Home Buying in 08817>Question Details

Annie_nj, Home Buyer in 088904

Will a small stream in the backyard be an issue to consider a house for buying?

Asked by Annie_nj, 088904 Tue May 27, 2008

We were looking for new houses in central NJ and found one that meets our needs. But the only issue is that theres a small stream runing behind the house which limits the use of the backyard. Is there a way I can find out if the area is wet land and will this depreciate its value? What all are the restrcitions for these kind of areas?

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the issue is not only wetlands (which should be disclosed by the seller, but also if the house is considered in a flood area (which will affect your homeowners insurance, need for French drains in the basement, etc.), etc. Streams also attract rodents and animals. Finally, many families with small children will not buy a home with that kind of backyard as it is a liability waiting to happen. Fencing it off will help, but still.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Are you referring to a home in Monroe Township? There are quite a few homes with good size properties that have flooding issues with small streams running through the backyards...
You should consult with the town engineer to determine the scope of the flooding concern.
You could also ask about drainage alternatives that may mitigate the issue.
Tom Hinz http://www.shortsaletosell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 29, 2016
There is a vertical stream and creek running through the 5 acre property in Mission, BC. elevation pretty low.. Beautifully maintained.. there was flooding in mission in 2012, this property not affected for over 50 yrs.. any suggestions should I offer low because of stream?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2016
Firstly, it should NOT be a wetland, according to your description because if it is, you can not build a house at the first place for sure. When you build a house, you need to have raw land subdivided and that process take 19 government agencies to approve, and NJDEP is one of them.

So, if it is already subdivided from raw land to building lot, it should be fine and buildable. And, as I can guess, this building lot is BIGGER than all other building lots of the same builder because you need sufficient building envelope to put a house to be built. That is to say, you get what other building lot has PLUS the wetland adjacent to your lot and of course a free small stream.

You can NOT build on the webland area of your building lot, but if you carefully look at the NJDEP maps, you see the 100 year flood line and 30 year flood line. That is to say, beyond that line no flood for past 100 years or 30 years. e.g. do not think of building a tennis court at your backyard that fall in the webland.

Also, the land should be high in front and low in the rear, according to what you describe, and it is a nice lot to build a house with "walk out basement" where wealthy people love in their million dollar house, and your main floor would be 2nd floor and 3rd floor. From front, you shall have a steps up to your main door. The house shall look very luxurous and huge. Space wise, you got full basement, but you can walk out in the rear with glass door.

If there is big area of your lot that is in wetland, you can also deduct tax for Conservation Easement, meaning you "give out some right" to governemnt to preserve the environment, in turn, you deduct the loss from your income tax. That's why many wealthy colleagues and friends I know bought land with huge conservation easement and use them as tax sheltor ...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 22, 2008
Thanks for the answeres. If the area is a wet land based on NJDEP maps, should I not consider even thinking about this property. What are the disadvantages of buying a house built on a WET LAND?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
If stream shows on survey there may be a 100' setback as the state increased these a few years ago. This may mean you could not expand the home. As others state you may need flood insurance Best to ask your attorney (and everyone else and get it in writing). It could be a lovely water feature or nightmare.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008

The agent representing you should be able to answer these questions. But given you seem to have asked them, here are some concerns:

You need to get the flood zone status of the property. If the property sits in a flood plain, it may require you to get flood insurance - least of your worries. If it sits in a flood plain, do you really want the headache of having to potentially deal with a flood?

As you also suspected, you could be dealing with wetlands restrictions. You need to get a copy of all title disclosures, including the survey, deed restrictions, etc. This can get complicated, so seriously consider getting an expert to deal with all the questions, which your agent should have access to.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008

My wife and I were looking at houses a couple of years ago. We found one we really loved, but decided against it because it had a stream in the backyard. We were worried that the stream could prevent a danger for our very young daughter. Admittedly the risk was very low, but we just didn't want to take the chance. If there are more buyers out there that think like we did, this could hurt the re-sale value of the house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
The best place to get this information is to go to the citys water works & parks department. They should have info about wetlands and their limitations. As for depreciating values, it all depends who you ask. Some like to live so close to nature, others not so much. Have your Realtor do a complete analysis on the property and compare what you are told by your Realtor to the info obtained from an appraiser. You may also want to check with your Home Insurance carrier and determine if additional insurance is required because to this stream.

Good Luck
Cynthia (Cindy) Nina-Soto
Web Reference: http://www.NinaSoto.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Contact the municipality where this property is located. They can advise you whether the property is in flood plain (which could increase your home owners insurance cost) It may be considered wet land or conservancy, which depending on your local restrictions could determine what may or may not be done with the land. Depending on the size of the property this could be an asset or a negative - if you like the privacy and water frontage...

Just make sure you are satisfied with the answers you receive on the land use prior to making your decision. Hopefully your agent may be able to access some pertinent data for you also.
Web Reference: http://www.GoPackerUp.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
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