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Burned by the fine print

We recently experienced a costly 18-month ordeal at the hands of Garfield County. In December 2010, we purchased a log home in Carbondale using reputable realtors and bought from the leading builder. The property was listed as having 17.5 acres.

After listing the property in 2017, we received a full asking price offer due to close in January 2018. The buyer hired a real estate attorney who quickly discovered the property was transferred to us by warranty deed. Garfield County allowed this. The owner of the ranch divided the first six 17.5-acre parcels in 1978. In 1992, he took steps to sever the last 35 acres into two 17.5 acre parcels. That was not done by a formal subdivision exemption.

As a result, we experienced a nightmare. The expenses of real estate and water attorneys, water engineer, multiple inspections and the loss of sales were significant. We were not allowed to sell the property until the Garfield Board of County Commissioners decided on a special land application exemption. That took about 18 months. The property transfer by warranty deed was missed by at least three title companies. Land title denied any liability coverage for this.

The Colorado Senate passed SB35, regulating the subdivision of land resulting in one or more parcels less than 35 acres. It required counties to pass regulations pertaining to parcels of land smaller than 35 acres. That became effective May 5, 1972. Our property was transferred in 1992. It seems title companies and counties are protected rather than those victimized by lack of due diligence. We were told our case is the first of this kind. Hopefully others will be spared of this nightmare.

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Margo Kadair and Roy G. Kadair

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


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