Trade Can Alleviate Lot Mix-Up

Question:  Three years ago, we looked at a lot in a subdivision near Flagstaff.  We purchased this lot, and after getting a permit, we built a home.  We now want to sell our home, but the listing agent says that we built our home on the wrong lot.  In other words, we got a deed to Lot 63, but we had looked at Lot 64, got a building permit, and built a home on Lot 64.  We are still the record owner of Lot 63, and no home has been built on Lot 63.  Lot 63 is a bigger lot with better views.  The ownership of Lot 64 is in the name of a limited liability company with owners in Canada, and our listing agent is now trying to locate these owners.  What do we have to do to be able to sell our home which was built on Lot 64, which we do not own?

Answer:  The simple answer is to locate the owners in Canada and trade the lots. Since Lot 63 is a bigger lot with better views, that may be workable.  If the owners for some reason will not trade the lots, you will probably have to contact an attorney.  The issues that would need to be addressed would include whether the owners in Canada were aware of of any construction on Lot 64, who has paid the property taxes for Lot 64, and any contact the owners in Canada had with neighbors or real estate agents in the community in the past three years.  in general, however, a court would not authorize “judicial waste” that is, require you to tear down your home on Lot 64.

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