What is it about a dirt road that makes your senses sharper? You have to drive slower and pay closer attention. The trees are taller, and closer to the road. The light is filtered from the leaves above, and as the wind blows, it creates movement, almost an ethereal effect. The understory of the encroaching woods is full of ferns, rotting wood, moist dirt, and life.
OK, out of la-la land! I am an appraiser and Realtor. I need to look at the dirt road a bit different. The main questions I need to ask myself:
In New Hampshire dirt roads are fairly common, but extra research still needs to be done to determine if there’s an affect on value. In a town plastered with dirt roads it’s common and the value is not typically affected. These towns may have more open-space, farms, or conservation areas. People with horses often prefer dirt roads. Towns like Mason, Lyndeborough, or Francestown, have many dirt roads.
On the other hand you have places like Bedford and Merrimack. They are larger towns where dirt roads are not common and therefore would require an adjustment in the sales grid due to not being market accepted.
Marketability aside, dirt roads are dirty, require special equipment to maintain, they are muddy and rutted in the spring, and there is less traction. If it were a public road the town would maintain it. If the road is not town maintained it may be difficult to get a loan or insurance on the property. If the road has a formal, written, and recorded maintenance agreement it should be acceptable to FHA. http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/ref/sfhp1-15.cfm
I like my dirt roads. Don’t care about a muddy car. Seeing how far I can slide in a mud pit is fun. It’s all about the senses really. Sweet smelling, alive, and picturesque…I KNOW THE WAY. I stop to listen to the brook as it splashes over the boulders. You want your smooth, carcinogenic asphalt roads? You want to miss seeing that moose grazing in the wetland because you’re driving too fast? I understand, really. I just choose to go the long way.
Just my thoughts.