A year ago I took some old records from our lock box at the bank. The box only contains paperwork. Just last night I ran across them in my drawer here and decided to go thru them. In the building business I have had my name on many deeds for short periods of time. I had several deeds in the stack and I threw them out. ?Then I ran into a jewel that made me smile. A sixty thousand dollar purchase from a nice lady represented by her friend Mr. Bullard.
(Me on the left, Jim, Dick and my little sister Kat. Shirl was taking the picture. In front of the first house I ever built. This one I was the only worker from the ground up!)
Mr. Bullard was a nice guy, but every piece of property he sold me, his words were, “I am bringing this to you first.” I learned later I was usually the third guy he had approached. I still liked him. The unique thing about this buy was the contract; hand written, and since the owner was financing, the payment schedule was also in long hand. I watched as it was written using the hood of a car for a desk. The interest was to be 12% and Bullard did the math in his head as he wrote each yearly payment. (I checked it later with a calculator, he was correct). Such an agreement is absolutely unheard of now, and even then it was very unique.
I only built 5 houses there and just last year sold the rest for less than I paid for it per acre, but we no longer needed it.
I had to laugh at another deed. I bought a small piece of property to build on. My surveyor called me to tell me I had no problems, but the neighbor did. The property I had bought included a widow’s drive way. “Jack you don’t need it, why don’t you just give her the driveway, but I suggest you tell her she is responsible for the cost of transfer. I will give her the survey work.”
I said ok, the next day I talked to the lady. She understood (to a point), “I have been using that drive for 50 years, it should be mine.”
“I agree and now it is, but the recording and deed prep by an attorney will cost about $125. That will be your responsibility.” Reluctantly she said that is fair. I gave her a strip of land 14ft widex300ft.
That night I received a call from her son who said, “14 ft isn’t wide enough”.
Being as nice as I could, I said “The present drive is 10 ft., the value of the strip 14x300 is about $2000. If that isn’t enough land for you, we will just forget it and I will allow her to us my land. What the next owner will say is another story.”
His answer was, ‘they would take it.’
I had two big smiles, memories from a stack of trash papers, both are honestly good memories, even the last one.
Life has changed, trust must be enforced by an attorney. I have actually built two houses on a handshake. Times change.
Life is better when you look at the shiny side.
1964 Studebaker Truck that once belonged to Sister Shirl. Part of her collection