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#447605 05/19/16 07:52 AM
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I'm new to this forum, planning on a lake this summer and looking for any advice from those more experienced than I.

I have 20 acres with a valley running through, about 10-12 feet of drop. Nice clay, land logged with small (12-15") trees and slash that will need to be cleared. The excavator said it was one of the top sites he's seen. 22 acres of drainage. He tells me it will take 22K cubic yards, 5 feet depth around the perimeter with the dirt pushed forward to build the dam and a 5:1, 6:1 backside of the dam about 15 feet tall. Price of $68K includes engineering, clearing, construction, trash guard, piping, anti-seep collar and seeding, two weeks, big equipment.

I tend to look at things in terms of investment. Will a 4 acre lake increase the value of a property, 16 miles from Louisville, KY, a rapidly growing distribution city, sufficiently to cover the costs? I've had three quotes, the others are open ended based on hours to complete. The Excavator is excellent and highly recommended. Is this price in the ballpark?

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Originally Posted By: wdp
Is this price in the ballpark?

seems a bit on the high side for a 4 acre pond

by a professional i always think a ballpark of $8K-$10K per acre

but each piece of land is different and each area of
the country has different economic factors at work...

so it's not cookie cutter

i'd get more than one bid


Fishing has never been about the fish....

Zep #447610 05/19/16 08:31 AM
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That was exactly my number. I'd do it for $40, I'm having trouble pulling the trigger at $68. I figured $2K for clearing per acre and about $7-8K moving dirt, dam, etc.

The bids I've got are hourly rates until completion with no ballpark. I like an estimated final price.

Anyone with experience in this area?

wdp #447611 05/19/16 08:50 AM
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That bid is high for my area. Based on current prices here it should be right in the range you mention - around 40k.

As far as increasing property value, that's really hard to say. When I purchased my place it had 3 ponds on it. One 2/3 acre, one 1.5 acres and one 1/4 acre. According to the appraiser those increased the value none at all from an appraisal perspective.

I think that to the buyer that wants a pond or ponds, it makes the property much more desirable. But will you recoup your investment? I don't think so. It doesn't seem that adding a BOW changes the appraised value, which is what the banks look at. Or at least it didn't in my case.


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wdp #447615 05/19/16 09:14 AM
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If you ask for a bid for a completed job, it will usually be much higher (at least around here) than hiring it by the hour. My 1/4 acre pond clean out was $2800 and it was a little more work than a new pond of that size, but it is the only decent pond site I could use. I figure about 8-10k or so per acre.

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wdp,

That seems a little high but not unreasonable. If you figure $60k is left over for the dirt moving that comes out to $2.75/yard which is in the ballpark. See how much the price will drop by going with a 3:1 slope on the back vs. the 5-6:1.

Clearing is $1-2k/acre depending on what equipment they have and how many stumps they have to dig up.

Piping and installation is probably $2-3k at least.

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Welcome to Pondboss.

My quotes came in about that range, possibly a touch cheaper. The high cost had to do with inaccessibility to the site, and it was a renovation, which is always more.

There are so many things that you are not mentioning in your first post, about what do you get for that money. Like compaction, building of some habitat/structure (mounds, trenches, shelves, etc). How about a siphon drain? The more you hang around here and read, the more you will see what everyone is talking about in regards to good and bad versus what cost and what you get. Have you looked at what this guy (and any other ones you might consider) has done ten years ago and talk with the owners as to troubles? What gauarantee do you have in getting it done the right way, and what exactly is the right way for your situation. Will the price go up everytime you insist it be done the right way? Lots of stuff for you to work out with him. Is it in writing that he will come back and fix leaks? At who's cost?

I don't know about raising value, but it probably would help sell it, IF IT WAS DONE RIGHT. If it isn't done right, you could actually end up losing money trying to re-fix mistakes from the first time. Take your time, learn, ask lots of questions. Do it right the first time which means it's up to you to know what the guy is doing is good or bad, and hopefully catch it before hand. I wouldn't be afraid to grill the guys doing it as to why they are doing it the way they are, and even throw it out to this forum for second opinions.

wdp #447636 05/19/16 11:50 AM
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Welcome wdp

Call Michael Gray (615-308-5752) a PB guy and pond builder in middle Tenn. Tell him PB sent you to him.

http://www.grayconstruction.net/index.html

Last edited by ewest; 05/19/16 11:51 AM.















ewest #447640 05/19/16 12:38 PM
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I agree about giving Michael Grey a shout. I would want the whole pond basin compacted with a sheepsfoot roller too..... From bottom to past high water mark. Dam would have a core trench, compacted and tied into good soil at the sides.


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wdp #447642 05/19/16 12:46 PM
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In my opinion and as a real estate company owner for 20 years, there is no way you are going to up an appraised value 40-60 thousand dollars by digging a 4 acre hole and filling it with water and fish. If you are digging the pond for an investment you will probably lose money. It will certainly be more desirable to those that want it but for those who would prefer just raw land you missed a sale.Think of it as the perfect home with a swimming pool. Great for some...others would have to consider what it would cost to fill it in to be the perfect place. Just food for thought. Good luck with what you decide.


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What about the potential as a property development down the road? Twenty acres with a lake. How many Lakeside lots could you make ?
















Flame #447671 05/19/16 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: Flame
In my opinion and as a real estate company owner for 20 years, there is no way you are going to up an appraised value 40-60 thousand dollars by digging a 4 acre hole and filling it with water and fish. If you are digging the pond for an investment you will probably lose money.


Flame obviously with your experience you are the expert, but even as a novice I find that hard to believe...or maybe it is just semantics? Or exceptions to every rule type of thing? Maybe I am equating appraised value vs market value? For example my property if it was just a cabin sitting on an acre of pasture with a few trees I don't believe the market value of the property would be nearly as much as it is now surrounded by a beautiful landscaped 4 acre stocked pond with trees at waters edge. The setting with the pond, trees, landscape creates a completely different vision when a potential buyer drives up. Isn't real estate many times not about selling a house/property and more about selling "a dream"...a falling in love dream?



Fishing has never been about the fish....

wdp #447677 05/19/16 07:27 PM
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I'm with Flame on this one, I don't see the return. Sure you might find that one buyer who shares the vision and falls head over heels for the place, but you might also turn away prospective buyers who envision a dam failure, and legal repercussions.

I do think a savvy marketer could point out the "great spot for a pond/lake"....


"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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IMHO I would just call a reputable local real estate appraiser and ask them how much the appraisal of the property will go up with the addition of the pond. That's what those folks do for a living and their opinions are the only ones that count when folks go to get financing to purchase.

Just my 1 cent....


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I can't say about KY, but up here if it's an investment return you're after that means selling to a developer, who will chunk it up in lots and sell them off. Many will build your home for you, right on your lot. A four acre pond is four acres of real estate not suitable to place a house on. Even a ravine.


"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: Bill D.
That's what those folks do for a living and their opinions are the only ones that count when folks go to get financing to purchase.


Not really....it depends on the property and the buyer. I assure you my brother and I would not have purchased our property had the ponds not been there.

I had a real estate lady tell me once "you just can't justify this selling price.($269K)..because the comps per sq foot just are not there....we need to ask $230K max". I said "oh really?...I've lived in this house 40 years and know this area....the convenience....the yard...the landscaping....the interior design...and it will sell within 60 days". It sold for $272K in 47 days.


Fishing has never been about the fish....

Zep #447685 05/19/16 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: Zep
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
That's what those folks do for a living and their opinions are the only ones that count when folks go to get financing to purchase.


Not really....it depends on the property and the buyer. I assure you my brother and I would not have purchased our property had the ponds not been there.

I had a real estate lady tell me once "you just can't justify this price.($269K)..because the comps per sq foot just are not there....we need to ask $230K max". I said "oh really?...I've lived in this house 40 years and know this area....the convenience....the yard...the landscaping....the interior design...and it will sell within 60 days". It sold for $272K in 47 days.


A real estate lady is not an appraiser. Appraisers have to find comps and justify their valuation, not just provide an opinion so she can get you to price the property low enough to get a quick sell and save herself time and effort. I've been down that same road. Sold our last house in a month for a whole bunch more than our real estate lady recommended we list it for.

If the buyer doesn't have the money to purchase out right and needs to go to the bank for financing then the bank requires an appraisal and loan amount is determined by that. Example..If I want to pay $500K for a property and it appraises at only $400K and the bank is willing to finance 90% of the appraised value then I need to come up with the difference out of my own pocket if I want to buy the property anyway. Offer to buy around here always includes the clause that the property must appraise the same or higher than the asking price or you have the option to take the earnest money you put down back and the offer is void.


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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
If the buyer doesn't have the money to purchase out right and needs to go to the bank for financing then the bank requires an appraisal and loan amount is determined by that.


Sure...but some of these pond properties are weekend get-a-ways, 2nd homes...and thus sometimes buyers are not the typical paycheck to paycheck clients buying a cookie cutter home in the city...as usual "it depends". If a property is enhanced by "bling" it could mean a seller is less likely to be "beat down" on price, it could mean the property sells faster than properties without any "bling", it can mean it might sell for above list price due to a bidding war.

In Texas houses are selling like crazy....sometimes over asking price. Look at this story from a Facebook friend of mine just today:



Pete Kerrigan
3 hrs ago McKinney, Tx

Received a referral from a past client 3 hours ago traveling here this weekend from Arkansas to buy a home

2:30PM. Called the client in Arkansas, introduced myself and made arrangements to meet with them this weekend to find them a home

3:30PM. Did extensive research on brand-new homes which they requested in northeast and east of the metroplex under $250,000. Just happen to find a brand new loaded 2500 sq ft completed home that came back on the market in Grand Heritage a few hours ago for $244900

3:45PM. Called client to inform him of this property and the likelihood that it would sell in the next 24 hours. I sent him photos and subdivision information along with estimated commute time to his workplace. He was very excited and stated that would be our first stop on Saturday

4:30PM. Client called me back and said he does not want to take a chance on the property and wants to move forward on buying it

5:00PM. Called the builder sales rep and told him we wanted to move forward on the house under the conditions of a stainless steel refrigerator, 2 inch blinds, and $3000 towards his closing costs be paid by the builder in the price we negotiated.

5:15PM. SOLD!!! From client introduction by telephone to contract on home purchase ........total 2 1/2 hours. Look forward to meeting my buyer for the first time and touring the house for the first time that neither I or my buyer have yet to see in person. What a crazy Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate market!!!!


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Originally Posted By: Zep
Sure...but some of these pond properties are weekend get-a-ways, 2nd homes...and thus sometimes buyers are not the typical paycheck to paycheck clients buying a cookie cutter home in the city...as usual "it depends". If a property is enhanced by "bling" it could mean a seller is less likely to be "beat down" on price, it could mean the property sells faster than properties without any "bling", it can mean it might sell for above list price due to a bidding war.



10000% agree! If the right buyer comes along.....

My input was based on the worst case scenario, some guy like me wants to buy the property and has to do the "let's see if the bank will finance it" thing. In that case, the appraiser comes into the game as the king of the hill and only his opinion matters to the bank.

I'm sticking to my opinion that if you want to know what value an improvement to your property has "on paper" at resale then ask an appraiser.

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/19/16 09:19 PM. Reason: Clarification

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Right now, the housing market is smoking hot around here. and, the "average" guy is frozen out of the housing market. One thing the study of Economics tells us it that we experience financial cycles. Building costs and insurance are out of sight. The Federal Reserve has held down interest rates but has announced an increase soon. Prepare for a lot of repo's in the future. If I had a brain in my head and the years left to take advantage of the situation, I would sell all of my real estate and sit back and wait.


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.

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You're dead on the numbers, quite impressive. They're figuring $2.08 per yard and the reason for the 5:1 back slope is it's a convenient place to put 20K+ cu yards of dirt and it's got to go somewhere. Added benefit is it becomes useable and mowable.

My preliminary estimate was 3 guys, three pieces of equipment 10 days at $375 an hour: $30,000, includes 2 days clearing. Add mop ($3000), piping ($3000) and misc ($5000), right at $41K. Excavator, dozer and 17 yard scraper.

The only way I could imagine affording $68K is to sell off four 1/4 acre parcels in the east side of lake. There's a small subdivision on the east high side composed of $300K-$500K+ houses who might like lakefront in their back yards.

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Sage advice. I'm in the learning stage, hence the appreciation for the input.

The digger's a pro, all equipment, knows how to build ponds, 40 years and excellent reputation. I've seen his work from decades ago. He's the guy who finishes ponds when someone else starts and can't finish. I'm happy to pay him more, to a point. I'm a stickler for doing things the right way and happy to pay a fair price, just don't know what that is yet. Expectation vs reality, the greatest reason for disappointment. Trying to determine the reality to better align.

Logging roads provide easy access, just down from a small pasture in thinned woods, maybe 600 feet from paved road, gravel to the woods and shallow valley.

I appreciate the details you mention I've not considered. I'll add them to my list, thanks so much.

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PM Sent


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I'm not that great at math....but what do you think would the total turn-key cost be if you told him "I can't afford the 4 acre...what would you do a 3 acre pond for?"


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I'm sticking to my opinion that if you want to know what value an improvement to your property has "on paper" at resale then ask an appraiser.


That's true Bill....but I sure wouldn't want one of them appraisers picking me a wife...based on only the fundamentals they may appraise Jennifer Aniston the same as...well you know...somebody not as perdi!

cool


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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