Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    1,332
    Location
    West PA
    Tractor
    ex-Bota Owner

    Default What to look out for when buying land?

    There is 3.2 acres (I know that doesn't seem like much to most of you) available directly accross the street from me. This land is very steep and not terribly attractive to builders, but for me, it means the difference between a view of cherry blossoms in the spring, or a view of R2 (two family) rental units (potentially).

    They want 40k$ for the land (In our area, if the land were flat, they'd get 30-40K$ for 1/2 acre lot.) I know there is some sewer lines running through the property, but that is all I know.

    What should I look out for in my process of evaluating the land for purchase? I want to make sure that I don't pay too much and find that nobody would want the land when "I" need to sell it. The difficult thing is that the area is zoned R2 and it is probably "most" usefull for cliffside "wooded view" apartments, rather than single family homes. So I think I NEED to get the land to protect my investment in my home.


  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,649
    Location
    Northern, New York
    Tractor
    Kubota L3830 03: RTV 900

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    If you could buy it directly from the owner and not go thru the broker you could save a bundle. Just ask whoever you have to deal with what the very bottom line is, and work from there. Also the bottom line depends a lot on what the veiw is worth to you.
    I bought land and built then decided that I needed a buffer zone so ended up buying more. Glad that I did cause someone has already tryed to buy the buffer.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,088

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    What's it worth? It's worth what it's worth to you. If you have to resell it, part of that cost may have to be sunk into the pleasure you received from keeping it pretty.

    Case in point. We bought our 5 acres in Okeechobee for $36K, or about $7200 per acre. The same owner also had another 2.5 acres for sale, adjacent to ours to the South. Our property is long and narrow, 780' by 280'; the one next door was the same length, but half as wide -- only 140'. He was asking $25K, and it sold for $24K -- about $9600 per acre.

    We decided we didn't want to spend an extra $2400 per acre over our cost for more acreage that we really didn't need. Even our 5 acres is more than we needed, but it was next door to our daughter. So, we passed and didn't buy it.

    All of the other 2.5 and 5 acre plots in this subdivision were left with mostly natural landscaping; even those who cleared for pasture left the big trees. Within months after we bought our property, someone bought the 2.5 acres, came in with a loader and dozer, and clear cut the entire thing. They hauled in fill to raise a house pad, then ran out of money and quit. It recently sold again for $33K, but we really weren't interested -- our reasons for owning it had all been clear cut away.

    With 20/20 hindsight, we should have paid the $24K for the other property. At the very least, we might have had some measure of control over who bought it and what they did with it, simply by asking a high price, but lowering it to a realistic price for someone with good plans. The clear cutting didn't totally ruin our view, because we're planting a screen of fast growing trees and shrubs along that border, but it sure would have been nicer to have another 140' of semi-groomed buffer beside us. We gambled on a neighbor with plans similar to ours, and lost.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    <font color="red"> </font> we're planting a screen of fast growing trees and shrubs along that border <font color="red"> </font>

    On a separate note Don what are you using? We've got some frontage on a heavily used gravel road I'd like to do the same thing with.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,088

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    All tropical stuff that wouldn't do you much good. I haven't decided on all of it, yet, but I know there will be some bottlebrush, some powderpuff, and some stuff my wife calls "snow on the mountain", don't know what it's really called. The powderpuff and snow stuff grows to 12' to 14' in a couple of years, then stalls. The bottlebrush can grow to 25', but it gets to 12' pretty fast. Some of it, like the powderpuff, gets a little woody at the bottom when you let it go, so we'll have another layer that grows to about 4' to 6' in front of it. We have about 12' or so of width between the road and the fence. Some of the bigger stuff will overhang the road when it's full grown, hopefully making a sort of canopy. I'm sure we'll spice it up a bit with some flowering trees like Magnolia and Jacaranda, but they're a little slower growing -- will take a good ten years to see good results.

    Attached is a pic of the powderpuff.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,088

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    Here's a pic of the snow-on-the-mountain. The tops of the leaves get white, near the top of the shrub. The bottom stays green, thus the name.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,088

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    Here's a bloom from a bottlebrush shrub. Where it gets the name is pretty obvious.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    13,748
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    ""What's it worth? It's worth what it's worth to you. ""

    I agree with what OkeeDon said. Hindsight will be too late. Imagine that 2plex and cars, neighbors (they are not all bad by any means), loud music, boom box's, car stereo's (car seems to be jumping every time the bass boom's), traffic, etc.

    Then imagine the increasing value of the property when and if you want or need to sell.

    Thinking about the extra cash and taxes now may keep you from buying it, but looking at that cost compared to what it could be like down the road, may pale in comparison.

    I am "looking" back on something similar. Now the woods is not quiet (ATV's running when the kids are home from school) and the turkey and deer are taking a different route, and not through our yard, and the view (while still great) has a house in it. But they are very nice neighbors. Just wish I had bought the whole thing (I bought only 7 of the 26 acres) and put that house where it was out of my view, and then resold it to be many bucks ahead. And have the view. Hindsight is easy, but sometimes not great.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,088

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    I've got about 200' or so of border to plant. I'm going to try for variety in height, color, etc. Sort of like making a sculpture in shrubs, with the occasional tree sticking up. Most of it is very colorful at some point in the year. All of it is pretty much evergreen, looking nice all year round. We've had smaller quantities of all of these shrubs at our "city" houses, 1/4 acre lots, so they had to be kept pruned to 6' - 8' high, 4' - 6' wide. Out in the country, I have enough room to let them go, meaning low maintenance. Most of them grow about as wide as they do high, so my 12' border is going to be enough for the 12' - 14' shrubs. I need them to be that high, because we had to build up the house area, and the porches will be about 5' higher than the fence area. So, to get a measure of privacy, everything needs to be at least 11' high. We'll still be able to look over the top of our screen and see the big oak and pine trees in the next neighbor's land, which they left natural, pretty much like us. But, it will screen the view of what I call the "bowling alley", 140' by 780' of bare land.

    Wish I had bought that property...

    Here's a picture of their land I took to show my fence work. I'm standing on their land. My place is on the left of the fence posts. They did leave one tree. You can see some of the brush piles in the middle of their property, and their house pad way up at the far end.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,088

    Default Re: What to look out for when buying land?

    About 500' of my land is already naturally screened, as shown in the previous pic. But, right where my house is going, is where we had to take out the most trash shrubs, leaving it pretty bare -- which is part of the reason why the house is sited where it is; we lost the least amount of natural landscape. I haven't taken too many pictures of the area to be screened; I don't like to remind myself. But, this pic was taken with our pond to the left and our house area to the right; it shows the bowling alley on the other side of the fence, and then the next neighbor's natural land beyond that. I took the pic when I was trenching and laying water pipe.

    The next neighbor's land is what the 140' beside me looked like when I bought mine. Sigh.
    Attached Images Attached Images

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2016 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.