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Old 08-06-09, 08:43 AM   #1
artifice
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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.

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Old 08-06-09, 08:46 AM   #2
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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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Old 08-06-09, 08:47 AM   #3
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It is definitly worth concern. Not sure whose responsibility it is
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Old 08-06-09, 08:47 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:49 AM   #5
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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.

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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.
yikes! good to share.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:00 AM   #6
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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
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Old 08-06-09, 09:03 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:10 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:19 AM   #9
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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.
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.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:25 AM   #10
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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.
This thread was made of win.
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Old 08-06-09, 09:55 AM   #11
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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).
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Old 08-06-09, 09:57 AM   #12
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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
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Old 08-06-09, 10:04 AM   #13
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Trees happen to mostly be made of wood.



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Old 08-06-09, 10:07 AM   #14
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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).
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.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:09 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:37 AM   #16
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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.
it is a nice shade tree. would save on A/C bills big time!!
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Old 08-06-09, 10:45 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:51 AM   #18
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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?
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Old 08-06-09, 10:51 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:54 AM   #20
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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?
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.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:58 AM   #21
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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!

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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...
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Old 08-06-09, 11:01 AM   #22
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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.)
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Old 08-06-09, 11:02 AM   #23
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Old 08-06-09, 11:16 AM   #24
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I have no useful info, just stopping in to say Hi Arti!
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Old 08-06-09, 11:21 AM   #25
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I have no useful info, just stopping in to say Hi Arti!
HIIII UA!

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can i get a free NEW house out of it?! sweet.
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