Three road blocks that we came across on a building lot.

Posted on: February 4, 2015

We recently closed on the sale of a building lot (Lot A) in Falmouth, Maine. The transaction on paper should have been easy. It was a CASH buyer on a recently surveyed property. However, there were a few issues that came up that we had not run into before.

Road Block Number 1:

The first issue that came up was that when we were researching the lot (Lot A) with the town, we found out that in order for the lot (Lot A) to be buildable, a garage that was on the existing lot (Lot B) that Lot A was being divided from needed to be removed. This was not a huge issue, just something that we made sure we included on the Purchase and Sales Agreement that the garage was to be removed prior to closing.

Road Block Number 2:

The second issue that we came across was the lot was located on the corner of two roads. One road had no water or sewer line, the other did. When we were conducting our due diligence to ensure that the lot could in fact be connected to public water and sewer we learned that, YES, Lot A could be connected to water and sewer based on the requirements of the Water and Sewer Departments. However, the Town of Falmouth had a moratorium stating that if a road had been repaved in the past five years, that the road could not be disturbed for any reason. The particular road wad been repaved in 2012, so it technically could not be disturbed until 2017! Our first thought on this was to ask the town if a septic system could be installed instead. However, the lot was too small AND if a lot has access to public water and sewer, then a septic system cannot be used. We ended up requesting a waiver from the town to disturb the road in order to gain access to the public water and sewer lines. The requirements of this waiver were that the buyer would have to put the road back together up to Maine DOT standards.

Road Block Number 3:

The third big snag that we ran into was after coming to a verbal agreement and minutes prior to sending out the purchase and sales agreement for signature, we were informed that the seller had changed the survey so that the lot (Lot A) no longer had road frontage on the road with public water and sewer access. We attempted to get a waiver from the town and the water and sewer department to allow access to public water and sewer without having road frontage. However, thankfully, the seller finally agreed to use the original survey so that Lot A would have road frontage as required by the Water and sewer departments.

Despite a few road blocks, the property closed last week and all parties are satisfied with the transaction!

Tips for Helping You Home Show Better

Posted on: January 16, 2015

Doing whatever you can to put your house’s best face forward is very important if you want to get close to your asking price or sell as quickly as possible. Short of spending a lot of money, here are several ideas for making your home show better:

1. Sweep/shovel the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard.
2. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. And speaking of paint, if your home was built before 1978, new federal law gives a buyer the right to request a lead inspection. If you think you might have some problems, do the inspection yourself beforehand and make any fixes you can.
3. Be sure that the doorbell works.
4. Clean and spruce up all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It’s especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless.
5. Organize closets.
6. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords.
7. Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Hide the kitty litter.
8. Put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house.
9. Having pleasant background music playing in the background also will help set your stage.