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What to look for when buying a new House?

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#26 csa/montana

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:07 PM

However, coming from southern California trees were unique and rather special to them!!



One doesn't have to be from southern California to make trees unique and rather special to a person.

I personally know how long it takes to grow trees, as I planted one-footer evergreens, and trust me; it's many years for them to achieve any growth. If trees are healthy, it's a shame to destroy them. I saw hundreds in my area destroyed by the pine bark beetle; that area will never regrow in most of our lifetimes.

#27 TCW

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:53 PM

My area has the same problem with bark beetles. Ironically the solution is cutting trees down as the problem is driven mostly by overcrowding.

#28 vsteblina

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:33 PM

Our Forest Entomologist had the following quote "we have an epidemic of trees".

It really depends on where you live....but on the eastern slopes of the Cascades we have a tree density SEVEN times historical. In most of the western US, we have many, many more trees than in historical times. That is one reason why
forest fires burn hotter and many times the acreage today.

It is a little more difficult back east since there are very few records of the historical landscape. And I don't know anything of eastern forest ecology!! But I suspect tree density is much high than historical.

#29 Tony Flanders

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 04:19 AM

I personally know how long it takes to grow trees, as I planted one-footer evergreens, and trust me; it's many years for them to achieve any growth.


It depends where you live. In the eastern U.S., trees are weeds; it's very hard to cut them as fast as they grow. If you don't keep on top of them, they take over in a hurry.

My grandparents bought our property in the country in 1930. When my father was growing up there, it was fields as far as the eye could see -- just lines of trees along the edges of the fields and a few stands of trees here and there left to be cut for firewood. Now it's solid forest with just a few clearings. The very biggest trees are the ones that used to line the fields. But even the younger trees are now 50+ feet tall and a couple of feet in diameter. All of that in one human lifetime.

If trees are healthy, it's a shame to destroy them.


I don't cut any tree needlessly, but I have no qualms about cutting down a few dozen to improve my view for astronomy. There are thousands more where they came from.

I saw hundreds in my area destroyed by the pine bark beetle; that area will never regrow in most of our lifetimes.


That's a different story entirely; the pine-bark beetle infestation is truly disastrous.

There are similar infestations in the East. But unlike the West, where forests tend to be monocultures, we have dozens of species in any given forest stand. So if one species diminishes, others will eagerly take over.

#30 TCW

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:44 PM

Nature will reclaim the land!

The western forests I have seen are far from mono cultures with many different species. The problem here is twofold - excessive fire suppression that historically has thinned trees and eliminated excess fuel and bans on logging that instead of preserving forests, actually contribute to their fiery demise in catastrophic wildfires. Over crowding weakens trees and aids the spread of insects and disease.

#31 FirstSight

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:11 AM

Nature will reclaim the land!

The western forests I have seen are far from mono cultures with many different species. The problem here is twofold - excessive fire suppression that historically has thinned trees and eliminated excess fuel and bans on logging that instead of preserving forests, actually contribute to their fiery demise in catastrophic wildfires. Over crowding weakens trees and aids the spread of insects and disease.


Apoligies to the OP, since we're going off on a bit of a tangent here, but I'll tie this back in at the end.

I spent a summer back in the 1970s working on a HoDad (tree planting) crew in the National Forests of the southern Cascades of Washington state. We replanted clearcuts with monocultures of Douglas Firs (or occasionally, western Hemlocks), bypassing the more diverse natural succession of species that occur between natural wildfires in any given area severe enough to mimic clearcuts - with the planted grove often given a herbicidal head start the year before replanting, to minimize delay from the new trees having to compete with brushy species. Most clearcuts then (and I suspect still are) mostly replanted with near-monocultures. THAT SAID, your point about excess fire suppression having counterproductive effects with respect to vulnerability to insect infestations/greater vulnerability to catastrophic wildfires is spot-on true.

AS TO THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY, any tree cover existing on the vast majority of land, whether it's still rural or else has become suburban or semi-suburban, is a second or third-generation succession forest-in-progress (or more suburban areas, in a semi-arrested state of succession). I have a half-acre of such forest in my back yard, in which a still relatively young and small set of hardwood trees will, if left alone, gradually push out the dominant pine trees over the next 100-150 years. The rub is the extent to which homeowner "landscaping" type culls interfere with the rather messy, cluttered natural process, including the fact that some of the places where both pines and hardwoods "naturally" try to reestablish themselves with young seedlings are inconvenient or unsightly for the look of a well-tended lot. On the scale of a 300 acre farm, fields or other areas stripped of trees will spontaneously regenerate a succession forest over the following few decades. But not so much once the land's been subdivided into half-acre housing lots.

#32 Procyon

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 07:21 PM

Hey guys,

I just rejected a house I was about to buy, everything was going great until I paid close attention to the backyard, it had a North East view, was really well covered on every side, but it had humongous 70 feet tall trees almost on every side leaving me with a circle viewing spot right on top of me... I let it go...

Anyhow the hunt goes on, I am definitely looking now for a house with at least 3 good views with the South as a must. Also, no cottages as it equals to no privacy, I want a bungalow where I can place my scope in almost any corner of the backyard without anyone seeing.

Are these trees good for placing all around the backyard if I find one with no trees?

http://www.homedepot...ld-cedar/991784

What else would I need to buy, how do you plant them, I need to research Cedar planting/growing!

http://www.renodepot...layView?navR...

http://www.rona.ca/w...hView?navDes...

http://www.cedarguys...dgeplanted.html

#33 richard7

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:53 PM

As a general rule of thumb, if you live in or near an LP area then the area just above the horizon is not worth trying to view so anything that grows below that level will probably help.
How far above the horizon that extends is what you'll have to find out yourself.
In this area, I'm deep in a red zone with trees covering about 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon and it helps block some of the LP.

#34 TCW

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:25 PM

Trees will block nearby lights but will do nothing about the overall skyglow caused by city lights.

#35 Procyon

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:28 PM

Well guys, this is what it might be coming down too, these 2 choices for a new house.

 

Which of these 2 would be better suited for astronomy observing purposes or does it mostly depend on one annoying city street light on the first house...

 

Both have nice interiors...1st costs 20k over the 2nd one.

 

1st House

 

https://www.google.c...1f28bf2!6m1!1e1

 

https://www.google.c...a2Q!2e0!6m1!1e1


Edited by Procyon, 29 January 2015 - 11:55 PM.


#36 Procyon

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 11:54 PM

2nd House

 

https://www.google.c...2355576f1567142

 

https://www.google.c...r8A!2e0!6m1!1e1


Edited by Procyon, 29 January 2015 - 11:55 PM.


#37 Procyon

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 12:04 AM

Or do I keep saving n looking for something with a more private yard? I liked house 2's location for quick dog walks...11 year old husky with me too

#38 nitegeezer

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 12:22 AM

Personally, I would not consider the first one due to the high traffic right there.  Take this from someone who was in this position for years, it gets old real fast!!

 

As far as the second one, I am wondering if there are open areas in what appears to be a park where you could be away from bright lights but still have a good view of much of the sky.  It will not be like a dark site, but it may not be too bad.


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#39 BrooksObs

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 09:02 AM

We readers lack far too much in the way of background info concerning yourself and the factors governing your life-style,  like work, maximum commuting time allowable, and family commitments, etc. that play heavily into the choice of the location of your residence to honestly offer much meaningful advice. But with just a quick examination of what I see in the images and maps you provided in my opinion the location (seemingly being immediately northwest of the center of Montreal) and neighborhood's density implies to me that your potential observing situation would be very poor indeed.

 

BrooksObs 



#40 csrlice12

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:11 PM

If you're in the city, LP is just gonna happen.  House 1 had a lot of street lighting close by (appears corner lot?); Is that a park in the background on House 2 or a shopping center over that small rise?  Just look at the moon, planets and brighter DSOs from the house....locate some viewing areas online close to both homes and then go check them out.....that could make a lot of difference, especially if that is a somewhat darker park in the background (if it's safe.  The crime rate and types in the are something to check on).


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#41 Procyon

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:21 PM

Crime rate is non existant...no issues with family...live with my dog and weekend girlfriend, can't move further out, thx!!



#42 aatt

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:32 PM

Check out your potential house at night. Are there neighbors with their floodlights beaming into your potential domicile? It would be nice if you could get some observing at home, but if you have Mr.Spotlight for a neighbor then maybe not.



#43 bogg

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 09:46 PM

If you are considering LP then house #1 has the autoroute lights to the north and house #2 has the autoroute  lights to the south.  If reduction in LP is desired you could choose your desired best direction.


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#44 Bill Steen

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 05:32 PM

Another aspect:  If it is in a home owners' association, make sure you read all the rules and even talk to the HOA about your astronomical hobby. see if there are going to be any problems, like some rule that would keep you from building an observatory to block out stray light, etc.

 

Communicating with them in a way that can serve as a statement in writing is a good idea, even an email that shows their letter head, can help bind them to good statements they make before you move in.

 

Getting an idea about the attitude of the people in the area ahead of time can stop a lot of heartache.



#45 rzep8

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 05:54 PM

Are you ever planning to built an observatory on the site? You may have to consider local zoning, setbacks and permits. This may include even just pouring a pier or slab in some towns as it's considered a permanent "structure". You can't build anything in the setback nor on top of a septic system .My town even has regulations as to how close to the well casing you can build something.

 

From my observation, the eastern states (Joisey is particular) are permit happy. In the Highlands area, any outbuilding is considered an impermeable surface and you're only allowed a certain percentage of non-permeable surface per acre. To show how screwed up this can get, a packed gravel driveway is considered permeable by NJDOT but non-permeable by the NJDEP, both of which may have to approve your permit.


Edited by rzep8, 02 February 2015 - 05:55 PM.


#46 CharlesC

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:02 PM

Crime rate is non existant...no issues with family...live with my dog and weekend girlfriend, can't move further out, thx!!

 

A small motorhome or travel trailer might be the answer.  Make sure there is no covenant rule disallowing parking it on your property.  Great for astronomy weekends.

 

Buying a used home has so many variables that can quickly turn it into a bad deal. 

Heard a rocket scientist once say,"Rocket science?  That's easy, now buying a used home, that's difficult."


Edited by CharlesC, 02 February 2015 - 06:04 PM.


#47 FirstSight

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 10:38 PM

I second going by both houses at night, at least a couple of times each on different nights, if possible.



#48 Procyon

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 11:08 PM

I did...and have doubts on both, I won't feel comfy on a summer night with windows open since both are semi detached houses...I think I'll keep looking. Thanks guys. I really want a backyard where I don't have to think about dick n harry looking at what I'm doing at 1am...

#49 Procyon

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 11:23 PM

Well how about these ones than, things are getting more interesting. :sleuth:

 

I found 2 really nice homes that have nice backyards too. Both homes are detached for sure.

 

Home 1

 

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#50 Procyon

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 11:27 PM

Home 2 (same price but also needs new Kitchen in the next years, and new basement tiles, but is a house at a more preferred location and looks better by outside by far).  Both homes are equally priced.

 

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Edited by Procyon, 03 February 2015 - 11:29 PM.



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