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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Attorney since 1986; Plain English explanations of Landlord/Tenant & Purchase/Sale
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I purchased a guaranteed buildable lot in 2008 in a new lake

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I purchased a guaranteed buildable lot in 2008 in a new lake front development called Stonebridge on Douglas Lake in Jefferson County Tn. in a town called Dandridge. I put $10,000 down and finaniced the rest about $60,000 with Farm Credit Services. The development was approved and 6 homes were built now forced to use a pump and haul system for sewage. The appraiser noted in his Addendum the "developer had sent a guarnatee that the lot was buildable" in addition the "Vital Information Statment" given to me at the time of purchase stated that the "seller represents that the lot is build-able". The development was to have a central sewer system on the grounds, which had been approved by the county and one of the main reasons I bought the lot. The state came into the picture and stated that the proposed sewer system is not adequate do to poor soil conditions including most individual lots which negates the possibility for a sepic system (whih I do not want) and haulted the issuing of all building permits thus making all lots unbuild-able, this has dragged on for a couple of years. Seeing that the lots were guarenteed build-able what recourse do I have in getting my money back as well as being made whole ($3600 interest)? It appears that this could go on for years. I was planning to move there when I retired which I did in 2009, but do to the ongoing issues I just want out if there is some way to take advantage of the guarentee the developer provided, I'm sure the lender must have a copy or they would not have given loans on the land, from what I understand most buyers used the same lender. Thanks

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.


While we write back and forth, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Sometimes I'm unable to read your entire question until AFTER I write back to you.


Although it's usually five minutes, sometimes there can be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be researching the answer to your question, helping other customers, or taking a break. If we are writing late at night, I may have to go to sleep and resume helping you the following morning.


I need the following information before I can answer your question:


Can you please clarify - what is your legal question? It's not clear from what you wrote, and I want to make sure that I answer the question you want answered.


Please be aware that and are pay-for-answer web companies. You have offered to pay me $28 for my answer and I have accepted.


I'll look forward to hearing from you,


Jane Doe Deer


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
<p class="text-15-black">My question is, does a guaranteed build-able lot of which I do have documents stating such, carry any weight or is it just empty words? Therefore my other question is, do I have any recourse in recieving a refund for a lot that is currently found unbuild-able as determined by the TDEC (Tennessee Department of Enviorment &Consevation) and if so what would that be, and how would I go about putting it into action? In addition as mentioned in my first email one solution that has been brought up was for each lot owner install their own septic system on each individual lot (which I am not interested in), but I have numerous documents stating that the developer was to supply a central sewer system which is one of the main reasons that I purchased the lot in the first place, so my last question is, does the above mentioned, constitute a violation of the purchase agreement by the developer futher adding to the possibilty of a full refund and can I be forced into installing a personal septic system in order to make the lot build-able which the TDEC already stated is unlikely because of poor soil conditions?</p><p>Thank you for your quick response</p><p> </p>

What you have, to use the right legal jargon, is a breach of contract. You can sue for everything you put into the lot, plus interest, taxes, mileage, etc.


Here's the big problem you are likely to encounter - you could spend thousands on legal fees and win your case, and the developer could just turn around file for bankruptcy.


I also wonder why the previous attorney wasn't making progress. It's possible you had either a bad case or a bad attorney. Your case sounds solid to me, but, on the other hand, I've only heard one side of the story.


I would suggest scheduling a paid, 1/2 hr to 1 hr consultation with the previous attorney (unless you think he or she is worthless) and find out exactly (more precisely) what the status of the case is, including challenges/obstacles. That would be a good starting point.


After that, you can try to pursue the lawsuit yourself, or with a different attorney.


As I said above, you sound like you have a solid case (no pun intended), but no matter what the developer promised, if he or she has no money, you and the other owners are going to have to pay for everything yourself.


Another option is to sell the lot at a loss OR sell at a loss, take a contract, and make a little money on, say, 7% interest.


You have a bad situation. There's no way to say that any differently.


Do you have any follow-up questions? If so, just write back! I'm about to take a break for two hours or so. There's no charge for follow-up questions.


Otherwise, please click "accept" or I won't be paid at all.


Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX sure wish I had happier news for you.


Jane Doe Deer







Customer: replied 5 years ago.
<p>If I understand   correctly there really is no recourse accept via a lawsuite even though the property has a guarantee build-able. What myself and all the other owners, about 100, have is basically worthless property. I wonder what the lending intitution would do if 50 or so owners stopped paying on the loans leaving the bank with 50 or more worthless lots. The other attorney was getting nowhere because the state would not budge on their requirements even though the county had already approved the developement and homes had already been built and occupied, in addition the county failed to call the developers bond letting it lapse, so no money there either, the counties response OOPS we GOOFED. One last question and I'll be done is there any recourse against the county and or the lending institution?</p><p>Thanks Again</p><p> </p>

No, your recourse is against the developer with whom you had a contract.


If he or she is still in business, you could send a demand letter by certified, return receipt mail. But I imagine that the attorney has already done that sort of thing and sued the developer, too.


If the attorney ONLY went after the state, trying to get the code changed, he or she may not have done a thorough job on your behalf. I'd have to know for what the attorney was hired to do.


But I'd go after the developer unless that's impossible because the developer is broke or likely to go bankrupt.


Meanwhile, if there isn't already a HOA, you can form one, and get everyone to chip in. I can send you the state law on that, if any, and send a sample.


Take care,



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