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Discussion Starter #1
I described my land on here and someone described it as a goat hill, which it basically is. I wanted to pay cash and not owe a payment. I understand the desire for flat farm land, but I don't want debt and this is all I could afford. I am going to have a driveway put in soon (I hope) and the lot leveled for my tiny home (this one won't be on wheels, but on a foundation). The first pic is looking back at the entrance of my driveway to the "main" road (barely big enough for two cars) that goes down the mountain to a small state highway. The second is looking down the hill. You can see where a bit of leveling has been done before and that flat spot is about where the driveway will come in. I will be at around 1000ft in elevation and almost completely shaded, so it is usually around 5 degrees cooler when I visit the lot. To some this is extreme, but there are many homes built on land like this around here. I have a total of 3/4ths of an acre. 1/2 an acre for my home and another 1/4th acre up the mountain for timber and a small garden. It's not much but it's mine, lock, stock and barrel and I wanted to share the beginnings of my adventure with you. I am hoping to build a small, one room cabin...about 14X16. I will have parking for three vehicles, maybe four (I want a camper) and I will level another small area next to the house for a wood shed and a tool shed and maybe a chicken coup. These will be small, around 10X10. I may even level out a tiny garden around 12X12. Yes, I know it's a small garden, but it is just me and I am only going to use it to supplement my groceries. There is a nice lake nearby that is fed by the streams and rivers of the Smoky Mountains. The water is very pure and the fish are healthy to eat. I forgot to mention that there is a very tiny trickle of a stream at the bottom of the hill that has water year round. It's very small, but dependable. I measured it and on average it is 12" wide and about 3-4" deep, but it always runs. Anyway, a couple of pics:





 

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These days with permaculture, guilds, etc.... so much can be done with hills. Works out very well for certain things. Congrats on your land! Debt free is the best situation to be in.
 

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You would be surprised how easy it is to move dirt for a small flat spot by hand. You only move half as what you dig becomes fill for the other half. I have built a lot of driveway by hand this way, slope the bank, dig a ditch and have a flat spot for the drive, 10' wide with a good 6" crown. Then just a thin layer of rock. Culvert at all low spots. I have done all of what you want by hand, a little each day, 2-3 times each day with a good break in between for less strenuous projects. Raised beds would work well for you or terraced gardens in long beds to help collect water. I only have 1 acre total and have gardens, fruit both trees and bushes. 3 small milk goats, a few chickens, 3 rabbits and 3 pigeon pairs....James
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ky, I don't think it is as the mountain is around 2500 feet and I am at 1000ft. I believe it to be runoff that drains into the lake below. There is a large pool that I could pull from that isn't show in these pictures. I am considering damming it up to pull water from. I think currently it is about 4 feet wide and about a foot deep. I think I could double that with a several well placed rocks.
 

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Cost out your building materials and make a comparison with a single building instead of two buildings. Compare a single 16x30 subdivided into a 10x16 shop and a 16x20 cabin versus the two smaller 14x16 and 10x10 buildings. The two smaller buildings have a total wall exterior dimension of 100 ft with a total of 324 sq ft of floor space. The single building has a total wall exterior of 92 ft with a total 480 sq ft of floor space. You will also gain the added bonus of having dry access to your shop/storage along with the option of heating and cooling the space by opening a door or adding some vents with dampers. Then in the future, you could repurpose the shop into home space and build a separate shop even larger than what you started with.

It is much cheaper to draw your ideas out and put some costs to multiple options before moving ahead. You can do a lot with the purchase you made. Dream well and sleep well.
 

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ddgresham,
Sounds like you have a plan in order. I wouldn't worry about the hills. I was raised in the Appalachian foothills. My Daddy always told me there was more dirt on a hill than on flatland. I live in some pretty flat land now but will be headin for the hills soon :runforhills: and I'm pretty excited about it. Keep us posted.
nosedirt
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Saved up and they are doing the survey starting Monday. I don't have enough for the drive way. Looks like it will be another 10 months for that. Then I'll need another $5000 to get the shell up. Supposed to have a nice chunk of change coming, hopefully this year. We will see.
 

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Looks like home to me. I live on the second highest elevation in Nacogdoches. Been doing fine with it so far. Its cleared and pastured now and I have a great view.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This land looks a LOT like the land around my house in the mountains of east TN.


It's over in Tallassee, handyman. The surveying is going to cost me 2-3 times as much because of all of the mountain laurel and trees but I love being in the mountains. I have three lots in the same holler and will be using one of them. The other two I hope to develop a bit and eventually sell, or leave to my niece and nephew.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Looks like home to me. I live on the second highest elevation in Nacogdoches. Been doing fine with it so far. Its cleared and pastured now and I have a great view.
Very cool. I will have to look that area up. I have heard of it but forget where it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Looks like home to me. I live on the second highest elevation in Nacogdoches. Been doing fine with it so far. Its cleared and pastured now and I have a great view.
Button Mountain? I tried to look for pics of it but couldn't find any. My place is just a little higher at 946 feet. I'm about halfway down the mountain or more. There is a nice lake that is just down the hill...about a five minute walk. I am hoping to buy a nice kayak to fish the lake with, after I pay for the driveway and build the cottage.




 

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We have a creek similar to yours that we use for water. Basically it collects any rainwater that comes down the mountain, and is gravity fed into our house. I can only recall twice it ever ran dry due to drought. It could make a good water source, provided you have a backup just in case. And springs do tend to lurk near those run off creeks. So look out when you dig.
 
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