Fri 19 Mar, 2004 10:19 pm
What can you tell me about living in an unincorporated area? Good idea? Bad idea? Why?
Any and all details appreciated.
This one's for a friend, thought I'd come across some good info during my own real estate research but if I did I haven't been able to locate it again.
I have some experience as a sub contractor so from that point of view, you only have to deal with the county when getting building permits and dealing with inspectors. Depending on the county it may or may not ba an advantage. But it usually is easier to get things built.
Then there's law issues and police patrol. Some unincorporated areas have no noise ordinance. So if you have noisy neighbors there isn't much that you can do about it. You should check to see if the county has certain ordinances that you would expect.
My friend is looking for an existing house, not to build.
Will look for the county ordinances, that's useful.
There is an unincorporated area smack dab in the middle of my hometown - they have to arrange their own garbage pick-up, the sewer systems are their responsibility, they've had to arrange independent arrangements with the fire department (they have to pay the local department directly for any services provided). Interesting. The taxes are lower, but the overall costs are higher. I suspect it's different in almost every jurisdiction. Definitely something that you'd need to research carefully.
Yup. My house in OK was in an unincorportaed area. There were very few (if any) building restrictions and property taxes were much lower than the two closest towns. The freedom to do what you wanted on your own property was very nice.
On the down side - there were no real public services (trash collection, recycling, etc..) and some of the neighbors did get carried away. The guy behind me built race cars in his garage and he'd be out there revving the engines at 2am on ocassion for example.
Have them check and see if there is a Home Owners Association too. If there is, the covenents are binding so they'd have to live within those too.
I am currently in an unincorporated area after moving from a dedicated village. I love it. For one, you have more freedom to do as you please, ie. having a fire pit in the back yard, and building codes. This can be a double edged sword as others have mentioned. If you have a problem neighbor, good luck.
I also happen to be a police officer, and police response that is a major concern. Police response times in unincorporated areas are much higher, as county officers are usually extremely understaffed, and have huge areas to cover. This of course causes lower taxes though...
Tell him to have a large gun, and an even bigger dog!!!
He actually has an ancient, overweight, and very sweet Beagle. Hmm.
Thanks, rchrusciel. Do you (or anyone else here) have any good online resources/ definitions? It's one of those things that are hard to get a handle on, Google-wise -- I got a lot of stuff that was somewhat useful but not really what I was looking for.
I live in an unincorporated area of the county - it basically looks like an incorporated area - I'm more happy we are not involved in the City politics.
We live across the street from the Grade and Middleschool - so we are always getting plowed out in the winter.
I live in an unincoporated area ... which looks like a bunch of farms, which is whar it is, after all. There of course are no municipal services; you're on your own for water, waste disposal, gas, and the like, and the fact there is no dedicated police or full-time fire service likely will impact insurance rates, and may impact loan requirements. Land use covenants, such as easements, should be investigated and understood. Most unincorporated areas are patrolled by the County Sherriff, pretty much on an "only if called" or "when we get around to driving through there" basis, and served by a Volunteer Fire Department, which may be located quite a distance from the property in question. Road maintenance can be problematic, and building code/land use regulations generally are the province of the county in which the unincorporated area lies. Postal delivery may or may not be available; one might have to visit the post office to pick up one's mail. Of course, as always, there are exceptions. The best advice is to check it out thoroughly and weigh the benefits vs the hindrances in terms of what's important to one's self. I find a rural, unincorporated, lightly populated, un-built-up area is just right for me.