first time home buyer jitters

redindianaMay 22, 2013

My daughter is in the process of closing on her first home. The house and location fit her needs to a T. My daughter had me go along with her to the house viewing. During the viewing, realtor mentioned that neighbor across the side alley, had permission from past owners to use THIS property's off street parking. Daughter plans to be a good quiet neighbor...BUT wants to have access to her own property. My husband and I think it's best to address this right after she gains possession of home. Would a letter to the neighbors stating that they may no longer continue parking on her property be an acceptable way? They have had access to it approximately for over ten yrs...going to tick them off . Please offer suggestions.

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kirkhall

Do you mean, they've been parking in her driveway, on what will be her land?
If so, then yes, a little letter or a friendly meeting in the driveway (or parking her car there) would be appropriate.

Or, they could work out an arrangement where it works for her to have them park on her property (perhaps they pay a driveway rental fee).

But, I would expect that they'd approach her to ask if they could park there like they had with the previous owners.

Or, if the Previous Owner is on friendly terms with the neighbors, maybe they could remind them that they are moving away and there will be a new owner of the house.

This all assuming the neighbors are friendly and rational.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:14AM
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linda117117

If it were me, I would be ticked off to get a letter. It starts out the new neighbor thing on the wrong note. I would wait to see if the neighbor continues to park there, if they do, I would approach them in person and have a friendly discussion with them.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:47AM
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weedyacres

The right (and logical) thing for the neighbor to do would be to approach your daughter and ask for permission to park there. If they do, then your daughter can politely tell them, "I'm sorry, but I'd rather not. I need access to my garage at all times, and don't want to have to go knock on your door and disturb you to move your car every time I come in and out."

If the neighbor doesn't ask, but just parks there, then your daughter can go knock on their door and say, "excuse me, is this your car in my driveway? Could you please move it?" I wouldn't let on that I knew about the previous arrangement. If that initial contact brings up the subject, then she can give the same answer above. If they keep parking there, then I'd get a little more direct and say, "I'm a little frustrated that you keep parking in my driveway, blocking my access. Please don't do that any more."

I would definitely wait until they actually park there to broach the subject. After all, the neighbor might be perfectly reasonable, and not expect to have the same privileges granted, and sending a letter pre-emptively could stir things up unnecessarily. Let the neighbor show their true colors before (over) reacting.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:49AM
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morz8

I'd caution your daughter against doing anything prematurely that would possibly impede her relationships with her new neighbors, and not underestimate the value great neighbors can represent.

It isn't clear to me from what you described just where the car in question might be parked, and would it be on a regular basis, or occasionally? Somehow it doesn't seem likely the current owners have given permission for parking that would encroach on her coming and going - although again, I may not understand.

At a former home, we had a long narrow back driveway, and on days or evenings when DH knew I was going out, he would park his truck in a gravel strip next to our drive in the back when he came home, what was a lane with three homes and not an alley. He would then be next to the garage of and on an elderly neighbors lot. And careful not to crowd them when he knew they may be expecting company, might want to mow, etc....

We were barely more than kids, and our relationships (of give and take, always respectful) with those, and other neighbors, became valuable assets over the years. I really would caution against your daughter doing something to change the dynamics of the neighborhood over something she perceives to be a problem, I'd wait and see if it actually is something she would like corrected, meet and approach the new neighbors then. They may turn out to very well be the ones she wants to call on for a favor when out of town, when ill, in a storm :)

Would the current arrangement be actually blocking, or sharing, access ?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

This is a tough question. Why do they need her land? Don't they have room for their cars? Is their garage so stuffed with junk that they can't use it?

I think they should proudly park their junky cars on their dying lawns.

Why your daughter would buy in this place is a wonder. She just wants a normal life, surrounded by un-normal neighbors. I can't even comprehend this situation.

It's her land. Clear. These people have been there for years and they hate her already. She doesn't need friends. She needs boundries, and a good friend in the crime lab.
Suzi

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:02PM
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morz8

Good grief. Somebody's hat is on too tight.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 6:42PM
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stolenidentity

wow...some of the comments are making assumptions I did not read. I don't understand what "THIS property's off street parking" is exactly, but I would wait and see what happens like others have already said.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:35PM
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deborah_ps

I have a bit of a different take...
Why have your daughter do the previous owners " dirty work" ?
The owners or their agent should be the ones to be the bearers of " bad news". Part of closing negotiations (which really should have been done prior to signing off on the house as the agreement stood).
Sort of like having a doctor tell an elderly parent they can't drive anymore, it puts the onus on the doctor not you :)

When was this tidbit of news disclosed?
Sheesh, I don't think your daughter should have to wait and see if her new neighbors do the proper thing, that's just crazy.
Put the monkey back on the sellers back where it belongs.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:05PM
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redindiana

Thank you for all the responses. The mix of them all gave alot of good sound advice. Which is what I was seeking. The side neighbor using the off street parking is a former state trooper. Their home is valued twice as much as the house my daughter is waiting to close on. On the other side of this neighbor's home, they have a concrete slab on which their fifth wheel is parked. Their truck and car caddy are parked in the off street parking on daughter's 'future' property. Her detached garage is situated to the far back of property...which is a back alley. That is why her off street parking on side alley is a plus factor to her. It's right by her back door area. I guess I don't understand why they didn't purchase this property themselves and tear house down and resolve all their parking needs. Again thanks to all who responded. We will hope for the best.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:17PM
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stolenidentity

oh, that is excellent advice deborah_ps! Since the post said it is "going to tick them off" it would be great if the issue was resolved before closing even. I like it.

As with many things on forums, we have very limited info and the details for this thing are quite sketchy. I am still wondering what the off street property parking means.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:20PM
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nosoccermom

I don't quite get the details of that coveted spot. However, I would just wait and see, assuming that the ex-trooper knows about property rights. In the meantime, I would just park my car in my "off street parking spot" for starters. On the off-chance that the neighbors would park their car there or ask if they could use the spot, I'd just tell them that, unfortunately, it won't work because I need the spot.

On the other hand, not to scare you, but is there any chance that there's some kind of easement or "adverse possession"? This means that someone gets a property by openly using it without permission. Depending on the state you're in, this take-over confers with a new owner, and the title insurance won't pay for adverse possession claims.

She should talk to the realtor about this. If the neighbors gave explicit permission, then adverse possession does not apply, and your daughter just won't give her permission. However, she would need some proof that permission was actually given.

If you google adverse possession and parking spot, you'll find several cases. Also, see here:
http://forum.freeadvice.com/neighbors-boundaries-108/does-new-ownership-extinguish-adverse-possession-561987.html and link below as it applies to Wisconsin.

Here is a link that might be useful: adverse possession

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:48PM
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texas_cajun

Permission negates a requirement for adverse possession. Generally you also have to show intent to take ownership, like fencing something in. Regardless, previous owners have them permission so he possession is not "hostile." This is not something OP's daughter needs to worry about in this particular situation.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:05AM
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nosoccermom

You're right that permission negates adverse possession. However, the potential problem is that the new owner has to prove that no permission was given --- and actually, erecting a fence is not required as long as the person openly parks there.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:02AM
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redindiana

Just a follow up. Closing finally over! Here is
the "coveted space". MY daughter and I went for a final walk thru a few days before the closing. I arrrived a bit early before her. The agent had a problem unlocking the door for the viewing...and lo and behold...the neighbor pulls up in side alley and gets out and greets us. I walked up and stated pleasantly that my daughter would be the new owner of house next door. I then stated " I'm sorry for the inconvenience but she plans to use her own parking area. That was one of the pluses of this home...off street parking." He was very cordial and got back in car and left. Fast forward to yesterday. After hauling out FIVE loads of overgrowth in backyard...the other neighbors came over to chat...and informed my daughter that said neighbor had came over to 'talk' with them and he was indeed PISSED! He said 'he'd parked there almost twenty years and it wasn't right!' They both told him her property why should he be upset. Oh gotta love 'em.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:18AM
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redindiana

Sorry...I should state to the right is daughter's property. The truck parking in it is the side neighbor to the left.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:23AM
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jakabedy

Well, the message has now been delivered and received. it was nice that you were able to deliver it in person and your daughter didn't have to. And the fact that he is using this for a truck and car caddy, and has his fifth-wheel on his own extra parking area -- means that he's not getting a lot of sympathy from me. He has a 2-car garage for his everyday vehicles. It's not as though he has no parking areas of his own. He just doesn't want to pay for storage for the vehicles he uses only occasionally. He can move the 5th wheel to a storage facility, along with the car caddy. That frees up the concrete pad for the truck.

As I was typing, I realized it didn't make sense to have a 5th wheel AND a car caddy. An RV and a car caddy would make sense, but the 5th Wheel and car caddy are both trailers. Does he have a collectible car(s) in the garage? With the car caddy used to haul them to shows, etc.? Not that it matters in the whole scheme of things, but that means that he has two vehicle-intensive hobbies (camping, old cars) but chooses to live in a place that won't accommodate all the rolling stock. His sweet deal couldn't last forever.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:29AM
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violetwest

I can see this situation escalating, unfortunately.

Just in case of future litigation, I think I would make sure she has a complete survey done showing the property lines and easements, or makes sure she keeps one if she got one in the process of buying her house; as well as getting a new, current address of the seller. If possible, I'd get an affidavit or statement from the seller just what the deal/understanding with the neighbor was.

This post was edited by Violet.West on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 16:17

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:16PM
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redindiana

Just a quick response. Car caddy is used for his golf cart. Also she still has survey markers in all corners of her lot. Told her to snap pictures to keep with her current survey. Thanks for all who took time to reply! Have a good evening!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:12PM
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