Author Topic: bought a home, undisclosed neighborhood development  (Read 494 times)

jakubdudek

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bought a home, undisclosed neighborhood development
« on: August 21, 2019, 10:48:11 AM »
Hi All,

hoping maybe they'll be a real estate lawyer on the forum with an educated opinion. 

Bought a home in rural Oregon, near Portland.  Lots are zoned farmland.  Lovely, peaceful, secluded yet no too far from development.  We've been here 3 weeks and came to learn from the neighbor that the adjacent lot has been purchased by someone who intends to build a large public facility, 18000 sqft, parking lot, some parts of the building could be as high as 50ft.  The dirt road we live on would be repaved and the entrance to the facility will be directly across from our entrance.  As should be obvious, traffic would be significantly increased immediately in front of my property. 

There's a legal fight going on between this developer and all the neighbors as obviously no one wants this and it's not allowed to begin with (but the developer is asking for a special permission based on grounds i wont get into here).  That however is not the point of this post.

The Seller knew this and chose to not disclose it.  He stayed out of the legal battle and mentioned to other neighbors he needed to sell this place before "this thing went through".  The Seller's agent knew this and chose not to disclose it.  We have written proof that the seller's agent knew (an email thread between his office and the neighbors with acknowledgement of receipt from the realtor).  Our agent also worked for the same real estate company, same office. 

I am having a hard time figuring how this does not fit into the definition of "Material Fact" and how it was ok not to disclose.  It almost certainly has a huge bearing on property value, and certainly on the use and enjoyment of the property.  I would have never bought at that price if i had known about this.

Thoughts?  did we get screwed and tough luck, or should we pursue legal action?

we will of course speak to an attorney, but i am looking for multiple opinions.

-Jakub

norajean

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Re: bought a home, undisclosed neighborhood development
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 12:04:01 PM »
Read your contract and disclosures for pertinent language.  Speak to a real estate attorney.  Is your lot close enough that you could offer it to the developer - a quick flip?

Mr. Green

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Re: bought a home, undisclosed neighborhood development
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 12:57:05 PM »
To my knowledge, in both Maryland and North Carolina the seller is not required to disclose neighboring property information. In fact, we had an issue years ago with a neighbor's house when we were considering selling and when we asked a realtor about whether we would need to disclose it they said we actually couldn't disclose it because the neighbor was entitled to do what they were doing and our disclosure could give them recourse for a lawsuit of some kind. Basically it was up to the buyer to know what was going on in the surrounding area.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 12:59:40 PM by Mr. Green »

Villanelle

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Re: bought a home, undisclosed neighborhood development
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 01:31:09 PM »
It can't hurt to talk to an RE attorney, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they did nothing wrong and this falls under "caveat emptor".  It sounds like the info was available to someone who had done a little investigation. 

Cpa Cat

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Re: bought a home, undisclosed neighborhood development
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 01:44:05 PM »
Having witnessed something similar occur where I live, you may find it valuable to do to planning commission meetings and county commission meetings where the permit is being discussed.

At least locally, the planning commission was very receptive to hearing our neighbors who simply wanted to make adjustments (changing the location of the entrance, requiring trees to be planted, limiting the height, limiting noise concerns). They were less receptive to neighbors who simply argued "decreased property values."

Your local government may be even more receptive considering it's a special use permit - depending on how "special" the use it.

Conditional Use Permits are a little harder to block than rezoning (it sounded from your post like it was a CUP) because the use tends to be very narrow and within the general scope of fair use (such a church in a residential zone).

Not sure about legal recourse in this situation, since these kinds of applications are public, so you can just call the planning department and ask if there are any proposed developments that would impact your land. If anyone breached an ethical obligation, it was your buyer's agent (if they knew). The seller's agent shouldn't disclose anything they're not legally obligated to. They represent the seller, after all.