I have a house in VA that I need to sell as I had to move out of state for my job. I have a willing buyer, but an issue has come up.
My driveway is contiguous with my neighbour's. Prior to my purchasing of the house, the state widened the road in front of it. They put in a nice, 20 ft wide apron and cut out, a sidewalk, the whole deal. My neighbour bought his house before me, but also after the road was widened.
My neighbour and I have always both taken full use of the entire 20 ft cut out. We've also both always taken care of the maintenance - adding gravel, smoothing out where the dirt meets the apron, etc.
My buyer's title company pointed out that only 8 feet of the apron/cut out is on my property, the remaining 12 feet is on the neighbour's. Because of the restricted space, it is impossible to safely leave my property without encroaching on my neighbour's portion of the driveway. Because of this the buyer was refused title insurance unless my neighbour signs a joint use and maintenance agreement.
My neighbour refuses to sign such a document. He fears that if he does so, some future owner could legally compel him to spend thousands of dollars repairing his portion of the driveway. I completely understand his concerns and do not hold this against him. He also is not willing to sell me a few feet of the driveway; again I understand his position and would not "force" him to sell even if I could.
So what do I do? I can't continue paying this mortgage. The house has been empty for two years now.
The neighbour is willing to sign a shared use document but will only agree to giving each other five feet of easement, no maintenance agreement, and wants to be able to revoke the document at will. In short, he won't agree to stipulations that title companies require.
I have an owner's title insurance policy from when I first purchased the house. The insurance is for $57,200 (the amount I paid). My current mortgage is more than that, but the current loan to equity ratio on the house is well under 50%. My survey (from the 90s when I bought the house) doesn't show anything to do with my neighbour's house/driveway.
Any thoughts/ideas/possible solutions would be most greatly appreciated!
Thanks for reading,
Yikes! Sorry for the typo in the subject line.