Need tips on first time land purchase - New York state.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Am looking in Ulster County NY for land. Appreciate tips on what to look for - questions I should ask real estate broker. What are the advantages/disadvantages to sloped/flat land.

    What questions about septic, water sources etc. should I ask?

    Any other advice much appreciated. I don't want to look like a novice when I meet with a realtor.

  2. HorseGal

    HorseGal Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    Back In The City For Now, WA
    Hi, I can give you some disadvantages of having flat land. I live in Washington and in areas like Woodinville, Fall City and Duvall...flat land has the tendancy to flood or you end up having a lake in the middle of your land. Most of the properties I have seen like this are for sale because the owners can't seem to fix the problem. It also depends on how much it rains, having a gently sloping piece of land can be good but having one with a sever slope can mean things start to a small barn. I would look for something that isn't severly flat, but has areas with hills...put your buildings in the flat areas. That's just my opinion.

  3. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2002
    Hi Guest - I have lived on a little farm in Ulster County for 12 years, previously from NYC. I can tell you if the land is sloped it is because it's solid rock with a little soil and vegetation thrown on top. It's the reason this area became known for it's chicken and dairy farms and not it's produce. You can have a nice big garden with raised beds. If you want less rock try areas around Saugerties or Lucas Ave in Accord.

    I don't know if you have looked around, but real estate has gone up 200% since I moved here and it is very hard to find affordable property. My area is 40% weekenders. You are welcome to PM with any specific questions I might be able to help you with about Ulster, otherwise any basic "How to Buy Real Estate" book from the local library should be able to guide you.
    As to ground water, you want to have it tested. In some areas it is great, in others it has been polluted by the Hudson. Happy Journey - Diane

    PS: Here is the MLS for Ulster
    it starts with the expensive stuff, but you can go to your price range- the same site also lists unimproved land.
  4. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    north central Pennsylvania
    I think someone a week or so ago was thinking on the same as you on the post. But...perhaps if you looked more the Twin Tier section of the state. Chemung, Steuban county or even into the PA area...where we live. Prices are probably less than you are looking at now and it is beautiful in these parts too. Some dairy farms are selling cheaper...not cheap...but cheaper..than most areas and taxes in PA are less than NY state for sure. If you aren't in one area for a reason...look further you just might be surprised. Good Luck !!
  5. bluereef

    bluereef Active Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    FL, TN
    An excellent book on the general concept of finding and buying country properties is called "How to find your ideal country home" by Gene GeRue.

    Don't be mislead by the title. We used this book to locate the region where we started seeking vacant land. You don't have to be looking for a property with a house on it for the book to be helpful.

    GeRue's book will provide you with dozens of questions to ask before you close the deal, and also provides resources to help you zero in on your ideal location. GeRue addresses so many concepts in a comprehensive yet friendly style: geography, religion, wind, water, pollution, topography, government, local society, sounds, vegetation, soil, etc.
  6. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    Any realtor that has been in the game for more than a few months will immediately spot you as a novice. You're much better off being forward and upfront with them.

    I am not at all familiar with land in New York. Purchasing raw land is very similar whether you are in New York or New Mexico.

    The important things to consider when purchasing raw land are:
    access to the land perhaps the most important aspect. access along a publicly maintained blacktop road is best. access on a publicly maintained gravel road is acceptable. access on a shared road CAN be a nightmare.....find out who pays for road maintenance/snow plowing/culverts/etc well before you consider purchase
    access along someone elses property in which no road currently exists .....or access is in some form of dispute......can easily lead to astronomical lawyer fees

    proximity of utilities, how close are you to electrical service, natural gas, cable, telephone service Access to electrical service is VERY important, unless you are willing to stick $20000 into a photovoltaic system, or an expensive to operate generator.

    soil types for septic systems. Conventional septic systems run $4 - $5000. Mound systems run $10,000 - $15,000. Conduct a perc test or its equivalent before your purchase, and make your offer contingent upon it meeting specs for a conventional septic system

    Water depth. Always somewhat of a mystery. Ask the neighbors (not the realtor) how much it cost them for there wells. Not exact science, but it gives you a ballpark idea.

    Zoning regulations. I'm of the belief that reasonable zoning regulations make certain your property will retain its value. This is a double edged sword. While it means you'll need building permits, it also means someone can't move into the adjoining property with a grubby $1000 trailer, 6 kids, 14 yapping mongrel dogs, and 23 junk cars.

    It goes without saying that clear title to the property is a given. Quit claim deeds generally aren't worth the paper they're written on. A warranty deed should be the means of property conveyance.

    Flat land is generally better than sloping land, especially in a northern climate. Sloping land makes things like driveways difficult, especially when one has to navigate them when they are snow covered and icy. Flat land can however, have its pitfalls. Poor drainage comes to mind.