How did you find yur place?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pogitondo, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. pogitondo

    pogitondo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    california
    Hi All,
    Let me introduce myself 1st...49 year old single father of a 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl.Been lurking here for a couple of months and I thank you all for the info and entertainment.
    Due to the crazy real estate market here, I have been able to pull equity out of my home in order to buy some land.
    I have dozens of real estate sites I check each day,but am thinking there has to be a better way.
    I am looking in an area 6 to 8 hours away(northern California),and am just wondering how you all happened upon your places?
    I have to stay in California,can't take the kids out of state,working on a limited budget and dragging the kids around on long drives needs to be limited in order to preserve what is left of my sanity.
    I am sure some of you will have great suggestions and stories to share..
    Thanks,
    Pogitondo
     
  2. peanutgreen

    peanutgreen Well-Known Member

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    190
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Kansas
    We bought the house we're in right now from the landlord. We had been renting it for a couple of years before that. We just bought a homestead out in the country this summer. DH found it when he drove past it on the way to a friend's house to get a load of manure for the garden. It was a good location, a good size (13.5 acres), and a good price ($15K). We had to bend over backward and jump through hoops to finance it (crappy credit that was left over from our single and wilder days), but it was worth it. We are in the process of fixing it up to be liveable right now. I imagine it will take us at least a full year before we can move in, but we're not in a big rush since we own this house in town. I'd rather take the time to get it done right and get it finished.

    The guy we bought the homestead from bought it from the farmer who had owned it for about 70 years. He told us he just drove around out in the areas he thought he'd like to live until he found what he wanted. Then he more or less talked the guy into selling. A lot of farmers around here will let houses rot to the ground rather than sell them so he had to do a lot of persuading.

    Some other places to check out would be auction companies websites for the areas you're looking at (or get on their mailing lists). Call the courthouses for the counties you're looking in and find out about tax sales. Subscribe to a local newspaper since it might be the only place some properties are listed. If you have a friend that already lives there, ask them to watch for ads that might be posted at the local businesses. Assuming you want a place in the country, put up flyers at the co-op, implement store, or anyplace else that farmers are likely to go to. (In the town I live in, it would be the donut shopor the cafe-farmers like coffee with their gossip. :) ) If you want to deal with a realtor, that would be an easy but more expensive route to take.
     

  3. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    I purchased the last of my Gandparents place in 2001. They had purchased it in 1954 and it was about 1600 acres then. Grandma sold off a few parcels after grandpa died. So I ended up with about 340 acres of private campground.
     
  4. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I knew the general area I wanted to relocate to within about a 100 mile by 100 mile area. If found the County Seat of all of them in that area and send a letter to the Chamber of Commerce in each asking to be put in contact with local realtors who specialized in farms. When these agencies contacted me I sent them back a ten item list of what I was looking for and asked for listings which come the closest to matching as many of the items as possible. From those I selected properties I wanted to look at. Most of the agencies also provided an information packet of information on the local area.

    I then would take one-week trips, spending one day in each county. Over three of these trips I narrowed the area of interest down considerable (after seeing what the area and infrastructure was like). I eventually purchased farmland I found on my second day of looking. However, I liked the Waverly, TN area and one particular property, but it was too small for my needs. Agent (very, very familiar with the area) knew the property adjoining it had been for sale a couple of years back and contacted the owner's agent to see if they were still interested in selling. They were and I made an offer on both properties on the same day, subject to both being purchased.

    All in all I would still use the same approach.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  5. torade

    torade Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Iron Range
    I did like Ken and looked for the little real estate companies in the areas I was interested in. Those are the ppl the farmers and land owners go to first.Some have there own little websites some dont.
    I also found that alot of ppl will put out a free ad in their local shoppers newspapers, or local websites.
    It took me months to find the place I have now, I almost gave up.
     
  6. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 30, 2002
    Location:
    North Alabama
    This was the area in which I grew up. I saw this place up for sale by owner while going to my parents one day to spend time with my disabled father. I thought it would be convienent if he had an emergency being within 3 miles of their farm instead of renting a duplex apartment on the other side of the railway that often shut our crosstown travel down when trains were loading and unloading. While I considered the price about 5 grand too high , the plumbing in my apartment made my final decision. My ex had the dishwasher and clothes washer both draining and I courtesy flushed my toilet. After washing the commode eruption off my grits, I called the owner and scheduled a closing meeting at my bank for the following morning and happily paid the extra $5000 and hired rotorooter to clean the septic tank before we moved in.

    I often look back over all that has transpired in my life since that day in March 1997 and at how now I am happily single again , semiretired in my 40s and with a successful and growing worm farm and I know that you really can "fall in the crapper and come out smelling like a rose" :)
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
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    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    Most realtors in your area (not all of them) will only sell houses and lots. Every 6 months I checked a realtor who also sold small acreages, only to finally buy land on-line.

    It really was amazing how few land descriptions were accurate. I had to look at a dozen wonderful-sounding properties (that were all terrible) before we bought a property that really was what they said it was. Oh, there were no absolute LIES, but there is a difference between 2 farm ponds and an area that is prone to flooding.

    I have found that www.unitedcountries.com was a good indicator of where the affordable land was. If you could find a property in www.unitedcountries.com, go ahead and check the realtors in the area.
     
  8. torade

    torade Well-Known Member

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    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Iron Range
    what does The Free World vs. The Repressed World, have to do with buying acreage?
     
  9. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    VT
    We have found that even in VT, where you'd think there'd be something on the license test, agents are HOPELESS when it comes to farm property. I mean, seriously hopeless. We had one woman show us a property with "a barn." Fantastic, 3 story, barn. Missing, however, the second floor and hayloft. All the crossing beams. Seems the second owner had removed them and sold them to people building second homes. So the only thing holding this barn upright is force of habit. I can't imagine how dangerous it was to take those last beams out! Anyway, she stands in the middle of this thing (while we peak cautiously from the door, because you can see the walls moving in the wind) and says...

    "Isn't it a marvelous cathedral space?"

    Honestly. These people are utterly clueless.
     
  10. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Believe it or not we actually found our land through Mother Earth News! I dont read it anymore due to the abundance of tree hugger articles but it worked for us in 1990. Saw an add for Montana land, emailed and found it to be in the right place, got photos, leased to own for one year (giving us time to get from az up there to see it) fell in love and have had the land since! Finally got to move there in 1997! And I am never leaving this mountain!
     
  11. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Basically I did like you have, put on the board that i was looking for land and a couple of members contacted me from the same general area we live in and poof... one had a friend who was selling some land that was exactly what we were looking for and the price was good...

    looking back, there are a couple of things I would have done differently.. but for now... we are here and loving it...

    Just keep letting people know you are looking and some where someone has a friend who has a friend who is selling a piece of land.

    Good Hunting

    Lynn in Texas
     
  12. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Texas - midway between Dallas and Tyler
    Long story made short...the hand of God.

    I was looking for a property listed in the newspaper and couldn't locate it from the directions. Stopped and spoke with an elderly gentleman beside the road. He referred me to a friend who had 16 acres, but wanted more than I could afford (20k). We loved the property and decided to buy it and pay more than we wanted to, called back and his son had begged him not to sell, seems the immediate prospect of sale had crystalized his decision about wanting the land.

    He referred me instead to a nephew who had 10 acres a couple miles up the road. Didn't like the land that much, but the price was great (8k), so we said yes and went for the financing....called back and the same thing had happened, this time it was the next door neighbor who had come over with cash in hand. He said he felt so bad he had another 10 acre lot that he wanted more than 8k for that he'd let me have for the same price - it is right next door to the original 16 acres we looked at and even has a woodlot which the other two didn't.

    So, my "neighbors" have become family. The "boys" (they're older than I am, in their forties) frequently bring me game for my freezer. The mom has become my daughter's granny and I was pallbearer for their dad several years back.
     
  13. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    Saw our 120 acre farm in a real estate magazine...made a flying weekend trip to MO and bought it!! It spoke to us :) Wish it had hollered how much work it was gonna take to bring it back to productivity though! But you won't find 120 acres with house,barn,good fences,3 ponds,80 acres of woods, pasture for $39,000 today anywhere in MO. So we praise the day we made our fast decision. DEE
     
  14. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    I used the internet to help us find the perfect place. When we decided to relocate from Dallas/Ft. Worth to the Memphis area I found a realtor in TN on the internet. She was the nicest lady, but not very helpful in finding us rural property (she mostly sold houses in town). Also, we were appalled at the prices in the TN area around Memphis ($25,000 per acre!!!) so we decided to look in Mississippi. Found ANOTHER realtor online in MS and he was terrific. He would email me photos of properties...he would set up weekends for us to come and look at multiple properties and he found us our ideal 96 acre farm.

    A good realtor can make all the difference.
     
  15. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2004
    You might be able to find the MLS listings for the area you are looking at on-line. But you will really need to make a trip or two. Before we moved here to Klamath Falls, we made a trip over and spent a week looking at property. You might need to make a couple of trips before you find the right area and the right property. You might put wanted posters up in local stores, laundromats, cafe's, maybe even an ad in the local paper. Get a feel for what land is going for in that area, so you have a realistic idea of what you can actually afford. I don't know how far north you are going, but a lot of people in the part of California adjacent to our county in Oregon actually do their shopping in Klamath Falls. If you plan to go that far north, you might want to put ads in the Klamath Falls area, too, as a lot of Californians will see them.

    Hope you find what you are looking for.

    Kathleen
     
  16. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    OH!

    I forgot to say that while I FOUND the land on-line, I went through a realtor to buy it. She worked pretty hard for the money she made, too.

    She at least had a vague idea of where the corners were, and she waded through brush to help us find them. Then, she told us what bank would lend on bare land, since most of the banks around here only loan on houses.

    We ended up paying $26,000 for 5 1/2 acres of bare land, which is half the going rate. It was cheap because it is difficult to get water in. I am currently looking at Lehmans water pumps. They have kits to dig wells, hand pumps, and motors available for the pumps. I intend to pump water up from the creek to the garden for the time being, and consider a well later. There is no rush: we cannot afford to build right now anyways. What I CAN do is to get good stands of blackberries, asparagus, fruit trees, honey bees, and a garden started.
     
  17. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    plains of Colorado
    We found a real estate agent who would not drive us crazy, told her what we wanted, looked for about a year. She would call us the day something came in the office before it got printed in a listing. We put the earnest money down on our land the day we saw it and got it. It was a good deal even in 1982...40 acres for $24,000, $10,000 down (the seller needed it) and he financed the rest.
     
  18. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Floyd County, VA
    I found my place by looking on line. Real estate agents won't necessarily show you everything available. In my case this place a skosh higher than I wanted to pay, but I expanded my search just a bit just to see what was available and got this for $20K less than the selling price so it went back into my price range.

    If you find a site that had the mulitple list on it, that is quite up to date on what is available. I would make a list and have the realtor take me around to the places I found on the internet. I've bought three houses that way since the internet came into being and it's worked great. I like the ones with pictures because often from the picture posted I can know I don't even want to go see the place - saves alot of time!
     
  19. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    United Country Real Estate helped me find mine, kinda. We knew we wanted to move- thought about Wisconsin but decided on south instead. I order a UC catalog and started looking. Narrowed choice down to certain area within an hour of a big city (Louisville, KY) so that even if we had to drive a bit, we could get jobs. I subscribed to the local paper and got a feel for the area and r.e. prices. When I got laid off (construction job) we loaded up the small travel trailer and came down here looking. Hooked up with a realtor and she showed us several places within our pitiful price range. Some were barely liveable. Actually found my place looking though the MLS book. Came and looked and made an offer. Been here 11 yrs and will be finished moving in a week or 2 to the new farm about 3 miles away. The new farm was listed for sale by owner via a plywood sign on a fencepost. The former owner(whom we used to buy hay from) turned down a more $$ offer from a land company and was thrilled to sell to us as he knew we wouldn't subdivide. He was dying of cancer at the time... I wish he could have seen how nice we've made it so far.

    My current place will be for sale, but it won't go though a realtor unless it doesn't sell quickly, which I think it will since I've already had people ask about it. So if you don't happen to be driving by when the sign is in the yard, you'd never even have the opportunity to buy it, which I think is the case with many rural properties, at least around here. I'd definitely suggest a road trip to the areas you're thinking about...
     
  20. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Location:
    Ozarks
    Online - I sat at my computer staring at a picture of this creek for ever. We finally got in my truck and went and bought it. We plan on living there in 3 years. Ozarks bound!

    This is a big picture!

    http://members.cox.net/punkrockpilot/waterfall.JPG