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Old 09-08-2020, 04:53 PM   #41
WinterWarlock
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I spent the last week combing through tax data, looking at distances to areas of interest or need, and looking at houses currently for sale (probably not great as the market will surely be different when I'm ready to buy).

Most of the areas on my list I've at least driven through - given this is a rural venture I'm not deadset on one specific village, but rather a large area that would put me in proximity to a specific village and nearby city.

Saranac Lake is still on my list, but the assessments (and thus taxes) are so whacky there I'm not sure this would work for me unless I found just the right place, and could be sure the assessment wouldn't jump up. For this, I really need to talk to the town and understand the assessed values. The other towns I listed make more sense as the assessed values are near the market values. I found in Saranac some are really close, and some aren't... and the tax rate is much higher making affordability difficult. It's not more than I pay now but it's hard to find a house for what I can afford given that rate. In the lower tax areas, the houses are assessed and selling much higher, but given the tax rate it's something I can afford. There really is a big swing in Adirondacks and it's really worth looking into.
One of the reasons we chose Schroon is the proximity to the Northway. I (used to, before COVID) travel a lot for work, and I can be at the Albany airport in 75 minutes and Montreal in 2:15 (my company is in Germany so having direct international from Montreal is good). Thirty minutes to Ticonderoga or Glens Falls for groceries, Home Depot, etc. and paddling and hiking in every direction. The location is quite ideal for us...
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:21 PM   #42
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One of the reasons we chose Schroon is the proximity to the Northway. I (used to, before COVID) travel a lot for work, and I can be at the Albany airport in 75 minutes and Montreal in 2:15 (my company is in Germany so having direct international from Montreal is good). Thirty minutes to Ticonderoga or Glens Falls for groceries, Home Depot, etc. and paddling and hiking in every direction. The location is quite ideal for us...
Yeah - it has a lot of perks. I like the town too, I saw some affordable houses with lake views.

North Creek is not looking too bad either - affordable and about the same distances to things as Schroon. A little further from the Northway, but not too bad.

Also way down on my list (of preference) is Queensbury/Glens Falls itself. Fairly affordable even though taxes are higher in the city of GF. Ballston Spa doesn't look too bad either for affordability. This then puts me closer to daily nonsense but not too far away from fun stuff.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:44 PM   #43
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Isn't SL in like 2 counties or towns? That would change things regarding taxes, etc.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:51 PM   #44
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Isn't SL in like 2 counties or towns? That would change things regarding taxes, etc.
Yes, and no...

The lake itself is in two counties, Essex and Warren. The hamlet of Schroon Lake is entirely in Essex...and the town of Schroon borders the town of Pottersville at the county line.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:11 PM   #45
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I think the SL that Woodly is referring to is Saranac L, which is in two counties in some way. I don't fully understand it, but I've run into references to that situation.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:16 PM   #46
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Yeah, Saranac Lake is Essex and Franklin.

The village of SL itself though has a high tax rate though. The county is not as significant even though they do have different rates.

From what I could see it's really down to the assessed values. The village or town can assess at whatever they want and set the rate whatever they want, but IMO it would be more ideal to have a low tax rate and a high assessment. That's not the case I see in Saranac, but is the case in Schroon.

And anyway, for comparable houses the taxes were about double in Village of Saranac Lake vs Town of Schroon.

Last edited by montcalm; 09-08-2020 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:28 PM   #47
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Just another question for that region in general - how are heating costs using oil/wood compared to natural gas?

I'd rather use oil as primary and wood backup.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:45 PM   #48
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Just another question for that region in general - how are heating costs using oil/wood compared to natural gas?

I'd rather use oil as primary and wood backup.

Iím leaving for camping in the morning but when I get back I can look at my costs for last winter...I have oil heat and propane fireplace and cook stove.


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Old 09-08-2020, 06:49 PM   #49
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Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:18 PM   #50
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I doubt that natural gas is available in much of the Adirondacks, but I could be wrong. Costs for heating are hard to predict, all of the fuels are commodities and are subject to wild fluctuations from year to year, other than maybe firewood which seems a bit more steady. Some places have discounted electricity since the towns are served by a municipal co-op.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:48 PM   #51
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Saranac Lake was the SL is was referring to. Sorry.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:09 PM   #52
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Oh - I know NG isn't available in the Adirondacks. But it's what I have in Western NY, so I was looking to compare.

Even house-to-house it's hard to compare, really. But if you have decent windows and insulation you can get an idea based on SF.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:42 PM   #53
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Factor in some serious cold for Saranac Lake which is often the coldest place in the 48.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:10 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Just another question for that region in general - how are heating costs using oil/wood compared to natural gas?

I'd rather use oil as primary and wood backup.
This may help.....or just scare the crap out of you.
https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Researche...ing-Oil-Prices
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:45 AM   #55
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This may help.....or just scare the crap out of you.
https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Researche...ing-Oil-Prices
Thanks, but that is relatively meaningless to me. I really have no idea how many gallons one might use. I know what I pay in the winter to heat about 1200sf of colonial with modern insulation, windows and high efficiency furnace and h/w heater using natural gas.

That's why I was looking for actual heating costs of people who live in the park.


My mother lives in an area where there is no natural gas and uses wood and oil, but her primary is wood with oil being the backup. Also she has a house that was built in the 1800s with gaps I can fit my fingers in and tar paper for insulation.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:30 PM   #56
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Regarding assessments, they do seem to vary widely from town to town. Here in Johnsburg they just completed a new assessment for the entire town with more accurate market-based valuations. The assessment rolls are available on the Warren County website.

A significant advantage to building or buying a newer home is the improved energy efficiency. Everything built since 2016 has to pass a blower door test to measure air infiltration and exfiltration. Also the required R ratings for insulation went up after 2016. It adds more upfront construction cost but in theory pays for itself in energy savings.

Take it a step further and use 100% LED lighting, ENERGY STAR rated appliances, and a high efficiency boiler for heating and domestic hot water and you will be very surprised by the low energy costs for both heating and cooling.
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:44 PM   #57
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Thanks, but that is relatively meaningless to me. I really have no idea how many gallons one might use. I know what I pay in the winter to heat about 1200sf of colonial with modern insulation, windows and high efficiency furnace and h/w heater using natural gas.

That's why I was looking for actual heating costs of people who live in the park.


My mother lives in an area where there is no natural gas and uses wood and oil, but her primary is wood with oil being the backup. Also she has a house that was built in the 1800s with gaps I can fit my fingers in and tar paper for insulation.
Compare heating degree days from your location to the area you are thinking about. There are tables to convert natural gas usage to oil. You can then figure what a house constructed similarly to yours would cost to heat and go from there. .

Last edited by aft paddle; 09-10-2020 at 11:55 PM.. Reason: TMI originally.
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:01 PM   #58
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After many years camping we decided to go with the dream and bought 6 acres in northern Franklin County. It's remote in the feeling we get just being there, though it's near a state road; fairy-tale beautiful and canoe country.
We were going to design and build a very small place but my husband had health issues, so we got a manufactured shed and did all the work on it for 11 years now. It's still unfinished, but absolutely beautiful and we have the satisfaction that comes with a labor of love.
Very few people, and would like to eventually get to know some,but that will have to wait until retirement.

Last edited by suescanal; 10-23-2020 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:29 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Thanks, but that is relatively meaningless to me. I really have no idea how many gallons one might use. I know what I pay in the winter to heat about 1200sf of colonial with modern insulation, windows and high efficiency furnace and h/w heater using natural gas.

That's why I was looking for actual heating costs of people who live in the park.


My mother lives in an area where there is no natural gas and uses wood and oil, but her primary is wood with oil being the backup. Also she has a house that was built in the 1800s with gaps I can fit my fingers in and tar paper for insulation.

If I were building new I would research geothermal heat pumps. If I were retrofitting or upgrading I would and did decide on Geothermal Heat Pump. Central NY but worth looking https://www.waterfurnace.com/reliabl...CAAEgJCdfD_BwE
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:44 PM   #60
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If I were building new I would research geothermal heat pumps. If I were retrofitting or upgrading I would and did decide on Geothermal Heat Pump. Central NY but worth looking https://www.waterfurnace.com/reliabl...CAAEgJCdfD_BwE
I'm totally with you on this but I've been wondering how suitable the Adirondacks are for these type of systems. I'm betting you'd have a break up a bunch of bedrock or large erratics to create an area of thermal mass where you could actually install a system like this.

For the rest of NY, I think it's a great idea and could really move us away from fossils and into electric supplied heat sources.

Due to the difficulties of putting pipes in the ground in the ADKs, I'm thinking wood and fossils will continue to be prevalent in my lifetime.

I'm actually entirely fine with using wood when I'm around, but a base system like oil is what I want for morning (after wood goes out) or when I'm away from home a lot.
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