Author Topic: buying land  (Read 491 times)

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Offline archimedes

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buying land
« on: September 25, 2020, 11:43:32 AM »
Hello all,
I'm buying some land for the first time and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to asking for when buying.  What type of stipulations in the contract I should ask for.

Any suggestions from those with experience would be appreciated.

A few things I can think of to ask;
1 Flood zone?
2 Deed restrictions?
3. Any ROW?

Anything else.

Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline NathanS

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Re: buying land
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2020, 02:29:33 PM »
In addition to your list;

Passes a percolation test to your satisfaction. You need to know your local laws for this one. Some places may not be a big deal, others you may not be able to build at all on certain land.


This link lets you look at USDA soil survey data in map view (much better interface than websoil site).
https://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/gmap/

You can see what soil classes are on the property to give you an idea.

Online akwoodchuck

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Re: buying land
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2020, 11:09:04 AM »
Neat link! Yeah, my "must-see" items would be:
Perc test/soils report, wetlands map (Army Corps of Engineers permit required to build on), disclosure statement, covenants/restrictions, easements, road maintenance, utilities, subsurface estate, encumbrances, etc.....
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."

Offline Dave Sparks

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Re: buying land
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 12:44:44 PM »
Where is the land located?
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline archimedes

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Re: buying land
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 05:47:26 AM »
The property is in NYS.

I found a parcel that has a perc done already.  It's going to require a  mound septic.  The perc test showed 1' of topsoil, then 1' of sandy loam, then mottled clay below that.  So the septic is going to need to be raise 18" - 24" above the native soil.  That doesn't seem like a deal breaker, it's a real nice piece of land, at a good price.  But I don't know much about septic systems.

No covenants, no restrictions, no sold mineral rights, no utility (or other) ROW.

Not sure what else to look for.
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline GaryT

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Re: buying land
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 12:05:41 PM »
You better get a price on that engineered septic system....that could be a deal breaker!
Gary

Offline archimedes

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Re: buying land
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 12:48:27 PM »
Apparently they are pretty common around here.  But the deal is contingent on an acceptable price for the septic.  So I have an out if it's too expensive.
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline archimedes

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Re: buying land
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 04:42:08 PM »
Anyone with experience building this type of system care to weigh in on costs?
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline Dave Sparks

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Re: buying land
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2020, 06:35:49 AM »
I have done engineered pump systems and for offgrid, in my opinion they are a deal breaker. The last thing I would want is having pumps moving a waste system offgrid.

I would call local contractors as they are going to be in the know for your area.
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline jsahara24

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Re: buying land
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2020, 03:48:23 AM »
In Southeast PA a sand mound septic could run 15-30k depending on the conditions and how much material needs to be imported....

Offline NathanS

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Re: buying land
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2020, 06:53:46 AM »
The property is in NYS.

I found a parcel that has a perc done already.  It's going to require a  mound septic.  The perc test showed 1' of topsoil, then 1' of sandy loam, then mottled clay below that.  So the septic is going to need to be raise 18" - 24" above the native soil.  That doesn't seem like a deal breaker, it's a real nice piece of land, at a good price.  But I don't know much about septic systems.

No covenants, no restrictions, no sold mineral rights, no utility (or other) ROW.

Not sure what else to look for.

Sounds like Mardin/Volusia fragipan soil series.

You don't want to apply for a mound system, you want an engineer that will design a "shallow trench system" which may be what you're describing, that doesn't require any special approval.

If this property is in the Chenango/Otsego or surrounding area I can recommend a engineer.

For a shallow trench system you want your excavator to regrade the land - if you're on a slope, push the soil from behind the house in front of it to create the additional depth, without having to bring in too much fill. In 2016 a regular septic system here would cost 5k and a shallow trench 7.5k. A sand mound would be a disaster because of all the fill that needs to be brought in.


In another month or so you will see how wet the land gets if you're not in a rush to buy. Hardpan soils are fairly challenging, all things being equal I would go for soil series like Chenango, Valois, Howard, Lansing, Scio.. some of this is from a farming context though. Lots of variables.

Offline Adam Roby

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Re: buying land
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2020, 06:36:30 AM »
If you are far enough north and haven't committed to any land purchase, I can sell you my property at an extra special member's only price.  :)
I have a 7.5 acre lot in Churubusco NY.  No utilities, ROW access from a main road.  Since the pandemic I haven't been able to get down there to do any cleanup, so it has probably been taken over by nature by now.   

I have another lot up the street with a small cabin, haven't been there in a year now.  4 wheeler, tractor, trailer, camper, all in the back and I have no way of knowing if they are even safe... for all I know they have been stolen or the place has burned down.  Still no signs of the border opening up... so it will likely be another 6 months before I can get down there.

Offline archimedes

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Re: buying land
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2020, 03:40:28 PM »
Sounds like Mardin/Volusia fragipan soil series.

You don't want to apply for a mound system, you want an engineer that will design a "shallow trench system" which may be what you're describing, that doesn't require any special approval.

If this property is in the Chenango/Otsego or surrounding area I can recommend a engineer.

For a shallow trench system you want your excavator to regrade the land - if you're on a slope, push the soil from behind the house in front of it to create the additional depth, without having to bring in too much fill. In 2016 a regular septic system here would cost 5k and a shallow trench 7.5k. A sand mound would be a disaster because of all the fill that needs to be brought in.


In another month or so you will see how wet the land gets if you're not in a rush to buy. Hardpan soils are fairly challenging, all things being equal I would go for soil series like Chenango, Valois, Howard, Lansing, Scio.. some of this is from a farming context though. Lots of variables.

Thanks for that info (I loved watching your build, it turned out great).  I'm about 40 miles east of there, closer to the Hudson.  I went to college in Oneonta eons ago.  Love it up there.

Everyone I've talked to says I need to bring in two feet of fill since I've only got two feet of usable soil before you hit clay.  If I can get the elevation right they say I can do a gravity system - but that's going to be challenging since the lot is very level.  None have mentioned a shallow trench system.  First I'm hearing of it. 

I probably don't need to tell you that the real estate "professionals" in upstate NY try to sell you anything without much concern about whether what they say is true or not.

The market is so hot right now it's difficult to get soil engineers to respond.  They're all so busy

Who knew buying land would be so complicated.
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline NathanS

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Re: buying land
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2020, 04:23:37 PM »
Thanks for that info (I loved watching your build, it turned out great).  I'm about 40 miles east of there, closer to the Hudson.  I went to college in Oneonta eons ago.  Love it up there.

Everyone I've talked to says I need to bring in two feet of fill since I've only got two feet of usable soil before you hit clay.  If I can get the elevation right they say I can do a gravity system - but that's going to be challenging since the lot is very level.  None have mentioned a shallow trench system.  First I'm hearing of it. 

I probably don't need to tell you that the real estate "professionals" in upstate NY try to sell you anything without much concern about whether what they say is true or not.

The market is so hot right now it's difficult to get soil engineers to respond.  They're all so busy

Who knew buying land would be so complicated.

2 feet of fill should mean shallow trench. You would absolutely want to talk to an engineer before signing to buy. My experience with realtors was not good, the best of them seem to lie by omission.

Here's the NYS design guide for septic. It is worth a quick read to understand what is/should be going on. I believe section 9.12 is the shallow trench system. Chapter 4 is really good info to have in mind too.

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/wastewater_treatment_systems/docs/design_handbook.pdf


I wish I had spent more time learning about soil & excavation before my build. Although it is such a huge undertaking, it's easy to say that now.

That is interesting to hear the market is really moving. There is a big long driveway going in down the hill from me.. looks $$$ in an area without a whole lot of it.

Offline archimedes

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Re: buying land
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2020, 09:46:59 AM »
2 feet of fill should mean shallow trench. You would absolutely want to talk to an engineer before signing to buy. My experience with realtors was not good, the best of them seem to lie by omission.

Here's the NYS design guide for septic. It is worth a quick read to understand what is/should be going on. I believe section 9.12 is the shallow trench system. Chapter 4 is really good info to have in mind too.

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/wastewater_treatment_systems/docs/design_handbook.pdf


I wish I had spent more time learning about soil & excavation before my build. Although it is such a huge undertaking, it's easy to say that now.

That is interesting to hear the market is really moving. There is a big long driveway going in down the hill from me.. looks $$$ in an area without a whole lot of it.

Thanks for that septic link, that was really helpful.  I feel like we're getting closer to a solution (with the liberal application of cash).  But it is going to be challenging with only two feet of permeable soil and no elevation change to the property.

I agree with you about excavation.  It's a big part of the project and easy to over look.  An aspect that I didn't think about was drain tile.  Since we have little elevation change to the property I'm not sure how we're going to install drain tile to daylight if we put in a basement.

Nathan, I know you did a raise slab foundation.  Did you need to install a drain system for that?
Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline NathanS

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Re: buying land
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2020, 04:29:44 PM »
I did put in a foundation drain to daylight since it cost next to nothing and the trenches were already there. If it ever got clogged I don't think I'd know it. If you put in a basement you will be below the seasonal water table, so you'll have to pump the water out. I personally would not put a basement in anything that couldn't be drained by gravity, unless you're building on very well drained soil like a gravel wash or sand bank.

When we dug our foundation in April, we hit a seasonal spring in the deepest corner. I would say in a normal year from late Nov- mid April there is usually water coming out of that line.. actually makes the field pretty wet in that area.

Also just want to say I can commiserate with how difficult it is to find land.

 

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