Monday, January 9, 2012

Lebanon Zoning, Soil Survey, a Comparative Market Analysis, and Putting Together a Business Plan

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I stayed home sick from work today, but tried to make the most of it by looking into lots of details of the Lebanon Farm.  Thankfully, everything checked out okay!

Lebanon is a very farm-friendly town, with lots of large dairy and poultry farms.  Most of the specific zoning regulations pertain to large "indoor" farms (building sizes, manure storage, etc).  It doesn't seem like I will have any challenges raising pigs, chickens, and vegetables on the land.

Agriculture including dairies, the breeding, raising and keeping of cattle, horses, sheep, and other similar animals but specifically excluding kennels except as regulated below; riding stables; truck gardening; greenhouses and forestry operations; poultry provided fewer than 200 birds are housed; poultry operations having more than 200 birds provided the total floor area of all buildings on the lot used in the poultry operation does not exceed 50,000 square feet, the lot area is not less than five acres, all buildings and accessory facilities used in the poultry operation including those for waste storage and treatment observe a minimum 100 foot setback from all property lines, and the total floor area of all buildings used in the poultry operation does not exceed 15% of the area of the lot. 

The only challenge will be an area towards the back of the property, where a neighboring house is less than 100 feet from the property line, in an area I had hoped to use for rotational grazing.  Hopefully good neighbor relations and a wide buffer will make it a non-issue, otherwise we'll use movable electric fencing to make it work.  No big deal!

The soil survey also turned out just fine.  There is a small area of wetlands towards the back of the property, as well as a stony area, but most of the property has very good soils on flat lands.  I'm not sure I'll be able to do a soil sample now that the grounds are frozen, but I'm hoping the current owners took samples in the fall (if not, I'm not too concerned, the gardens look beautiful and I expect it will need minimal amendments).  

My real estate agent also complied a Comparative Market Analysis that justifies the price of the property (listed at $324,000) closer to $296,000.  On Wednesday we have a second viewing of the property with the listing agent as well as the current owners, and afterwards we plan to meet to discuss a bidding strategy.  The house is only a little overpriced, so we want to put in an offer that leaves a little room for negotiation, but still seems fair.  
The whole process is going so FAST this time!  It's stressful, nerve-wracking, and so so exciting all at the same time.  I feel rushed to compile a decent business plan so that my loan application is accepted as quickly as possible and spent a good amount of time working on it today.  Everything is just such a whirlwind!

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