How to rummage through one's property politely?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ColonelDibsies, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. ColonelDibsies

    ColonelDibsies Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Ankeny, IA
    Driving home from work this morning after a long exciting day of Cleaning floors, oh yeah, living the dream.

    But anyway, got in my old truck, and was driving past a dirty lot, it's got a 90-something chevy kinda sitting there, but next to it, was a motorcycle and sidecar! I didn't notice it til today, and I want it!

    What is proper protocol here? It's half under a tarp, can I look under the tarp? or should I just leave a note somewhere that will be seen? I don't want to be some nosy guy poking around where I'm not welcome, but I also don't want to get in touch with someone, bother him to show me a giant rustbucket you couldn't pay me to take....

    Any advice or stories that would help me out here? I work again Monday so I'd like to make my move then.
    #1
  2. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,643
    Location:
    VA
    Find out who owns the lot, or at least who is paying the taxes and the government thinks owns the lot. This information is generally available through the local government website by the address. Contact the owner and ask about the truck and motorcycle on the lot.

    Personally, I have the lack of social couth to completely remove the tarp and examine the motorcycle/sidecar in the light of day - but enough consideration to put the tarp back as it came off. Good luck!
    #2
  3. ColonelDibsies

    ColonelDibsies Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Ankeny, IA
    after a little stalking on google earth, I saw that it wasn't a lot, but someone's backyard. Just set up funny with no fences and the way the street runs.

    I think I will stop by monday and just check under the tarp, see if it's worth pursuing at all. I've been boldened by the internet. Hoping it's great and cheap and my next thread will be in the Hacks section!
    #3
  4. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,238
    Location:
    Itasca, IL
    I would go ask permission to look at the bike first, maybe under the guise of looking at the truck (so you don't tip your hand). That way, you don't have to explain to a LEO what you were doing poking around in someone's backyard (or worse, asking your significant other to pick rock salt out of your back side). Put yourself in that person's shoes, how would you like it if someone was poking around in your backyard?
    #4
  5. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    15,109
    Location:
    Chicago-ish

    ^this . . . . . . there's no harm in knocking on the door and asking . . . . . worste case, if, after two or three attempts, leave a note in the mailbox?

    far as I can tell, there IS no way to politely rummage through someone's property politely.
    #5
  6. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, since 05

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,775
    Location:
    The Paris of Appalachia
    In Texas.

    Entering Private property and removing a tarp, could lead to a shotgun blasting exit

    I am sure I would politely seek permission, It will make any price negotiations go much smoother
    #6
  7. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,626
    Location:
    Silk Hope, NC
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure proper protocol is not messing with other people's stuff without their permission.
    #7
  8. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,391
    Location:
    Helltown
    Fixed! :evil

    You just noticed it there? Is this a used car lot? Does it have a "for sale" sign on it?
    Maybe the guy just bought it for himself.
    Why be sneaky about it? Once you ask the question(is it for sale) the cat is out of the bag anyway. If it's not, forget about it.
    Go knock on the door and ask if its for sale, assuming no "for sale" sign, and proceed from there.
    #8
  9. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,608
    Location:
    southeast of seattle
    go knock on the door
    #9
  10. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,824
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    Ding dong....

    "hi, my name's peter, just happen to be driving by and saw that hack under the tarp. Would you mind if I lifted the skirt a little? I used to have one a few years ago and I thought it looked familiar. I'll put everything back in place exactly as I found it. Thank you sir, much appreciated"
    #10
  11. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,285
    Location:
    North Central Washington
    What he said. If I catch you in my yard rifling through shit, we'll have words, and your chances of buying anything from me are pretty minimal. OTOH, a polite knock on the door, followed by the conversation above, might be productive for both of us.
    Not that I'm some kind of aggressive a-hole, but picture this: You walk out to your garage, and there's some guy wandering around checking out your riding gear and bike. Your reaction is.... what? "Good morning sir, may I help you?" or, "WTF are you doing!?!?!?"
    Knock on the door and introduce yourself! Geez.

    1911fan
    #11
  12. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,430
    Location:
    Campbell River, BC. Fantasy Island
    Pretty easy really, how would you want it handled if it was your property?
    #12
  13. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Vagabond Hippie
    What Sailah said...

    If I were to catch you with your head under a tarp at my place things would go south quickly, and you would be talking to the Sheriff about your trespass ticket, after I was finished...at the least.

    That said, we have polite people stop by all the time to ask about directions because this road shows it going through on their GPS, asking about the bare property that is for sale above us on the hill, lost, vehicle stuck on the mountaint, yada, yada, yada. You get what you give, ask nicely to have a look, and maybe if they want to get rid of it, and you will most likely get someone who will be nice to you.
    #13
  14. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,391
    Location:
    Helltown
    Unless your land is posted that won't happen.
    #14
  15. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,971
    Location:
    McMinnville, Oregon
    I think you have an automatic "in" via your screen name. Just arrive in uniform, point to your badge of rank and claim dibsies on the sidecar set up. If he won't give you dibsies, ask if you can buy it.
    #15
  16. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    895
    Location:
    Canyon Country, Ca
    +1

    If I caught you just rummaging around through my stuff like that, we'd have words and then Id tell you to go pound sand, and you wouldnt be buying anything. Regardless of whether or not I wanted to sell.

    Just knock on the door and ask. I had a guy do that with an old truck I had. I said I might be interested in selling it, he looked, offered me $800 and I got the pink slip out. Another guy asked my Dad the same thing about his old Ford tractor. Dad said no he wasnt interested in selling it and the guy said ok, have a nice day.

    Not gonna hurt to knock on the door and ask, same cant always be said for getting caught trespassing.
    #16
  17. Switchblade315

    Switchblade315 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,007
    Location:
    personal hell
    the first thing you would hear is the tell tell sound of me rocking in a round of 3inch mag 12ga 00buck, then me saying just what the hell you think you are doing.

    knock on the door. or leave a note.
    #17
  18. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Vagabond Hippie
    Depends on the State you live in. The last three I have lived in would prove you to be wrong, Sir.
    #18
  19. groop

    groop So much to ponder

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,376
    Location:
    oc, ca
    Be straight up with the property owner.

    "Do you know who owns that bike back there?"

    "I'm looking for a summertime project to do with my grandson (son/daughter/whatever) and we've been talking about reconditioning a motorcycle together and I just happen to be driving by....."
    #19
  20. ColonelDibsies

    ColonelDibsies Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Ankeny, IA
    Found out a little more about it today.

    First of all this is Iowa - Nice folks here - most aren't the kind to shoot random people looking at piles of rusted metal....
    it's in a driveway-ish/lot-ish type thing about 2 feet from a gravel alleyway - so i'm not hopping fences or anything.

    The house overall looks abandoned. it's leaning, and run down - the entire backyard is covered in stuff - the hack, a homebuilt trike, the 90's chevy pickup, a 90's Rx-7 and some trailers and some less-than-well-maintained sheds.

    The aparent abandonment of the house is the only reason I would think about looking at it without asking - I mean - it's in des moines - in a city - not driving a 1/4 mile down someones driveway - and I just saw it on my way back from work, the lot/backyard faces a major street right before an onramp.

    What I've Done: I did stop, I looked briefly, the tarp was tied down, so i didn't mess with that. It looks like a old goldwing (first gen - flat 4) and very very very very homemade! (I saw a soup can intake) other than that, really hard to say how long it's been sitting, if it runs or anything.

    Also this morning I used my best google-fuu and procured a name a phone number that might go with the place.

    What I'm Planning:
    I'm going to call and ask in this order :

    Hello sir, My name is Jake and i'm calling regarding some vehicles at this address I might interested in owning, do you own the lot? or the vehicles?

    from then on either two things -

    try and look and maybe offer to buy hack
    ---------------------or---------------------
    offer to clean the entire lot in exchange for what's on it....
    #20