The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: will49766 on March 19, 2020, 09:58:56 AM

Title: Bad deal!
Post by: will49766 on March 19, 2020, 09:58:56 AM
  Hello everyone,

  I have been in the process of purchasing a home on 20 wooded acres in Hasting's Michigan.  The wooded lot was beautiful with hard woods throughout.  It was a 3000 sq ft home with a 40x30 pole barn.   The acreage itself was about 70% wooded with pasture on the front side.  I signed the purchase agreement on March 8th.   The day I signed the purchase agreement the wooded acreage was in excellent shape.  I had my inspection this week Tuesday which went fairly well.  There are some minor issues with the house I would have to deal with though.  As the inspector was getting ready to head out he suggested we take a walk though the woods...  Man am I glad we did!  We found the owner had recently removed all the black walnut off the property.  The inspector suggested I call around and ask a few loggers if they knew what was going on.  After a few calls I found one that knew the entire story.  He informed me that another logger he knows took 25 fully matured black walnut just a couple days earlier off the sellers property and he told me the logs were still sitting on the back side of the property next to the road.  Sure enough he was correct.  I was able to get video and pictures of the whole operation and was able to talk to the logger himself.  This guy informed me that the owner had a contract with them signed on the 18th of February, well before I signed the purchase agreement.  The owner just didn't disclose that to me.  I just couldn't believe it!   For this reason I withdrew my offer she lost the sale.

  My question is how much would the logger generally give for this many trees?  The first logger I spoke with suggested she received anywhere from 15 to 20k.  Does this sound correct?  And would the removal of the trees and the damage thereof devalue the property?   I know to me personally it did.

  I am just curious to know your thoughts.   Also, I am not mad at the logger, it was not their fault.  The owner was just trying to swindle me and I caught her red handed.  It sucks because we were really looking forward to the purchase but this really put the breaks on!

Thank you!

Will
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: Hans1 on March 19, 2020, 10:39:44 AM
That is a dishonest seller for sure. Did your purchase agreement have any language to deal with condition of the property. Are there Realestate Agents involved. The bottom line is they voided the contract by removing the trees,while they are standing they are part of the Realestate. Once cut they are Real property. 
 As to the Value of the trees 15-20K is possible for the landowners share. I cut a place last winter some good trees some junk/damaged and we averaged about 750+ per tree but a lot of the value was in just a few trees.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: GAB on March 19, 2020, 11:05:49 AM
Will:
If there was a listing agreement is there any way you can find out the date of it?
If you like the location I would submit another offer of $80,000.00 ( or what ever number you choose) less, to compensate for the depreciation of the property value and to compensate you and your family for the ugliosisness you would have to look at for the next 20+ years.  
Just a suggestion.
Gerald
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: ilog4u2 on March 19, 2020, 11:11:20 AM
My first thought about this was that there's still too many unknowns here. Like how long she has owned the property, is she a widow,? After all the trees belong to them. 25 trees isn't a big number. Sounds like a responsible select cutting, maybe even helping the stand overall. Perhaps they nurtured and worked toward this harvest at the end of their lives? Yes, they probably should have had a conversation about this but it still sounds like a beautiful property and opportunity moving forward for you. 
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: will49766 on March 19, 2020, 11:13:02 AM
Thanks for your reply.

 Yes it has language that covers this, the first part of Item 10: Fixtures and Improvements states "The following is not intended to be an all inclusive list of items included with the property. All improvements and appurtenances are included in the purchase price, if now in or on the property, including the following: all buildings and landscaping; "......  I have a very good realtor involved and she is just heart broken that this has happened.  She stated the owner is very much in the wrong and killed the deal.  I am wondering if this would devalue the property enough to warrant a much lower price now?  I am still interested but with the damage to the property now it really irritates me.  I don't feel it's worth my original offer now.  She really thought I wouldn't notice this.  Unbelievable!

 
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: Southside on March 19, 2020, 11:22:35 AM
Had a similar thing happen with a property we were looking at a number of years back.  Really like the place and was walking the edge of a field when I noticed what looked like a fresh skiidder track, took a short walk into the woods and sure enough there it was.  Asked the sellers realtor who was standing right there what was up with the harvest they had not bothered to mention and her response was that "Oh they are just taking a few of the oaks off the property - no big deal".  Ok ok, high grading.  We turned around right there and walked away.  Can't trust deals that start like that.  
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: will49766 on March 19, 2020, 11:25:14 AM
Thanks everyone for your input.  The owner is 65 years old and single.  I don't think she has ever been married.  I will have to ask about the listing contract, but I don't believe once she has a purchase agreement that she has the right to log off trees.  It is beautiful acreage and it sounds like there are good neighbors.  I really want to let this sit for a few weeks, let this virus run it's course and see what the market does before I continue on.  The owner was really banking on me taking it because she was packing up everything.    The funny part is, she was in the house when the inspector and I were performing the inspection.  We found her in her bedroom hiding under her covers and she wouldn't say a word.  Just out of this world WEIRD!  I think she probably was too afraid to show her face because she knew she was in the wrong.  This is an experience I will never forget!
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: Pine Ridge on March 19, 2020, 12:30:34 PM
Its too bad that we have to deal with things like this, some people will do anything for the almighty dollar. The property would be worth less with that many walnut trees gone from 20 acres. Could be other issues also that have not been disclosed by the seller, hope it all works out for you.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: John Mc on March 19, 2020, 04:18:43 PM
My first thought about this was that there's still too many unknowns here. Like how long she has owned the property, is she a widow,? After all the trees belong to them. 25 trees isn't a big number. Sounds like a responsible select cutting, maybe even helping the stand overall. Perhaps they nurtured and worked toward this harvest at the end of their lives? Yes, they probably should have had a conversation about this but it still sounds like a beautiful property and opportunity moving forward for you.
Sounds more like someone high-grading and trying to sneak a few more $$ out of the property to me. Sounds as though the harvest contract was already signed when she accepted the real estate offer. She had an obligation to disclose it - at least in the fine print of the offering, if nothing else.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: Clark on March 19, 2020, 08:10:13 PM
Will removing that many trees devalue the property? It should but the reality is that no real estate agent I have ever met has been able to assign a value to a property that includes timber value. If the market doesn’t turn down I think the reality is someone else will buy it and probably not discount it for the price of the sold timber.

I think you have about 1 week (although maybe more depending on how the current situation works out) to strike a deal. It’s unlikely the house will sell in the next week. If you think people are going to moving around more after next week then put in your offer that is lower, explain why and let her decide. Of course, if things get worse then it will play into your hand even more.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: Hans1 on March 19, 2020, 08:14:31 PM
After reading through your reply’s and the other information. I would ask for a meeting with your agent and the seller and her agent if she has one and discuss the situation. Explain that you made your offer on the entire property walnut trees included. Now that they are removed it is now worth less to you. How much less is your choice. I wouldn’t wait if you are sure this is the right place. Make sure you void the original purchase agreement and are refunded your Earnest money before you renegotiate.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: will49766 on March 19, 2020, 08:32:35 PM
Thanks Clark and Hans, 

I have been thinking pretty heavily about what to do.  It's quite difficult to find a place large enough that works with my hobby.  I own a WoodMizer LT40 and haven't really had a chance to use it due to a job transition.  This place is set up perfectly for the mill and the house is large enough to give us room.  My father is very worried about the outcome of this corona virus but I think it will eventually pass.  I get his fear.  Maybe it's warranted, especially since my work has reduced my hours to 32/week.  I think I will take your advise and speak with my realtor.  The way things are going with this virus, the owner is hesitant on letting people in and wants to stay close to home.  More than likely she will not want to re-list right away.  The house is also set up to interface with a wood boiler, which I already own.  The place really fits us well, I just feel really taken by what she did.  I will let you all know what happens.  And I appreciate everyone's input.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: scsmith42 on March 19, 2020, 09:02:42 PM
If I were you, based upon the fact that you really like the property, I would submit a revised offer with a lower price.  I would subtract the estimated value that she received for the logs, plus an additional 5 - 10K amount to cover your expenses and inconvenience.

I wouldn’t wait.  If she refuses the offer, then move on.

Why let her dishonesty deny you from a property that you really like and is well suited for your needs?  If someone else purchases it then she will not get punished.  On the other hand, if she accepts a discounted offer she is being punished for her dishonesty.  

Perhaps this is the Lord’s way of getting you a better deal on the property.  You never know...
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: will49766 on March 19, 2020, 09:08:28 PM
Scsmith42,

The funny part is she professes Christianity herself.  I found piles and piles of Tim LaHaye books in her home as we did the inspection.  It really surprises me that this has turned out this way.  I expected so much more integrity. I have an email ready to send to my realtor.  I need to let it sit for a night to think about this.  


Thank you for your input!
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: Corley5 on March 19, 2020, 09:26:52 PM
Some of the most dishonest people in this world go to church every Sunday.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: John Mc on March 19, 2020, 09:28:22 PM
If the logs are still there, and you have a sawmill, why not tell her that ALL of the trees on the property were part of your offer. She can give you all of the logs that were cut. If the logs have already been removed, she can give you her share of the proceeds, plus the cost of trucking them, since had you had them cut, you would not have paid for trucking you would have used them yourself on site. (now that I think of it, would you have paid a logger, or would you have cut them yourself?)

Of course. all this assumes that the place hasn't been so trashed or heavily high-graded that you are no longer interested.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: barbender on March 19, 2020, 09:52:34 PM
I'm sad to say, as a Bible believing Christ follower if I'm being honest I'm more cautious with deals and transactions with other professing Christians than I am with the general population. It shouldn't be that wayn but it is. As to the land deal, you've gotten a lot of good advise here. Maybe she just did you a huge favor by releasing you from a purchase agreement right before the real estate market tanks. She can keep her walnut money and you can come back and buy the place for half the original price🤷🏽‍♂️ 
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: stavebuyer on March 20, 2020, 02:41:05 AM
I think a quick consult with an attorney would be in your interest. You have a signed contract and in the several states I have bought timber in; you had an interest in that property including the trees the day the contract was signed. I have a feeling you are holding most of the trump cards and have legal leverage to recover your losses(stumpage) and possibly damages above.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: tacks Y on March 20, 2020, 08:48:39 AM
I think stavebuyer is spot on here. If you have not terminated the contract? I cancelled a contract and wrote a new one cost me the property.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: DDW_OR on March 20, 2020, 10:19:23 AM
she wanted her Cake, and eat it to.

a LOT of people say they are Christian, but are not.
it is true of other people in other religions too.

if you still want the property, then deduct the logs and cleanup from the asking price.

Covid19, is like a flu virus. most go away in the heat of summer.

with the stock market down, I am looking at what dividend stock to buy.
looking at a stock or Mutual fund history was before Covid19, to predict what it will be after Covid19
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: barbender on March 20, 2020, 12:00:35 PM
How do you know Covid-19 is like a flu virus? I listened yesterday to an epidemiologist explaining that Covid-19, being a coronavirus, could be more similar to MERS, a similar coronavirus that transmits from camels on the Arabian peninsula in 110° temps without a problem.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: brianJ on March 20, 2020, 12:16:14 PM
How do you know Covid-19 is like a flu virus? I listened yesterday to an epidemiologist explaining that Covid-19, being a coronavirus, could be more similar to MERS, a similar coronavirus that transmits from camels on the Arabian peninsula in 110° temps without a problem.


Virus is a packet of genetic material unlike bacteria which is a complete cell.   Hot and dry and UV is a good way to eradicate them.      This  virus is inactivated by humidity rather than dryness.   I do not understand the chemistry behind that.     

Transmission will slow once people are regularly outside and have the windows open at their residence.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: barbender on March 20, 2020, 11:06:49 PM
I understand what a virus is, the point I was trying to reiterate from this epidemiologist was to not count on the warm weather mitigating this one. I hope it does, and I get your point of folks being outside more slowing the spread of this.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: jeepcj779 on March 21, 2020, 01:46:20 AM
It is not inactivated by the humidity. Humidity just does not allow the virus to go very far. When someone coughs or sneezes and humidity is high, the droplets from the coughing or sneeze combine with droplets in the air then become heavy and sink to the ground instead of getting inhaled by someone else.
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: will49766 on March 21, 2020, 04:45:06 AM
Thanks again to everyone that has responded.  I've already backed out on her and terminated the contract over this.  It doesn't look like she's in a hurry to relist.  The response to this virus is making me nervous to continue at this point.  It could really hurt me if the market drops over this.  I'm not sure it will, but I think I'm going to play it safe for a few weeks and see what happens.  It might just be a blessing that she did this to me.  It's a tough decision because I feel this is the right place for us.

As for the virus...  I think it's been here in Michigan longer than they think it has.  I was deathly sick this January with the same symptoms.  My two daughters had something as well, but not as severe as what I went through.  Makes me wonder if it was covid-19.  It lasted about 5 days for me. 
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: doc henderson on March 21, 2020, 05:17:16 AM
I will just throw out there, that viral stuff with cough fever and runny nose has happened every winter for my 30 years as a pediatrician,  every winter.  most viruses have symptoms for 5 to 7 days.  if the inflammation stays you may cough for 6 weeks, like mycoplasma we called walking pneumonia in the old days.  stay well!  good luck with your property search!
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: dougtrr2 on March 21, 2020, 10:03:25 AM
It sounds like this is your ideal place.  I wouldn't be too quick too eliminate it from consideration.  She did not act in good faith; but what if she had?  What if she had disclosed before your offer that she had already contracted for some walnut harvesting?  Would that have significantly changed your offer?  I would be very cautious to make sure there aren't any other surprises but I think I might go ahead.

When I bought my small acreage we only looked at three properties on one weekend.  Once we saw this one we knew it was the one.  Any other looking would have just been comparing back to this one.  That was done in 1984 and we have never regretted it.

Good Luck,
Doug in SW IA
Title: Re: Bad deal!
Post by: DDW_OR on March 21, 2020, 07:58:38 PM
How do you know Covid-19 is like a flu virus? I listened yesterday to an epidemiologist explaining that Covid-19, being a coronavirus, could be more similar to MERS, a similar coronavirus that transmits from camels on the Arabian peninsula in 110° temps without a problem.
i STAND CORRECTED.