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An Alabama woman is being kicked out of her longtime home as investors are looking to buy the 40-acre plot from her family, which could be worth upwards of $20 million.
Corine Woodson, 84, has been living in the same house on the outskirts of Auburn for over 60 years and is forced to leave the residence because the house sits on land with shared ownership throughout her family.
“I would like to ask them why. You know, why, but I don’t. I can’t figure it out. Thinking about it, wondering about it. It’s not easy. I can tell you that,” Woodson told WTVM.
The land is part of a 40-acre plot designated as heir-property, family-owned land that is jointly owned by dozens of family members, where no one has any specific land, just a percentage of the ownership.
Woodson came to live on the land through her late husband, whose father purchased the land in the early 1900s and has since passed it down through multiple generations of the family.
Some of the “tenants-in-common” are looking to sell their percentage in the land as once one owner sells, everyone sells leading investors to swoop in and grab the prized land in the developing Moore’s Mill neighborhood.
Cleveland Brothers Inc. bought out several family members for their stakes in the land over the years and has gotten their share of land ownership to its current level of 49%.
The company may soon be able to purchase the entirety of the contested property as it is currently undergoing a court-ordered appraisal.
Willie Woodson, Woodson’s husband of over 50 years, died last year making the situation more complicated in the ownership realm.
“It was determined already that the land cannot be equally divided,” Woodson’s daughter Melissa said. “That is how he has the opportunity to buy all of it, and since they’re saying that my dad didn’t say that he wanted to buy all of it, they’re not allowing my mom the opportunity to do so.”
As the appraisal is ongoing, the current value of the land is unknown, but two-acre lots nearby are selling for $500,000 each as Woodson’s 40 acres could be close to $20 million, according to the outlet.
Woodson never stepped forward to claim the land as she believed she was the rightful owner of the entire plot and later filed a motion for an opportunity to purchase the land, but the court denied it, saying it was too late.
Cleveland Brothers Inc. said the octogenarian would be allowed to remain in the home for a year once the purchase is complete.