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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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"farmington hills, that's where i want to be (gimmie gimme)" part 2
I look at houses online and wonder what it would be like to live in them, but usually it's only about as serious as a person who looks at pictures of naked ladies online and wonder what it would be like to date them. I browse real estate listings constantly because it's fun and compelling, and I only post on Facebook a fraction of the ones I like. And it is only a fraction of *those* that I would ever consider looking at to buy. I've recently only seen two properties in person, one that was okay but not magical enough to make me move, and one that was so great that someone else immediately offered the full asking price and got it.

I found another place that I think is good enough to visit with the listing agent. It is a cottage built in 1935 in Farmington Hills that sits in the middle of a wooded lot that is precisely one acre in size. It is on a major road, but the neighbors are mostly small suburban offices. It is next door to a Montessori preschool. Behind it is undeveloped forest, and behind the forest is frankly uninspiring suburban development, but at least it's the rich-people kind.

The ad is honest about the condition of the house, and after talking to the agent on the phone, it sounds like a gut job. However, the price seems reasonable. In fact, it keeps on dropping, and the ad says that the owner just wants it sold. I am prepared to do the renovation work if I can get it for the right price. And I also must be prepared for the inevitability of the forest behind the property being developed--the population of this country has increased by one hundred million people since I was born, and they are going to keep on building houses. I was surprised to learn that Farmington Hills was the largest city in Oakland County in the 2000 census, but it has been surpassed by Troy in the 2010 census. Taxes are high, probably because it's on a commercial road--the 2014 summer and winter taxes combined were about $2,200. It's reportedly 1300 square feet, over a "Michigan basement" and has two bedrooms and one bathroom.

The house may meet my contradictory preferences in home buying, wanting to be close to an "urban" area while maintaining some privacy. It's isolated in a way that may let my nights be quiet and peaceful, but it's only one mile from downtown Farmington. That is, as the crow flies--a walk would really be 1.5 miles. I'm willing to traverse that distance for provisions after the impending energy crisis.

Here's the part where I confess to doing a semi-bad thing. I Googled the owner's name and found their Facebook. These photos are from that person's page:

Between the listing, the agent, tax records and Facebook, the story I piece together is that the owner lived here for many years. They kept the house running, but didn't invest in it. The owner has recently or is in the process of moving to Asia (their profession involves Asian languages and they seem personally interested in Eastern religion), I'm guessing they are financially independent, and they just want to unload the property. The asking price has dropped to the price they paid in 1996.

I am waiting on a call back from the agent about an appointment. We'll see how it goes.

* * * * *

The house is on the south 165 feet of the north 1320 feet of the west 20 acres of the southwest quarter of section 23 of township 1 north range 9 east, except the west 66 feet thereof.

Here is what that means:

Township 1 north range 9 east refers to Farmington Township, although this part has since been incorporated as the City of Farmington Hills:

Essentially all townships are six-mile-by-six-mile squares divided into 36 squares all numbered in the manner illustrated below. Section 23 in Farmington is the one bounded by Orchard Lake Road, Middlebelt Road, 10 Mile Road, and 11 Mile Road.

The west 20 acres of the southwest quarter of this section was once the farm of J. M. Conroy. The farm actually included an additional five acres north of the southwest quarter, as seen below in a detail of an 1896 atlas of Oakland County. One quarter of a one-square-mile township section is 160 acres, so the west 20 acres would basically be the western 1/8 of the quarter section.

Finally, the south 165 feet of the north 1320 feet of that 20-acre section, minus the west 66 feet, gives you the property outlines seen in the first image in this post. It contains 43,560 square feet, which is exactly one acre.

The first private owner of the whole west half of section 23 of Farmington Township was Timothy Allen of Ontario County, New York, who purchased the land from the federal government in 1824. He was among the first handful of settlers in the township.

Has it really been 11 months since "part 1"?!