I met a couple soon after the new year to get started hunting for lots. They are kind, quiet people. Super easy to talk too, relate too.. just all around good people. They placed their kids in the Louisville school district- as they knew they’d be hunting and purchasing land soon. In the beginning, a lot of the emails were automatically sent to them from my MLS server. They told me what they wanted, so I set it up and it did the dirty work. As in… I input no more than $100,000, over 1 acre, in Louisville. Anytime a lot pops up in that range, they get an automatic email, as do I. The few they liked we quickly had to weed out due to covenants that made it impossible to keep their chickens.
I decided to forgo the automatic emails, and sift through the documents BEFORE I sent anything to them. Out of the 7 lots that were to be sent, I picked through them myself and came down to 2 lots. They picked their favorite, and we met a few days later. I was thanking Jesus the entire drive there (about a half hour from where I live) because it was absolutely beautiful out. The snow was nearly all melted, the ground was hard but the air was warmer than it had been in weeks. I actually hiked around in just a light sweater! February 3rd who would’ve guessed?!
They fell in love. We hiked all the way down to the ravine; their land would stretch just over an acre and a half. The houses were perfectly distanced, it was on a hidden road, and it was peacefully quiet. Louisville has a train through the city every 5-8 minutes, and out here… you could hardly hear the whistle. It was muffled just enough that they didn’t feel too outside of where they wanted to be.
I brought a copy of the neighborhood covenants; minimum building setback, minimum size of the home, what you can/cannot build your home with, rules and regulations… stuff you should know before you purchase. I also got a plot plan from the county- it was a very accurate representation of their land and the ones surrounding it within 1/4 mile. Everything looked great- they were comfortable with the price, the rules, and the taxes. I did point out the gas line that crossed over the land, but couldn’t make a judgment call until we saw it in person and were able to pinpoint 2 things; where the pipeline was, and where they wanted to build. No matter what- we were going to have to get more information before they were going to put in an offer.
I called around on Monday to Black Hills Energy, they supply the gas to this newer development. They told me the pipeline actually belonged to Northern Natural Gas, so I called them soon after. I got sent to voicemail after getting transferred 4 times, so I left a message and continued on the hunt.
Next step was to bug my favorite girls at Aksarben Title & Escrow. I asked them if they could pull a preliminary title commitment- which actually they just tried to pull utility easements up, and it turned up to be a pretty dead end. EXCEPT! We got referred to a website which would show us every pipeline under the ground and what it was. So, I found out it was a gas transmission pipeline that ran nearly cross-country. It also allowed me to compare it to an aerial photo- and set them in layers so I could see exactly where the pipeline lay on their future lot. Scoped it out further and finally got to talk to NNG… question answered.
It is a 16″ pipeline that carries natural gas, it is active, and they must build at LEAST 45′ out from the pipeline. We talked about the lot to the north, which he pulled up on google earth and compared it with a transparent copy of the pipeline drawing… they built 50′ out. And their house was situated perfectly on the land, and the two pieces resembled each other well. So really… our problem was solved.
The land is totally usable, and my clients are ecstatic about where they’re going to build and how everything will turn out.
It wasn’t hard. It took some time. Determination. Commitment- because that’s my job. My job is to find the answers to things that other people really don’t know where to start to find the answers. I have SO many veteran agents that I question on a daily basis, and they offer sound and solid advice. They aren’t against me, here, they’re FOR me. And because of that- I have learned a great deal, and continue TO learn. Through all of this, I was able to introduce myself to half of the Cass County officials that work in the office, and I learned a lot of stuff about gas transmission pipelines than I ever thought I would. Mostly, most important to me.. I earned the trust of my clients. They trust that I will do the right thing for THEM, not because I want to make the sale. I want them to invest their money wisely; they’ve wished and saved long enough.
It’s a beautiful piece of land. Uphill from a beautifully natural ravine and away from the noises of the highway, they will erect their dream home within the next few years and settle in to the home they have been working for for over 10 years. Their dream is my goal. Next, builders! Stay tuned!
Enjoy your weekend! Home and Garden Expo this weekend! Anxious to blog from my activity there 🙂
(Their land is off to the very right of the picture. Behind and beyond the existing home (for sale for 525k, if anyone is interested! 6 bed/5 bath 4050 SF! Gorgeous home inside and out and OMG the land! Contact me for address deets!)