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  1. #1
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Found a really great house- with a BIG tree in the yard.

    I know, I have gone AWOL, but I have not forgotten Foo! My search for a house is full-speed ahead, and I actually have to work-- at WORK!

    Ok, So I found a really cute house yesterday. Brought my mom to look at it with my Realtor- and my mom was freaking about a really big tree (which appeared to be in the neighbor's yard, but very close to the lot line) that extended over nearly the entire house I was looking at. She's afraid if it fell down in a storm, it would be a real PITA on my homeowners. Not to mention kill me. I have a call into my insurance agent, but I'm curious about the experiences of Foo.

    • If the tree is in the neighbors yard, aren't they at-fault if it falls on my house?
    • If the tree is in the neighbor's yard, do I have any say in cutting off the branches over my house, or do they have to agree, because they "own" the tree?
    • Is this legitimate, or ridiculous to be thinking about? Making this house-buying decision is hard without the dad of arti, who knew everything and was very level-headed. Mother Arti worries, nit-picks and freaks out about everything. I've got a few family friends I plan to take with for a second opinion, though.


    Last edited by artifice; 08-06-09 at 08:47 AM.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Hey Arti. You really do not want to ask Foo about tree branches. Trust me.

    Neighbor's tenant may try to sue me.

    It will end badly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  3. #3
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    It is definitly worth concern. Not sure whose responsibility it is
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  4. #4
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Ask them if it'd be ok to cut the branches back so they don't fall on your house. If they say no, make sure to bury their bodies in a deep hole.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  5. #5
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trsidn View Post
    It is definitly worth concern. Not sure whose responsibility it is
    good to hear. maybe i should take mom's opinion into consideration. Might see if the realtor selling the home would get in touch with a neighbor- maybe they've been waiting for a reason to chop off a branch.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Hey Arti. You really do not want to ask Foo about tree branches. Trust me.

    Neighbor's tenant may try to sue me.

    It will end badly.
    yikes! good to share.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  6. #6
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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    I do believe that if the tree branches are over your property, you can trim them back as desired. The neighborly thing to do since it is the neighbor's tree would be to speak to them about it before you hack the tree. I am unsure about whose responsibility it would be if the tree damaged your home in a storm. Contact your insurance company. They will have the answer for you.

    "Generally, however, in cases where trees belonging to one property owner fall on and damage or destroy adjacent property, the tree owner is only responsible for damage if some failure to maintain the tree contributed to the damage. If the damage was solely the result of a thunderstorm or act of God, the tree owner will not be responsible, as the damage could not have been foreseen. If a tree limb appeared precarious and the owner failed to maintain the tree after warnings, the owner may well be responsible for resulting damage when a storm causes the limb to fall. If, however, the tree was well maintained and a storm causes a tree limb to crash into a neighbor's roof, the tree owner is not responsible. If the tree owner allows the tree to grow so that it uproots the fence, it would be considered an encroachment onto the adjacent property. In that instance, the tree owner would be required to remove the offending tree. A boundary tree is one planted on the boundary line itself and should not be removed without mutual agreement. Leaves which fall off and end up on adjacent property are considered a natural occurrence and are the responsibility of the landowner on whose property they ultimately come to rest. Property owners in every state have the right to cut off branches and roots that stray into their property, in most cases this is the only help that is provided by the law, even when damage from a tree is substantial. A property owner who finds a neighbor's tree encroaching must first warn or give notice to the tree owner prior to commencing work and give the tree owner the chance to correct the problem. If the tree owner does nothing, the tree can still be trimmed. As a general rule, a property owner who trims an encroaching tree belonging to a neighbor can trim only up to the boundary line and must obtain permission to enter the tree owner's property, unless the limbs threaten to cause imminent and grave harm. Additionally, the property owner cannot cut the entire tree down and cannot destroy the structural integrity or the cosmetic symmetry and appeal of a tree by improper trimming. Local laws should be consulted for applicable requirements in your area."

    http://answers.uslegal.com/questions.php?q=16139
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix

    Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. - John Lennon


  7. #7
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Thanks <3 2 Ride!

    The issue I have at this point, is how to go about having it fixed/guaranteeing the neighbor is ok with cutting it before I would purchase the home, OR ensuring their responsibility in case of a problem if they won't cut it. Seems like risky business to go into with out these for sure's.

    This also brings about the question- who pays to cut it? Do I, since I want it done? Do we split it? Hmm.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    I think you are stressing over it too much. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but seems statistically remote.

    Anyways why don't you retaliate by planting your own trees? In a hundred years you can threaten them.

  9. #9
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
    I think you are stressing over it too much. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but seems statistically remote.

    Anyways why don't you retaliate by planting your own trees? In a hundred years you can threaten them.
    Yeah, I agree somewhat.

    The problem is, Mother of Arti- who is freaking out, and making me freak out. Yes, I'm an adult making adult decisions, but it would be nice to have her blessing and she's going crazy over this tree. So, I'm gathering info and hoping to make an educated decision about it myself.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  10. #10
    Who farted? Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Hey Arti. You really do not want to ask Foo about tree branches. Trust me.

    Neighbor's tenant may try to sue me.

    It will end badly.
    This thread was made of win.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Arti, while you probably have the legal right to cut any limbs over your yard, hacking into the tree as the first thing you do may put your relationship with that neighbor off to a really bad start. My inlaws had that situation at their old house - their neighbor literally cut the limbs on a maple off at the property line. It became a pretty funny looking tree as it grew and I remember that those neighbors were a real piece of work.

    If you want to trim the limbs, you pay for it. Something to be careful about, though, is that the limbs are properly trimmed so you don't damage the tree. If you trim the tree the wrong way, you could expose it to disease and that could become a real problem for you longer term (if you do something to the tree that weakens/damages it).

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artifice View Post
    Yeah, I agree somewhat.

    The problem is, Mother of Arti- who is freaking out, and making me freak out. Yes, I'm an adult making adult decisions, but it would be nice to have her blessing and she's going crazy over this tree. So, I'm gathering info and hoping to make an educated decision about it myself.
    You're right...sometimes there's no reasoning with the mom-factor. She's probably transfering some anxiety to the tree.

    "Make sure you're wearing clean underware if the tree hits you dear"...Love Mom

  13. #13
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Trees happen to mostly be made of wood.



    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrct View Post
    Arti, while you probably have the legal right to cut any limbs over your yard, hacking into the tree as the first thing you do may put your relationship with that neighbor off to a really bad start. My inlaws had that situation at their old house - their neighbor literally cut the limbs on a maple off at the property line. It became a pretty funny looking tree as it grew and I remember that those neighbors were a real piece of work.

    If you want to trim the limbs, you pay for it. Something to be careful about, though, is that the limbs are properly trimmed so you don't damage the tree. If you trim the tree the wrong way, you could expose it to disease and that could become a real problem for you longer term (if you do something to the tree that weakens/damages it).
    My ex and I purchased the house I am living in and it came with quite a few trees. The first thing the neighbors next door said to us was please cut down this tree and trim back several others. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot.

  15. #15
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Can't blame your mom for worrying. That's her job.
    You could always go and ring the neighbor's doorbell.
    Maybe they're cool people. Maybe they're planning to pull the tree down already.
    It will be sad if they do, though, because big shady trees are nice.

  16. #16
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    Can't blame your mom for worrying. That's her job.
    You could always go and ring the neighbor's doorbell.
    Maybe they're cool people. Maybe they're planning to pull the tree down already.
    It will be sad if they do, though, because big shady trees are nice.
    it is a nice shade tree. would save on A/C bills big time!!
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by artifice View Post
    problem is, Mother of Arti- who is freaking out, and making me freak out. Yes, I'm an adult making adult decisions, but it would be nice to have her blessing and she's going crazy over this tree. So, I'm gathering info and hoping to make an educated decision about it myself.
    And if there weren't a tree, she would find something else to freak out about.

    Buying a house is HUGE and it means her daughter is growing up even more, and it's hard to handle, so she will delay the transaction as long as possible. Say you skip this house because of the tree and find another, she will find another reason for you to skip the other house, too, such as "OMGZ, your neighbor is mowing his lawn with his shirt off! You don't want to have to look at that, do you?!"

    Or you could just move out to Champlin and live in a development in a former corn field in an association--then you won't have to worry about tress or dudes mowing their lawn.

  18. #18
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    you want those branches gone, or at least in check. Just think of the additional wear and tear on the roof from dead leaves in the fall and such. It's not out-of-line to approach the neighbors to indicate your intentions (if you do buy the house).

    Is this the only concern with the house?

  19. #19
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    And if there weren't a tree, she would find something else to freak out about.

    Buying a house is HUGE and it means her daughter is growing up even more, and it's hard to handle, so she will delay the transaction as long as possible. Say you skip this house because of the tree and find another, she will find another reason for you to skip the other house, too, such as "OMGZ, your neighbor is mowing his lawn with his shirt off! You don't want to have to look at that, do you?!"

    Or you could just move out to Champlin and live in a development in a former corn field in an association--then you won't have to worry about tress or dudes mowing their lawn.
    lolz. well, i'm looking in mpls (SE), so I'm getting a mix of senior citizens, and yougins like myself moving in. So... it depends who the neighbor is, and if the shirt off is good stuff.

    ahhh champlin?! that's the middle of nowheresville. A friend of mine just bought a house up there. Yucks. If this HOUSE thing doesn't work out, I'm also considering a TOWNHOUSE in the burbs, but I'm not sold on common walls, and HOA's.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  20. #20
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex View Post
    you want those branches gone, or at least in check. Just think of the additional wear and tear on the roof from dead leaves in the fall and such. It's not out-of-line to approach the neighbors to indicate your intentions (if you do buy the house).

    Is this the only concern with the house?
    No. There was some chipped and sagging siding. The house was built in 1909, and has had a nice addition and some remodeling done- BUT, two windows were covered up by something (kitchen and BR, I think)- not taken out, probably because it would have involved re-siding the entire house. (and they were not covered up well- I can see that the windows need taken out from the outside, and the "covering"- some kind of fabric- needs to be removed and replaced, maybe by painting the window instead).

    I've asked my realtor to consider a siding allowance, which might allow me to re-side and fill in those covered windows in one shot.

    The siding isn't in BAD shape, just could use a face lift. But, I don't love it enough to have fantasies of fixing it all myself. But frankly, the area is very nice and a little sweat equity could pay off big time.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by artifice View Post
    lolz. well, i'm looking in mpls (SE), so I'm getting a mix of senior citizens, and yougins like myself moving in. So... it depends who the neighbor is, and if the shirt off is good stuff.
    Ah, you are going to be even closer to me than you were before! I might be your shirt-off-lawn-mowing neighbor!

    ahhh champlin?! that's the middle of nowheresville. A friend of mine just bought a house up there. Yucks.
    No trees to fall on your house...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by artifice View Post
    The siding isn't in BAD shape, just could use a face lift. But, I don't love it enough to have fantasies of fixing it all myself. But frankly, the area is very nice and a little sweat equity could pay off big time.
    True. I read a neighborhood-by-neighborhood report about house prices and in our area... uh-hem, I mean your prospective area...prices stayed the same during this "housing crisis" and just west things actually went up 1-3%. (Go north and they went down as much as 80%, but you know well enough to stay out of there.)

  23. #23
    enginerd jeff^d's Avatar
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  24. #24
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    I have no useful info, just stopping in to say Hi Arti!

  25. #25
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    I have no useful info, just stopping in to say Hi Arti!
    HIIII UA!

    can i get a free NEW house out of it?! sweet.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, itís the memories that are the most precious.

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