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Seven Unlucky Lots in Bostwick

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Wetlands is defined by three things:  vegetation, soil, and water.  There are uplands, wetlands and middle ground, but a change in environmental regulation can leave a homeowner stranded on property rights, unable to fulfill his intent for purchasing a given piece of real estate.

There were seven lots in Bostwick—this is a true story passed along by Ryan Carter of Carter Environmental Services—each lot was approximately 250 feet from the road to the river, and each was sold for approximately $350,000 or more.  That was pre-2007.  Now they’re worth much much less…AND several of the lot owners are charged with filling the wetlands, though the current owners had purchased the lots in that condition.

It was the previous owner who had filled the lots to make them buildable and more valuable.  He created what was later deemed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) “illegal uplands.”

Now in order to mitigate what the previous owner did, the new landowners could spend an additional $50,000 in mitigation fees…AND they are restricted to only using a small portion of that 250 feet.  That’s a big oops all over your bank account and your property value!

While the laws of nature don’t change, environmental regulation has left the new landowners high and dry on the wrong side of the mitigation fees.

Wetlands restriction can be very non-liberating for the landowner who buys the lot, builds the house, then owes mitigation fees and fines because of changes to the property that predate his ownership.

Seven unlucky lots in Bostwick represent seven more reasons every homeowner should have the proper Owner’s Title Endorsements when they get Title Insurance.  These seven unlucky lots don’t represent the extreme—they represent the risk that underlies ownership of any real estate.  Don’t add yourself to the list of woe, make sure your property is insured with proper Owner’s Title Endorsements and Owner’s Title Insurance.


Stephen CollinsSeven Unlucky Lots in Bostwick

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