Question about living and owning a small piece of land


  #1  
Old 05-10-22, 04:34 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 270
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Question about living and owning a small piece of land

Hope this is in the right section. I've never owned my own home yet. I have been renting small rooms to live which suited me just fine but lately I've been more interested in settling down longer term in a small piece of land with a house on it. It's about 2 acres of mostly wooded forest with a nice little house on it. It's not in the middle of nowhere. There's a small town just 3 km away and a few houses around but since the land is covered in forest, you can't see any of it while on the property.

I was just wondering what kind of things I need to be mindful of when owning a home on a piece of land with a small forest. Do I have to take care of all the trees, vegetation, and/or pay for services that are mandatory like tree cutting/trimming, inspection, safety hazards, etc. I imagine there are lots of extra costs for maintaining a house that has a lot of vegetation and trees. The current owner does a lot of gardening and plants their own crops and stuff but I don't really plan to grow much of my own crops. I'm not into decorating yards and beautifying the landscape. I just wondered how much work if any do I need to put in to the forest land that I own if I bought that property?

Here's an aerial shot of the property I'd own if I purchased it.
(everything within the green border would be mine)


What kind of responsibilities (if any) would I have for this plot of forested land? What kind of expenses would I be looking at in maintaining all this land and let's say at the very lowest maintenance spectrum as I would not be interested in doing any kind of beautification, but maybe at most, just some small gardening to grow some tomatoes and lettuce etc.

 
  #2  
Old 05-10-22, 04:50 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 26,830
Received 1,957 Upvotes on 1,753 Posts
The forest can take care of itself so there is no maintenance you need to do. You would want to keep an eye on the trees near the house though. If any are leaning towards the house or are diseased/dying you probably want to remove them before they can fall on the house. I also like to keep an eye on the trees near any outdoor spaces you frequent or trails through the forest that you use regularly to remove any widowmakers (loose branches that can fall).
 
guy293482 voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 05-10-22, 06:27 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 270
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
thank you that is good to know
 
  #4  
Old 05-10-22, 07:07 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,794
Received 694 Upvotes on 617 Posts
Your only real responsibility is to the maintenance of the house. But before you buy look for and possible rights-of-way that may be on your land from the town or state or utilities. If there are any, they will have the right to do whatever they want to that area.
Is this actually within the town boundaries? If not you will want to have POSTED signs all around the parameter. And be sure to be insured, not just on the house but for liability on the whole property. A wooded area is an inviting area for kids and hunters to want to explore and if they get injured, your responsible.
I can't tell from the picture but do you have an exclusive driveway to the public road that is not shared by any other property owner. If it's shared, that may be a point of contention.
 
guy293482 voted this post useful.
  #5  
Old 05-10-22, 07:56 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,747
Received 1,209 Upvotes on 1,098 Posts
The only other thing you need to look into, you may own property but how it's zoned may be limited. Some communities have tree ordinances, meaning you could not go in and clear them out. You may be limited on starting a farm in the middle of a high density neighborhood as well as putting up a accessory building.

Just because your have land doesn't mean your always free to do anything you want especially in a community with zoning restrictions.
 
guy293482 voted this post useful.
  #6  
Old 05-10-22, 08:22 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 270
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Thank you Norm. The driveway is private, yes. It belongs only to this house/land. I'm not familiar with rights-of-way so I'll have to ask about that, thank you for mentioning it. Good point about the insurance thing also. I'll have to check that, too.
 
  #7  
Old 05-10-22, 08:24 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 270
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Thank you Marq. I'll also ask about tree ordinances and zoning limitations and make sure it's completely free of any of those or if not, then probably this isn't as good as I thought.
 
  #8  
Old 05-10-22, 09:08 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 12,071
Received 200 Upvotes on 160 Posts
guy293482 voted this post useful.
  #9  
Old 05-10-22, 09:25 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,390
Received 310 Upvotes on 257 Posts
Also any trees that overhang or in any way encroach on neighboring property is typically your responsibility.

Also consider the expense of equipment to maintain the property. Lawn mowers, trimmers, chain saws, rakes, shovels etc. and depending where you are located snow removal.

Don't be put off by all the good advice. Owning your own home is a good investment and worth the extra efforts.
 
guy293482 voted this post useful.
  #10  
Old 05-10-22, 11:16 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,747
Received 1,209 Upvotes on 1,098 Posts
and make sure it's completely free of any of those
Nothing is free of zoning requirements, but as you move from a rural to urban environment the number of restrictions increase due to the population density.

Farmers can pretty much do what ever they want, when your live in a subdivision of 0.2 acre homes (or living next door) your just going to have a lot more restrictions on the things your going to be able to with your property.
 
  #11  
Old 05-11-22, 06:08 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 270
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Thanks guys. How about small rivers/creeks/waterfalls. There is another property I was looking at also. It doesn't have as much land or forest space, but it does have a tiny creek/waterfall next to the house. I'm pretty sure one cannot actually "own" a creek or river if it is a natural one that starts high up in the mountains and goes down through many towns and cities eventually into a lake or the sea. If my house/property is right next to one (maybe even on my property or runs through my property), what kind of responsibilities do I have for this creek? Could I be liable if I did something for example like if I accidentally dumped pollutants or took a shower in my own river (since that water is going down stream and affecting everyone else that has access to that creek/water).
 
  #12  
Old 05-11-22, 07:10 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,794
Received 694 Upvotes on 617 Posts
IIRC...you should have full use of the waterway, as long as you don't pollut or change the course of it. You will still need a fishing license I believe.
 
  #13  
Old 05-11-22, 07:28 AM
S
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 447
Received 32 Upvotes on 23 Posts
I noticed that OP is in Canada. Water rights issues in the United States are complex, and vary from state to state, with riparian rights, prior appropriation, transfer of rights, etc. I don't know about Canadian law, but would suggest that OP check on laws specific to Canada and his Province or Territory.

Also, check for deed restrictions, conservation easements, etc. associated with the property. For example, a landowner may sell or grant an easement on his/her property to a conservation group, which restricts what can be done with the land. It might say that a certain portion of the parcel cannot have trees removed, or that the stream may not be diverted, etc. The exact terms of the agreements are specific to the individual properties, and usually exist "in perpetuity," transferring to the next owner of the property.
 
  #14  
Old 05-11-22, 11:30 AM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,295
Received 114 Upvotes on 105 Posts
Hi guy -

I lived in a condo for many years, but then about 20 years ago I bought my first house (2200 sq-ft) on 2 acres with about 1/4 wooded. I think the other guys brought up good points. But as pointed out, you really donít need to worry much about the woods.

But as pointed out you do have to consider trees near the house. Canít tell from the picture, but it looks like maybe people did a good job in not keeping trees too close to the house. Thatís good.

I have a field that I keep mowed, so my first big expense was a John Deere lawn tractor which is still humming right along. From the picture you may not have much mowing to do and if you have small patches a push mower isnít too expensive and would do the job.

The other thing is if you have trees close to power lines the power companies have the right trim them or remove them if they think they may jeopardize the lines. I had some trees along the road and the power company removed some and trimmed others. If they pass through your woods Iím pretty sure they would have the right to do tree maintenance at their discretion.

Another thing is I think it might be good to check what type of trees you have. Itís probably not a problem, but around here (S.E. Pa.) we had the ash borer beetle which destroyed many trees. I donít know whether itís a waste of time but maybe you could check out what kind of growth is in the woods to see if there would be any longer term surprises. Sure looks healthy from the picture though Ė lol.

Another thing is to consider the driveway maintenance. I have a gravel driveway and liked it just fine Ė at first. I found after the years keeping weeds from growing up through the gravel is a lost cause. I gave up. I think I am going to start a thread myself asking for some help on some type of new driveway. So I think you do have to plan for some kind of driveway maintenance if the driveway is gravel or asphalt. (Probably all driveways need maintenance I guess.) If you have a real long driveway thatís something to consider.

Canít think of anything else right off the bat.

(I used to do work on a comm. system near Truro Nova Scotia, Barrie Ontario, Ottawa Ontario, and Red Deer Alberta. Nice country up there!)



 
Norm201 voted this post useful.
  #15  
Old 05-11-22, 12:46 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,390
Received 310 Upvotes on 257 Posts
Zoesdad- I too have a gravel driveway (300' +) and weeds used to frustrate me. A couple of years ago I bought a weed torch. I put a propane tank on a hand truck and drag it along to torch the weeds. A couple of treatments a year (and a bit of Round Up) keeps the driveway clear of weeds.

 
  #16  
Old 05-11-22, 03:16 PM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,295
Received 114 Upvotes on 105 Posts
@cwbuff-


Ah Ė never thought of that. Well so there is a way to win Ėlol.

I just might give that a try. Doesnít sound real expensive. I like that. Thanks!

 
  #17  
Old 05-11-22, 03:16 PM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,295
Received 114 Upvotes on 105 Posts
@cwbuff-


Ah – never thought of that. Well so there is a way to win –lol.

I just might give that a try. Doesn’t sound real expensive. I like that. Thanks!

(getting the 502 error - so that's why I posted twice - I think so anyway.)
 
  #18  
Old 05-12-22, 02:36 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,422
Received 786 Upvotes on 689 Posts
There is another property I was looking at also. It doesn't have as much land or forest space, but it does have a tiny creek/waterfall next to the house.
Creeks can swell under the right conditions so you'd want to verify if/when that creek swells it doesn't get too close to the house and cause any issues.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: