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In light of a few recent threads here on the forum, I thought I might offer up a tongue-in-cheek look at what I consider important, when shopping for property.

Size of property....take an honest look at your finances. Be realistic when figuring out just how much land you can afford to purchase. When you have arrived at a dollar amount that you feel comfortable spending, immediately double it. Maybe triple. Having your kids pay their own way through college is a character-building exercise, and coming up with a second identity so you can sell blood plasma twice a week really isn't that difficult.

Really - it's THAT important. Additional land is more than space for a bigger pond, (although that is a nice perk), it's about creating a buffer zone. Trust me on this.

Location is everything....before you ever head out to look at that first parcel of real estate, arm yourself with a plat map. One of those that shows the general outline of the surrounding properties, and shows how much acreage they contain. What you're looking for, in an ideal situation, is for the parcel you have your eye on to be surrounded by large parcels of land.....nothing smaller than 50 acres, and bigger is better. The idea is to have the adjoining properties be large enough that their occupants have no need or desire to come over onto you.

If your dream parcel is surrounded by 3-5 acre plots, be careful. There's a chance that the folks on those smaller plots have already discovered what I warned you about earlier....their land isn't big enough to have a couple horses, a cow, chickens, umpteen rabbits for the kids, a dog or two, a pond, a Llama(?), a giant garden where they want to grow their own produce, beehives for fresh honey, a shooting range, A four wheeler track and/or trail, and oh yeah, a house. And a garage. And a barn.

Roads.....roads bad.... no roads. Roads convey people, and people have eyes. You NEED a road to get to your land, you just don't want the road going BY your land. That's what those neighbors with large parcels of land are for....buffers. No part of your land should be visible from a road.

"But spark", I hear you saying "If there isn't a road going right by my property, AND my property is surrounded by adjoining parcels of land, how on earth do I get to MY property?"

Good question, and the answer is an easement. BE FOREWARNED HOWEVER, that all easements are not created equal. Let me back up a minute....I neglected to mention something of vital importance. The property you're looking at should have a house already on it, and if not currently in use it should be very recently vacated. This does two things, the first being the establishment of property lines already in force, and the second being the recognized and acknowledged fact that an easement exists, and has likely been maintained for a period of time. You can always tear that house down and build another, but convincing an adjoining property owner that he needs to move his or her horseshoe pit so you can access an easement that hasn't been utilized for decades may be very problematic.

Moving water....streams, creeks, rivers, anything that has water moving in it, or looks like it may have water moving in it during wet periods, might be trouble. Check the plat map...does it have a name?? Bad omen if so. Rivers, streams, and creeks are simply very damp roads. And remember, roads bad. Roads convey people. People have eyes.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I like all of that advice! A lot!!


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I agree with most of what you say...except not completely on the road thing.

I think that might be a "it depends" or maybe a 2EachHisOwn.

Our property is on a Farm to Market Road..but it is basically
just the locked front gate. Only one way in and one way out.
No roads along either side or rear of property.

From the gate you can't see any structures or the big pond. I have a neighbor directly across the FM road and neighbors on both sides that serve as buffers. One of them is a great nosy neighbor.

Personally I prefer our gate being on the FM road vs being down a secluded dead end road.

But sparkie I can see good and bad to both.


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Originally Posted By: sparkplug
If your dream parcel is surrounded by 3-5 acre plots, be careful. There's a chance that the folks on those smaller plots have already discovered what I warned you about earlier....their land isn't big enough to have a couple horses, a cow, chickens, umpteen rabbits for the kids, a dog or two, a pond, a Llama(?), a giant garden where they want to grow their own produce, beehives for fresh honey, a shooting range, A four wheeler track and/or trail, and oh yeah, a house. And a garage. And a barn


Wow! That is a very important and major point to consider. I'm on the WV/VA state line. The West Virginia side of my property abuts 17 separate parcels of 1 to 5 acres -- except for one that is a couple of hundred acres. That one doesn't cause any issues. The Virginia side of my property abuts two large properties. They don't cause any issues.

The somewhat humorous/unfortunate part of your statement gets to the horses, dogs, kids, and -- in our case alpacas, not llamas.

Way back when, I believe I've posted here about the blind horse staring in our bedroom window one morning. I think I've posted about the family from the city with their four-wheelers, their four kids with paint guns, and how they colorfully affected a number of our neighbor's horses. I think I've posted about the neighboring dogs killing my chickens. I think I've posted about the city neighbors who proudly bragged to me how their kids bucket stocked my main pond with crappie!

I've grown old, grumpy, and totally intolerant. If someone is on my property, they are intimidated and immediately reported to both the DNR and sheriff's office.

That is how I learned just how bright a 12 gauge shotgun blast is near dark.



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You mention roads but ZEP has a point. If you have no roads so neighbors can see in then you need fences. I personally am installing an 8ft deer fence. Gives me my privacy with a little bit more security. It's harder for those occasional
"wood cutters" to "lose there way" through the barbed wire fence. Now if I find someone on the property, they made an effort to be there and the consequences are much more severe.
Big fences make for good neighbors!


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Nice visit with Scott and Matt, got a crash course in treating aquatic growth, was embarrassed by my HBG's reluctance to show off for company, and received some strange-appearing bluegill superfeed. Thanks guys, be safe tonight.

Part two

Neighbors....bonus points for long established families, such as you might find on multi-generational farms. Examine the topography of your neighbors places if possible. Is it remote and wooded, full of hills and hollers, or does it lay flat as a pancake with the words "future sub-division" written all over it? There's no way to be certain what the future holds of course, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't think about it a little.

Get to know your neighbors. Maybe you won't be going on vacation together, but you can still try and make friends. Do so, and maybe you can watch their backs while they cover yours. For the most part, I'm fortunate to have some pretty good neighbors, and I trust them. That hasn't always been the case, however,

Fences and gates...I'm torn on this one. On one hand I see the logic of a gate on the drive, but on the other I think a locked, well maintained gate also whispers "something of value lies ahead....come and see!" Maybe a rusted farm gate with one hinge torn off, and a piece of dog chain looped around a fence post to hold it closed says "nothing of importance here", or maybe it says "nobody home, come on in!" We opted for no gate, and don't have any problems.
Fences are fine, but in a wooded setting like we have they are a constant upkeep. Limbs and trees are continuously coming down. And If you are in good terms with your neighbors, then I don't think trespassing will be much of an issue. I have found deer hunters on our place in the past, and in every case they were out-of-towners who came in on a neighbors place, where they had permission to be, and crossed the fence onto our place. A friendly chat with the neighbor, and a suggestion that he inform those he allows to hunt just where his property stops and mine begins, has taken care of things.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I am amazed at the stories you guys have and in shear amazement at the stupidity that exists in the human race. I have a 6 acre lot surrounded by a 27 acre lot and a 130 acre lot and I cannot imagine doing any of these things to either of my neighbors or my 4 kids disrespecting them (I would probably kill them). A good neighbor is worth a million dollars which is why I go out of my way to help them. The farmer and I just removed the fence between our lots so it easier to travel between them. I warned my kids there would be serious repercussions if there was any damage to his crops. Although being 1, 4, 5, and 7 he probably wouldn't be too mad as he is a grandfather but I would lose my mind.


Which came first, the fish or the egg?

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Ben, sounds like you are raising your kids just like my folks raised me, and how I'm trying to raise my own children now. Good neighbors are blessings to property owners everywhere, and those who instill a sense of responsibility and respect into their kids are even more so.

Lot of that missing nowadays.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Maybe some other items of consideration:
- Nearest airport (small, county, regional, etc.) and flight routes
- Water table
- What is within 100 miles with prevailing winds (chemical/power/health, etc.) [what might be blown your way if things go badly]
- Topography with respect to if you need to bring in heavy equipment how difficult or easy will this be
- Distance in miles to nearest trauma center, followed by distance in miles to nearest emergency room
- Distance in miles to nearest town and city (what is the local population - how many potential trespassers might come your way)
- Distance in miles to nearest sheriff or highway patrol post
- Any surrounding land under control of Fed Govnmnt (wetlands etc.)
- Anything within striking distance that may flood your land

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A good pizza place that will deliver to that new address should be added to the list! grin


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Tony - insightful and hilarious...well done. You missed your calling my man.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Ben - you sound like a good neighbor, and good work on instilling core values to your chilluns. You're welcome to annex my neighbor's property, anytime...I'll even help support the coup.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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I would be happy with no neighbors. Or, at least, none that have dogs. We no longer get along very well because I'm a jerk. They seem to think that dogs ought to be able to run the country side. When I had livestock, their dogs enjoyed chasing my cows and horses. After all, a dog doesn't know what a fence means or that they shouldn't chase a colt into a fence. Last deer season my game cams caught pics of 7 different dogs around my feeders. Hunting ranged from poor to lousy. Two of the dogs are beautiful, almost snow white, Shepherds with bright red collars. I am told that they are pretty viscous attack dogs. So, I generally carry a sawed off shotgun on my 4 wheeler. Why should I have to do that?

When a dog doesn't come home they call the Sheriffs Dept and report that someone must have shot their dog and that they need to check on me as the likely culprit. Actually, it is very rarely me because I don't live there and don't get a chance to shoot their damn dogs. BTW, I donate to the Sheriffs re-election campaign.

I have, in the past, set leg hold traps prior to deer season and notified neighbors that they need to keep their dogs at home. I hate that and also hate catching wildlife that I'm not going to eat. To date, nothing has worked to my satisfaction.

Some are good neighbors and some are rude. And some of us are jerks.


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Great advice spark. Distance to nearest fire station play a big role on homeowners insurance too. Least around me. They closed our local volunteer fire department and insurance went up.


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Good advice! I was lucky and bought a farm thats almost perfectly laid out. I have access from the East, 2 from the north and have a grass lane all the way around the perimeter. We have bought small 20-30 ac chunks at a time to total up to 123 ac. A 30 ac chunk of timber and we own the fields on 3 sides of it. The field to the east is owned by a great guy that is a good farmer and doesn't like to hunt. Every thing we have except for 7 acres or so in crp and is growing trees, shrubs, prairie grass food plots.

I agree with most of what spark says, except about creeks. my place is bordered by 2 creeks and has one running through the middle. I love the creeks and haven't had any problems with them creating issues.

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Ah yes Jamie, you just beat me to what I was thinking.

You need to have the entire property surrounded by creeks, rivers, marshes, and wetlands. No body will dare cross those borders, as everyone fears that the EPA will come after them.

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My wife wants me to buy an old house on 1 ac north of us that was just vacated. Just so we don't get unsavory neighbors. In many ways, it's worse the place isn't worth much as white trash might end up there. Hate to buy a house just to burn it down due to termites though.

There are disadvantages being on a thru road. I have a few acres on the other side so go over to mow, fish the creek, etc. Dog follows. Traffic. I often sit in the middle of the road and call the dog across. But when she thinks she's gonna catch that buck, she doesn't look before barreling across. Fortunately, not many cars and the tractors/farmers are careful. And train the dog!

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Regulation.......don't forget neighboring properties must have LOTS of government regulations on them but don't worry, they won't ever affect you. smile

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Originally Posted By: Tbar
Regulation.......don't forget neighboring properties must have LOTS of government regulations on them but don't worry, they won't ever affect you. smile





As previously stated multiple times in other threads, I'm not worried about unsubstantiated, unproven ,unspecified, and downright UNKNOWN new EPA regulations. The point of this thread was not to provide protection against my government, it was a light hearted attempt to convey my experiences at trying to protect myself from my freedom-loving-but-clueless, just plain I-don't-give-a-sh*t-about-yours, fellow citizens.

THEY worry me far more than the EPA.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I'm with Dan, train the dog! Dogs are like kids, they aren't born knowing right from wrong, they need to be taught. Not just turned out.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
I would be happy with no neighbors. Or, at least, none that have dogs. We no longer get along very well because I'm a jerk. They seem to think that dogs ought to be able to run the country side. When I had livestock, their dogs enjoyed chasing my cows and horses. After all, a dog doesn't know what a fence means or that they shouldn't chase a colt into a fence. Last deer season my game cams caught pics of 7 different dogs around my feeders. Hunting ranged from poor to lousy. Two of the dogs are beautiful, almost snow white, Shepherds with bright red collars. I am told that they are pretty viscous attack dogs. So, I generally carry a sawed off shotgun on my 4 wheeler. Why should I have to do that?

When a dog doesn't come home they call the Sheriffs Dept and report that someone must have shot their dog and that they need to check on me as the likely culprit. Actually, it is very rarely me because I don't live there and don't get a chance to shoot their damn dogs. BTW, I donate to the Sheriffs re-election campaign.

I have, in the past, set leg hold traps prior to deer season and notified neighbors that they need to keep their dogs at home. I hate that and also hate catching wildlife that I'm not going to eat. To date, nothing has worked to my satisfaction.

Some are good neighbors and some are rude. And some of us are jerks.


It is pretty clear in Virginia and West Virginia what can be done about dogs chasing or killing livestock. I've never shot anybody's dog, but I've sure been tempted. In general, we don't have much an issue around here.

Quote:

3.2-6552. Dogs killing, injuring or chasing livestock or poultry.

It shall be the duty of any animal control officer or other officer who may find a dog in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry to seize or kill such dog forthwith whether such dog bears a tag or not. Any person finding a dog committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section shall have the right to kill such dog on sight as shall any owner of livestock or his agent finding a dog chasing livestock on land utilized by the livestock when the circumstances show that such chasing is harmful to the livestock. Any court shall have the power to order the animal control officer or other officer to kill any dog known to be a confirmed livestock or poultry killer, and any dog killing poultry for the third time shall be considered a confirmed poultry killer. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the dog to produce the dog.


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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
I would be happy with no neighbors. Or, at least, none that have dogs. We no longer get along very well because I'm a jerk. They seem to think that dogs ought to be able to run the country side. When I had livestock, their dogs enjoyed chasing my cows and horses. After all, a dog doesn't know what a fence means or that they shouldn't chase a colt into a fence. Last deer season my game cams caught pics of 7 different dogs around my feeders. Hunting ranged from poor to lousy. Two of the dogs are beautiful, almost snow white, Shepherds with bright red collars. I am told that they are pretty viscous attack dogs. So, I generally carry a sawed off shotgun on my 4 wheeler. Why should I have to do that?

When a dog doesn't come home they call the Sheriffs Dept and report that someone must have shot their dog and that they need to check on me as the likely culprit. Actually, it is very rarely me because I don't live there and don't get a chance to shoot their damn dogs. BTW, I donate to the Sheriffs re-election campaign.

I have, in the past, set leg hold traps prior to deer season and notified neighbors that they need to keep their dogs at home. I hate that and also hate catching wildlife that I'm not going to eat. To date, nothing has worked to my satisfaction.



Some are good neighbors and some are rude. And some of us are jerks.

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When looking for property be aware of who is responsible for road maintenance. Often, developers will subdivide large properties into several multi-acreage parcels and build private roads connecting them.

In many cases, after the developer sells all of the lots they will neglect to provide satisfactory road maintenance, or may even renege on their agreement to maintain them at all, leaving it upon the residents to provide the maintenance.

Another consideration: I prefer to have plenty of woods surrounding the home site, not only for privacy, but as a possible shield from stray bullets, as well.

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Originally Posted By: gully washer
When looking for property be aware of who is responsible for road maintenance. Often, developers will subdivide large properties into several multi-acreage parcels and build private roads connecting them.

In many cases, after the developer sells all of the lots they will neglect to provide satisfactory road maintenance, or may even renege on their agreement to maintain them at all, leaving it upon the residents to provide the maintenance.

Another consideration: I prefer to have plenty of woods surrounding the home site, not only for privacy, but as a possible shield from stray bullets, as well.


Another great point. From the time I was in my mid-20s to my mid-50s, I was somehow involved in a number of owner's associations. Usually it was as president and road maintenance dude -- because I've always owned a few tractors. What a thankless and PITA job.

Find a property with your own deeded and private access to the closest public road.

Our present farm has a strange outline. The outline looks kind of like a big Gallo wine jug. We own about a 150-foot wide by about a 1000 foot long access from a state maintained road to our main property.


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Utility easements and right-of-ways.....No way, no how. A clearcut swath for overhead transmission lines, or buried pipelines is just a grassy road...roads bad. Roads convey people...you get the idea. Everyone living within 10 miles that owns a dirtbike, atv, or horse, will harbor a desire to "explore". No thank you. I have no personal experience in this area, but have friends who live the nightmare.

There's no guarantee that your property won't become the target of a utility concern in the future, but in my opinion I see no reason to purchase property already so equipped.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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