In 1995, in a small town with strict building codes, the Original Poster (OP) recounts a tale of his grandpa’s cunning strategy to own and continue constructing the town’s tallest house. Against all odds, the astute grandpa circumvents building regulations, creating a towering masterpiece. But as OP’s family finds a home within its walls, dark secrets about the grandpa’s financial dealings start to surface, casting a shadow over their newfound sanctuary.
The Year 1995
In 1995, OP’s grandpa, a clever and sometimes shady individual, had his eyes on a significant opportunity. This wasn’t about his questionable dealings but rather his knack for turning a seemingly bleak situation in his favor. The tale unfolds in a small town where rules are often bent.
A House Against the Rules
A general contractor starts constructing a house without the proper permits. By the time the frame and roof were in place, the building inspector was alerted. The house is too tall, violating the local building code.
Construction Shut Down
With missing permits and the towering structure, the building inspector red tags the construction. This brings everything to a screeching halt. Facing the enormous cost of tearing down and rebuilding, the contractor walks away, abandoning the project.
An Opportunity Seized
News of the deserted house reaches OP’s grandpa, a businessman by nature. Sensing a potential deal, he approaches the bank to buy the property. Despite offering $250,000, the bank plans an auction instead.
The Auction Day
Grandpa is determined to acquire the property. At the auction, he faces competition from another local contractor, an acquaintance. The two strike a gentleman’s agreement: Grandpa gets this property, and the contractor becomes a partner in his next venture.
The bank sets the bid at $200,000. Grandpa, displaying his shrewdness, offers only $100,000. Surprisingly, in a display of faulty business planning on the part of the bank, they accept a smaller offer than the original proposal.
The Grand Plan
With the property now his, Grandpa opts against demolition. Instead, he aims to correct the existing flaws, ensuring everything is up to code. His intention is to complete the halted construction.
News that Grandpa is continuing the build reaches the county inspector. Outraged, he races to the property. On arrival, he demands the house be torn down to a legal height due to its towering stature.
Grandpa’s Ingenious Solution
Facing the inspector’s demands, Grandpa has an ingenious idea. Rather than demolishing the building, he’d raise the ground level by importing dirt. By surrounding the first floor with soil, the house’s height relative to the ground would technically comply.
Frustration and Surrender
The inspector, outwitted by Grandpa’s solution, leaves in frustration. Without any code violations, there’s nothing he can penalize. Grandpa pats himself on the back, proud of his legal maneuvering to achieve his end game.
A Home for the Family
Grandpa’s triumph isn’t just a personal victory but a family legacy. He allows OP’s family to move in, offering them a roof overhead. OP’s dad starts paying rent, believing it to be a new beginning for the family.
Grandpa the Hero
As months pass, everything seems fine, and Grandpa is hailed as a hero. However, unbeknownst to the family, Grandpa begins to exploit the situation by draining the house’s equity, leaving the mortgage unpaid.
OP starts noticing unusual letters arriving for Grandpa. Curiosity piqued, they discover the mortgage notices. The family is shocked to discover that their beloved house is on the brink of foreclosure.
Confrontation and Denial
OP’s father confronts Grandpa about the impending foreclosure, who, true to his elusive nature, denies any wrongdoing. The bank finally intervenes and sets the house for foreclosure. OP’s family faces the grim possibility of homelessness.
Seeking legal counsel, the family aims to uncover any loophole that might save their home. Despite their best efforts, the house is repossessed, and OP’s family, betrayed by their own kin, is left homeless. Grandpa, having secured his gains, disappears from their lives.
Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP, realizing his grandpa resembles a villain from a fairytale, posts his story online for feedback from the public. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Reminds me of the story about a man who built an extensive deck system behind his house, and then the inspectors wanted rails placed around the whole thing because the height was too above grade. He trucked in topsoil and raised the grade.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Neighbors down the road from us are building a fourth floor out of garden shed kits from Home Depot. Because a permit for a garden shed is fifty bucks, and one for a house is about three grand.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Adding dirt doesn’t get you more height. Building heights are based on the number of stories, not how high you are above the ground.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “No one has commented so far on how it was not a good thing to do for Grandpa to leave OP and his family homeless.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.