Huge apartment community being built and we haven't even closed!

mmmagiqueOctober 23, 2007

So we were watching the news last night and saw THIS: (see link)

We are scheduled to close on a home in the Coves on the 8th.

What would you do? What are the implications? I am not happy about this turn of events at all!


Here is a link that might be useful: Neighbors protest apartment plan

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I don't know your area/state and what the surrounding subdivisions look like, but don't see this as a positive. I would not have bought a house near a planned, but not yet built, project of this size.

Obviously this had been in the works for some time and a little bit of homework by you at town hall or the zoning/building dept would have uncovered this information. Buyer beware.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 10:19AM
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Our real estate agent had told us that there was nothing planned at the time we looked at it.
This is something fairly recent, I think.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 10:45AM
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I may have the wrong poster, but if my memory isn't faulty (and it often is), you had a difficult time finding a home in your price range that suited your needs. It seems to me your options would be to walk if you don't want to live near an apartment complex and face the consequences of backing out of the contract. At the very least I'd think you'd lose your earnest money.

Another option would be knowing that you found the right house for the right money, in the right school district and you have to live with the annoyances of an apartment complex near by.

To some people an apartment complex near their homes is an incurable defect. To others if the home meets or exceeds all of their other needs, they'll put up with the annoyance. Only you know which category you fall into.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 11:30AM
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NIMBY again.

Not everyone can afford a SFH. That doesn't make them drug dealers. In fact, some people just don't want the hassle of a SFH.

Apartments are a much more efficient use of land.

I don't really see what the problem is, if this complex isn't right next door to the house (in which case it would be annoying to have the construction noise).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:05PM
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No, Cordova, I don't think that was me. We DID have to find a home quickly, and I AM a bit picky, but, there are several homes in good areas in our price range. I really DO like this one though.

Someone from the neighborhood association assured me that this neighborhood has protested similar things before and always won, so, hopefully they will again.

The apartments will begin at $1200 per month, so, we may not have the noise associated with the lower end apartments. (if the zoning is changed, that is)

If we back out of the contract with no other reason, we could be sued by; our buyer, our seller, and our rea...not to mention lose our earnest money, inspection money, appraisal and survey money.

This is very distressing.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:07PM
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I don't see apartments as the real issue, its the fact that its a rental community. Very rarely do rental communities make for good neighbors even if the rents are high. It all comes down to how well the management company enforces the rules and how well they screen the renters. I would fight this all the way. I think you are right for being concerned.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Thank you, housenewbie. I've rented, I've owned, I've lived in very close proximity to owners and renters and large apartment complexes. I honestly don't understand why SFM-dwellers scream bloody murder when something "different" arrives in the neighborhood. The world is comprised of unique individuals with varying housing needs. And there's nothing whatsoever wrong with that -- it's simply a fact of life that's not going to change.

For those who really do have the NIMBY mindset, tell me -- where are those who choose to, or must, live in multi-family complexes to go? Should they be relegated to the "not so great" areas? Put them on the outskirts, so as not to have to live in close proximity to "their kind"? Honestly ... where would you have others whose needs are different than yours live?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 2:15PM
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Had to google NIMBY = Not in my backyard

Our real estate agent had told us that there was nothing planned at the time we looked at it.
This is something fairly recent, I think.

Did you have a local agent? You would think that an agent working for you would disclose something like this since you asked.

How long ago did you sign the contract? This doesn't appear recent, read the article you linked to, it says the one guy has been protesting for months. It then says For several months, residents have fumed over the proposal in contentious neighborhood meetings with Hagan officials.

Might be the reason your seller put the house up for sale to begin with.

If you go to the link below, click on apartments, you will then see Chestnut Ridge.

Chestnut Ridge

Chestnut Ridge is currently in the rezoning and approvals process and will have 427 luxury apartments ranging in size from 650 square feet to 1,450 square feet. It is located on Westport Road between Hurstbourne Lane and Springhurst Blvd. and is contiguous to E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. Construction will be done in 2 phases and leasing is expected to begin in early 2008.

Chestnut Ridge was designed by Bob Koch of national award winning Fugleberg Koch Architects of Winter Park, Florida.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hagan properties

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 2:40PM
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You've done this before, trying to be offended when a post on here even remotely speaks of something you might be able to twist into something to argue about. Why? I thought you learned the last time. This poster simply would not have chosen to bid on a house if she had known there was a proposed apartment complex going up. People have the right to choose where they want to live, whether it be in a condo, an apartment, a SFH, in a HOA, or near the beach, whatever the case may be. If I bid on a house and then the next day find out that something is going to drastically change the new home or neighborhood that I did not know about prior to my bid, then I have the right to be upset.
I really feel that you come to these forums looking to argue about something when no such offense exists, and maybe you need to seek help?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 2:55PM
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Please forgive me.
Thank you so very much for pointing out my egregious behavior.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 3:13PM
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By the way, addicted - I'm being facetious. I'm so taken aback by your unkind words that I'm rendered speechless and don't wish to have any further dialogue with you on this matter.

I will direct this post to those who care to further discussion, based upon statements in this thread, such as:

What are the implications? I am not happy about this turn of events at all!

...What are the implications of what, Christina? Of not going through with closing, or if living in close proximity to multi-family housing?

To some people an apartment complex near their homes is an incurable defect. To others if the home meets or exceeds all of their other needs, they'll put up with the annoyance. Only you know which category you fall into.

I don't know your area/state and what the surrounding subdivisions look like, but don't see this as a positive. I would not have bought a house near a planned, but not yet built, project of this size.

Very rarely do rental communities make for good neighbors even if the rents are high.

I believe we (or most of us) can probably discuss why living in close proximity to a dense housing development is viewed as a negative. I viewed roselvr's link and this looks like it's going to be a very nice, well-planned development.

Christina - If you would prefer that I begin a new thread and not derail yours any further, I will be happy to do so. Just let me know. :-)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 3:46PM
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I once lived in an eight-plex apartment building that was smack dab in the middle of a nice residential area. There were no other apartment buildings around, just single family homes and moderately nice ones at that. My building was full of working professionals, myself included, and a couple elderly ladies. Everyone was a good tenant, and the landlord kept the property well maintained. The grass was always mowed in a timely manner, the snow always removed, etc. In fact, our snow was often removed faster than the single family homes in the neighborhood. I guess we were a "rare" rental community.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 3:58PM
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Terrig, I think the time is right for these types of housing options. In fact, in my area there is a growing trend for new developments that are designed to encompass a variety of housing options -- single-family traditional, multi-family townhouses, apartments, duplexes, and so on. Sort of like a ready-made community with options for everyone. One development has even designed the buildings with a vintage look, and many of the semi-family homes and duplexes look like old-time bungalows and cottages. I think it's a wonderful, all-encompassing idea that represents how the majority of America truly lives.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 4:05PM
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Different strokes for different folks -- some people don't mind living in close proximity to an apartment complex in exchange for a reasonable cost on a house.

My son was looking for a home earlier in the year. He fell in love with one, we looked at it with him and noticed that it backed up to significant vacant acreage. We asked the realtor what was planned for the space and she didn't know. We did some digging and found out it was zoned for a shopping center. He passed on buying a home that would have backed directly up to a shopping center. Someone else bought that home, either not knowing or not caring because they bought a beautiful home for a great price.

I know that in our area, houses that are very close to apartment complexes, don't sell for as much money as the same house would sell for had it been a few blocks away from the complex. But they still sell. They sell because some people overlook the annoyances for the benefit of being able to afford a nice home.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 4:13PM
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Like the article points out, this property *will* be developed. The only way to stop that is for you to buy the property yourself and let it sit unused. Of course, you have to keep paying the property taxes while the property is unused.

It looks like current zoning does not allow multi-family housing and the developer has applied for a zoning change. This happens all time. Zoning is not static. If the developer can convince city council that the land is suited to multi-family, then it will probably be allowed. If no other developer is waiting in the wings ready and willing to build single-family homes, then city council will probably approve the rezoning. They need to have the property developed in order to generate tax revenue. Any reasonable proposal is better than vacant land.

As a prospective owner, you should attend the public hearings and make your voice heard. As a group, the best your neighborhood may be able to expect is to demand concessions from the developer, such as road-widening, stop lights, and a buffer between new apartments and existing multi-family homes.

You may also be able to influence the council to allow fewer apartments. Look at other apartment complexes in the area and see what the "normal" density for your area is.

In my state, North Carolina, cities and townships are required to post road-side signs at parcels that are being reviewed for re-zoning. This makes current residents aware of the required public hearings. If the same is true for your area, then you should have known something was up before you signed the purchase agreement. And unless the apartment complex is literally going up right next to your house, I don't think you have a case for getting out of the contract due to non-disclosure. Development taking place a half-mile or a mile down the road is probably not cause to cancel the contract.

I'm truly sorry that you're so distressed, but I think some of it is simple buyer's remorse. Looking at the map posted as part of the news article, I see a shopping center, an Interstate highway, and a freeway. You are buying into a developed area which is continuing to grow. It's happening all over the country, even with the housing slow-down.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 5:09PM
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That's a big plot of land, and so a huge red blotch on the map. But how "solid" will the building be? And it's around the corner from your area; you'll exit first onto a local road, and later onto the road that serves the apartment complex.

So the impact may be a little bit farther away; it may not be right next door.

The traffic in the general area may get denser; but you may not actually even SEE the apartments that much. The map is not a good indicator to me.

It's hard to tell scale. Being on the ground in the area itself would give you a better idea.

I'm sorry you're having this stress at what is already a stressful time.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 6:34PM
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This is a very interesting discussion.
We are not prejudiced against mfhs, we live in a condo.
We bought the house knowing the zoning in the area is for sfhs.
Traffic is atrocious in the area, and the schools are near or full to capacity.
This is SO not buyer's remorse, nor is it prejudice. I love the house and the area, but apartments right next door will change the entire sense of the community.
I wanted a quiet area where my children could play, not a noisy bustling suburb.
Oh, and AuntJen; I am not totally offended by your implications that I am prejudiced and cannot understand rentors. I can see how you might think so. The truth is that I was a single mom for many years, and did rent. I am not prejudiced regarding race, status, or religion.
When I asked what the implications were, that was purely financial. I'm sorry, but, if we spend almost $200,000 for something, I want to know what the implications are to us as far as housing values.
I am glad that there were those who realized that this is not about 'us and them'. I just want to look out for our financial future and for my children.
I was upset at first, that I was misunderstood, but, others came up and restated my case in their own words, and I do appreciate the support.
We are fighting city hall right now. And we are going to stand up for what we think is right.
I thank you all,


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 7:17PM
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will the apartments literally be "right next door", to such a degree that your children won't be able to play in theirs or their neighbor's yards?

It didn't look like that from the map. If you live on Stonebridge Road, maybe

But of course, the scale is hard to tell.

Even if you were right next door, the impact on your family's quality of life will be greatly determined by the design of the apartment bldgs. My friend lives in a multi-block apartment complex--it's pretty dense, i think--but there is still a lot of grass, the people who live there don't stray that far outside their area. I think the homes that are right across the street are still very livable.

Will you be standing up for what you think is right, or for what will benefit you in terms of your investment? i think this would be viewed through many lenses--the idea that a property owner ought to be able to do what he needs or wants to with his property; the idea that growth is good; as well as the idea that change is bad, or that once an area has developed a certain character, it's unfair to suddenly change that.

One thing: those apartments won't be competing with your SFH when it's time to sell, so the supply of SFH's won't go up. That might help offset some of the density problem.

Also, though there will be a bigger drain on the road & schools, there will also be more taxes coming in; that's something to stress, that the taxes get used to cope w/ the presence of more people.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:08PM
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Actually, the house we are buying is on Stonebridge road...

I am standing up for what I believe is right, and for what will be best for me financially.

It is unfair to move into an area that is zoned one way, and to have it rezoned into something else. Those who are paying to live there should have more of a say. (imnsho...)


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:38PM
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I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that this works out for you and your family.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:41PM
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More areas are going to mixed density housing, where SFH's are interspersed with townhomes, condos, and even apts..The sfh's are on varying lot sizes, and several i know also mix commercial and office bldgs within "the neighborhood..
Having my previous home(on 2/3 acre)back up to a "retirement" community, and my current abutts an apt complex(though i have 2 acres,and the complex is 200'+- from my rear Property line), i have no real issues with either situation..i guess if the apt bldgs where close enough to notice, perhaps i'd not be so happy

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:40PM
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Christina, I wish you all the best and hope that however things turn out, you and your family will have nothing but happiness wherever you choose to live.

I apologize if my words came across as implying that you are prejudiced. My comments were, in fact, in direct response to other comments made in this thread -- not primarily yours. Others expressed opinions that multi-family housing is undesirable. I happen to disagree, and felt we could have an open discussion on the matter -- the seeds of which were already planted by others posting before me. I asked you what you meant by "implications" because that's a fairly ambiguous term, and I didn't understand exactly what you were asking. Thank you for clarifying.

As I said, I wish you nothing but the best as you endeavor to make a new home.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 10:06PM
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If you want to get out of your contract, hire an attorney and go over it with them. There may be a way out, there usually is for the buyer. If all your contractual dates have passed ( inspection date, financing date..) you will need an attorney to help you. I agree with you, I think that an apartment complex will bring your property value down. Not to mention all the additional traffic and part-timer's living there. I'd get out if you can. Just my opinion...

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 10:34AM
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I've been in the position more than once of buying property with "wide open spaces" abutting it. Don't we all wish to see those spaces remain wide open? I know I do, lol. But, it never occurred to me that investigating the future uses of that land, or who owned it , was anybody else's responsibility than my own. Like somebody else said, caveat emptor in this situation.

I have a similar scenario. My husband purchased some rural land for speculation. It was zoned unclassified when he purchased it. I have an agribusines, and felt comfortable with that, as I even considered it may be useful for part of my operations down the road, since it abutted a state route and had close proximity to an interstate interchange.
As soon as we got our first tax statement, it had been reclassified as vacant commercial. What? LOL. Going to commercial zoning does change your tax liability. Since we owned this land, I don't even know how that was legally done. I chose not to fight it, however, as that status was a desirable situation for the land if you intended to sell it anyway. BTW, it was sold to a business at a decent profit.

I'm not at all unsympathetic to your situation. I used to live close to the area you are buying in, btw. There are ways to gracefully integrate high end apartments and condos into communities without seriously impacting property values, but if it's not done with the present property owners interest's at heart, I can see how it could impact your property's future value. Should your realtor bear the responsibility of disclosure since you asked that question specifically? I dunno. If she/he hadn't researched it and didn't really know it was an honest answer, then it wasn't a failure to disclose and it may not even be considered a "fault", because that's a subjective call.

It pretty much boils down to whether you want out of it badly enough to act on it and that's where an attorney comes in to the picture on breaking a contract as painlessly as possible. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 2:37PM
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The apartment complex sounds "planned" but the developer still needs a zoning change, so it is very possible that it will never be built. If I were you, I would join the fight opposing the rezoning.

My subdivision, along with others, fought successfully Wal-Mart from developing a "super-store" in the area. They had the commercial zoning but they needed a variance on parking. The protests and such made the process so painful for Wal-Mart, they decided to pull the project.

So, sometimes the little people do win :)

From what I could tell, getting organized and speaking as a cohesive and coherent (don't just yell and shout that you don't want an apartment building - say why and how it would impact the community/environment/traffic) group does affect the planning process.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 4:39PM
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I really think you have a good point there in that people are not helpless when they can unite for a purpose. I suspect the crux of this issue, however, is whether this person wants to fight the giant with a dubious outcome, or get while the getting is good and bail out. She really sounds to me like she wants to see all the angles and bounce the ideas around.

I'll tell you where I get antsy is where quasi government entities are at work. I saw one project go belly up when citisens got involved enough to not want to see whole sections of a town go belly up as a blighted area. They won after a fight and got what I thought was a sensible and workable compromise out of it. In other cases, I found that entities like Port Authorities seemed to be exempted from the sunshine laws the public assumes is in operation and thought......... uh very convenient! That makes land acquisitions, and prospective land use sheltered until the kinks are all ironed out and then it's almost a done deal before the general public knows their paradises are going to be paved into parking lots. It puts the public at a distinct disadvantage legally and time wise. I'm a very firm believer in every issue with any possible impact on your property or enjoyment thereof being public knowledge. It's still your own job to make use of that knowledge.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 5:32PM
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