Presentation on theme: "So, You wanna buy some land? One man’s experience buying dark-sky property."— Presentation transcript:
So, You wanna buy some land? One man’s experience buying dark-sky property.
What amateur astronomer doesn’t dream of owning his own piece of remote, dark-sky land? A place to observe under a pristine, dark sky. A place to build your own observatory. A place to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and take things slow and easy. A place to retire to.
My “Must Have” Criteria Dark sky. Good seeing. Moderate climate. Low population density. Low rate of population growth. Remote but accessible. Minimum of 5 acres, but more would be better. Water at a reasonable depth. Pretty country. Close to scenic places. Affordable!
My “Would Be Nice, But Not Absolutely Necessary” Criteria Electricity to the property line. Phone (land line) to the property line. Phone (cellular) reception on the property. Fenced. Usable existing building(s) on the property. Nice views.
Tips Consult a dark sky map. Note where the “Pros” build their observatories. Keep your eyes open while on vacation. Search in areas that you already like for other reasons. Choose areas with little growth potential. Look for areas bounded by public lands or Indian reservations. Consult a real estate agent.
I started by looking at this map. It looks depressing, but it isn’t hopeless. There is still a lot of dark area.
The green areas are areas that seemed to meet my criteria and I chose to investigate. Compare with the previous map. The red dot in NE Arizona is the property I finally bought.
“Gotchas” To Watch Out For Cattle. Right-of-ways crossing your property. Set-backs. Water table at extreme depth. The power plant just on the other side of the ridge. Road maintenance. Flood danger. Fire danger. Mineral rights.
Lessons Learned Work with a real estate agent. Internet listings are stale. All the best properties in a new subdivision sell in the first few weeks. Don't believe the hype. Properties never look like the pictures. Talk to the people living around the property you are interested in. Walk the property. Visit the property at night. Don't jump at the first property that looks good.
Zooming into the property on Google Earth
The red dot shows the approximate location of my property and how dark the general area is. This is about the same area and scale as the previous map.
The red square shows the location of my land. It is about ¼ mile on a side. At this scale you can see the individual juniper trees on the property.