Neighboring a tear down.
Here is an interesting theoretical question:
I looked at a house recently on a pleasant, car-free walkway, a development of mid-20th century houses in a 19th c. neighborhood.
Its been a rental for almost 30 years of its 42 year existence, so condition is shabby, which is fine. It meets a number of criteria: my same neighborhood, price is ok: I never thought I could find a house of this size for the price in my neighborhood, and had focused my search out of my current neighborhood. I have no car so convenience and viability is measured in blocks not miles.
In with the seller's disclosure is a letter which describes the follwing:
The owner of the adjacent attached house in the row owns a house facing the other street and these lots are back to back. He bought the house on the other street (House A) first, and when the house next to the one in question went on the market shortly after (or he approached them: unclear), he bought that(House B) for between $400-500K and promptly got a demolition permit. Apparently he wants a yard.
So there have been a some legal wranglings, but ultimately you need less permission to demolish a house than you do to remodel one. There is an agreement that if the neighbors allow certain variances for renovation house A , he will not demolish house B. If the variance is denied B gets the wrecking ball. Neighbors of house A are fighting the variance on House A, all neighbors of house B (the entire walkway) are supporting the variance so the walkway stays an intact rhythm of facades.
In a twist, once B is torn down, he needs approval from the historical permission regarding what kind of garden wall replaces house B since it is now part of the House A parcel which is historical.
Would you even consider buying a property attached to one that is going to be removed? I would think that someone who spent $400K just for the space for a yard is going to do things the right way.
I am waiting to see what happens with the zoning hearings, which are soon, but it raises an interesting point in a city of mostly attached houses. Every house I look at is attached to at least one other, usually two. Any of them could burn down, fall down (in some neighborhoods) or be taken down by their owners. I just happened to find out about this one ahead of time. Apparently this is some guy barely in his thirties who made a lot of money doing something, not sure why he wants this particular neighborhood.