since the HOA won't allow rezoning whole lots into half lots, both parties must be in agreement if at some later date they want to sell off their half lots together to a buyer, splitting the proceeds.

The whole lots are large, about 12,000 sq ft.  Lots of that size in the area, which are typical, are going for about $20,000.  The lot between our properties is completely cleared, and grassed as both parties have kept their halves maintained.  

While I was rehabbing this house, the other house went through a foreclosure.  So I was thinking of finding the new owner (or bank, since I cannot find out who actually owns this property now) and either a) offer them cash for their half lot, or b) sell them mine.

My lot is currently fenced, and orginally I planned to expand the fenceline to cover the half lot, thereby making a huge backyard and a stong selling point.  However, now I'm not sure if that huge back yard would entice a buyer to pay enough to offset what I could gain by either selling my half lot, or buying the neighbor's half and selling it as a whole.

My inclination is to buy the neighbor's half lot since it seems reasonable that combining and selling an entire empty lot would net more profit, assuming I can get the other half for a reduced price (vs. the typical price of a whole lot divided by 2).

Of course this is assuming I can find out who now owns that property.  

Any one have experience with anything similar, or any thoughts regarding this?  Thanks much!

Don't screw yourself like I did. That lot may be worthless, unless you know for sure you can do something with it. Your barriers are he HOA and the local municipality. Know what you can do before you commit. I got screwed in a now R-20 subdivision when NONE of the properties in the subdivision met the "new" (30+ years ago) rezoning. We have the largest lot and can't subdivide an established triple lot (with house on 1/3 of it, the rest empty) and build. Make sure you get approval for your plan before hand. My mistake cost my company (my estimate) about $25K, probably more if we could use a builder we would sponsor vs. selling the lot.

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