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Author Topic: The skinny on land use  (Read 2354 times)

cchris

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The skinny on land use
« on: July 11, 2011, 10:54:13 pm »

Hello,

 Well, I have done as much digging around the internet as I can on the subject and am now asking for personal experiences from Free Staters. Our vision for this move is to find a piece of land in the "Great North" region and create a home from scratch relying pretty much on my own skills and abilities. From what I see the state and most of the local governments (at least the ones I can find anything about on the web) don't seem to keen on letting you build anything bigger than a tiny cabin without the entire process of review, perc and well testing and permits, etc... things I am sick of. Funny, seems our rights and freedoms are the theme of the day, but everybody accepts the fact that the Government has a right to control how we live and what we do to house ourselves. I was hoping that NH was different but it isn't looking that way to me so far. Are any of the townships more lax than others regarding building permits, inspection, etc?
 I intend to build a log home, we would happily deal with composting toilets until we put in a drain field. We are also looking into going off grid for power to free up our choices in locating a homesite. With all that you would think that since our impact on the local and state resources would be minimal so would their level of involvement. Yet it looks like we would still be subject to inspections, fees and general interference from officials, I thought the whole point in this movement was to be able to live freely. Of course I understand we have local governments to ensure public safety and maintain health standards, but it seems a lot of the regulation is punitive. I am still sorting out the land use clauses and current use penalties, 10% is a hell of a tax to pay and as far as I can see it looks like about 90% of the listings I see that meet our criteria of remote location and acreage are affected. All in all I am getting discouraged, any experiences from early movers that can shed some light here?
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: The skinny on land use
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 09:02:06 am »

The penalty is for leaving the contract. You should adjust your purchase bid on the property accordingly during the negotiations.
As for the septic (perc), its State... but I believe that a compost toilet may be within the scope.

Permits are local, and several on here should be from towns without a permitting process.
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cchris

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Re: The skinny on land use
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 11:24:26 am »

 Thanks John. I am getting antsy being limited to the web to look into this and I really want to get up there and have a look around.
 Of course what you said makes sense regarding the negotiations, guess I am a doubter by nature (my moms from Missouri!). I am glad to hear that permitting can vary and I would assume that the greatest leeway would exist in the less populated areas which happen to be what we are interested in. My wife and I are looking forward to a visit, its looking like this Spring is our closest option.
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: The skinny on land use
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 05:35:18 am »

You also may want to check on how the penalty clause works.
I've placed property into Current Use in the past... but never drawn any out.
It may be that you could draw out a single acre (or whatever you need to hardscape develop) and only pay penalty on its value.

 
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MaineShark

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Re: The skinny on land use
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 09:46:36 am »

You also may want to check on how the penalty clause works.
I've placed property into Current Use in the past... but never drawn any out.
It may be that you could draw out a single acre (or whatever you need to hardscape develop) and only pay penalty on its value.

That's correct.

Also, "current use" is not meaningful, in and of itself.  There are a variety of different levels and types of "uses," which are taxed at different levels.  Changing uses can also incur a penalty.  For example, if you have "unproductive forest," and allow hikers to use it, then put up "no trespassing" signs, log it, and plant a field of corn, you may incur a penalty - the changes moved it from one sort of CU to another (farming isn't as much of a discount as unproductive forest, and there's an additional discount for allowing others to use the property for recreation, which would be lost due to the signage).

Current use can let you drastically reduce your tax burden.  But if it's set up wrong, or is the wrong class of CU, it can be a real problem.  Make sure to obtain detailed disclosure on exactly what sort of CU is being applied, and exactly which acres are subject, if it's less than the total.

Also be aware that the 10-acre minimum can cause you a problem if you subdivide; any lot smaller than 10ac will have to have the penalty paid.  So when there's a large lot in CU, and the ad says that it's already set up for a subdivision, make sure to get the details.

That's not to say that CU should scare you away.  Just that you want to make sure to know what you're getting into, so you can plan your offer accordingly.  If you're doing a mortgage and don't have lots of spare cash, you may want to require that the seller take the land out of CU as a stipulation of the sale, and adjust the selling price (up) to cover the expense.  That way, the penalty is part of the mortgage, not thousands of dollars that you need to come up with, out of your pocket.

Joe
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