Author Topic: Sell the back of the yard?  (Read 2980 times)

Gerard

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Sell the back of the yard?
« on: October 01, 2015, 06:00:50 AM »
The house next to me sits on the back of its tiny lot, so it has no backyard. It's currently being renovated by a new owner who plans to rent it out. We chatted briefly recently, and an idea came up -- if I sell him the back 20-ish feet of my long backyard, he could put in a side door and make that into his house's backyard, which would let him charge higher rent.

Does anyone see any problems with this idea? Any ideas about how to determine a fair price? Legal issues? (I'm in Canada, if that's any help.)

YTProphet

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 06:41:18 AM »
I'm not Canadian, but I'd assume many US legal issues would be the same. Here, there may two things to consider. First, you're going to have to get a survey of both parcels before you do it. Not sure how much he's going to pay you for 20ft, but two survey would probably cost you at least $1,000. Second, you're going to have to run this by the municipality before you split because (a) they need to reset their tax legal descriptions and (b) you're going to have to file for a property split since you're breaking up platted parcels. You can probably have the surveyor help you with that, but you may need an attorney to take a peek as well.

If you're only going to make $10k or so off of this, I probably wouldn't do it. Not worth the hassle.

K-ice

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 11:31:10 AM »
Yes there would be some complicated lot subdividing fees.

Here is a long list of things you may or may not have thought of.

Would you still have easy access to your back yard?

Would you be mad if the neighbour built an extension, larger home, or Duplex that now overlooks your property?

Do you really need the money?  To pay off debt or something.

Selling part of the lot can negatively impact what you can do with your lot in the future. 
-For example, you may be able to split it in two but now since it is smaller you can't.
-You may be able to build a bigger house on your lot but since it is smaller the foot print rules (40% in my area) make the new house smaller.
- You may be limited by distance to property line when making an addition. Now the property line is that much closer.
-You may only be able to have a basement suite or garage suite on a lot of x size and now you are below the threshold.

All of those may impact your future enjoyment or resale of your lot.

This might be complicated and need a clear written agreement (no squatters rights) but could you just rent the back section to the neighbour and keep ownership?  Ie you rent it for 100/month making his place more attractive so he can get 150 more for it. 

Do you really want renters that much closer to you?

Most people I know who sold land or property regretted it unless re-invested in a larger property.

For fair price I would look at the price per sq foot of lots or tear-down homes in your neighbourhood. 
Your city assessment should also have a land value, but these are often below market value.

I haven't seen the layout of your space but honestly, I wouldn't do it.





Argyle

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 03:04:23 PM »
The people who previously owned my house did this — sold off the end of the yard to the adjacent renters.  Boy do I wish they had not.  One thing to remember is that renters are often young and carefree folks who enjoy loud parties.  If they don't have a yard, they keep the party in the house.  If they have a yard, they'll all be out in the yard.  You may be out and come back to find beer cans and vomit all over your side of the property.  Not inevitable.  But I can vouch for the fact that it's certainly possible.  And if the current owners are responsible landlords who only rent to responsible tenants, I can vouch for the fact that the property can be sold to less responsible landlords.  The possibility of this may well lessen the value of your own property, at the least.

BlueHouse

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 03:47:14 PM »
The people who previously owned my house did this — sold off the end of the yard to the adjacent renters.  Boy do I wish they had not.  One thing to remember is that renters are often young and carefree folks who enjoy loud parties.  If they don't have a yard, they keep the party in the house.  If they have a yard, they'll all be out in the yard.  You may be out and come back to find beer cans and vomit all over your side of the property.  Not inevitable.  But I can vouch for the fact that it's certainly possible.  And if the current owners are responsible landlords who only rent to responsible tenants, I can vouch for the fact that the property can be sold to less responsible landlords.  The possibility of this may well lessen the value of your own property, at the least.
Same argument, but substitute dogs for party. Yap yap yap. Without a year, renters are more likely to be quiet people with no yappy dogs. 😼

RidinTheAsama

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 05:20:50 PM »
This might be complicated and need a clear written agreement (no squatters rights) but could you just rent the back section to the neighbour and keep ownership?  Ie you rent it for 100/month making his place more attractive so he can get 150 more for it. 

This was going to be my suggestion as well.
Another concern with it would be to make sure there is a well defined exit strategy in case some day you decide you want your yard space back.  And conditions indicating that the agreement does not automatically transfer to the next owners (of your property or your neighbour's) without re-negotiation.

FIRE me

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2015, 10:20:08 AM »
We chatted briefly recently, and an idea came up -- if I sell him the back 20-ish feet of my long backyard, he could put in a side door and make that into his house's backyard, which would let him charge higher rent.


Bad idea, for reasons already posted.

Whose idea was it? If it was his, you will not have much trouble saying no thanks. If it was your idea, now you'll have to look like a jerk when you tell him you decided against it.

Although, if he manipulated you into voicing the idea, by saying something like, “If only I had a few more feet of back yard”, then I would not feel at all bad about saying you changed your mind about your kind offer made out of neighborly friendliness.

Argyle

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2015, 10:25:31 AM »
I thought of this thread again last night when the people who now own part of my back yard kept the party going back there past 2 a.m.

Gerard

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 08:33:30 PM »
OP here. The footprint issue is one I hadn't thought of, thanks. And I like the rental idea, too (my original thought was that I would require him to pay for the needed surveys for a purchase, but that might make the deal too expensive for him). Especially as there's a possibility he'll eventually buy my place anyway.

wrt party noise, I hear you, but I'd actually benefit from this arrangement, as otherwise the partying would happen on their front porch (which he has city permission to build "barbecue" size), which is actually closer to my house than the back of my yard is. The neighbours across the back might not like it much, though...

Bearded Man

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2015, 06:08:27 PM »
I thought of this thread again last night when the people who now own part of my back yard kept the party going back there past 2 a.m.

Having lived in three houses now, some even 350K or so, it seems no matter how hard you try within reason, there are douchebag neighbors everywhere. Even when I was growing up and we lived on acreage, the neighbors were ass holes always feuding and threatening us as well as each other.

Goldielocks

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Re: Sell the back of the yard?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 09:23:21 PM »
What about just leasing him a right to use part of your yard for three years for x dollars. With an option to renew for a second term?

He builds fence and makes renos.

You stipulate no more than 2 loud parties per year or you rescind the contract.



He does not pay survey and zoning fees, and can't sell to someone wanting a bigger yard to build a monster home on.