Stories of how you came about your property

   #1  

03 shaker

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Nov 13, 2018
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12
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North Alabama
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Hello all, I've been lurking here awhile. First post. I don't have any land to speak of and thought it would be interesting to hear how some of you got your place.

Another thing i'd like to see some discussion on is the best way to acquire land. I'm not looking for get rich quick, or shortcuts. But things like, if you're looking for pasture/hay ground is it better to pay the premium for pasture ground or buy cheaper overgrown/wooded land and clear it? That's sort of an example question i've thought of. I know it takes equipment, skill, experience, and a lot of time to turn overgrown land into nice, smooth hay fields. I understand everything takes work and time. None of my family has ever been into farming or owning land, although we've always been "country people" with old school values. I've gotten into hunting and think I would really enjoy having my own place (mini farm/hunting land).

I know all of this can vary extremely by location and region. I'm in north Alabama. Land prices vary wildly ($2K per acre to $10K+ per acre) depending on location, condition, improvements, easements, etc.

I know the easy answer to this is make a lot of money so you can buy what and where you want, but for most people (including myself) we just do the best we can with what we have.

I've enjoyed reading here so far and look forward to sharing ideas in the future.
 
   #2  

plowhog

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Dec 8, 2015
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Northern NV, Northern CA
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Massey GC1710, Massey 1758 w/cab, Ventrac 4500Y, Internat. TD9 dozer Ford F-800 dump GMC 3500 dump GMC 2500 Duramax Chevy 1500HD Polaris 800 RZR-SxS Ditch Witch 2100
I know the easy answer to this is make a lot of money so you can buy what and where you want, but for most people (including myself) we just do the best we can with what we have.

Over the years I have learned the combination of a curious mind and a willingness to work seems to result in someone making a lot of money. Seems you have both of those. So maybe you will be able to do it-- the easy way! :D
 
   #3  

4570Man

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Apr 7, 2015
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Location
Crossville, TN
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Kubota M59, Kubota L3800, Grasshopper 428D, Topkick dump truck, 3500 dump truck, 10 ton trailer, more lighter trailers.
Clearing land is a nearly hopeless venture with a tractor. You better look in to quotes of hiring it done or buying real equipment before you jump into that.
 
   #4  

oosik

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Aug 22, 2012
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AMBER, WA
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2009 Kubota M6040
My current 80 acres started out in 1892 as a 360 acre government land grant for oil exploration. Same for a lot of the surrounding lands. OK - I have never seen, heard or even whispered such craziness as oil exploration in this part of the county. However - that is what happened and fortunately land grant prove-up was occupation and crops for a given period of time. Nobody needed to look for nor find any oil. Hey - I'm located at the northern extreme of an area called the Palouse - know world wide for production of wheat.

Over the years following 1892 the 360 acres were slowly divided and passed on to daughters, sons etc, etc. My father purchased the 80 acres in 1939 and it passed to me in 1980.

I quit working - I call it retirement, I was 40 - in 1982 and we moved down here from Anchorage and built on the acreage. Since 1982 - I've managed to keep pretty busy here on the property. My little lake has big bass and now and then I will sell some of the ancient Ponderosa pines when prices are right. The little lake is 80 feet deep - the big lake averages around seven feet deep and on extreme year the big lake can go completely dry. This aerial photo of the property - North is up - West is to the left, etc, etc.

View attachment 578928
 
   #5  

Wakey

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Jul 7, 2013
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997
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Madison Georgia
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John Deere Z915B Zero Turn 54 Deck
I'd definitely look for something existing with a barn and out buildings. If it is old and worn you can get it cheaper and rehab it as you go.

I saw this video the other day and while these structures are old, this property is ready to use, depending on what your wants and needs are. Another channel I follow the guy is living in a trailer while building his home mostly by himself and he's about to pull out his hair.

Let it be known in your area you are looking and sometimes a non traditional purchase agreement can be made. Often times (depending on your area) family members don' want Grandpaw's farm to go to someone who is going to knock it down with a dozer and stuff it in a dumpster and then build a McMansion.

Work hard and don't spend your money on trivial stuff.

 
   #6  

fishheadbob

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Aug 5, 2014
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western ny
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new holland 3930 deere 2320
We bought 50 acres of so-so farm land with a dairy barn, 3 bedroom house, and outbuildings for next to nothing. Nice woods too. We gutted the house, probably cheaper to bulldoze this house, did a lot of brushhogging, lime, drainage, well, driveway, and septic to name a few things. We looked for a long time - 2 or 3 years- for something we wanted in a location we favored , then 3 popped up at once. 40 years later I am happy with our place, actually I was right along.
My advice would be to take your sweet time. The more you look, the more you learn.
2 of the 3 that popped up were traditional real estate listings. This one was an expired listing for the estate of a lady who had been dead for 20 years; one brother lived there right along and wanted a ton of money since he had free rent. We worked on the brother who lived in town and wanted his half no matter how little since his brother had been screwing him for 20 years. It wouldn't sell on the real estate listing as it was overpriced. When we looked at it, the live-in brother went out of his way to tell us what a piece of **** the place was. Remember he didn't want to move and lose his gravy train. We wound up paying half the listing price.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#7  
OP
0

03 shaker

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Joined
Nov 13, 2018
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Location
North Alabama
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None
Plowhog, I'm 26 and it seems about half the people my age have the willingness, drive, and curiosity to get something done. I'm not better than anyone. I am a problem solver though. I've noticed that being able to learn and overcome a problem without giving up is something successful people have.

4570man, I agree. Someone with something like a D5 dozer and 220 trackhoe is the way to clear land.

Oosik, thanks for sharing. Those are the kinds of stories that interest me. Up until a few months ago I worked under a surveyor doing construction staking. I'd help with the research for the boundaries he did on the side. One survey of 40 acres had been in the same family since it was bought from the government in the 1890s if I remember right. I love being able to trace the history of a piece of land like that.

Wakey, thanks for the input. Totally agree on actually talking to people rather than just seeing what's listed with a realtor. Can also help in getting to know your neighbors and have a glimpse at if they will be good neighbors or not.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#8  
OP
0

03 shaker

New member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
12
Location
North Alabama
Tractor
None
We bought 50 acres of so-so farm land with a dairy barn, 3 bedroom house, and outbuildings for next to nothing. Nice woods too. We gutted the house, probably cheaper to bulldoze this house, did a lot of brushhogging, lime, drainage, well, driveway, and septic to name a few things. We looked for a long time - 2 or 3 years- for something we wanted in a location we favored , then 3 popped up at once. 40 years later I am happy with our place, actually I was right along.
My advice would be to take your sweet time. The more you look, the more you learn.
2 of the 3 that popped up were traditional real estate listings. This one was an expired listing for the estate of a lady who had been dead for 20 years; one brother lived there right along and wanted a ton of money since he had free rent. We worked on the brother who lived in town and wanted his half no matter how little since his brother had been screwing him for 20 years. It wouldn't sell on the real estate listing as it was overpriced. When we looked at it, the live-in brother went out of his way to tell us what a piece of **** the place was. Remember he didn't want to move and lose his gravy train. We wound up paying half the listing price.


I feel like time is the biggest advantage I have right now. I'm for sure looking, looking, and looking some more. And reading and trying to learn all I can about property and how to clean up and maintain it.
 
   #9  

dodge man

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Oct 25, 2008
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West central Illinois
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JD 2025R
We were looking to move from the city to a rural area and by city, its only 20,000 people. We happened to see the house we have lived in the last 21 years as an ad in the paper. I can't remember why but it didn't interest us but we went and looked anyway. We bought it the next day, the house sits on 3 acres about 4 miles outside of town. We have done a lot of work to the place and we like the location. Kind of lucked into it.
 

widefat

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Oct 7, 2015
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693
Location
Central Va
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Kubota L3200 Husq GT52XLS Husqvarna LC121P Husq 455 Rancher Stihl FS90 Stihl MS170 99 Ram 1500
It took quite a while to make it happen.
Built up the equity, no 2nd mortgages or refi with cash outs, 2 extra payments a year.
We finally hit the tipping point, sold and put the cash in the bank. (We wanted cash in hand, no sale contingencies, etc)
Moved into a small rental and started looking.
It helped that we used our realtor to sale our house; and as a buyer agent; so she gave us a month to month rental with no contract.
It took a year - but we found an old farmhouse on nice acreage. It was in poor shape, so it would not qualify for any type of VA or FHA loan.
We went in with a cash offer for as is where is, and the offer to close as soon as the title company could clear it.
We found out after closing that it was very close to foreclosure.

Through all of this, many of our friends thought we were nuts to sell our home, scale down, and wait.
For me, the hardest part was the one year period where we had enough cash to fly to a Barrett-Jackson Auction and buy one each of Plum Crazy, Go Mango, and Sublime.

In our case, the key was having the cash ready to go.
 
 
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