How close is too close to a landfill?

12 Replies

Hi,

Looking to purchase a SFR investment property in Rocklin, CA (near Sacramento). In looking over the disclosures, it says there's a landfill 2.5 miles away (west of property) and wastewater treatment facility 3 miles away (northwest of property). Also an active rail road track 0.5 miles away (west of property. All located across the 65 freeway in what seems to be more of an industrial area.

My major concern is the landfill.  Do you think 2.5 miles is too close in terms of odors?  It can get pretty hot in the area so I would expect the landfill to smell but I guess it all depends on the prevailing winds?  I'm in the Bay Area so a bit tough for me to hang out in the area for extensive period of time.  Maybe I try and call some local businesses there and ask?

Also, would 2.5 mile distance to landfill have negative impact to property value?  Since we won't be cash flowing, we'd hope value would appreciate in the future.

Thanks!

I think of this all the time when I drive past the local transfer station. There's a house that is literally 200 feet from the landfill. I'm about 4 miles from it and I have to get within a mile/mile and a half before I can start to smell it. I think at 2.5, you should be fine. Same with the sewage plant. The RR tracks shouldn't be much of an issue either. I'm sure you can hear the train, but not to the extent that it would become disruptive if you were hanging out in the yard.

@Justin F. wouldn’t the bigger question be why are you buying a house that won’t cash flow? We are arguably nearing if not arriving at a peak in property values. On top of that, this doesn’t seem like the best possible location so I’m guessing this one would take a hit on value before one with a perfect/better location.

@Justin F. it really depends on your price point and the clients you plan to put into the SFR. 2.5 miles is actually pretty close and will probably have some issues during the hot months. Is the site still open or is it a closed dump? If it is closed, it will get better over a long period of time... As an example, Milpitas has had a smell issue because of a nearby landfill. It was a fairly strong smell for many years, but now it is only bad a few times a year. I suggest you ask the neighbors or the mailman, they will know.

@Arlen Chou   I bought my first primary in Milpitas in 1975 / 1976..  they called it smellpitas  LOL 

not nearly as bad as it used to be..  and it seems to me google campus abuts the landfill..

probably not an issue for this person being on the other side of the freeway.. it is amazing how much gets dislosed in a CA transaction these days.. 

also while I got you on the line I had dinner with my buddy who has the container home building company you have a standing invite to tour on your next trip north.. !!!

Thanks for your replies!

@Dustin Allen.  Since you're in CA, you're aware of the high prices we need to deal with here.  Very difficult to cash flow unless you go into less desirable neighborhoods.  I know they say, multi-family is the way to go for cash flow but this being my first investment, we wanted to start off slow, someplace with a good school district.  I've also heard there's been a slowdown in the market so maybe it's best of hold off on buying anything now?

@Arlen Chou. I'm told 3bd/2ba SFR can rent for $2,000-$2,300 in Rocklin. It's an active landfill. Think it still has ~25 years before they close it. Even when they close it, it won't completely eliminate the smell throughout the year? I use to live Newark and would smell the odor from Milpitas. The values in Newark (and I'm sure Milpitas) continue to skyrocket (given proximity to Silicon Valley). That probably won't be the same for Rocklin since I'm not aware of any huge tech firms up there. I plan on calling local businesses and asking them about the smell. The homes they're selling in that area are $430K and up. Inexpensive by Bay Area standards but one could certainly buy 2 homes in another state. We actually considered Austin, TX but the tax rate is double CA.

@Jay Hinrichs. Please PM me your buddy's container home building company. Always interested in seeing other ADU options.

"Since we won't be cash flowing, we'd hope value would appreciate in the future."

What do you hope to accomplish in buying a property that will not cash flow? What goal do you have that this would support? Unless you have a tax problem (as in they're too high) that can be offset with passive losses, I would not recommend this purchase.

Of course the counter point is the $million condos built at the base of Mt Trashmore in Key West - Location location location ????

@Jay Hinrichs  

I remember over 20 years ago when the developed the McCarthy Ranch area and they built tech buildings on top of old slaughter house sites...  The smell inside the buildings during the summer were so bad that employees were getting headaches

I am looking forward to heading up there in few months to check out your friends company. I have been poking around a few lots that are undersized that I think would be perfect for a container home or two... I just need to get more clarity from the various cities I am look at and my time line might have just slipped as I am in the process of putting an offer on another small multi in the BA.

@Justin F.

The value of land around Milpitas was definitely held down because of the smell.  But now most people don't even think about it.  It is very good that you are taking property taxes into your analysis!  To many people California investors get excited about Texas without considering how that would impact their tax situation.

Originally posted by @Arlen Chou :

@Jay Hinrichs 

I remember over 20 years ago when the developed the McCarthy Ranch area and they built tech buildings on top of old slaughter house sites...  The smell inside the buildings during the summer were so bad that employees were getting headaches

I am looking forward to heading up there in few months to check out your friends company. I have been poking around a few lots that are undersized that I think would be perfect for a container home or two... I just need to get more clarity from the various cities I am look at and my time line might have just slipped as I am in the process of putting an offer on another small multi in the BA.

@Justin F.

The value of land around Milpitas was definitely held down because of the smell.  But now most people don't even think about it.  It is very good that you are taking property taxes into your analysis!  To many people California investors get excited about Texas without considering how that would impact their tax situation.

Arlen do you remember Milpitas also built a muni golf course but the salt intrusion was so bad they never could keep the grass alive and had to plow it over and develop it.. fronted 880...  

Originally posted by @Arlen Chou :

@Jay Hinrichs I am old but not that old! But I am excited that Topgolf is coming to San Jose!

Top Golf is a Genius idea and execution..