Anyone live in or near Spencer, WV

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kenneth in NC, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    What type of area is it? Typical weather in summer? Winter? Growing season?
    I've read on here that meth labs are abundant in West Virginia is this a fact or just myth? Is Spencer a nice town?

    Any info helpful tell me the good, bad and the ugly.

    How are land taxes? Water rights? Building codes?

    Thanks.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  2. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Nobody lives in or near Spencer, West Virginia?
     

  3. Star In N.C.

    Star In N.C. Well-Known Member

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    I've heard it snows a lot in virginia. You better buy some snow shoes :haha:


    Star
     
  4. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    I used to work on a farm right outside of Spencer and currently live about thirty miles from there on the Kanawha County/Roane County line.
    All of Roane County is pretty much "farm country". Known for steep mountains and curvy, winding roads lol. Spencer is the largest town in Roane County and has approx 2000 residents and the rest of the county has itty bitty one horse towns with an average of probably one hundred or so people. It is a very small town so really the only thing that is there is a Walmart, a county courthouse, two or three gas stations, a Wendy's, two grocery stores, a few run down locally owned dept. stores, a bank, a livestock auction barn, and one or two garages. There is a hosptial somewhere around there but I don't know where lol.
    Summer averages in the eighties winter (in this portion of the state) averages in the upper twenties lower thirties. We do on ocassion get a pretty good amount of snow but usually only a few inches. The heavier snowfall is in the mountains in the northern part of the state.
    Property taxes aren't too bad. You should expect to pay 300-600 dollars. Building codes? Building codes in WV? You're kidding me right? :haha: You can do whatever you want as long as you aren't trying to do it in the middle of town and that I really couldn't tell you about. Spencer is the only town in Roane County that has building codes and that kind of stuff everywhere else you can do whatever you please without worrying about codes, zoning, and things like that. Yes, WV DOES have a HUGE problem with meth labs although I have never heard of one being found in Roane County it is mainly Kanawha, Putnam, and Cabell counties' problem.
    The people here are really friendly for the most part. You can expect to be waved at by people you have never seen before in your life or helloed for no apparent reason and don't be surprised if someone strikes up a conversation with you in the middle of a store.
     
  5. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Connie and I went there once. Looked at a couple of farms. Nice area, VERY cheap land prices. Friendly people (at least the ones we met).

    The only problem is that it is about an hour to the freeway. Every road is as crooked as a politician, and most of them are dirt. It floods a lot, I think. There is a wal-mart in Spencer, but not much else. If you didn't have a way to work from home, finding a job might be difficult.
     
  6. CulturalInfidel

    CulturalInfidel Member

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    I live around 30 miles from Spencer.

    RedneckWoman gave a fairly accurate description except for the fact that there are indeed beaucoup meth labs in Roane County and in Wirt, Clay and Calhoun counties which also surround Roane. But I wouldn't worry too much about them. Those guys seem to do an outstanding job of killing each other off. They have managed to declare their own special war on drugs.

    As Chuck mentioned, floods can be a problem in the area.

    I'm originally from PA, lived in SC for around 8-9 years and have seen much of the world and I'll tell you straight up...after living in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia for the past four years you couldn't drag me out of here...no way...no how...

    Here are a couple of links to local online news:

    www.thetimesrecord.net

    www.hurherald.com

    Peace
     
  7. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I'll ask the realtor about flooding. Guess i didn't think about WV being prone to floods. Anything else I should ask about before making a trip to look at the property?


    What is a ball park range of asking price per acre on 15-20 acres around Spencer?


    Thanks for your input.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  8. CulturalInfidel

    CulturalInfidel Member

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    Off the top of my head, some questions to ask the realtor which should also factor into the asking price of a particular property in the area would be:

    1) If you plan on having electric & phone service...Are there lines running to or near the property?...Cell phones are virtually worthless in this area.

    2)Will your mail be delivered there? Or will you have to get to the nearest road that has a mail run?

    3) If you have any children going to school...Does the scool bus run out there?

    4) Availabiliy of a reliable water source?...Is it perc tested?...I lived in a place nearly at the top of a ridge in a nearby county for six months and I rarely was able to maintain a steady supply of running water...I had to go to a hand dug well and pull it up a bucket at a time. The septic system, if one could truly call it that, was not anywhere near a working one.

    That's about all the questions I could think of for now...When and if you decide to look at a particular place be sure to talk to your potential neighbors.
     
  9. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    I would definetly ask about utilities. There are quite a few places out there that I know of that are so far back in the sticks that no matter how much money you would be willing to put up the electric company, phone company, ect will not run the lines to. You can get signal on a cell phone in town but the rest of the area is a huge dead spot. Ask about the water because as far as I know (they may have changed since I heard last) but the only time you can tap into city water is if you live within a few feet of Route 119, Route 36, or Route 33 and there are some folks that have to haul their own water. I think the prices per acre usually run between 500 and 1000 an acre with the average being closer to 1000. I don't know what type of land you are looking at/for so it is hard to say what you should expect.
     
  10. dscott7972

    dscott7972 Well-Known Member

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    I'm only ten minutes from Spencer, IN.
     
  11. SectorSteve

    SectorSteve Well-Known Member

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    You might want to look at the website for one of the realtors in the area, Greenlee Properties. I stopped by their office in Sutton, WV. I know they have an office in Spencer, WV and handle alot of properties up that way. www.greenleewv.com
     
  12. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    So utilities and septic could be a big problem. I got an e-mail from the realtor He's supposed to call me Monday with all the particulars. I just sent him these questions as well.

    The place has a old farm house on it but as we understand it it needs repairs. There is a well but he has yet to say much about water.

    The asking price is $4500 per acre. There is supossed to be a "stocked pond" and the "BIG" selling point was it has free gas on it.

    How deep do you have to dig (I guess a bored well would be best?) to have a good reliable CLEAN source of water?

    From best I can guesstimate the property is about 50 minutes away from Charleston. Is there any employment opportunities in Charleston?

    Thanks for your ideas and help.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  13. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

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    do be wary of the condition of the well, gas well, that is. Who owns it? Ask for the lease information, as to how much it produces, ask for the paperwork that comes with the royalty check. It should state on it what the well puts out. A gas well that is spent out and the lease dropped MAY give you enough to heat your home, or it may need a bunch of work to keep it going, or it could be a goner. Ask. If the landowner lives there and burns wood or has propane tanks, it's a clue to the condition of the gas well. What are the limits set for homeowner use, by the holder of the lease, most are very generous, but good idea to check, and is it metered? How far from the home is the well? What condition is the supply line in? Is it accessible to repair? Where does it shut off? Are there joints in the line that could come apart and about where are they? Find out all you can about this while the owner is available to answer. Take a 4wheeler to explore the property if it is rough, and it might be.
    Was it ever logged? Will you have timber rights or is that leased too?
    Ask if the owner is aware of any other homesite in thel ong ago . Be advised that if so, there could be an abandoned dug water well that you don't want to discover by accident.
    We live in Ohio, but have traveled thru WV, and Spencer is a farming community as others have said. You can get used to the curvy roads and the hills. Charleston is a large city, still has some industrial plants, though opportunities in labor may be limited. If you have computer skills and business related degree or medical field education, you probably wll find something.

    One of the above posters can get you a Charleston Gazette newspaper website to look at for emplyment opportunities. Good luck.......Margo
     
  14. Nina

    Nina Well-Known Member

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    We looked in W.V. recently. The free gas thing is questionable. DH said that sometimes the gas has to be cleaned up or it may be unusable. He also said that'd be pretty costly to do. There is a lot of affordable land there, but it wouldn't be in areas where I'd want to bring up kids. There was a lot of poor living in the southern half of the state. Many lots were on the side of a mountain. Did you try unitedcountry.com?
     
  15. CulturalInfidel

    CulturalInfidel Member

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    The term "free gas" can be slightly misleading at times. I say that only because there are so many variables that are unique to each situation.

    I've heard that in ideal situations one rule of thumb to gauge the value of truly free gas in this area...and this is based upon the assumption that the market price for gas isn't going to take any wild spikes up or down and , the property isn't going to be sold and the lines/wells coming through your property aren't going to have a change of ownership....is that over the lifetime of a young couple just starting out the value of that gas is around $30,000.00. I have no way of proving or disproving that statement but on the surface it seems reasonable to me that it might be a number worth considering. At least it's some sort of starting point.

    If I were looking at the property I would try to find out the answers to the following:

    1) Who owns the lines/wells providing this free gas?

    2) What is/are their reputation(s)?

    3) What are the usage limits, if any?...Are they restricted to only the main dwelling?

    We have a good deal with free gas here...The guys who work the lines we pull from take care of any problems (not that we've had many) immediately. We're pulling from a main transmission line so I'm sure that has at least something to do with it. But in addition to that these two guys are simply great guys, period.

    If the line/well you are pulling from is privately owned and isn't required or doesn't have the need, for any number of reasons, to fix the problems ASAP...uh...that could very well be a different story...

    How deep to drill for good, clean, reliable water? If you drill the well on bottom land that could be as little as thirty to sixty feet around here. No guarantees of course but usually that could be a reasonable assumption. If you have to drill on higher land such as near a ridge top or on top of some these ridges around here, unless you're lucky and run into some sort of spring you might drill over over a thousand feet and not even hit water. Or you might hit water but I don't really know how reliable it would be. There are certainly exceptions to all of this but it's a gamble, for sure.

    Every property is unique so only you and your family can make the price decision on its value to you. A lot of property around here, especially those with older houses and barns and such, even if needing repairs, (what doesn't need repairs) to me, has so much charm that it's never easy to put a price on it.

    You can always make a much lower offer..."you're not from around here are ya?" is going to factor into it as far as the realtors are concerned...so use that to your advantage instead of theirs.

    Charleston should have various job opportunities available. If you can't find something you like there or decide you'd rather not make that daily trip...just invent your own job/jobs...that's what a lot of folks around here do.

    The best advice I could offer is, if you are able, take your time, look around meet some folks...there are plenty of properties for sale around here that are not through a realtor...I'm sure you and your family will find something to fall in love with at a price you can live with...

    I think RedneckWoman would agree.

    Let us know how it's going...and ask questions anytime
     
  16. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Some good points have been made about free gas, I just want to add my 2 cents!

    If there is free gas that may mean you do not own the mineral rights and free gas is to appease you as the surface owner. Ask to see the agreement about the free gas to be certain it is transferable to new owners. Our well does not have a meter on it, so though there is a very high limit on what we are to use per year, it is a moot point. How do they access the property? They will come every month to tend the well and change the paper disk that monitors how much gas went into their lines. Get to know this person as they know much about your well and can help you if there is any problem with the gas.

    Also, find out when/who put in the gas line and where it is located. This way you have someone to call to help you out if there becomes a problem. The only treatment I know of that the gas will need before you get it might be a drier, which cost around $300 installed around my area of WV (least that was the price I was quoted-we don't have one--its on our list as it extends the life of your gas appliances I've been told).

    Get the name/address/phone of the gas well tender and the company who owns the rights. Contact them and ask questions. Document this, even get it in writing that the rights to the gas are transferrable. The name/address of the company is supposed to be posted ont he well itself by law, so you can get it when you tour the property.

    In WV it is very important to check on floodplains and undermined areas.

    Redneckwoman and others described the area pretty well. I will add that there is an active goat group there that I see listed for meetings in the Market Bulletin often, though I have never attended. Also, there used to be a nursing home, affiliated with the chain I used to work for. The rookie admin staff was always sent there first.

    You can find the Market Bulletin for WV online and see farms and stock for sale.
     
  17. mkoonrn

    mkoonrn Member

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    Kenneth,
    I live about 1/2 hour from Spencer in Wirt County which borders Roane
    Co. (Spencer). Spencer and the surrounding areas are a mix of good ole boys, old and new homesteaders. Spencer itself seems to have more murders and serious crimes than most small towns or small counties around here. I'm always surprised by that because Spencer is a sweet old kind of town. I think there are usually drugs or love triangles involved with most of the serious crime. The price of land has risen alot in the last few years. We sold our small farm-44ac 2 great barns, old farmhouse, creek, all fenced- for 75,000 six years ago due to my late husband's health. Today it would easily be worth 2x the price. The property taxes on the farm were less than $200 a year. Unless you have some kind of home based business, the drive to a larger city can be anywhere from 30-60 min one way. How much property are you interested in? The building codes in the outlying towns are little to non existant. I have 3+ acres a mile outside of my small town, and I can build whatever I want for a $10 building permit. I am currently remodeling a house in town w/o a permit. I'll get one this spring when I start to do my construction (I'm destructing now).
    There are several weekly ad bulletins in this area. That's where I would look because the properties listed are by the owners and are cheaper most of the time. Some properties are sold on land contracts. PM me and I will get the phone #'s for you for these weeklies.
    I didn't mean to make Spencer sound like a crime ridden place because it isn't. I think most small towns around here are wonderful. I could never have made it through the last year and a half without the support of the people in my small county. My oldest son was in Iraq all year and my husband was dying and eventually passed away. My husband's co workers brought us food every day for months and everyone gave us money when I took a leave of absence from my job to take care of him. That's the kind of things that you can't find in a big town. We would do the same if anyone moved in to our town and was in a difficult situation. No one is a stranger here, and everyone knows your business ( which can be good or bad, depending on your business!!!).
    If you consider this area, also consider Wirt and Jackson Counties. They are great farming counties also. Jackson is a large county with I-77 running right through it. Ripley and Ravenswood are nice homey towns, not too big, not too small. Elizabeth is the only incorporated town in Wirt Co. I believe the population of the whole county is less than 6.000.
    Good luck in your search, hope you like this area and can find something that works for you.
     
  18. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Spencer house and land

    Perhaps you could check out this place (or maybe this is the one that has prompted the question) Being from OHIO, the price sounds to good to be true, but then after reading all the things to be aware of on this post, I understand why.
     
  19. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    The property that prompted us to start looking in that area was http://www.countryhomesrealty.com/search_all.htm

    But now were changing gears things have made it where we are going to have to wait for a while to relocate.:waa:


    Kenneth in NC