AR/MO land questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by greenacresusa, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    My S.O. and myself are planning to buy some land in the Ozarks in either the Newton County (AR) area or around the Gainsville/West Plains/Thayer (MO) area once we sell her house this next spring. We hope to get 40+ acres with a stream/creek. Then do a little work each year as we can, adding a small cabin, electric to the cabin, well, adding a barn, fencing, etc. We retire in a little over 10 years and then will be building our retirement home there. We are homebodies so we want very rural/isolated areas, we plan to only go to town once a week or less for supplies, etc. Some questions have come up that people in the area may be able to give their help on:

    In your view which is better, AR or Mo in those areas and why (taxes, people, etc)

    Can you put a clause in the contract on the land if your well doesn't hit the minumum gallons per minute? (Here if you have that in your cotract and the well isn't good and/or the land doesn't perk you're not liable to go through with the purchase).

    How expensive is it to run electric from the road to a homesite, maybe 1000+ feet and can it be buried vs overhead wires and if so any ideas on ballpark prices?

    Is the land in most places difficult to dig for putting in a basement on the house. We plan to build a rancher type house (don't want stairs when we're older) with a walkout basement if possible.

    What is the internet access like in those places, is it all dial up for most places outside of the towns?

    Anything else we should consider before making a choice?

    We've been to the areas once each year for several years (different seasons to see what it's like out there) and have those areas as possible places to retire to when we can. The people are all fantastic as well as the land.

    Thanks for any and all help you can give.
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    between the two i like ar. but that is where our land is at i think there both great by us in the country they now have dsl. taxes are cheap and you can do pretty much anything you want
     

  3. kate

    kate Well-Known Member

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    mainly i like the west plains area, because it is agricultural and cattle area. i prefer people in those occupations..........
    basements are touchy in areas like mo and ar where you get 2 to 4 inches of rain in a short time., so i would watch out where you choose to build. for me streams are out, they just draw people to fish and trespass and in the ozarks, what you own, some people think they have a def. right to use it also for their own use. it can be a problem.............lakes are out for the same reason. local people have used these types of areas forever and will not quit, just cause you bought it........they have their ways and you need to pay attention to these facts, they can make your life uncomfortable.
    not familiar with ar tax structure, although in the rural areas taxes are usually not a problem, as they have no services.............or rules or regs............things i like, but something outastaters need to remember.
     
  4. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    You might want to look at this property listed with United Country in the Gainesville area. Dont know what price range you can manage but this seems to be what you are looking for:

    http://www.unitedcountry.com/ucforms/uconline/uconline/searchNS/Search_View_Selected_Property.asp?SID=14053924&Action=Edit&Item=545146&Page=2&Office='24039'
     
  5. LittleJohn

    LittleJohn Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in the West Plains area and live near Bradleyville now.
    I honestly dont know which is better between AR and MO. I know thier used to be a lot less laws and lower taxes in AR but Clinton realy worked that over from what I hear. West Plains is a decent enough town it has the services of a much larger town because its the hub for the whole area. One nice thing about it is the groceries there tend to be cheaper than anywhere else in the area.

    In most of the Ozarks water isnt a problem its just a matter of how deep you need to go to get it. Most wells are 120-250 feet deep but thier is an area east of West Plains that can run 500-800 feet so GPM isnt a problem its just a matter of how deep/expensive it will be.

    The REA (Rural Electric Ass.) will usualy run the lines to you at no cost unless its a very long way. I dont think 1000 feet would be a problem but it wouldnt hurt to ask them yourself when the time comes.

    We have clay soils here so for basements you need somone that knows what thier doing a walkout basement is usualy fine cause its on the side of a hill though. Just make sure they level it before they start and put in at least 6 inches of chat and drains all round. of course its possible to hit solid rock which would be expensive to dig out but it just depends on the building site usualy not a problem.

    Unless your within a mile or so of a larger town or in the limits of some smaller ones internet is all dial up. DSL isnt even planed for our area at present :(

    Other considerations. Well it gets hot and humid here in the summer that has always been my biggest gripes! Weatehr is always unpredictable some summers you get enough rain to grow a good garden but often you have to water them (this year has been one of the driest on record).
    Also pests are a problem. As everywhere the animal nazis are turning loose all sorts of nasty creatures like bears, wolves, cyotes, rattlesankes ect... all those things that were wiped out in more enlightened times. So it can be difficult keeping small livestock it does take a lot of thought and good fencing. But you will have to continuosly replace small things like guineas or chickens unless you keep them in cages. And sometimes you can lose larger stock (you have to be carful with goats you need a dog/cyote proof fence)
    And the worst pest is chiggers if your unfamiliar you should come visit some time I will introduce you ;) Speaking of which thats what the guineas are for to eat them and the ticks, wish we could keep some for the varmints! Even if you put them up at night you just have to foget once to close the door at night or get home after dark and what isnt dead wont go back in the roost so gets eaten peicemeal.
    When I was a kid we had rabbits and quail in abundance now theirs hardly enough to hunt. With the cyotes and hawks being introduced they fell into serrious decline. I think the quail are in serrious danger of dieing out from all the varmints.
     
  6. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everybody for all the thoughts on the Ar/Mo areas.

    From what I could tell from previous trips and research it's a tough call which is better MO or AR. Either way I think I'll be a winner when I move to either area. Taxes are much cheaper there than here (Maryland). I think we're like the #5 top taxed state in the country although we in the outlying parts hardly see any of the money from those taxes being used for us. I had to chucke one time however when I was looking at modular homes in Mountain Home, the saleman said if you want cheap taxes go to MO, I thought the ones in AR were cheap enough already. Does seem that MO has a slight edge but I would be happy with either tax setup.

    The thoughts on ponds/streams still being used by "old timers" is a good thought. It used to be that way here years ago too. Where I am in MD, close to the MD/PA state line used to be all farm land and we had people crossing our land all the time too. That's one of the main reasons I'm moving out to AR/MO is that all of the city people (Baltimore/D.C.) have discovered "the country" here and made it a crowded bedroom community now instead of the farm land I grew up on. The roads are choked with traffic, hard to even make a left turn onto a main road without a stop light even in the middle of the night!!! And the smog has even found it's way up here from the cities!!!

    Good remark on the humidity but it's a lot better out there than here. Here we're trapped between the Appalachian Mountains and the Ocean and the humidty is one of the worse in the country. When I was out in AR in the summertimes it was warmer temp wise (90-100) but felt like 80 would here. When we got home from that trip and met the high humidity here we wanted to turn right around and head back to AR!!! :)

    Glad to hear that water shouldn't be a problem, but good point that the well may have to be deeper to hit it. Also good news on the electric running to the house from the road. Maybe I'll luck out and find some land that have the electric and water already there!! :) If not I'll factor that into the offer we make on the land. BTW does anybody out there still use "water witches"? We used a guy for my first house years ago to find the water and hit over 10 gpm, then for the house I'm in now (20 years ago) used another guy and we hit around 100 gpm!! Enough for a town's supply, shhhh don't tell the town nearby, they'll want it!!! LOL!!

    On the internet access, I guess I'll have to use dial up if neccary or maybe use sat access if I can see the southwest sky, thinking of staying with Dish Network for tv anyways. Maybe by then they'll have internet over the powerlines if I'm lucky.

    FolioMark, thanks for the link to the land. We've used United Country online to look at land before. We had just looked at the one you mentioned. Guess good country minds think alike :) Before we head out next year to buy we'll be doing lots of scouting online then contact a few real estate places right before we go to line some viewings up.

    Thanks LittleJohn on your talk about pests and bugs. I'll have to watch out for chiggers, I had a bad case of them when I was crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay years ago as a kid. Had to make a nature call on one of the islands and got a bad case of them on my butt!! Boy was that a painful lesson LOL!!! I'm used to ticks, I get them if I don't keep my lower pasture cleaned up and work down there. But good thing is that my S.O. and I check each for ticks when we work down there and that can lead to other things!! <WEG> Thanks for the talk on coyotes, etc. I saw a coyote up around the Gainesville one year and I had to convince my late wife that it really was a coyote. I like the idea of using guineas to take care of the bugs and I'll to be sure to put them in for the night each night!! I know what you mean about the rabbits and other small animals disappearing. Up here we used to have lots of pheasants but they are all gone as well as most of the rabbits. Besides it's too crowded now here to hunt and all the old time farmers that I knew well and hunted on their lands are now gone.

    Thanks for all the info so far, it's been great. And if anyone has any more ideas on these topics and others on the area I'd be thankful in advance.
     
  7. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I am in Oregon County, north of Thayer. Some of what has been posted in reply to your questions does not apply here.

    We have rocky soil, not clay. Many home around here have basements. If built right, they won't leak, but keep in mind that mild earth tremors do happen here.

    There are several earth berm houses here, so I know that type of construction works.

    Three years ago, I purchased 40 acres an an older home that needed extensive repair for $55,000. I just purchaed 97 acres of timber with a spring for $112,000, so you have an idea of land values.

    Ticks are a HUGE problem here. You must spray yourself with repellant if you are going outdoors, and you must do tick checks every evening.

    Yes, chiggers are bad, too. I keep threatening to bring up fire ants from Texas to take care of the chiggers and ticks! :haha:

    Taxes are low, the people are friendly, and the beauty of the land cannot be denied.

    Oh, about critters. I have never seen a coyote here, but have heard a few in the distance. We do have fox, coons, possums, snakes, and armadillos. Some folks have trouble with woodchucks. The occasional bear isn't because they have been released by someone as implied in a previous post. The Mark Twain National Forest is all over the place here. Look at a map, and you will see that the forest service has spots of land hither and thither. The bears don't read maps well, and they wander from forest land on occasion. :rolleyes:

    If you want to PM me with more questions, feel free.
     
  8. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rose and NWSneaky, you're both right about the land being beautiful and the people so friendly!!! It's like I went back in time to the way it used to be here where I live now. Used to be people knew that home life is sooo much more important than the work life. It's the old saying "work to live, not live to work"!!

    I had seen some houses with basements out there in MO/AR but not as many as here. Around this area most of the houses have basements but seems that is for the most part a Mid-Atlantic thing. If we can't build a basement I'll get used to it. I have seen some berm houses listed on UnitedCountry and they sound very interesting.

    We have fox, possums, coons, rabbits, etc around here but not coyotes. The one I saw there several years ago was the only one so far. Always do see a lot of armadillos out there but they are always upside down with their four paws in the air!! Just like ground hogs around here. I haven't seen a live armadillo yet, I guess the are night time critters. Might have to take some night time drives out there and do some looking that way. Seems like over the years I'm seeing the armadillos more and more easterly of where I had before. It used to be I was past Mountain Home AR before seeing them. This past year we saw them starting near Paragould!!! I still have my postcard from my first visit to the area with the armadillo and the words "Hillbilly Speedbump"!!!! LOL!!!

    Sounds like I'll have to watch for the chiggers and ticks, have some spray here for them but will have to make sure to bring it along next year when we walk the lands we'll be looking over!!!

    Even though it feels great to finally get serious about buying land there next spring, I can't wait to retire there and be there 24/7/365!! Wish I could retire now and not be as old as I will be when I retire although my S.O. is a nurse and she's keeping me healthy :)
     
  9. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We live about 40miles from West Plains and that is a growing town. ..just a sleepy little county seat when we moved here 19 years ago but now has most of the big city frills..except for a decent bookstore,anyhow! Possible plans to make the college a 4 year one will cause more growth. It has a very good hospital and health care system...alot of jobs there. Alot of community involvement.too with bluegrass festivals,fairs, new community hall. Property in that area is getting to be high dollar. You must get 20 miles out or so to find anything reasonable. New xway to connect Poplar Bluff with Springfield,too. DEE
     
  10. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean about West Plains growing!!! Been through it a couple of times and it gets larger each year. The same goes for Mountain Home AR. We hope to get out far away from town to keep them from crawling up on us. We might go to town once a week or less if we can. But it's good to have a large town like that to go to but maybe one that is a half to one hour away. That's why places like Gainesville and/or Thayer might be good for West Plains. In AK we're thinking about Yellsville/Flippin, Newton County, maybe Mountain View area (Izard/Stone Cty).

    I have to admit I love the way the roads are taken care of out there without the large taxes. Every time I go across rt 412/62 there is more construction to widen the road to four lanes. And that's without the heavy traffic load. Here they wait till the roads are choked with stand still traffic and then they start talking about bypasses twenty years down the road.
     
  11. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    our place is 16 miles outside of mt.view far enough it wont build up out there in my life and our tax is 135 dollors on 80 acres
     
  12. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    I had been to Mt View about two years ago and it's a beautiful area. I drove from Clinton over the mountains down into Mt. View. My late wife and I talked to a lady that runs a quilt shop there. She told us she was orginally from Louisana I believe and she loves it there!!

    Now if only I could hit the lottery I'd be out there even sooner :)
     
  13. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    is that grandmas quilts thats down the road from us
     
  14. luckysranch

    luckysranch Well-Known Member

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    We moved from the MD/PA line (Taneytown) to Missouri last year for the same reasons. I suggest that you rent a house for awhile first. Rents are very cheap (compared to MD). Take your time before you purchase because you may find you like one area better than the other. It also allows you to attend real estate auctions where you can get some really good deals. If you are handy with tools there are also a lot of forclosed properties available for really low prices!

    I am very glad we moved to MO, we just love it. We were also very lucky and ended up with the property that was just right for us. Don't be in that "east coast hurry up mode" when looking for a house, there are plenty to choose from. Don't forget better, more relaxed living is why you want to move in the first place.
     
  15. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Dad and mom had some property across the hwy for sale. I'm not sure if they are still going to sell it now. It is 40 acres with more than one spring, and a cave. One of the streams comes out of a cave (which acts as a natural fridge BTW), and runs downhill, so it's gravitational. I personally hope they don't sell it. I like that property over there. But if they need to sell it, then they will.

    However, they are considering putting a saw mill on it, and keeping some cattle and (drum roll please) a HORSE over there. My horse. Always wanted to get one, but never have.

    I personally like it around here. I like all the hills. BEAUTIFUL in fall, and you really appreciate the cool fall air after the hot, humid summer. Only really bad thing is all the dang rocks. Makes gardening a pain sometimes.
     
  16. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    MtMan, I'm not sure of the quilt place. The lady was in her 50s, late 50's maybe. The place was in town but near the edge of town.

    Luckysranch, Taneytown!!!!! I live just outside of Manchester (Melrose) MD on a five acre farmette off of Rt 496 (Baughman Valley Road) in Carroll County. I was born only four miles away in Manchester. Feels like old home week!! :) Our plan on the moving to AR is to buy some land next year. I have been going out for several years looking at all sorts of areas to get a good feel of where we want to go. If we don't find the right land next year to suit us we'll keep searching each year till we get just the right place. As far as the house goes, we'll be building/buying a modular home (not mobile) close to the time we retire which is still too many years away unless the lotto treats me better :)

    I'm not in the hurry up east coast mode, one of many reasons why I love the Ozarks; but now holding my S.O. back is difficult. She loves the area too and we'd be out there tomorrow if she had her way LOL!!! But we really want to take our time, research (talk to people that actually live there), and take things step by step to get there.

    SouthernGurl, sounds like a great piece of land!!! We hope to find something like that next year. Streams and a cave are great. I hope you get your horse. I've raised cattle, sheep, and goats. Right now I have 5 llamas that will be coming out with us but never had a horse. But I am surrounded on three sides with neighbors that have or have had horses.

    It's great to have all the responses we've had so far. All are helpful. And if there is/are anything(s) that anybody wants to share we would love to hear more.
     
  17. LittleJohn

    LittleJohn Well-Known Member

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    Thats a good idea about renting a place and takeing your time. I personaly think land prices will fall due to the higher intrest rates. When I was a small child 25+ years ago land was in the $600-$800 range then times got tough and it was comonly selling for $350 in the last 10 years it has gone from $500 to as much as $1500 in the area I grew up. I realy think its time for land prices to fall again except realy close to town (we lived 8 miles west of West Plains). I wouldnt be surprised to see it in the $800-$1000 range in a few years if things continue as they are.
    As for not as many basement thats partly due to the fact that 8+ years ago lumber was cheap poor people only used as much concrete as necisary. That has switched in tha last few years you seldom see a new house without a basement now.
    As for your S.O. being a nurse thats probably the best chance at a good job in the area though its not gauranteed like it was a few years ago.
    You will probably have to get a ways away from West Plains to find a stream or spring. I would look for a small one if they can float a canoe on it in the summer its state property to the flood line even though no one has ever been payed for the land grab.
     
  18. moodcouple

    moodcouple Well-Known Member

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    We just bought 5 acres outside of Mr. View, AR and love it. We're only 10 miles from town, but the last 6 miles are up a mountain road with the final 2 miles unpaved. We have no problem with traffic for sure. Land prices seemed extremely reasonable to us. Much better even than in Nebraska where we have been living - so they must be unimaginably better than MD. Annual property tax on our 5 acres is $370, but with the homestead exemption the previous owner only paid $70.

    Chiggars and ticks are a big problem - they just love my blood. Everyone tells us there are no mosquitos in Stone County, but that'll have to be proved to me. At night, the air is full of bats feeding, so perhaps they've eaten all of the mozzies. I do appreciate the advice I've gotten on here about dealing with the bugs.

    People are extremely friendly, which seems to be the case everywhere in AR. Used to live in Little Rock, and the friendlieness of the people was one of the motivators to move back to the state.

    Be prepared for everything to take place in slow motion. Nobody moves very fast, and everybody always takes time to visit. Sounds nice, until you are behind them in the line at the grocery. There's no such thing as fast food. It may be cooked quickly, but it's always served with much conversation. Again, nice after you get to the front of the line. The poeple here are the way they are. The only one you should try to change is yourself.

    Oh yeah, when the driver in front of you makes a right turn, be prepared for him/her to come to a complete stop half way through the turn. Don't know why they do it, but I always forget they are going to stop and I've nearly rear ended them countless times.

    Good Luck, and I hope you feel as comfortable in the Ozarks as we do.
     
  19. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information about the streams/ponds. We most definetly want to get land with that on it. We hope to purchase the land next year but will not rush into it. If it takes several years to find the right place we'll keep on looking till we find it.

    That is the good thing about my S.O. being a nurse and being able to get a job out there. But we hope to be retired by then and not need to work (outside of home that is LOL). But if we need to work it's good to know.

    Moodcouple, Mt View is a great area. We had been through it several times. It's great when we're out there; no traffice, great land, and fantastic friendly people!!! No problem with the slow people in line at the store, I tend to talk to the checkout person a lot too when I'm at the store. It feels like it used to feel here many years ago. Gotta love it!!!!!

    Now where is my lottery ticket with the winning numbers so I can move sooner!!! :)
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Broadband over power lines is horrible.
    1. it doesn't work worth a darn.
    2. There are cheaper, faster and better ways to get broadband to rural areas.
    3. It is dangerous. It sprays stray radio interference over a wide swath of high frequency spectrum which interferes with public safety, military, federal government radio systems. If you like to listen to AM radio that is a thing of the past when BPL comes to town. If you are more adventurous and like to listen to shortwave radio then you might as well sell your radio. It destroys any hope of listening to shortwave broadcasts. Likewise, if you are an amateur radio operator you might as well dump your HF gear on ebay since HF is unusable when they start BPL.

    Satellite broadband is an option but some rural areas have been starting wireless broadband access which is a much better option. With some of the newer wireless technologies coming out it gets cheaper and cheaper to get broadband to rural areas. If you are technically minded and looking for a business to start then you might want to look into starting your own ISP. Rural people get overlooked in internet department and while the revenue stream might not be there for a large corporation it might be just the thing for a man to support his wife and family.