Common Questions About Buying Adirondack Real Estate

Buying land in the Adirondacks oftentimes can bring up a lot of questions for the purchaser. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that we commonly hear.

Does the property have a clear title?

With every parcel of Adirondack land we sell our attorney does a title review of the abstract to ensure that the property has a clear and marketable title, which includes identifying and disclosing any easements or right of ways that may exist. Rights such as timber, mineral, gas, and water will go with the property when sold to you.

Are boundaries marked?

The boundaries of every parcel of land sold will be clearly marked. In most cases, the property will be surveyed by a licensed surveyor.

Is the land buildable?

With 30 years of experience buying and selling Adirondack land, I’m very careful to ensure the land is buildable. I refuse to sell a parcel that is not! Any land that is too rocky, steep, or close to wetlands is eliminated as a potential building site. Additionally, the property must offer a location to build that is private and attractive. Most often I will have the building site cleared and brushed out in advance to showing it. Our land is buildable, guaranteed!

Have the soils been perked?

In most cases not. The glaciers of long ago created very well-drained soils here in the Adirondacks. Clay soils, with the exception of the Champlain Valley, do not exist. Though I generally don’t take the time or expense to perk land in advance, I will upon a customer’s request. There have been occasions when an APA permit was required to subdivide one of our Adirondack properties, in which case soil tests were completed to ensure a conventional septic system.

What are the restrictions?

The APA is the state zoning agency within the Adirondack Park. In my estimation, they are a friend, not a foe. The Agency has worked to control and regulate development within the Adirondacks in order to preserve the beauty we all enjoy. The APA has restrictions chiefly regarding lot size, setbacks from waterways, and protection of critical environmental areas, such as wetlands. As long as you meet the required lot size and setback requirements from waterways and wetlands you should be good to build your cabin or home. In fact, in most cases, you won’t even need an APA permit. You can check their regulations and requirements at There is also someone available at the APA to answer your questions at (518) 891-4040.

How much are closing costs?

Closings costs, which include attorney’s fees, pro-rated taxes, filing fees, and title insurance, typically will run between $1,200 – $2000.

How much are property taxes?

Taxes will depend upon the size of the parcel of land, improvements to the property, and municipal tax rates. Taxes in the Adirondacks are almost always much cheaper than anywhere else.

Do all the “rights” such as mineral rights go with the property?

In general, all the rights, including minerals, gas, timber, and water go with the property. Occasionally, especially in Clinton County, the mineral rights will be excepted from the property. These mineral exceptions are almost always very old and date back to when there was some mining in the northern Adirondacks. Today mining is almost non-existent in the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Park Agency regulates heavily against it. Only in cases where mining is completely impractical would I purchase or sell property with a mineral rights exception.

What if I have questions after I purchase land in the Adirondacks?

For Kelly and I, the Adirondacks are our home and you are our neighbors. Whether you need help locating a good builder, require some trees to be cleared, or perhaps would like someone to check on the property, don’t hesitate to give us a call.