Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Oak Tree

My wife is inheriting a house and land owned by her mother who passed away before 2000. Her stepfather lived in this house and land with the oak tree and he just passed away at age 98 in Southern California.

I looked at this Oak Tree which is very beautiful and by itself worth 1/3 of the price of the house and land. However, it's roots have already cracked the foundation to the house because it is so big and old and the house was built in the 1950s when this oak was much smaller then. However, the Oak tree cannot be removed because of the laws where this house is about preserving such large oaks. So, trimming and maintaining the oak tree is what we must do. So, I was talking with a relative who is knowledgeable about such things and he was saying the arborists have trimmed the tree wrong which is causing more problems than solutions. So, the foundation will have to be fixed which is cracked form the oak tree. But, if you trim out horizontally too much from the tree a wind could topple the tree over onto the house or into the road because the wind would catch the top of the oak tree in a big wind off the ocean and topple it. So, this is more than I expected to have to deal with regarding this tree and this house which now will be our second home.

Now, both my wife's mother and stepfather have passed away there. But, it has a great view because it is on a hill near the ocean with a great view of the surrounding area. But, this is also an earthquake zone because it is in Southern California and there might be some danger in a big earthquake of the tree, house and land descending the hillside in a big quake. But, that is another story and question to deal with. But, it is a one level one story ranch house type of structure that you see a lot in southern California. You don't have a basement and it is built upon a cement slab because it never freezes there. (Oh, it might snow once every 20 to 30 years or so as a fluke). But you are so near the ocean that isn't likely to happen much either.

So, this is a new reality but eventually we may move there simply because as we get older we presently live in a split level home with about 10 to 12 steps leading up to our front door and also with a lot of elevation changes on our land so there is one step up to the foyer and kitchen from our bedroom. Then there is another step up from our kitchen and den to our living room and then another step up from our living room to the master bedroom etc. and there are about 10 steps down to our garage from our kitchen area to walk out the garage door. So, as we age this is not to our advantage potentially. Also, it is warmer year around in Southern California than in northern California even if you are on the coast like we are. The ocean stabilizes temperatures anywhere on the California coast. So, only north of places like Crescent City from there north is there ever snow on the coast of California. But there is a great deal of difference between Southern and Northern California. The Biggest difference is there is very little fog in Southern California on the coast compared to the San Francisco Bay area. Where Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  Because the June Glooms chill you to the bone on the northern Coast of California sometimes until August or later. So, the best weather here is spring and fall usually warmth wise.

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