This user believed that business would boom in the land he was inheriting. So, when his cousins planned to sell their shares, he bought them off. Now everyone’s mad at him for what he did!
His Grandfather’s Big Estate
Years before this story was posted, OP’s grandfather died, and in his will, he left their family’s traditional homestead to OP and his cousins. The land was massive, with over 100 acres, and it was around 90 minutes away from a very large city.
On the flip side, OP’s grandfather left his kids money, other properties, and stakes in his business.
A Home Built on Memories
The homestead was left to him and his cousins because they all spent their summers there riding horses, fishing, camping, and more. It had a very sentimental value to OP, and for him, it was “quite beautiful.”
He wrote, “There’s a large pond on it that is fed by a spring and several forest patches randomly throughout the land. I spent some of my best years, and some of my most precious memories were made on this land.”
Turning Away From Their Past
OP and his cousins all had equal shares of the homestead and the land, so his cousins wanted to sell it and take the cash. OP, however, didn’t want to.
At this point, though, he was the youngest of his cousins; he was only a senior in college, while the others were between their mid-20s and late 30s. He added, “At the time, I was pursuing my finance degree. Some of the cousins didn’t attend college while others had degrees.”
All but One
Everyone else wanted to be done with the homestead, but he really didn’t want to go with the flow.
Apart from the memories he had of the land and the house, he had a gut feeling that the value would skyrocket in the years to come.
Hooray for Low Taxes!
The land the homestead was on was given an “agricultural tax designation,” so the yearly property tax was very low. This, coupled with the fact that he believed it would increase in value due to its location, was OP’s main reason for wanting to keep the house.
OP explained that several out-of-state companies were talking about moving to their state during that time. The cities around the estate also wanted to turn the surrounding area into Silicon Valley 2, so they were “courting” tech businesses with tax breaks.
He said, “I thought the land was going to be in a prime location if any of that comes to pass.”
Although he knew about these things, OP wanted to clarify that everything was public knowledge. None of the businesses moved to their city at that point, and not one business even said they were moving to their state; OP’s state was just one of the many on their lists.
OP wrote, “I didn’t have any inside information, and everything I knew was based on the public news available to everyone.”
Lying by Omission?
It seemed OP’s cousins weren’t aware of these things when they talked about planning to sell, and OP didn’t make an attempt to share what he knew. So, his cousins were still hell-bent on selling the property.
If OP refused to sell, they wouldn’t be able to do so. However, it never reached that point because when they told him about their plans, OP asked for a week to think about things.
Making His Decision
After the week ended, OP told his cousins he would buy their shares. He sold everything he had, including his car.
Then, he asked for a loan from his parents, who helped him with the money. They let him borrow the money without interest as long as he kept the house; this wasn’t a problem for him, though, since he “loves that place.”
Closing the Deal
OP and his cousins got the property appraised, and they all agreed on the appraised price.
He said, “I bought out their shares at market value. Everything was done legally, and everyone was happy at the time.”
OP held on to the homestead “through good times and bad times.” He also held on to it through many offers from many developers.
Then, after about a decade since he bought it, companies started to move to their state. Many of them moved to the areas OP predicted they would, and OP’s land’s value soared; developers even started calling him daily and visiting weekly!
Lucrative Business Deals
OP plans to keep the bulk of the land; he also lives in the house his great-grandfather built.
However, he recently sold 2 acres of land for 100 times the price he paid his cousins for the entire land.
When they found out about it, “crap hit the fan.” OP’s family blew up in anger, screaming and accusing him of “cheating” them out of their inheritance.
OP, however, believed he did nothing wrong.
Everything Was a Gamble
He pointed out that it took a decade for anything to happen, so it was the “very definition of a gamble.” He said that he “just happened to” come out as a winner.
However, they argued that OP should have told them that this was a possibility. In turn, OP said that he made his decision based on information available to the public.
Since then, many relatives have been pressuring OP to update their shares. However, he adamantly refused to do so.
He said, “I view it as a business gamble I won.”
Redditors’ Opinions on the Matter
Some suggested OP give his cousins some “tips.” However, even more Redditors advised against this, saying his cousins would use this as leverage to get more.
One said, “I wouldn’t do this unless you want to have to continue ‘tipping’ them every time the land appreciates in value, or you sell some share of it.”
Another commented, “Not to mention, if OP ‘tips,’ that could give them an argument in court that even OP thinks they were wrong. I wouldn’t play with that.”
The Petty Approach
One Redditor also told OP that if he planned to give his cousins something, he should also consider all the money he put into maintaining the homestead and the land.
This person said, “Unless OP wants to give them ‘their goodwill tip’ less the costs they haven’t paid on the property for the last 10 years. Even if OPs claimed 100% markup, the money earned won’t all be pure profit. Then, with that explained, they may see that it’s purely buyer’s remorse and not a scam. I would be petty as f*** with it, though. Every tin of paint, every bag of nails, every liter of fuel for the mower. Calculate it all, not just tax and utilities.”
He added, “OP needs to charge an hourly rate for his labor in maintaining the property, too. Like I said, I’m being Petty, Tom Petty.”
It Was Their Decision!
Users also reminded OP that his cousins were the ones who wanted to sell the property in the first place; OP never pressured them to do so. Because of this, they have absolutely no right to come up to him to ask for money!
“Cousins wanted to sell the property. If they had sold it to anyone outside the family, they wouldn’t be getting a cut on anything now, 10 years later. They shouldn’t expect to get anything from OP,” said one Redditor.
A woman then said, “Not the a**hole. I’m sorry, but how was this a scam in any way? They wanted cash, and you wanted the land at the time, and you gave them what they wanted. The only reason they’re blowing up at you is because they know you, and you’re not a random person they sold the land to. However, stop telling your family anything about your finances!”
What do you think OP should do? Do you also think he scammed his cousins?
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This post first appeared as He Bought off His Cousins’ Share of the Land and Homestead They Inherited, Then Earned 100X More From It Years Later. Now They’re Furious, Accusing Him of Deliberately “Scamming” Them! on Quote Ambition.