Wednesday, April 26, 2017
A builder's boo-boo turns into a great opportunity
A couple of weeks ago we hired a local builder to improve the drainage on our property. He extended the gutters on each side of the house, dug a trench for a drainage pipe to the bottom of our property, and set a grate up at the start of the trench to capture drainage from downpipes. It's worked pretty well, so far.
On Monday I was surprised when our doorbell rang. It turned out to be the owner of the property behind ours, which is part of an empty stretch of land running behind four houses on our street, with no buildings on it (it's too small to build on - it's basically wide enough to serve as a two-lane road, but no more). He complained that our builder had extended the drainage pipe beyond the boundary, a good ten feet or so on his side of the dividing line. I checked, and he was right - something the builder hadn't told me. I apologized, of course, and promised to put the matter to rights; to which he responded, "Sure - or you can just buy the property, if you want."
My ears pricked up at that. One minor drawback of our home is that the back garden is relatively small. That had helped us to buy it at a very good price, but even so, it would be nice to have more space to erect a patio and gazebo in due course, and some raised beds for vegetable gardening. (It would also be nice to have an enclosed back garden big enough to keep a dog.) After a bit of negotiation, the owner has agreed to sell us the part of his land behind our house at a very good price indeed - so good that we can't afford not to buy it! It'll raise the value of our property by far more than we'll pay to buy it. We'll keep it under a separate title until our house is paid for, after which we'll amalgamate the deeds into a single property.
So, a builder's error has turned into a golden opportunity for us. Someone up there must like us . . .