Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Yes, you really can get there from here

     While we’re happily transplanted into the condo, the homestead on the other side of town is still on the market. There’s yet another open house scheduled for Sunday. Yes, like everyone else with a house for sale, we’ll make sure the grass is cut and the mums in the planters are watered, but before that we’ll first be checking the weather as obsessively as a prospective bride planning to trade vows in a pasture. Over the past couple of years the driveway has decided to form a puddle rivaling Lake Michigan with every rainstorm.
          Meanwhile, we also have another challenge – our road. As I may have mentioned before, when we bought our house over twenty years ago, we saw on the description that it sat on a private road. “Private road?” we thought with child-like naiveté, “How lovely!”
          It wasn’t until a few years later that the other shoe fell. A private road means our town is under no obligation, in fact has no intention, of repairing it. Since to create it, the developer originally slapped a layer of asphalt the thickness of pancake batter over what I suspect was a half-hearted sprinkling of pebbles, things have deteriorated over the years.
          Yes, with the frost heaves and thin spots, sensible travel on the road is limited to less than five miles per hour, but come on folks, the street is only three houses long. Plus, if you went any faster, you’d be headed right into the buttress of trees at the end.
          Our former neighbors (and sadly, maybe us, too) are looking into the cost of repairing it ourselves, but no one around here is pouring asphalt in the fall so it’ll likely have to wait until spring.
          Although the town does plow and sand us faithfully, maybe the snow season will begin in November and put down a glorious layer of the white stuff that will mask our problems until someone signs on the dotted line.


  1. I grew up on a private road, unmaintained by the city, year in and year out. The city decided to pave the road, and sent enormous bills for the amount of catch up work to be done. My mother dug in her magic strong box and produced evidence that the road did belong to the city to her far property line. She also did the same for sewers, in some other dispute. Keep it all, whether your want to or not.

  2. hopefully some young couple with stars in their eyes won't see the condition of the driveway/road what with all the stars and all and will buy the house and then come to the same realization that you did.

  3. Good luck. With luck someone else will see the romance in a private road.

  4. That picture looks really scary! Surely that is not the condition of your private road but just a way to demonstrate the situation. Right? :-)

    1. Never fear, although it does have its ups and downs.

  5. That is quite the dramatic photo! I'm sure your road isn't THAT bad. I guess if it's only three houses long, it's more of a driveway than a real road -- and people DO have to maintain their own driveways, don't they? Maybe that's the way to pitch it to any new buyers who raise questions!

  6. We live on one of those private roads, except ours is dirt. It is in terrible shape, but not quite as bad as the one in the picture! :) The state will keep it up, if we, the land owners, get the road fixed and up to specifications first. No way could the folks who live out here get along long enough to talk about fixing the road.


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