Price of land/hobby farms

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sassy_mare, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    We just bought a fixer-upper with 20 acres in northern Minnesota. We had wanted to move down south - Tennessee or N. Carolina areas to escape this darn cold winters. However, it seemed we could not afford a country home or even land!

    The cost of living up here is pretty low, but so is the pay scale.

    What are the chances of us ever being able to afford the equivilent of our place "down south?" For those that live in the south, how'd you do it?

  2. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

    Dec 12, 2003
    SW Ark
    You just have to look and keep took me a couple of years to find our place. Patience sure paid off. Salaries are low here too though. Don't give up.

  3. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

    May 10, 2002
    sassy -mare

    what price ranges were you looking in? Cause $1000 an acre is too much some places and $10,000 is too much in other places.

    What part of TN? Where in NC?

    So what are you wanting to spend for what?

    Maybe someone could show to an area that fits what you want.

  4. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    And then there are property taxes. Once you find a nice cheap place, or cheap land, and either fix or build a place to live, and get it all comfy, along comes reassessment, and suddenly you are paying taxes on a place that "they" say is worth so much that you could never afford to buy it, and property taxes mean that you won't be able to afford to live there much longer, either.

    That's our situation. Nice old house and buildings at the edge of town that we have put lots of work into, and all of a sudden taxes are up over 40% over last year, and here I was thinking of retiring. Now we are seriously thinking of moving somewhere else--but where??

  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Well, the Southerners I know have all had a lot of skills. Repairing roofs, hunting, laying bricks, whatever.

    Quite a few Southerners earn a very good income, but I don't know enough Southerners to know how to be a "have" instead of a "have-not". Around here you get to be a "have" mostly by going to college and getting a city job, don't know about down South.
  6. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    34k got me 22 acres and house in tn -- thought that was cheap! Course elec and water would be another 5k but staying off the grid instead. Tn has a lot of cheap land for sale!
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    As some of you may know I tree farm. I can no longer afford to buy land for growing trees in the counties that I would want to live in in NC. The base price for acreage here in the Piedmont of NC is in excess of $6000 per acre. I have been selling off this desired land and using the proceeds to buy in Va. The central southern part of Va. remains affordable but is rising. I recently looked at some acreage in Tn and yes it was cheap but the property was too steep for my needs. SC has some cheap land but it is not that desireable for my enterprise. Usually cheap land is cheap for a reason! That reason may or may not agree with you needs. I do find that it is better to pay a bit more if the land fulfills your requirements. Remember too, that you may want to sell it some day. Good land will have a ready buyer and will have appreciated. Your best bet may be to find someone that is willing to do owner financiing and go from there. You would not have a bank to deal with and if the property does suit you can abandon it with the ownership returning to the original owner and without legal problems.
  8. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    i see houses on 10 acres all the time in ar. around 40 thousand
  9. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    How much are snow shovels, heating oil, winter coats, snow tires up there? They're cheaper down here. Pay now or pay later.
  10. Senior

    Senior Active Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    As a general guideline in TN the closer you are to a city or large town the more expensive the land is, also the more you can buy (acreage) the cheaper it will be. On the Cumberland Plateau here in East TN, (about 50 miles west of Knoxville) you can find land from around 500.00$ and up for a acre. Water wells are plentiful, electricity is moderately priced because of TVA and jobs are usually plentiful, especially if you are willing to travel a little everyday to work in a larger city. But be careful some counties have high property taxes. ANd Tn does not have a income tax but our sales tax is about 9 to 10 %, there again depending on which county you are in. NC has a personal property tax and a state income tax, or at least I was told it does. Hope this helps.

  11. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

    May 12, 2002
    South Dakota
    I drove by a place today, just over four acres in eastern SD. $164,900.
  12. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    SC and soon to be NC
    The 'nice' parts of NC :D are in the western part in my opinion...of ocurse that is where we bought land.

    We paid about $45000 for 17 acres.

    It needs almost everything(had a driveway roughed in and a culvert in place.)but that was cheap.

    We looked at a old(falling down) farmhouse on 20ish acres with barn and outbuildings all in need of work.

    It eventually sold for $67,000.

    It is possible.
  13. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    N.C mountains
    If you want to still be in the south and find reasonable land and houses, look in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Mountain Home, Yellville area are reasonable and have decent sized towns to shop in. Not big city by any means but enough. We live near Clinton Ar. and if I had it to do over again we would have gone to Mountain Home area. Land is still under $1000/acre, houses reasonable, taxes very reasonable. You will still get some "winter" but nothing like you are experiencing now. Check some of the United Country ads.
  14. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Keep in mind it is all relative.

    If you are coming from a far cheaper area, everything is going to seem more expensive. Trading up ain't no fun. It all depends on your perspective.

    Plus the view from afar might be distorted.

    A lot behind me of 5900 square feet just sold for $100,000 (yup, right number of figures, no gold AFAIK), that is something like a sweet 3/4 of a million per acre. Within a cow flop toss, there are two other lots one at $15,000 and the other went for something $9,000. Only the very few locals super versed in the details could start to fathom the why's.

    Both coasts are out of sight, the middle of the country has remained depressed by comparison. Figuring out the shades of grey north to south in the middle of the country might require a super good crystal ball. Not just the local picture but what might happen if the values on both coast bust. If both coasts and places like Florida keep on climbing but level out at far lower rates of appreciation , I would guess real estate money will start to seek the middle of the country. It those markets bust all bets are off.

    Been talking to a nephew in Florida and comparing notes. Same thing, all the good places are already well bid up. Can't be that much left in the tank, Joe Sixpack can't even start to play, many people can't even get in the game. Anything of desirable nature is well picked over.

    The trick in any area is knowing what that market will bear and why and maybe what its future is near and long term? The dollar price per anything might be just the tip of the iceberg. Reminds me of the old Gold Rush era. Trick was always to know when a vein was about to be played out and find the new field before anybody else. Probably only the true long time locals really know and they might not be telling it like it is. :no:
  15. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    deeply regret not buying property here when i moved many years ago- tho i know i couldnt have held on to it.

    " Probably only the true long time locals really know and they might not be telling it like it is"

    i am only beginning to guess at how deep this runs- here the first instance was a land swap between board of education and two private individuals- land was supposedly held by the board but a church signed it over...i suspect that in your area, those long time locals are swapping land parcels like baseball cards for favorable developmetn contracts. outside investors see a big structure or complex go up, nd of course all the land around it goes sky high.what happens next is ?- i wish i knew- but i think that is when these investors find that thire parcel is unbuildable for some reason- landlocked thru some obscure detail of an archaic law; 'proximity' to - something, even tho there are what appears to be equivalent land uses in the area, or drastic re-zoning, lawsuits, million dollar bonds, etc(there is more). the land owner ends up stalled for years, decades maybe. of course there's no out but to find a buyer. adb the long time locals are as always, waiting, patiently, for that forced sale,priced to move at a rock bottom $
    too bad i havent had the time, gas money, or the funding to pursue this sort of research- it most certainly would have been an interesting read if nothing else. i bet a lot of investors were skinned and just havent figured out how or why. if i were you i would check it out. might save you a lot of wasted $ and years.
  16. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2005
    Remember one other fact: an acre of land in USDA zone 7 will yield a lot more produce than an acre in zone 3 or 4. So, you don't need as much land in the south. There is relatively inexpensive land in the sparsely populated areas of SC, but the cost of land in the more developed areas is increasing rapidly. Land which sold for 10K/acre 4 years ago now sells for at least 16K. It's hard to find land without physically being there, driving around all the highways and byways. To avoid paying high property taxes, buy a double-wide mobile home. It is just as serviceable as a stick-built, but the taxes are much less. When people deride mobile homes, I remind them that more people will go to Heaven from trailers than from mansions.
  17. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Sep 22, 2004
    I have seen land go from 500 to 200,000 an acre around here.

    The more you buy at once the cheaper it is. I bought some land as an investment once. I bought 61 acres of fenced in beautiful pasture with a creek and a county paved road on one side for 45 and some change. I sold it five years later in three sections for 66 so I made 21 off it. Now about 3 mile down the road an old man died that had a 300 acre farm. They are subdiviing it and have restricted acres for 10,500. The value of that property two years after I sold it now has appraised at 8000 a acre so if I would have kept it a couple years longer I would have gotten almsot four times the money I got for it.

    I have a small 1/2 acre lot with a twenty something year old single wide on it. It is on the side of a steep hill. Large deck on the front. It sits on Lewsis Smith Lake.We use it as a camp for fishing etc. I was thinking of selling it for what I gave for it ten years ago 11,000. I didnt think the development on the other side of the lake which is about a half mile would effect my value. Wrong!! When the real estate guy came out he appraised it 72000 dollars!!!! That babys going on the market as I type this.

    So my point is that when you buy land do some research. Talk to your prospective neighbors. Stop at the local store a few times and engage in small talk. Ask questions about any future development in the area. Look for farms with elderly owners with college educated kids. Chances are when mom and pop kick off the kids will subdivide the land and therefore raise the value of the property around it. That way you can have your drem land and get a return on the investment at the same time.
  18. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b
    We bought our 20 acres at an lots of swamp land in Fla.... love it anyway. Taxes are lower here, but so are salaries. Never had to buy tire chains or snow blowers, however.
  19. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Mar 11, 2004
    Northeastern Minnesota
    I moved up to Northern Minesota from Kentucky 10 years ago, and wouldn't go back if Kentucky gave me a farm and the fixin's. I've lived in Texas, Tennesee, West Virginia, , Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana; and that's not counting my Army days. There are just too many folks living right on top of one another and fighting for every scrap of land available.

    I bought my 100 acres for $99 an acre 7 years ago, and my nearest neighbors are a mile or more away with no chance of any moving closer.

    The cold up here is a force that must be lived to be believed, but it's better than having folks peeking out there windows at me from every directon; and I never have to pay the cost of air conditioning.