Friday, May 10, 2013

We own property

A while ago, maybe a couple of years after we bought our house, we started getting phone calls from a lady who said we had some of her property, something about 1-2 feet of our backyard that was pesky to her.
She said she would sign a Quit-Claim deed giving us legal rights to her property if we could just find the time to stop by.
Since we didn't really understand what she was asking and since one of us (who could it be?) isn't really into detail or follow-up, we basically blew her off.
The years went by and every so often as I drove by this lady's house, I would think perhaps we ought to take care of the situation.
Then I heard she died and I figured that was the end of that.
However, recently we got this little note in the mail from the county tax adjustor.
He wants to know who might be willing to pay the taxes on this little bit of property that lies between us and the guy behind us.
It's a one-foot strip that runs along the back edge for about 75 feet and apparently it was to have been included when the developer laid out the subdivision and it never was.
Nobody paid taxes on this little linear piece and now the county wants about $200 in back taxes.
If no one pays the back taxes, it goes on the auction block.
Now we realize we should have paid better attention and sealed the deal while it was easy.
We don't want to pay $200 for something that basically should have been ours to begin with but I guess we owe it.
It's also possible that someone somewhere might buy it just to be mean and make us move our fence or build a hideous wall on our 12 inches.
It's a conundrum as to what to do.
We don't know what the good thing is here. It seems silly to pay money we don't need to pay but we like to think of ourselves as law-abiding citizens.
We're doing some research, thinking it through. 
And, as we went about looking up the parcel on-line we found a bunch of our neighbors had similar tiny plots of unusable real estate.
It doesn't feel like our problem and yet, I can see where it might become one.
I'm think maybe I'll call around and see who's up for a storming of City Hall.

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