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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 http://www.villagegreenrealty.com/ezapp/idxsearch/Search.cfm
it starts with the expensive stuff, but you can go to your price range- the same site also lists unimproved land.
 
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