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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hadn't expected to even start looking for land yet, but my guy ran across this, and even with cars to pay off, we can afford it pretty easily.

5 Acres

Obviously we'd need an easement through the above properties (we're looking more at the bottom parcel, next to the forebay), and we haven't even looked at it yet, we're still just talking about it, but... yeah.

What do you guys think? Does it look like decent property? I know roughly where it is, a pretty decent area for the most part. It's a little bare for my tastes, but I can fix that with a shovel and some saplings :D
 

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I see all sorts of problems with this land. At least look into the potential problems so you know where you're at.
#1 is access. Without access, one has nothing. Don't even consider land without an easement.
About that easement. If access is along a "shared road", run away from this property....FAST. Your idea of a properly maintained road may be a gravel base road, suitable for a pickup truck. Another property owner may think a properly maintained road is something that a Buick Lucerne can travel on 365 days a year. Yet another property owner may think a 4 wheel drive vehicle with chains can use the road 6 months out of the year.
Shared roads mean shared costs of maintenance. Shared roads also mean shared opinions on what constitutes "proper" maintenance.
#2 is zoning. Seems like the land is classified Recreational/Ag land. Whether it can be changed to residential is questionable. Visit the county zoning admininstrator.
3. electricity. I don't see anything resembling poles or lines in the area. Find out where the nearest electrical service runs to and get an estimate from the electric company on costs to run it to your property. At least you'll know the costs involved.
4. Water. You may or may not even be able to drill a well. Assume nothing. Make 100% certain you're able to drill for water. Phone a local well driller and get a ballpark estimate.
5. Speaking of water......does the lake ever flood? Is the land a flood plain?
6. What type of soil exists on the property?

We are in total agreement about the property looking barren.
 

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i say run and dont look back it says to check with the county for uses, that means someone can tell you what u can do with your land and looks like you would have lots neighbors as the other parcels sell.
 

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It seems dirt cheap by CA standards. The question is is it cheap because of the land (problems, limitations, etc.) or because of the economy?

It's also CA. If you are thinking of homesteading or leading more of a self-sufficient lifestyle, I don't know that CA is the place. If you can build it will cost a fortune in fees and permits. CA also seems to like to regulate everything, like number and types of animals, land use, etc.

Although if you find there are no real problems with the land and are thginking of it in terms of investment, it might be a good deal.
 

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As a friend pointed out when we bought our ground: "Trees can be planted. Hills can't" (being Kansas, where the fact that we have hills makes it special. lol)
 

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Here is something California offers that I love. Prop 13. It keeps property taxes low. Don't let others assumptions about restrictions in California scare you. Check it out at the county, and the advice about finding out about easements and water are sound.
 

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$9,600 per acre may be cheap for California but you could find much better pieces of land for far less in other parts of the country. The way the land is divided up, it looks like you will be surrounded by McMansions very soon. These people often object to ANY farming activity in their neighborhood. That would make this a very unpleasant place to live.
 

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Here is something California offers that I love. Prop 13. It keeps property taxes low.
Don't you believe it. They started developing ways around Prop 13 the day it passed, and that was 30 years ago. As Arnold said, "It's got loopholes big enough to drive my Hummer through."
 

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Don't you believe it. They started developing ways around Prop 13 the day it passed, and that was 30 years ago. As Arnold said, "It's got loopholes big enough to drive my Hummer through."
And yet we pay about $1,400.00 per year in property taxes on our ranch. Prop 13 did that for us. DH's friend recently bought in Texas. He says he will be paying $15,000 per year in property taxes. Wants us to sell the ranch and move there.
 

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And yet we pay about $1,400.00 per year in property taxes on our ranch. Prop 13 did that for us. DH's friend recently bought in Texas. He says he will be paying $15,000 per year in property taxes. Wants us to sell the ranch and move there.
It depends on what's there and how big it is. Just throwing out a number doesn't mean much. Heck, I only paid $21 in property taxes last year.
 

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It depends on what's there and how big it is. Just throwing out a number doesn't mean much. Heck, I only paid $21 in property taxes last year.
I don't know how much land you have. I have seen pictures of the house you built. That is quite an accomplishment, and you should be commended, but your existence is a bit more spartan that most, even here at HT would be willing to accept. Your taxes are low, but it is because you have sacrificed on creature comforts, spaciousness, and it looks like you live in the desert, but I'm just basing it on the photos you have posted.

Prop 13 limits property taxes to 1% of purchase price and limits annual increases to no more than 2%. If you paid $100,000 for your property, the property tax would be $1,000. Next year, they couldn't re-value your home any higher than $102,000, and your property tax that year would be $1,020.

If you have any questions, the Howard Jarvis tax foundation can answer it. http://www.hjta.org/proposition13
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update... We're still looking at it, but more cautiously now-- I admit, I've got a decided tendency towards getting excited over things, and it takes me a second and third look to calm down and start being logical.

I do appreciate the warnings about buying land in California, but my guy doesn't want to leave the county, and I'd prefer to stay reasonably close to my parents (NorCal at least). So no matter what I do I'm stuck looking for the best deal I can get here or close by.

He's still really excited, and he knows some real estate people working for the county, so he's going to ask them about it. I'm backing off a little bit, just because of the zoning (makes me wonder) and the fact that it's a bit closer to town than I'd honestly prefer.

Anyway, thanks for all your advice, guys! I've definitely got some more things to think about now. I really don't think this'll be the property we get-- but we'll probably look, as I'm sure getting a little experience and learning what we need to look for, isn't going to hurt us! :)
 
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