November 13, 2013

Walking away from our dream lot

As of last week, we've had in-hand everything needed from the seller to properly assess and review the feasibility of building a home on this lot: a soil test with certification letter, and an official survey.

When the land survey was delivered in early October, it became apparent that we needed to learn more about the right-of-way owned by Henrico County and so we began an inquiry to determine if and for how much we could buy the acreage back.

Without sharing every painful detail, over the past few weeks we have been in touch with the Real Property department to check-in and gather progress updates. All was looking promising until today. Of the three departments that needed to officially sign off on the request, Utilities said it was not a problem as did the Planning department.

I called this morning to inquire about Public Works, the department responsible for roads, and was told over the phone that they are holding on to the right-of-way for future road projects, and then this afternoon I received the official document signed by the Director of Public Works.

And so there it is.

Some time in the yet to be determined future, Varina Road will be realigned, and the uncertainty of what that project may entail (a two lane road? a four lane road?) presents a whole host of unknowns that just doesn't feel like our "dream" lot as it first appeared.

In addition to all the building restrictions placed on the land, as detailed in this post, the fact that one day there will also be a major road fronting the property, essentially in our front yard, is enough for us.

We're going to think on it tonight, but we'll likely have to pass on this one.

Isn't that a bummer, to have to start back at the beginning?


  1. Oh man. That must be so disappointing for you :( Hopefully something even better is on the horizon and you will be able to look back and see this as a blessing in disguise.

  2. Oh wow, so sorry to hear this! All the pictures you showed and your plans with all that space looked fantastic. Hopefully you'll find something great soon!

  3. I'm sorry it fell thorough. But I'm glad this wasn't sprung on you AFTER the fact. Keep looking, your dream is out there.

  4. Mama Tully: It is disappointing and at the same time we were geared up for this very thing to happen. I swear that land holds so many surprises! If all these pieces had been in place when the lot was put on the market (survey, perc test, etc.) then we wouldn't have had to walk through the entire thing to get to the end and find this out. But, the lot would have been ideal (size, location, etc.), so it was worth the experience to find out that it isn't. We will keep our searches open and we've learned so much from this process that we'll have an even better idea for what will suit us best when reviewing future lots.

    Jodi: Thanks! Fortunately, much of the design/architect/dreaming that we've done will all still be relevant whenever we find a lot to put the house on! I'm hopeful and confident that the right piece of property is around here somewhere! We may have to get even more creative finding it, but we aren't on a timeline and are feeling a lot of patience with this project.

    Maiden: Thanks, and yes, I'm so glad we followed every lead and burning question or else we could have just assumed that the verbals we received from the county were good and then we would have had to deal with that reality after the lot was already ours. We'll keep looking, for sure!


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