This is purely hypothetical but what if you lived in the beautiful community of Argyle and Bartonville and…
What if you were working in your yard one day and a stranger pulled up in your driveway and asked if you were the yard help or if you lived there in the beautiful home with the beautiful yard that is surrounded by hidden gas wells, compressor stations and near a gas processing plant?
And what if, upon learning that you are the homeowner not the yard help, she starts asking you questions about why homes in your neighborhood are so cheap and shows particular interest in the “Just Say No to Urban Gas Drilling” sign in your yard?
So, what if you explain the meaning of the sign and that possibly the homes are devalued because they were developed by a retired doctor in an area with a lot of drilling activity, which is like a heavy industrial zone with acreage and million dollar houses sprinkled around?
And then, after answering the woman’s questions honestly, what if you learned that she was looking at a home for sale in that very same neighborhood, which is the first you’ve heard of any homes for sale?
Would you be surprised to find a letter in your mailbox from the homeowner’s attorney threatening to sue you for damages because the house didn’t sale and for any reduction in the value of the home?
If something like this ever happened, here is the map of my thought process:
- Because we live in the Barnett Shale, are we now required to lie to anyone who might ask us questions about our neighborhood even when we are standing in our own front yard?
- Does living in the Barnett Shale exempt homeowners from the disclosure laws that exist for real estate sales?
- Does diminished property value now come from neighbors talking about gas drilling rather than from the gas drilling and production all around?
This probably didn’t really happen. It’s just too ridiculous.
I had to update this post with a graphic and silly but pertinent video.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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And, hypothetically, if an attorney was advising his/her clients to withhold such information, wouldn't such an attorney face losing his/her license to practice?
that hypothetical attorney should be reported to the bar association.
I agree! This kind of hypothetical situation would be such a dirty, underhanded attempt at intimidation. I feel certain that the hypothetical homeowners would be highly intelligent and have resources at their disposal. Hypothetically and metaphorically speaking, they probably wouldn't take something like this lying down.
This sounds like something a.certain Flower Mound attorney, supporter of HB 3105 and friend of Candidate Kendra Stevenson would do.
Hypothetically, this could happen also to new housing developments which have been planned where the pad sites are planned/approved before the houses are built, then the homes are built, then the gas pad comes in after. Hypothetically, a group of surrounding property owners (fighting urban drilling for 3 years) may be willing to tell all perspective homebuyers what they may face in the future if such a "development" is built.
Tim Ruggiero says
I think the first thing I would do is to go confront the 'neighbor' who decided to hire an attorney and make veiled threats, instead of going after the company or person that created the problem.
I am not required to lie, and nor will I. If the day comes where we can even attempt to sell our house, I am required to fully disclose everything I know, both by law as well as a concientious, law abiding citizen.
I think what I might also do is put together a nice doucmentation package together, with photographs, environmental testing results, maybe even my new appraisal, the copy of the County Tax Assessor's Statement showing the 75% reduction and send it registered mail to the area Realtors. As a well known mayor says, "Once you know, you can't not know."
Or, maybe I could just tell the person stopping by I know quite a bit of information about things going on around here-things you probably don't want to expose you family to-but since I've been threatened with a lawsuit by my next door neighbor for telling the truth, you'll have to talk to him about it instead.