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#483645 - 12/03/17 10:09 PM Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions.
KapHn8d Online   happy


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 119
Loc: TX
Before I ask this, I already know that the answer is "it depends" (as read in Bob Lusk's voice), but what I'm looking for is some opinions or personal experience in this area. This is by no means an "urgent" prospect in my life, but simply the beginning of another journey. I'm sure, the good Lord willing and as time allows, I'll share things with all y'all as they unfold.

Now, this was a big week for me and the Mrs as we paid off our home. For some, that may not be a big deal, but I've never liked being in debt and this was a big deal to me. Anyhoo, as we check the box on this life event, the wheels are turning around finding some land deeper into the country to invest in for recreation and get-a-ways. This land clearly must have (or eventually have) a pond(s), so here is the opinion poll:

Would you look for land with all the right ingredients to build a pond or would you look for land with an existing pond? Do you have personal experience or opinions around why one path is better than the other outside of the actual cost of building a pond?

I bet there is plenty of tribal knowledge around this subject and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

/clayton

ps. This would ideally be 100+ acres, so the desire would be to have a decent size pond for growing fish and fishing (which is not the goal of my current mini-pond behind the house).
_________________________
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

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#483659 - 12/04/17 07:27 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13130
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I have mo experience in purchasing land that already has a pond. Realtors tell me that impounded water increases the value 10 fold. Building one is dependent on terrain and soils. Terrain actually means, in this case, runoff area that you own and can control.

However, I still believe that one of the most important considerations is neighbors. Some time back I saw a for sale sign on a nice place of about 60 or 70 acres. I thought it would make a nice investment. Then I drove down the road and found an adjoining neighbors place that looked like a scene out of the movie Deliverance. To this day the place hasn't sold.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#483663 - 12/04/17 07:52 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2046
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I'm no expert here but I did the same as you hope to do. Buying some land for recreation along with other benefits. My place had no pond. So after a few years of owning the place I decided to build a pond. As it turned out the pond is not the size I wanted and turned out to be half the size desired. But, I am for the most part happy with it. I got to build a bass pond with structure and cover and stocked with the fish I wanted. And I had a blast in doing all that. I think by finding this place your headed the right direction. And I think DD is right, check your neighbors. Most land owners do not want crack heads, meth heads living beside them. Researching is the key along with location, location, location.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#483668 - 12/04/17 08:53 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3577
Loc: Emory TX
Google Earth has the ability to go back in time and look at legacy pics. If I was looking at property with a pond, the first thing I would do is see if it consistantly held water over the last 10-12 years. If not, then evaluate the property as being pondless. Leaky ponds can be a money pit.

As said, the surounding neighborhood is very important as well.
_________________________
AL

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#483673 - 12/04/17 09:50 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
djstauder Offline
Hall of Fame

Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1004
Loc: Mississippi
Clayton,
IMO there is a benefit to buying a place that already has a pond and it is that you definitively know it will hold water assuming you check history as FireIsHot suggests. Whereas, you can do some research including having the NRCS come visit the property that doesn't have a pond and come to a reasonable conclusion that it may or may not but I don't know if that is definitive.

Good Luck!
_________________________
1 ac pond LMB, BG, RES, CC

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#483674 - 12/04/17 10:04 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 12
Loc: Huron OH
"it depends" lol. Here is my experience. I bought a similar sized plot of land with a 2.5 acre pond already on it. When I looked at the pond it appeared to be very old and it was winter time so I did not have the chance to go out and verify how deep it was. All I knew was that it had a lot of water coming into it so there was a lot of potential and it held that water well. After making a very low ball offer on the place my offer was accepted and I was the new owner.

The first thing I noticed was how shallow the pond was. It was hard to believe because it was such a big body of water but was 3-4' deep all the way across!! There were no established fish.. a few bull heads and a few bluegill but nothing more.


My first year of ownership I decided to drain the pond and have it dredged out deeper. This is where there is a very big difference in an existing pond vs new pond in my opinion. The pond drained quickly but the mucky bottom took several months to dry out before it could be workable. Once it was workable the cost to hire out the machinery was about 20k. Keep in mind I got several quotes that were higher. The reason for the cost was that reworking this pond was a "mud job". To build a new pond is more of a "dirt job". Despite having months to dry out across the summer, the contractor still buried his excavator with a 70' boom in the muck. It was a muddy mess and all of the muck had to be moved to a nearby location. Muck is much harder to move than dirt in my opinion because it does not grade up well. This adds time and money to the project.

I think in my particular case, a piece of property without a pond would have been cheaper to do. With that being said I am still 100% satisfied with the outcome of my project as it was a great learning experience and the final result is exactly what I wanted. I now have fish stocked and all is well. The remainder of the property is beautiful rolling land with two ravines and some tillable acreage as well. I was able to get it for $4k. / acre which is low in this area. Just go for the best deal and find a way to make it work one way or another.

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#483677 - 12/04/17 10:23 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12014
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
KRM1985 - Your testimony should saved by PB and put into an appropriate forum thread of rebuilding a old pond. Good observations and insightful experience.
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#483680 - 12/04/17 10:39 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 12
Loc: Huron OH
Sure, I would be glad to provide supplemental pictures before, during and after if needed.

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#483681 - 12/04/17 10:44 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
KapHn8d Online   happy


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 119
Loc: TX
I appreciate all the fantastic feedback and wisdom here... lots of food for thought.

Using Google Earth for current data was already at the top of my mind, but the suggestion to use it for historical data to get a sense of water level over time is a neat spin on the existing tool. Great idea.

I certainly can envision how an existing pond in need of renovation could turn into a money pit... which I absolutely want to avoid. The testimonies here remind me of that 'ole saying... "You can learn from my mistakes or learn by making your own, but I guarantee mine will be less expensive."

/c
_________________________
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

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#483704 - 12/04/17 03:42 PM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 613
Loc: Paris, TX
You can buy existing pond cheaper than you can build it, but existing water can come with it's own set of problems which can range from excessive to very little. Thus, It depends.
_________________________
1.8 acre pond with FHM, CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#483739 - 12/05/17 06:55 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13130
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Clayton, IMO, all ponds are money pits
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#483741 - 12/05/17 07:27 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: Dave Davidson1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2046
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Clayton, IMO, all ponds are money pits


Dave, so true, at least at my pond it has been.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#483746 - 12/05/17 08:41 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 30
Loc: Texas
A few thoughts for our neck of the woods.

I just picked up my place in Livingston after a long search. Try to get a good realtor who knows land. I have one up here if you need one. Most realtors are clueless about land.

Look in places other than the MLS, up here timber companies sell through weird channels. (My prop was purchased from a timber company.) They also have long custom contracts and take many months to close.

Always check for flood plains. OK on the edge of a place, but not for the pond.

Check for pipelines. They are everywhere here, again, OK on the edge of a big place.

Forget mineral rights, they won't be available, but check surface and subsurface water rights. I have both for potable water, but not brine.

Stay as far away from Harris County or adjacent counties as possible. They will regulate you to death. As you get more rural folks get easy to deal with. Polk Co is a breeze to get building and septic permits for example.

Texas has great taxes for ag, timber, or wildlife property. Typical is $5 per acre.

I am the only on PB with this opinion, but NRCS around here are human ticks. They have no useful knowledge, and lots of wrong info. They use the surface soil maps only.

Land clearing and pond building etc are expensive, as Dave says.

As you get into Polk Co there are hills (little ones) and valleys that can be dammed. Gets even better as you head NE, but it is very rural. Not much of that as you approach the coast. Plus few flood plains up here. Also lots of beautiful forest. (See land clearing $ above.)

This will be a fun project.
_________________________
3+ acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17.

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#483747 - 12/05/17 08:46 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 30
Loc: Texas
And when you are out looking, wear orange. I have an orange vest for my dog too. (She was a big help during the land search.)
_________________________
3+ acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17.

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#483748 - 12/05/17 10:11 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: Vortex 4]
KapHn8d Online   happy


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 119
Loc: TX
I appreciate it. I'm actually just west of Montgomery and my in-laws have a place near Ace in Polk. Great tip on the timber companies... and I definitely want to stay as far as I can from the Houston Metro. That city has stopped creeping and started jogging.

Cheers,
/clayton

Originally Posted By: Vortex 4
A few thoughts for our neck of the woods.
_________________________
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

Top
#483787 - 12/05/17 06:34 PM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13130
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Clayton, that's the way it is anywhere around D/FW. Traffic is becoming a real nightmare.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#483797 - 12/06/17 09:41 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
Flame Online   content


Registered: 09/12/14
Posts: 860
Loc: Deep East Texas
There are still places in the piney woods of deep east Texas you can buy for $1600-$3000 a acre. The larger the tract generally the cheaper the price per acre. Back in the 80's I could buy land here for $400 a acre everywhere!! Keep in mind ...any marketable timber on the property will play a big role in the price. If you don't plan on raising timber, then go after land that has been clear cut. It will save you lots of money. On the other hand...a planted acre of pine trees over about 18 years will produce about $5000 per acre if managed properly. I have lived in these piney woods for almost 40 years and have been a real estate professional for 20 of those years. Good luck. We're all here to help with suggestions.
_________________________
Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.

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#483840 - 12/07/17 07:20 AM Re: Pond or no pond? ...seeking opinions. [Re: KapHn8d]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2046
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Back when I was looking for some land I saw high numbers of deer hunters when looking at land on or near large corporate timber company land. So I steered away from corporate timber lands and land that offset that same corporate land. It is much quieter when one is not offset with large areas of leased land with high numbers of deer hunters.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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