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Thread: Finally Bought Some Land

  1. #521
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Update:

    Adjoining property of 48 acres (one of only 2 unimproved parcels remaining in the area) appeared on the real estate listings for sale. So based on the past experiences of several (as in 4) people we know who have bought land in the country only to wake up one morning to a bad situation growing on a nearby acreage they had a chance early on to buy and didn't, we are now in the process of buying it. We will have a lot of land, which is a headache all its own, but at least we will be making the decisions about what happens with it.

    Good parts of it are a large stand of mature white pine around 75-100 years old on a nice hill, a few nice old farm roads on it, and more of the creek that runs through the southern end of our property. Bad parts are an easement-holding 1 acre property within the 48 acres owned by someone who uses it to store old cars (8 of them) and an old gravel pit that was probably used to surface the farm roads but has been used a handful of time for dumping deer parts. Country living in other words.

    The "neighborhood" uses it as an ersatz park (farmer/owner is retired and lives in Florida) so a local handful of people and their dogs walk through it, enjoying the trees and roads and leaving not a stitch of trash, so it might be nice to keep it that way as long as things stay neighborly and no one goes in and clear cuts the pine or something. Conveniently the property is landlocked with no easy access to the town road that goes nearby. The farmer/owner sold off parcels along the road, effectively blocking off the property, except for the old "hunting" easement that runs from the road through someone's backyard and across the 48 acres to what is now the 1 acre dead car property and not deer hunting property.

    Anyway, seemed like the right thing to do for now. We'll figure out the rest later.

    Here are a few Instagram shots from the architects taken last week during their site visit with the GC. Looks like we may actually get the first layer of the slab done before the New Year. Still no power to the site, but the guys have been blasting rock so better they weren't there anyway. They are doing a really good job. The architects and the engineer both seem really pleased and impressed. In fact, the same GC is now also building a house for another one of the architects' clients about 15-20 minutes away in Taghkanic, NY.

    Foundation S to N

    Foundation N to S

    Foundation N Entry

    The latest model drawings of what the house will look like eventually.

    House W Facade

    House SW Corner
    Last edited by j44ke; 12-12-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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  2. #522
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Sweet. 48 acres... I'd be all over it (assuming I could afford it).

    We have a little over 3 acres next to us that is not built, and has a real estate sign on the access. It's the buffer between our property and the road. I'd like to keep it wooded. We've inquired with the name on the real estate sign, and the response was that the property is owned by that guy's brother, and wants to keep the land "in case" (in case he some day wants to build on it). We'll keep inquiring. I'd love to double our land, maybe plant more fruit trees.
    DT

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  3. #523
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    As our lawyer told us years ago, if you don't own it you have no say in what happens to it.

    When we bought our farm, my thinking was to take it off the market and figure out what we were doing later. So far half has been sold to State Department of Fish and Game to add to the 6000 acres they own around us.

    There is a state program called Chapter 61 that we enrolled all our back land in, which reduces the taxes by 75- 95%. Might be worth looking into what NYS has in that regard. More land is just a larger management picture, if your two parcels are roughly the same forest composition.

    We bought three abutting parcels in another town, totaling 170 acres. Sold much of the frontage and back land to the state, and now have 70 in this locale. Kept what I could manage, and sold what I did not want ever developed. Win/win.

    You won't likely ever say, I wish I hadn't done that. Land is not time sensitive, where maintenance is concerned- for the most part.
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    J44keCX 2019
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    J44keCX 2019
    Could happen. What’s Sven Nys’ phone number?
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  6. #526
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    This article, as ridiculous as it is, reminded me of this thread (no offense j44ke)
    Forget the Suburbs, it's Country or Bust - The New York Times
     

  7. #527
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Yeah, that article is being passed around. It is a kind of article that the NYTimes loves to write. I dread the possibility that our architects are going to make good on their threat to get our house featured in the press in some way. I am definitely not going to have a speaking part if that happens. Or any part at all. Great way to get pilloried.

    West Kill is a tiny town. There is the Spruceton Inn and then about 15 houses. Two Pakistani guys live there too. The locals call them the Arab brothers even though they are not Arab and not brothers. They came to West Kill to expand their oriental rug business into global mail order by building a 15,000 sq ft state of the art rug warehouse for their inventory. In their spare time, they restore old Land Rovers and some of the local houses that they've bought. Spruceton's clientele are mostly shell-shocked 30-somethings who stagger into town on Friday and by Sunday they are chaining themselves to an iron gate and begging not to be sent back to the city. NYC is tough. Even if you have a six-figure salary and would be "well-off" almost anywhere else in the country, in NYC you probably still only just have your head above water, no savings, rent your apartment, and are just one lay-off away from getting loaded into a catapult and lobbed over the Hudson into parts unknown.

    The idea that this is periodic migration is new is not supported by history. There was Byrdcliffe, Onteora, the Hudson River School painters, etc. - all movements of city people with visions of "something more" who gravitated out from NYC into the surrounding countryside since forever. NYC's Jewish community spent summers in the Catskills and Great Barrington, while the summer camps of central Columbia and Dutchess Counties brought in the middle class white kids from Manhattan and Queens. And when we were looking for land, we kept running into properties from the early 1900's that were never farms but were just nice wooden houses built on 5-10 acres for a NYC family's get-away house.

    It was ever thus in other words. And there have always been people with more money than self-awareness moving to the country and discovering all these amazing things as if they were Columbus discovering the New World even though there were in fact people already living there.

    But that hat has got to go.
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  8. #528
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    It is an interesting culture clash. And migration north from the city is nothing new, which the article fails to set as context. I grew up in Dutchess county, dad got a blue collar job at IBM East Fishkill back in the 70's when IBM was exploding. In those days people actually moved north for good jobs. Now, they move north to get away from their jobs, or they bring their fancy jobs with them, which is a little different dynamic and sets up a starker economic contrast with the locals. But the part of the article that irks me most is that they fail to accurately describe these new "pioneers" as the privileged white people they are. What children's book illustrator can afford to buy a $350k farmhouse on acreage and fix it up with the latest home improvements, all while freelancing? Strapping your kid in a Baby Bjorn and going flyfishing in the Catskills, really? I'd rather read about the young folks taking risks and opening small businesses on shoestring budgets, like the Plan Bee couple brewing strange farmhouse beer outside Poughkeepsie. Otherwise this reads like a piece about moving to the gold coast of long island in the 20s. The only positive I see is that the new wave of migrants have more respect for the environment than their 1980s counterparts-- you could always tell when city transplants moved in because they cut down all the large trees, spread nasty chemicals all over their lawn, and freaked out at garter snakes.
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by bcm119 View Post
    The only positive I see is that the new wave of migrants have more respect for the environment than their 1980s counterparts-- you could always tell when city transplants moved in because they cut down all the large trees, spread nasty chemicals all over their lawn, and freaked out at garter snakes.
    Same thing happened on the other coast. Dad sold the family home and surrounding farmland acreage in the early 80s. The new homeowners cut down all of the large trees that shielded the house from the road, traded the subtle brown stain for bright blue exterior paint, and installed white carpets. White carpets!
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    This sentence from the article made me laugh:

    Their children, who attended a Waldorf school in Brooklyn, love their new private schools upstate; one is at a Waldorf program in Saugerties and another is at a Woodstock school that bills itself as a “socially and environmentally mindful education journey.”
     

  11. #531
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    Waldorf schools up there were founded in the 50’s and 60’s. And then again in the 70’s. Compared to NYC in the 50’s and 60’s, upstate was a place Jews could be themselves. Hard to imagine NYC as an inhospitable place to Jewish people now, but there were a lot of places Jews couldn’t get into back then, including the tony private schools that acted as a feeder system to the Ivy League colleges. Upstate became a place where educational experiments could occur and non-traditional curriculums developed. The 1950’s anti-communist black listing meant plenty of intellectuals and professionals from the city were looking for places they could go to get away from the wire-taps and getting followed all the time, so they went upstate and took their kids with them. The thing that has changed is that these schools have become prestigious and expensive private schools when originally they were about educating everyone. So that’s kind of a failure.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by bcm119 View Post
    It is an interesting culture clash. And migration north from the city is nothing new, which the article fails to set as context. I grew up in Dutchess county, dad got a blue collar job at IBM East Fishkill back in the 70's when IBM was exploding. In those days people actually moved north for good jobs. Now, they move north to get away from their jobs, or they bring their fancy jobs with them, which is a little different dynamic and sets up a starker economic contrast with the locals. But the part of the article that irks me most is that they fail to accurately describe these new "pioneers" as the privileged white people they are. What children's book illustrator can afford to buy a $350k farmhouse on acreage and fix it up with the latest home improvements, all while freelancing? Strapping your kid in a Baby Bjorn and going flyfishing in the Catskills, really? I'd rather read about the young folks taking risks and opening small businesses on shoestring budgets, like the Plan Bee couple brewing strange farmhouse beer outside Poughkeepsie. Otherwise this reads like a piece about moving to the gold coast of long island in the 20s. The only positive I see is that the new wave of migrants have more respect for the environment than their 1980s counterparts-- you could always tell when city transplants moved in because they cut down all the large trees, spread nasty chemicals all over their lawn, and freaked out at garter snakes.
    Hey you donít know Chris Bernard do you? He has a similar family history, though I know A LOT people had similar family histories up there with IBM.

    Edit: Youíd like Sparrow Bush Farm possibly. Hard working bunch of people renting a farm from the family who owns it and making a go of it. Great produce and grains and excellent bread. I canít imagine they are making their fortune but they seem to be doing a good job. Sparrowbush Farm
    Last edited by j44ke; 12-19-2018 at 07:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Hey you don’t know Chris Bernard do you? He has a similar family history, though I know A LOT people had similar family histories up there with IBM.

    Edit: You’d like Sparrow Bush Farm possibly. Hard working bunch of people renting a farm from the family who owns it and making a go of it. Great produce and grains and excellent bread. I can’t imagine they are making their fortune but they seem to be doing a good job. Sparrowbush Farm
    His name doesn't ring a bell. Sparrow Bush sounds great. I am a big fan of the beers at Suarez Family brewery in that same area, though I suspect they (or any of their patrons) could easily be in the next NYT moving-to-the-country story.
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    What goes around comes around. Green Acres reality show... "farm living is the life for me!"
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    I was at a Christmas party in Pittsfield the other day in a house built in 1939. He grew up locally, has worked his entire life as a film editor in NYC, living in a 500 sq ft apartment with their daughter- same as we did with our two kids and two dogs. He paid 435 for the a house you couldn't built for 3 million now. Maybe fifty people from the neighborhood streamed in and out, a mix of artists, biologists, parents and children, local and not, all enthusiastic about their living conditions compared with where they had lived previously, either in The City or in a Boston exurb. I'd say to a person they are sensitive to the change they are bringing.

    I moved to a much smaller town in 1988 about half an hour west. The local/not local dynamic was very obvious; local only applies to those born here, and everyone else was second class.

    The articles the Times has written about the opportunities presented in these parts- there was one this summer about North Adams- can be tone deaf.

    I am on the planning board in my town, and we were talking last night about what we see the future of our town being, and how the bylaws we craft may shape it. I grew up in CA, and saw the state overrun by new development. The casualties in this summer's fires came as no surprise.

    I have no problem with new people coming, but I don't want them to bring Brooklyn with them. A coat of paint and some real jobs would make North Adams look like SF. There is real potential for all boats to rise on the tide. As I said to a local when we were drafting an Open Space plan for the town, " I don't want people like me to make it so people like you cannot live here."
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Nicely put. Thatís been my experience generally, though I have a ways to go before I figure out who everyone is. Never know if that little old lady is a nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project then retired to a farmhouse to raise goats or the reason she has the same name as the town road her house is on is because her family has lived there since the 1700ís. Or all of the above. Or sheís just a nice lady who likes goats. Either way there is something to be learned and something to be respected.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    I'm afraid we don't get to keep our communities the way we want. They get more or less desirable to various demographics.

    I thought the NYT article was interesting reporting. Whether it reflects the actual demographics of folks moving up the Hudson or not. Whether I want to ridicule that demographic or not.
    GO!

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by davids View Post
    I'm afraid we don't get to keep our communities the way we want. They get more or less desirable to various demographics.

    I thought the NYT article was interesting reporting. Whether it reflects the actual demographics of folks moving up the Hudson or not. Whether I want to ridicule that demographic or not.
    I think it reflects the city’s relationship with the country and vice versa, one that’s been been going on for quite a while.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Iíll add that I try not to get too wrapped up in the class warfare thing. Too often I have decided who someone is and then later realized I had absolutely no idea. Like the arborist who had a copy of George Saundersís Lincoln in the Bardo in his car. ďI like to read at lunch.Ē The paths that people take to reach the point where you and they meet are multitudinous. I really try to remember that - that everyone contains within them a landscape they have already crisscrossed to get there. Just look at the bike-n-life year in review thread elsewhere here.

    The real joy of building this house - for me at least - is meeting all the people who are involved in the process, who live in the town, and who run the businesses that I have come to rely on for this that and the other thing. One of my favorites is the feed and seed. Their slogan is ďIf we donít have it, you donít need it.Ē With very few exceptions (torx wrench) I found that to be true.

    Anyway, this has been a great thread for me this year. Partly therapy, a huge amount of valuable advice and the rest shared experience. I hope it contains benefits for others too!

    BTW we are getting electricity! Started Monday and after a snag or two, projected to finish today or end of Christmas week (depending in the depth of the mud from Fridayís deluge.)
    Last edited by j44ke; 12-22-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Jorn, this is one of my favorite threads of the year. I check it every time I visit the forum.

    Re city to countryóI guess I feel like we humans are often inclined to alter a place before we understand what the place is really about. Iím not angry at the people who bought my childhood home, for instance. I just think itís a shame that they didnít live in the country a bit before making hard-to-reverse decisions about their approach to country living.
     

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