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Old 10-04-2019, 10:08 AM
 
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I am dealing with a similar situation for my MIL who inherited landlocked property. Her brother (whose property directly abuts a public road) has gone rogue and declared that he won't allow her to access her property, or allow realtors to access it to assess it, or anything. Jerk.

However, in NC, even in a situation where you can't negotiate an amicable arrangement with a neighbor, you're not out of luck.

In NC, it's not allowed to create land locked lots without at least easement access to a public road. So if you buy the property you can take it to court. If there's an obvious driveway that crosses onto the property but the person whose land it crosses to get there just won't let you use it, or won't let you record a proper deeded easement, then you can probably just sue them; if it's not clear which property the access should pass through, an attorney will probably advise you to sue several or all adjacent property owners and let the courts sort it out. The court will order one of the adjacent owners to sell you an easement. I believe the court will set the price. You will then have to buy the easement and record it. These proceedings can be fairly expensive. Several thousand dollars (perhaps $5-10k?) in addition to the cost of the easement itself.

If you own the property you would be able to represent yourself, but I don't know if I would recommend that. It doesn't seem like it would be super difficult, pretty cut and dry really. In my MIL's case, I can't do that for her because she owns the property so I don't have standing to sue, and if I tried to do it on her behalf that would be a big NO NO because I am obiously not an attorney.

In this case, there appears to be provisions for a driveway between the houses at 241 Cornwall and 100 Epping Way. So that is probably where I would start. Maybe you could approach the neighbors, and see if they're interested in selling an easement in a friendly way. If they're not, inform them that it is likely the courts will grant one, and it will save them time and trouble to just sell it to you - and if they still aren't interested, go to court.

Last edited by orulz; 10-04-2019 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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The Cornwall lot doesn't have much in the way of easement access options. Almost all of the surrounding properties are fairly narrow and built pretty close to the property lines.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFspiderman View Post
The Cornwall lot doesn't have much in the way of easement access options. Almost all of the surrounding properties are fairly narrow and built pretty close to the property lines.

And, if current ownership is not able to gain access, why would one think a new owner would have standing to force the issue?
The new owner would have lost nothing, purchasing as it is, where it is, with lack of access disclosed clearly.


This parcel has been on the market for quite some time, priced as low as $75,000 (for an acre near the heart of DT Cary) and I would think that investor/opportunists have done plenty of due diligence on the property.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:11 AM
DPK
 
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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
In this case, there appears to be provisions for a driveway between the houses at 241 Cornwall and 100 Epping Way. So that is probably where I would start.
Honestly it'd probably be easier to approach the owner of 922 Devon Ave and see if they'd let you buy a 15' strip of their property that buts up adjacent to their neighbor at 920 Devon Ave. Then it'd just be one property owner to deal with to get access and the lot at 922 is fairly decent in size to where it'd be more feasible.

If I were a developer I'd probably try to buy the landlocked lot and the lot at 922, bulldoze that house at 922, extend an L-shaped street from Devon into the landlocked lot, subdivide and build 3-4 houses.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Originally Posted by DPK View Post
Honestly it'd probably be easier to approach the owner of 922 Devon Ave and see if they'd let you buy a 15' strip of their property that buts up adjacent to their neighbor at 920 Devon Ave. Then it'd just be one property owner to deal with to get access and the lot at 922 is fairly decent in size to where it'd be more feasible.

If I were a developer I'd probably try to buy the landlocked lot and the lot at 922, bulldoze that house at 922, extend an L-shaped street from Devon into the landlocked lot, subdivide and build 3-4 houses.

922 has a 37.29' chord frontage on Devon. Straightened out, what? Maybe 33', 34'?

I suspect that TOC would require a wider road right of way.


I think it is real hard to make the numbers work for a developer IF another parcel and access were assembled.

All the surrounding lots are zoned R12, i.e., 12,000SF lots.
4 houses would be 48,000SF, absolute minimum, after buying one for $250,000+ to rip out.
I wonder if 3 or 4 houses in that location could be built, sold, and marketed at a price capable of providing a reasonable margin to the builder/developer?

And, I am quite certain there have been many inquiries, and many eyes on the parcel trying to find a way.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:55 PM
DPK
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
922 has a 37.29' chord frontage on Devon. Straightened out, what? Maybe 33', 34'?

I suspect that TOC would require a wider road right of way.


I think it is real hard to make the numbers work for a developer IF another parcel and access were assembled.

All the surrounding lots are zoned R12, i.e., 12,000SF lots.
4 houses would be 48,000SF, absolute minimum, after buying one for $250,000+ to rip out.
I wonder if 3 or 4 houses in that location could be built, sold, and marketed at a price capable of providing a reasonable margin to the builder/developer?

And, I am quite certain there have been many inquiries, and many eyes on the parcel trying to find a way.
Yeah I'm sure multiple people have tried to "make the numbers work" at this point, else I fathom this would already be a solved problem. All the surrounding lots could also just absolutely not want anything built behind them no matter the cost.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
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Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
based on a cursory look ... not worth what they're asking. doesn't appear one could buy any adjacent lot, and then get 2 or really 3 lots.

there's 6-8 adjoining homeowners you'd need to find that would get together - either all 8 or some combo of 2-3 - and buy it together from you. and I can only assume the Seller's tried that already.
MikeJ certainly gave a little more in-depth analysis ...

but with a general idea of development costs, there simply is no way a SMART developer gets the number of lots needed for the costs involved (buying at least 1 other property w/frontage, all those utilities, all that curb and gutter, all the permitting and planning required) to be able to sell the eventual houses.
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