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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH and I currently live in the commercial district of our small town, where we are restoring an old building. I have a teensy little garden in the adjoining lot, but like many others here, it is our dream to someday have more property so that we can spread out and do the 'homesteading' thing (however that might fit within the various definitions of the word).

So, I periodically spend time perusing real estate web sites. Often I am looking for properties that are also in MT (where we live now) and other times I am looking up in AK (where more and more of our business stuff seems to take DH, and me too occasionally).

The frustrating thing about it is that I don't think I am the typical real estate customer, lol. I have a severe distaste for typical residential houses (which is a good thing, or else I woulda gone mad in this renovation disaster long ago, lol :baby04: ) and I want acreage...especially the sort that might need to be reclaimed from abuse or something (I might have a rescue complex or something....and we don't want to develop pristine land.....). I would rather pay less and have to invest some sweat equity, then get a cookie cutter place that has been customized to someone else's tastes. If that makes sense....

There is definitely not a drop-down menu for this sort of thing on the MLS searches :p. Anyone out there know of any tricks, or websites, or anything that helped you find a place kinda like what I described? I know the ideal way is just asking around, but sometimes when you're not in the neighborhood (for instance, AK is a looong way from MT), that just isn't feasible, and it is nice to get an idea about what the particular type of property I am interested in is going for.

Just thought it might be worth posting about....in case someone had some tips.

Erin :)

This is definitely not the sort of place that
 

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Yeah, I feel your pain. MLS does not list much acreage and if it does there's often a honking expensive house on it. Ask for farm and acres over an amount, go via United Country... The base problem is not too many folks out there are like us. Sounds like you are spared my problem, of wanting acreage but a suburban type home for DH- coming to our rural/military town I found plenty of acreage with trailers (DH refuses), with substandard poorly laid out homes the VA would not do a mortgage on, or with no house at all (I do NOT want the joy of building).

Then on the flip side when I've taken a fair to lovely suburban home on a few acres and made it more a working farmette who do I sell it to- gotta find another wacko like me with enough money to pay for the large lot and regular house- there seem to be a divide between 'if we want a nice house we'll live in town' and 'if we want acreage we'll spend all our money on that and toss a trailer on it' with no one in between except me. And many of those unlike me will buy acreage and build their house. So if I move I'll probably pull out the garden beds and hen house and maybe even make lawn out of lovely beds.... Noone (except another me) will value bearing age fruit and nut trees and a blueberry patch as well as aged compost....
 

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Hello Erin
I know exactly what you mean when you talk about realtors. I've found that 99 of 100 realtors only know home and commercial properties, and asking about a homestead will only get you a blank stare. When we were shopping for our land I wrote a cover letter outlining exactly what we wanted. Twenty to 40 acres of land, water well, not located anywhere near golf courses, or other "recreation" properties, and legal to hunt and shoot "ON" the property. That last one was critical to finding our property. Here in California, there's a trend toward marketing "vacation properties" most of which have groomed driving ranges, a built in vineyard, or some such "yuppie" accessories. They are just the upper end suburbs for the very well-heeled. The shooting requirement weeded out those properties immediately!

What we eventially found is an agricultural realtor who understood exactly what we were looking for. He helped us find a 50 acre parcel in the Sierra foothills that we are very happy with. It's gently sloping land with white oak and ponderosa pine trees. We are now in the process of slowing developing the property. We're planting our orchard now and putting in running water and electricity in the unfinished cabin there. In a few more years it will be a place we can live in.

My advice is find agricultural realtors in the areas you're interested in and mail off cover letters outlining what you're looking for. Ask for referrals. If the realtor isn't knowledgeable about homesteads, they might know one that is. The realtor in our purchase was actually a referral of a referral of a referral. It takes patience and dedication, but you can find what you want.
Good luck,
Michael
 

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Agricultural realtors in Alaska? Not likely! Sorry, there is not enough Ag land to warrant someone specializing in that sector.

To the OP, what are you looking for? Area? Acreage? I may be able to help a little bit. The local MLS websites are just about impossible to search properly. But i know of a few websites, and do in general know the state on a "casual knowledge" type basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gosh, thank you everyone for your advice. The ag realtors is a good idea for here in MT...for up in AK, yeah Pouncer, I've found that you're right. Agricultural or 'farm' land doesn't seem to exist. Or at least not w/ an online presence, lol.

I guess the thing of it is that we aren't quite ready to make a purchase yet....But it is in the thinking stage, where I try to stay aware of how much properties are going for in various regions so that we can make a good choice when the time is right. It is just frustrating because, like you said Jenn, I feel like the only one out there looking for this sort of property.

Right now we're kinda thinking that we should be an 'in between' property....you know, invest in something w/ a bit more acreage than we have now (which would be just about anything, lol :p), then sell it after a # of years when it has appreciated a bit and we actually CAN afford the ideal thing that we want.

It is a scary thought...taking that plunge and starting to move towards that goal. It is fun looking/dreaming w/ the online realty sites, but only when I can find the sort of thing I am wanting, lol (which isn't all that often)! I will check out United Country, and if we haven't found what we want by the time we're really ready to start seriously looking, the cover letter is a good idea too. Pouncer, I definitely would be interested in the websites you mentioned. I guess, our ideal in AK (which is likely a pie in the sky dream, lol) would be enough acreage in the Palmer area, with some water on it, and an old cabin of some sort. But, I know that the Palmer area is getting super expensive and I saw housing developments creeping in there the last time we drove through ( :Bawling: )....But still, one can dream right?? :hobbyhors

Thanks again everyone, for your words of advice!!

Erin
 

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Well, there is our place for sale in Alaska (see my signature). We are NOT the typical residential place. ;)

Also, if you are looking in Alaska our MLS sites leave something to be desired. There is http://AlaskaRealEstate.com that is *supposed* to be for the whole state but is really just southcentral with a few other places sprinkled in. For Mat-Su Valley area try http://matsumls.com. Other sites vary by community and you can try calling the local MLS folks for info. on where to find their listings. They will be more helpful to you than agents, IMO.
 
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