Unfortunately you can’t just give the property to the neighbor

At least not in Florida! We were in a very similar situation with the Florida payday loans laws when we went to sell our house in Florida Springs years ago. Only upon selling the house did we find out that ours encroached on the neighbor’s lot by 50 square feet. (Long story but a perfectly innocent occurrence.) In addition to getting our neighbor to agree to sell us the property we were already using, we had to have a new subdivision plotted and recorded to be able to get that tiny bit deeded to us. The whole neighborhood had to be canvassed and given the opportunity to object to the boundary change. Luckily our realtor was a superstar as we were 1200 miles away in California and our buyers really wanted the house and hung with us during the months-long process (they were renting the house from us until it was resolved).
I’d look into the adverse possession laws in FL to see what rights your neighbor has.

If you are paying “per acre”

or something like that, couldn’t you just offer a lower amount? The property is by all measure smaller than what was advertised. If you still like the land, I’d see if you can get the seller to reduce the cost and give the easement to the neighbor, although I’d probably mention it to the neighbor too. I’m surprised the seller hasn’t had that conversation already.

Re: the defect

The neighbor who is on the eastern border of the property somehow managed to build 1/4 of their home on “our” side of the property line, and 1/2 of their detached garage. Then “someone” put up a chain link fence so it “looks like” (until you get a survey done) that the house and detached garage are all on “their” side of the property line.

The aerial view of the developer plat lines shows it clearly. We are having a survey done (at seller expense) to find out where the true property line is, but since the (current) seller didn’t bother to get a survey done when ‘he’ bought it (it’s commonly a buyer expense in Texas) I’m pretty sure the survey is going to come back that the neighbor has built on ‘our’ property.

That means our options (legally) are:

1. walk away from the deal
2. get money from the neighbor for the property (likely not going to happen, and what a way to start a war)
3. grant the neighbor an easement (for free) and cure the title for that section of land over to him.
4. get money from the seller so we can do #3 and proceed with the sale

I don’t know when the build happened, but I’m pretty sure it’s been that way since as long as the seller has owned, which is 11 years. I don’t what the law is in Texas, but in California, if you have something like that happen and let it go for 7 years without contesting, then at 7 years and 1 day you have effectively lost the property. I would imagine it’s something similar in Texas (goes back to homesteading laws) so even if we were inclined to go to court we would lose and have to grant an easement anyway.

We “could” keep looking, but at this point if we ended up walking away, we would just wait until we got to Texas and found work and start the process over then, rather than continue to do it long distance. I’m kind of over realtors who won’t get off their duff until after an offer is made and now their commission is on the line.

You wanted some perspective, so here are a few new ones:

I have known several families who went the “buy land, live in an RV/cabin/shack, then build as we have time/money/energy” road, and suffice to say it’s a helluva lot harder to do than anyone expects. Figure out how long you think it’ll take to build your house with the materials/time/energy you expect to have, then multiply by four (at least). For instance, if you think it’ll take a year, expect that four years later you’ll still be trying to finish. I’ve seen more than one family never actually finish, and/or move or disintegrate before they could finish. Just from the handful of folks we know who went that route, only 1 in 5 actually succeeded in having a house they enjoyed when it was all said and done. Sobering statistics.
I would be curious to know what the ‘defect’ is, and what you are being told it would take to ‘fix’ it. That defect could explain why the house is ‘embarrassingly’ inexpensive. Many folks don’t want the hassle of such hoops to jump through, so this might be like a fixit car that just needs some moderate repair and then would be good for another 50,000 miles. Or, it could be a serious problem that can’t actually be fixed. We came very close to buying a nice parcel of farmland back when we were in the market, and the seller mentioned something about “needing to clean up the title first” prior to sale. We started to investigate, and that rabbit hole just went deeper and deeper. Turned out the seller had no fewer than six active lawsuits pending, all of which had liens on the land. It would have cost us a fortune to get out of that, and the seller was apparently about to get into another lawsuit even while we were negotiating. Apparently he was the argumentative type, and we found out later he was selling the land to pay his legal fees for these arguments he just couldn’t walk away from. Yet the legal issues kept him from selling. Talk about a Catch-22. Some problems need effort to fix and then they’re done. Others need effort to clean up and will never be done. I’d do careful research on this one before choosing.
You do have another option here; keep looking. You don’t have to limit yourself to just the above two choices. I know it’s hard when you’re just desperate to get out of the situation you’re in. But if at all possible, make sure you’re not going from the frying pan into the fire. DR does point out that a mortgage is one of the few things which most folks legitimately cannot afford to avoid except after they’re already down the financial freedom trail quite a ways. Holding out for a mortgage-free life may cost you in other ways. If the above two options are both too much hassle to realistically choose, keep looking. We found this place after walking away from Mr Six Lawsuits, and we’ve been here ever since. So there’s no reason to settle for Plan #1 or Plan #2 if neither of them really work.

Is my debt free desire getting in the way of buying a home?

Need some perspective here. We just found out yesterday that there is likely a material defect in the title, which has to be cured. If it’s not cured now, by the current seller, it will have to be cured later, by us.

It’s material enough that it would allow us to back out of the deal.

Which would allow us to either (a) move to Texas and rent til we have enough to pay cash for a house (which would happen WAY sooner there than here in CA) or (b) pay cash for some land, buy an RV and live in it (and off grid) and build as we have the funds to do so.

Now personally, I would choose option B, but as you know, I have a DD18 whose anxiety level would probably go right through the roof in that environment, so I’d probably have to figure out something more rapid in a build it scenario.

Regardless, my real question is: am I using the very real problem with the Title as an excuse to get out of the deal (which is so cheap/affordable it’s embarrassing) “just because” the idea of going from near zero debt to $65k is freaking me out ??????

And if I am, how do I fix that?

Just like Eldred we did just basics this last week on our homework

Stayed home instead of traveling on the long weekend (the guys had Good Friday off). Did a wienie roast here at home instead.

Paid a chunk on the medical bills. Celebrated discovering not only are we now 100% covered on all medical procedures, but on our prescriptions as well when dh’s refills were free.

Ordered original factory car parts for the two trucks from amazon for less than half of what they cost locally. One part came and the guys did what was going to be a $500 plus parts repair on ds’ truck for under $30 and it took them less than 15 minutes to change the parts out. Our truck part should be here this weekend.

Dh had, what we hope is his final needed medical testing on Friday—it was free thanks to insurance. Now we are waiting on the results. Good thoughts please this is the one that has had me really anxious.

Paid a small quarterly bill that some how had slipped through the budget, won’t make that mistake twice. Luckily I had enough excess in the fuel budget I could cover it without upsetting the apple cart.

That’s it, a pretty boring week financially. But hey no real Murphy attacks, so I’m a happy camper.

Jan who is wondering if we will get severe weather today because of how funky it looks and feels outside in OK

It would be funny if it weren’t so sad

So DH works for this company who demands everyone pay for business travel on their own CCs and then get reimbursed, a policy that DH has fought ever since he started working there. Most of the time he is successful.

Then when he started renting cars, it started to become a hassle, so he went and got a Capital One (don’t say it) CC with a $300 limit. Yes, it gets paid off within 2 weeks after he returns from a trip, and he has been good about only using it for reimbursable travel expenses.

Ironically, during one of those trips, the balance got reported to the credit bureaus, which of course looks like a 67% utilization ratio, even though it’s now been paid off for almost a month.

So we complained to Capital One. They did the standard apology, it takes a while for everything to get reported….

AND THEN RAISED HIS CREDIT LIMIT TO $2300, “so a $200 balance will only report as 10% immediately, not 67%”

Well ya gotta give ’em points for trying. And no, I’m not telling DH they raised his credit limit.