Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lowering property values

What if you buy a house in a "nice neighborhood", and then a few months later someone buys the house next door and paints it purple with yellow polka dots and has "Ugly People Mud Wrestling" in their front yard every night?

You might complain that they have lowered your property values.

If that can make the local "tax" thieves demand a lower yearly ransom you should be grateful, as long as you aren't trying to sell your house. Put up a tall fence, or enjoy making fun of the show.

But, even if you are trying to sell, why assume that this development would automatically be seen the same way by every potential buyer? Because it won't. Maybe someone would like to buy your house to put a concession stand in the front yard, and bleachers, and charge admission so people can point and laugh.

But, again, even if it does reduce the resale value, have you been "taken from"? Has someone taken value away from you in a way that makes them owe restitution?

I don't believe so.

Lots of things can reduce the value of your property.

If a visitor to your home damages your TV so that it no longer gets one particular channel, they have reduced the value of your TV. They owe restitution.

If the owner of your favorite TV network decides to close up shop (or cancel Firefly!), he has also reduced the value of your TV to you. But, as upsetting as his actions may be, he doesn't owe you restitution. Your TV would still be as valuable to someone whose tastes and preferences differed from yours.

Just like your house next to the Ugly Naked Muddy Clown House.



  1. I know of someone who did the paint trick - it was a bit more psychadellic than purple and yellow - I could only find a partial shot of it on the net showing a head with magic mushrooms growing out

    He had good reason, he wanted to get the hell out of the old mill building that he was living in, but the local council who owned another part of the site had slapped a compulsory purchase order on it. Following the 2008 crash, the council would neither pay the guy, nor would the council lift the order, and with the order in place, no one else would ever buy it, so the urban street art in one of the most beautiful villages in Ireland, was the poor guy's way of trying to push the issue forward.

    Incidentally, if the tide is particularly high, or there's a storm surge, the guy can paddle his canoe allong the line of the road.

    I think I've said it before, those who bitch most about property values, are the ones who have least intention of staying in a place, they are not interested in getting along with their neighbours, they generally couldn't give a damn what sort of mess they leave behind for everyone else, so long as they think they can climb the property ladder.

    Naturally council planners listen to those who bitch loudest - those with the least intention of living there long term.

    My own personal version of purple paint, would be renting the house out to a nice family of Irish Travellers. Anyone who bitches about that can very nicely be accused of waysizzum.

    1. See, I just can't figure out why that painting would upset the neighbors. It's not something I'd choose to do on my property- but that's NOT my property.