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Land Wisdom

The well-being of a people is like a tree.
Agriculture is its root,
Manufacture and Commerce are its branches and its leaves.
If the root is injured, The leaves fall, the branches break away, and the tree dies.
~Chinese Proverb

Land is our most precious heritage ~ Robert West Howard from The Vanishing Land

Someone told me years ago that a good idea when buying land as an investment is to have some income possibility from the land to cover the taxes and interest when holding. Such as a rental dwelling, some trees that need thinning, hunting rights, cropland, allotments.

  • There is an old timber man saying, “In hard times, land returns to its rightful owners.”
  • Land investors tend to be careful people who love their investments.

The old European families who carried their wealth through generations managed their timber land well. A cultivated forest is positive interaction between the landowner and his environment and generates renewing wealth.

If you want an investment that will not change in value unexpectedly and will have a steady growth rate, consider timberland. With good management , your timber could grow 6% to 10% a year. No change in acreage! You can also enjoy a considerable property tax reduction and hiking, hunting, camping, and viewing wildlife.

Beavers – These rodents can be very destructive to both timber and land. When buying or selling land, it is important to dispose of these critters ASAP.

Boundary Lines – Surveyors do not always mark the property lines they are surveying unless specifically requested. Once the lines are located, they should be maintained by painting them once every 8-10 years. By keeping your boundaries clearly marked, you will avoid, timber trespass, other trespassers, illegal hunting, additional surveying in future years and other potential problems such as adverse possession or land claims. Yes, it should give you a sense of security.

What is This?

Land Wisdom: The Purple Stripe Land Wisdom: The Purple Stripe

Example of No Trespassing Purple Stripe

Many trees and fences in North Carolina have these strange purple stripes painted on them; no, it is not someone getting back to the 1960’s but rather a formal marking of “No Trespassing.” North Carolina has placed in the General Statutes a way for landowners to protect their property without repeatedly posting “No Trespassing” signs along their boundaries – these paper signs hold up poorly to Mother Nature, fading, curling, or even blowing away in the wind. Instead of going through the expense of posting and replacing these signs, landowners paint a purple stripe along the boundary of their property to show that access is not granted without permission.

See the statute – the statute even specifies the size of the stripe, its location on the tree, fence, or what have you – and beware: purple means Keep Out!

Land Wisdom: The Purple Stripe

Example of No Trespassing Stripe Rules

NC General Statute 14-159.7: Regulations as to Posting of Property

Hunting – If you do not live on your land, you might think about leasing the hunting rights to a local hunt club. There continues to be a high demand for lands to hunt. The hunters can watch for insects that might kill pine trees, trespassers or problems with beavers. Besides these benefits, the lease income should more than pay the taxes on your land.

County Property Taxes – If you own more than 20 acres of timber land and have a forest management plan you should be eligible for greatly reduced county taxes. This is a state wide law called “Land Use Tax”. The intention is to tax the land based on it’s current use (forest, agriculture or horticulture), not it’s highest and best use like residential use, commercial use or industrial use. You also may be eligible for tax reduction if you own 10 acres or more of farm land which acres are in actual production and yield an average gross income of $1,000 for three years prior to enrollment. These avenues should be explored with experience and qualified attorney or certified public accountant.

Fire Wood Cutting Tips – Approximately 60,000 folks a year are injured cutting wood.

  1. Never cut alone.
  2. Never cut in high winds.
  3. Never cut when you are tired.
  4. Never stand behind a falling tree or a hung tree.
  5. Never point a saw where you are not looking (someone could be behind you).
  6. Never fell a tree without planning an escape route.
  7. Never cut near a power line.

Here are some simple items to consider when thinking of using land for a solar farm.

If you are thinking about selling your land or leasing it for a solar farm there are a few things you should know.

  1. Most solar companies would rather lease than own.
  2. You should have at least 15 acres of land
  3. The land should be cleared and face the south
  4. The land should be located either close to a town or close to one of the electric utility substations.
  5. Your local utility, the one to whom you pay your electric bill, can assist you with locating their substations.

Good Fences, Good Neighbors

What You Need to Know About Fence Laws

Misc Pointers Of The Day-

SOILS ARE EVERYTHING IN DETERMINING THE VALUE OF LAND. You can go to the GIS page for the County in which you are interested to find the soil symbols for the tract of land in which you are interested. After you know the soils, go online to find the Soil Survey for that County to learn the characteristics of that soil symbols from the charts in the Survey. If the soils are not suitable for septic systems in an area where water and sewer are unavailable or unlikely to be available, the property is suitable for recreational, perhaps forestry and farming and, of course, to hold the world together. A Registered Soil Scientist’s opinion should be sought during the due diligence period of a contract to purchase land.

IMPERVIOUS SURFACE ALLOWANCES – In the years since early to mid 2000 impervious surface restrictions have become an increasing issue regarding land usage. Allowed impervious areas vary with the County and can be as low as 4% in critical watershed areas. An engineer/land planner with knowledge of the area in which you are acquiring land can help you with calculations of your impervious allowance. Advice should be sought on stormwater run off mitigation, permeable paving, and other methods to increase impervious allowances.

SURVIVING ON THE LAND Some Land Buyers want buy land to raise chickens and grow vegetables for their own use. They may have a fishing rod and shotgun to enhance their self sufficiency. There are many popular foraging books on finding sustenance from wild plants as well as books by the US Military on surviving in the wild. Some plants that are mentioned often in these books are Lambs Quarter, Rosehips, Dandelion Shoots, Cattails, Pursalane, Amaranth, Wild Asparagus, Jersusalem Artichoke, and Wild Leek.