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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TamiJ, Sep 13, 2004.
If you are wanting phone, electric and gas (natural gas? not propane) hooked up waaaaaaaayyyy out in the boonies you are talking an arm and a leg as far as cost. I am going to leave the costs and explaining of that to somebody who has had to do it. Ours came with electric and phone line.
If you find some place that already has it nearby it might not be too bad.
Your septic tank is what you get in the country. If you want sewer and a water bill you move to the city. You also have to consider a well in the country or having it hauled in unless you are blessed with a spring.
Is there something specific about Crow Wing Co.? I did a search in www.unitedcountry.com I didn't see any offices up there (they list by city) but I thought some of the listings they had were a bit high and others too reasonable. There were some 'hunting' listings that I'm pretty sure are too cheap and are just 'hunting rights' not the actual land. Not sure.
The county tells you how much septic you need and how many mobiles you can put on a peice of property, ect. Counties can be either nice or nasty.
Here, we can find mobile home, used, for $2,000 or so all of the time. In fact a couple of years ago you could get them for about $500 each. I haven't looked for them lately. Check out papers such as the 'thrifty nickel' or 'penny pincher' or some such papers. That's where you will find a lot of 'deals'. Look for small town newspapers online.
Depending on where your water source is, you might need a more sophisticated waste treatment like an aeration system. So the cost depends.
Do you want electric right away? Can you haul water in? Is there a gas/electric/phone line anywhere near?
Since you are doing this with another family, it might be helpful for you all to get together and make a plan, similar to a business plan, that enumerates the goals for each family and jointly. For instance, you need to know if electric is a must have immediately. This will affect your choice of land as well as where your money goes.
You might decide to build an outbuilding that you first live in instead of a trailer. Consider it as it would be still usable when you 'build up' later. One family of eight people in one trailer sounds crowded to me. Have you all lived in one before?
$35,000 sounds like a lot but won't necessarily go very far, esp. if you need to put in a well and purchase housing --- even two mobiles at $2K ea. will take up $4K of your money, and that won't include the costs of hooking the mobiles up to water, electric, moving the mobiles, etc.
Your best bet, if you're determined to do this, would probably be to find an existing property in an area with lax codes --- someplace which already has electric, a good well, telephone, septic, mobiles, etc but which needs some work and so is priced very low. Then, do the work yourself and turn around and resell in a year or so.
Now that is an idea! Also, septics are usually built large enough for a normal sized family to last about 4 yrs before needing to be pumped out. With that many people....perhaps you'd be better off with an outhouse!
Too bad you can't relocate to the western states. Land is much less expensive out here. We have land close to power for under $1,000 per acre in this area.
Your sewage will normally be handled by a septic system in a rural setting. There used to be ecomical alternatives (such as cesspools) but most county sanitation departments are pretty much insisting on proper septic systems now. Some areas may still allow an outhouse, but outhouses are a less than satisfactory solution. You will find the modern septic system alternatives (chemical treatment, areation, etc.) to be geared towards specialized applications, and will be more expensive than a standard septic system.
Septic systems are usually sized according to how many people will be using them, which is commonly calculated from the number of bedrooms. Since you want to place the two homes far enough apart for privacy, two spetic systems might be indicated depending on the distance you are considering. Budget about $3,000 for a spetic system, which will include permitting, septic tank, pipe, rock, and excavation labor.
In direct answer to your question, yes you can have more than one home on a single spetic system, provided the homes are close enough for interconnection to be practical. Remember that sewage lines need to be sloped, so consider how flat the land is. The answer to your question will be in the economics of the project, and a septic system contractor will be able to tell you if your situation will save money with a single tank. All other things being equal, I would prefer separate septic systems in the event that I wanted to sell one of the homes.
The cost of a well can vary greatly with the conditions. How deep is the water? Do you have any rock formations to go through? A shallow well (up to 100 feet) can be 'driven' yourself, provided you don't have any rock to go through, at a cost of perhaps $500 (cost includes casing, but not the pump). If you need a drilling contractor then budget $10 per foot for drilling and another $10 per foot for casing. Typical total cost for a contractor to drill a residential well is in the range of $2000 to $5000.
As far as utilities go, power hook-up cost usually depends on the distance from existing power lines. In our area the distance for free hook-up is 1500 feet (specified by statute). While that seems pretty standard in neighboring states around here, you should check in MN. If you go beyond the free distance the extention costs can be significant, and if the distance is too great you might consider alternative power sources. Rural gas can be supplied by delivered propane. Telephone isn't as big of a problem as it used to be, now that we have cell phones.
I bought my 100 acres of land 7 years ago for $9900.
We built our 960 sq. ft. house for $5000
We built out 40'X45' pole barn for $4700.
Our out building cost about $500 each for $1500.
Our 6" casing well to 85 feet cost $2700.
Our driveway cost $1600.
Our small herd of cattle cost $7500.
Total for our smallholding and cattle: less than $35,000.
Off hand I'd say $35,000 can do quite a bit if you shop around and do most of the work yourself.
I totally agree! If you buy & build smart, you will find that $35,000 is quite a lot to work with.
Hi Tami, I am a resident in Crow Wing County. We live about 15 miles north of Crosby and work in Brainerd. I work for the MPCA.
The minimum rural lot size in CWC right now is 15 acres. My brother has been looking for property in the area and is finding that 15 acres goes for $30K to $60K....it depends a lot on accessibility and percentage of high ground.
We just built a home last year so I have some fairly good idea of utility costs. To bring in electricity, it was $3/foot (Crow Wing Power) and buried phone was free (Emily Co-op).
Standard septic system (trenches) was $3K and well (90 feet deep) was $3.2K If you need a mound septic system, it can cost $10K to $15K
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Reading your postings, CabinFever and TamiJ, makes me think I should call my (older) sis who lives at a lake near Crosby. Perhaps she or her hubby would have some ideas too. Don't think she does the internet thing though. But it sounds like you have gotten many great suggestions already. Best wishes in your ventures.
Okay, I misspoke...ah, miswrote....the minimum lot size for land zoned "agricultural" is 15 acres. If land is zoned "rural resdiential" the minimum lot size is 2.5 acres. All of the minimum lot sizes can be found at this site:
These lot sizes are the minimum area a property must have to build a resisdence on. Minimum lot size and whether or not you can place a mobile home on it, will depend on zoning regs. I believe that any land zoned agricultural can have a mobile home.
The decision on whether a residence has a standard or mound septic system will depend on soil type and depth to water table or bedrock. Sites with clayey soil, high watertables and/or shallow bedrock generally require a mound system.
That's what I'm talking about....minimum county requirements. Townships cannot be less restrictive than the county.
Your best bet would be to plan on 2 wells and 2 septic systems. You say the mobiles will be far enough apart for privacy which means probably too long a run of pipes udnerground to service both home sites. 1 se[tic system will be overloaded in a few years with that many folks "flushing" and showering and washing clothes. You need to contact the County Planning Commission and they can sent you the rules and regulations for septic, home sites, etc. You may end up splitting the 10 acres into two 5 acre home lots for taxes and power meters.
First of all, don't assume you'll even be able to bring in a mobile home on any property that you purchase. Counties and townships are getting wise to the fact that mobiles homes add virtually nothing to the tax base, but its inhabitants generally use an overabundance of county services.
Every county generally has a minimum lot size for residential building purposes. These generally range from 1 1/2 acres to 2 1/2 acres.
I'd be very surprised if a progressive state such as Minnesota allows more than one dwelling to use the same septic system. Check with the zoning administrator at the county court house.
While you're there, see if there are restrictions on mobile homes. Get the info straight from the horses mouth.
Regarding septic, if the land you're building on has sandy soil, you usually can get by with a conventional septic system which will cost you $3000 - $5000. If you are in clay soils, you'll likely need a mound system. These run $9000 - $15,000. Before purchasing any land, pay to have a perc test (soil evaluation) conducted. It will cost $400 - $500. The perc test will tell you which septic system will be acceptable.
For electricity, don't even think about buying land (unless its cheap or free) that does not have electricity at the property line. It will cost you a MINIMUM of $3/foot to bring electricity in.
Another thing of utmost importance is access. Personally, I wouldn't consider property for residential purposes unless you have access by a public maintained road. It goes without saying that access via blacktop road is even better.
With a shared private road, you'll have the expense of snowplowing, road maintenance, replacing culverts, etc. Whats worse, is you may be the only person on the shared private road willing (or able) to kick in any money for any type of road maintenance.
While there still may be some areas in Minnesota where zoning restrictions aren't in play......I believe its just a matter of time before building permits AND inspections are required throughout the state.
How far will $35,000 go? I'd have to think that.....WITH LUCK.....it will set the 2 families up in older, bare bones basic single wide trailers........have them functioning with water delivery systems and septic..........and maybe enough left over for a dinner at McDonalds.
Is it possible to build a house for $5000? Yes. Is it possible to build a house to code for $25,000? NO WAY. Its impossible. A friend of mine purchased a 1050 square foot 2 bathroom, 3 bedroom, cheap (really cheap) double wide/modular for $38,000. Septic system cost him $5000 and well cost him $4600. The foundation cost was $1600. He did the excavating himself. He already owned the land.
So there you are.
Haggis, were your buildings built to the codes of your county? township?
what about spetic system?
Do you know what I would do? And this is just a suggestion, take it for what it is worth....
I would buy an older fixer upper with a little extra acreage. Buy the house and put a mobile on the back somewhere. This way, you have the electric, well, septic ect (if you get it checked out and it is still good). Then, you have time to get everything else done but you still have your property.
Make sure from zoning that the acreage is big enough to put another house on later, if you choose to. Just a thought and it would definitely save you a lot of money. There are farms and older houses out there.
We were told that there were no building codes out here. A friend of mine just built a house a few miles away in the same county, he has building codes out the waazoo; turns out that "his" building codes are really his banks building codes. They own the place and he is making payments on the bank's investment..., so it's build to their spec's or not build at all.
His 1200 sq. ft. house (1600 if one counts the garage) is costing him about $200,000, and he contracted out all of the work.
Our septic system (not mentioned in my list o' purchases) is a privy, but Herself has an electric incinerator type toilet that she uses in winter or late nights when it's raining. It's big enough to handle a half dozen folks on a regular basis, but I prefer the long walk.
We had the water guy out here from the health department, got the okay, purchased a building permit, and went to digging our foundation with: a pick, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow.
We poured the cement, sawed every board, nailed every nail, and ran every wire.
It's all 2X4 platform frame construction. We used 1/2" OSB over the entire outside shell. Covered the outside OSB walls with 5/8" T1-11. We used T1-11 for the inside walls downstairs and 1/2" sheetrock upstairs.
We spent every penny we could on payday every month for materials and then spent the rest of the month nailing things together.
We didn't borrow one red cent and didn't have any savings, and we have been told a great many times that what we did can not be done. Yet here we are six years later and doing okay.
By-the-by, had we been so inclined, we might just as well have built a log house using logs from our own land and spent only the cost of a foundation, the wiring, and shingles.
I wonder if log houses, real log houses are up to code? If they are we could have built our house for $3000 or less and still fit whatever coded are floating around.
We have a septic system with only 2 persons using it & it has to be pumped out every 3 years. So I would consider having separate septic systems, so there is no fighting over cost of pumping out of septic system or name calling over who used or over used it the most. The same goes for water & electric & gas/propane. I had a friend who went through this same situation with shared utilities etc. with another family. They had constant hostilities over high costs & who incured them.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Blessings for the future.
Goodness, I wasn't talking about monthly payments! I was talking about for the entire property for $30 G's.
As for monthly payments....you can finance 13,500 @ 10% for 5 yrs and your payments will still be under $300 a month. That's on a land contract with no points and not having to deal with the bank.
That's what we did with no haggling. There are houses out there that are cheap and are still in decent condition. They may not be close enough in town to bring a good price. You may not be able to get cable. You may not be able to even get internet connection but you can at least get a home.
What if you found a property that was say 4 or 5 bedroom on 10 or more acres for $20,000 down and a balance of $5,000 to $15,000 for 5 or 10 yrs. that would still leave you with a bit to buy a mobile and put it up, do some repairs on the main house and you may have to put up with using grey water for awhile or something. Others have done it.
Oh, here's another thing too...go do a search on I think it is Yahoo they have HUD listings...