Several weeks ago I described how a contractor’s boo-boo turned into a great opportunity for Miss D. and myself. We’ve just concluded a second land purchase as a result, and we’re very pleased with the outcome.
Our house is relatively small (more than adequate for 2-3 adults, or two adults and two kids, but by no means a McMansion), and it’s on a smallish plot – just under 6,000 square feet, which translates to about 0.14 acres (or, for readers in metric countries, just over 0.05 hectares). That wasn’t as large as we’d have liked, but the price was right when we bought it, and we didn’t have more money to spend at that time.
However, we happened to discuss our contractor’s mistake with the owner of the land behind ours – he’s the man who originally built this entire development – at a time when he was looking to divest himself of his last remaining plots here. The bit of ground behind our home is a surveyor’s oddity; too narrow to build a house on it, but also a sort of dog-leg on the larger property next to it, one that a buyer of that plot wouldn’t really want. Over the past several weeks, we bought the rectangle of land immediately behind our property, and today we bought another small patch on one side of it, after it had been properly surveyed.
The upshot is that we’ve increased the overall area of our property by almost 50%, at a price (for the new land) of just over $1 per square foot – a bargain in anyone’s language! The next step will be to extend our rear privacy fence, to incorporate the new area into our present back yard. (That’ll cost several times more than we paid for the land, what with filling in the holes left by the old fence posts, fixing up drainage, moving our little garden shed, and all that sort of thing. Still, it’s money well spent. I reckon the new land will increase the overall value of our property by anywhere between 25% and 50%, compared to its original purchase price. I’m not going to turn up my nose at that!)
Miss D.’s already planning ahead for the next few years; a gazebo standing on a small paved area with a firepit, some raised beds for ‘square foot gardening‘, and so on. I’m also thinking about putting a small writing cabin out there in due course. (Not least among our considerations is that we now have enough ground out back to get a dog, if we wish. We haven’t in the past, because a dog needs some space to run around. Now that we have it, who knows? The cats may get company!)
It all goes to show: when someone comes to your door to complain, a polite, respectful response can sometimes produce a windfall effect far beyond anything you could ask or imagine.