Sunday, February 03, 2008

Just a Small Corner

Recently I wrote of our house at the shore. The purchase of it was a drama in itself. The original owner started out with a double lot, side by side lots. When his sons got older, he split the lots in two and gave the original house and lot to his sons. He built a ultramodern place on the extra lot. Unfortunately the sons' wives did not get along and sharing the house led to more fights than sun tans. They stuck with it until they could not stand the bickering any more. They put the house on the market.

We came along, and said we would buy it. All went well and the closing date arrived. We sat happily at the closing with the bank's lawyer and the sons. When the paper signing was over, the lawyer asked if the sons wanted to give us the keys. They did so along with the obligatory hopes that we would have many happy years, etc.

Then followed a long, awkward pause. I didn't know what was going on until one of the sons asked if they didn't get the money then. Calmly, the lawyer folded up his files and casually said, "No, not until you can give the L-s a clear title". It seemed that when the old man gave the kids the house, the garage was one foot by 6 inches over on the father's retained lot. The father was so angry that the sons were selling his gift to them that he refused to sign over the little corner to them so they could sign it over to us.

Stalemate ensued. We got to stay in the house weekends, but we dared not touch or move a thing. The boys had been given 60 days to clear the title and it was soon apparent they couldn't do it. As the deadline approached one Saturday afternoon, the original builder of our(?) house arrived with a crew. In no time they had sawed one side of the garage free. They moved it over six inches, nailed it back, and sawed off the overlap on the adjoining wall.

Like magic, a surveyor appeared and found that our house was no longer on the wrong lot. The sons got their money, we got the house. And the lawyer patted himself on the back.

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