Am I Saving Trees for the Bulldozers?


Friday’s mailbox yielded my first offer, years sooner than expected, to sell my house via a commercial broker aiming to market a neighborhood assemblage.

The line for the sale price is blank, and the broker would receive 5%. Do you notice any vulnerabilities for me with just that information?

It made me wonder if said broker could write in any sales price on an already signed document and make a huge profit selling even as a single residence. Sort of a blank check we would give him. On the other hand, we thought of returning it with 5x the single residence market price on this same line.

It would be hard to calculate the value of what we like so much about living here, how we've arranged our lives very conveniently around it, and if we could reestablish nearby. The land w/in several miles of me, if all announced plans are realized, will receive another 5–6 million ft² of office space, maybe another million retail, and thousands of residential units by 2020.


The broker included a map indicating which properties very close to me he’s already trying to combine. These include part of the woods I've worked over the years cutting vines to save trees. I might even finish cutting all the vines in this area by June, concluding Phase I and helping to conserve an area that cools the neighborhood, stores a lot of water, cleans and rejuvenates the air, and serves as animal habitat and a playground.

The pictures attached below are an inadequate representation, but I estimate that by working in my and about 10 other yards plus the tract behind my house I’ve staved off vine strangulation for several hundred trees. I’m hoping you can see dead vines or the lack of vines on trees that would've nearly all been overcome by now.

Every tree was once coated with vines of one type or another, and you can see them reestablish on the right. What seems like a road was clearing done in November by a contractor for the sewer system.
I think all of the Wisteria (?) trunks you see reaching up to overcome these trees were cut a few years ago, but I will check again.

I wondered last fall if I might eventually see these trees cut for development, but maybe that day is drawing nearer. But I've decided to press on and savor the forest while I can. When I move around the metro area I see scenes like his constantly as the vines are a subtle yet pernicious presence.

Would I cash out? There probably is a price point to overcome my reluctance, allow me live nearby, and try to compensate for allowing this to go away. Yet all the more I admire those who turn over acreage in perpetuity trusts to local governments.


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