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What if a home is built on the wrong lot?

When you by residential property and hire a contractor to build a home on the lot, you have a basic expectation that it's going to be built on the right lot. However, this isn't something that happens in every case.

A million dollar home in Florida was built on the lot right next to the one where it was supposed to be constructed. A home in Rhode Island worth almost $2 million was built in a park, rather than on adjacent residential land. In Springfield, Massachusetts, the group Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for charity, built a house on a lot the city owned.

There are many problems here, and the solutions usually vary based on who owns the lot. In Florida, both of the owners were just citizens who owned residential lots. They simply traded those lots so that the person who owned the home also owned the land.

In Massachusetts, the city sold Habitat for Humanity the empty lot for a small fee of just $3,000. In Rhode Island, things were more complicated because the park foundation that owned the land couldn't allow the house to stay there without paying $1.5 million. Therefore, the builders had to move it.

One issue that means things have to be decided quickly is that taxes are going to be assigned to the lot based on its value, regardless of who owns it. That means that the person in Florida would have had to pay property taxes on a home he never asked for if he didn't swap lots with the neighbor.

If you find yourself in a strange situation like this in New York, be sure you know your rights.

Source: My News 13, "Deal ends feud over Flagler house built on wrong lot," Saul Saenz, accessed Nov. 25, 2015

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