Stories of how you came about your property

techman

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Mar 24, 2002
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1,180
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N.E. PA
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BX22
We were looking to upgrade back in '87. Looked for many weeks for some land, but it was at the peak of a housing boom (in this area) at the time. Virgin land was going for $ 20-$50K/acre. We kept looking in the paper at new land listings and finally saw a private sale of a wooded parcel, 11.7 acres, for $ 35K. Tried calling the tel number for a few days, but no answer. I asked my wife to check the listing for the number and found that I had transposed 2 numbers. Called the number and talked with the seller. He confirmed the land was available, so I asked to come to see it. I asked if the price was fixed, or was he allowing bidding up on the price among buyers. The seller was an older local who told me the price was fixed and he "didn't want any of those realtor crooks trying to scam him". He stated that he had two appointments the next day, but I was able to arrange to see it the next day at 7:00 AM. Got there the next morning. Land was somewhat out of the way (something we wanted), wooded but overgrown in what was the best area to build, had no utilities close by, and of course it was pouring rain. I told the wife it was now or never, given the price. She was nervous about making a snap decision on such a consequential purchase, but I convinced her. I hand wrote a bill of sale and gave the seller a check for 10%, which I did not have the money in the bank to cover (at that moment). After I got to work that morning, I went to the local bank to transfer funds to cover my check, and arranged a short term loan to cover the $ 35K for the sale, until we sold our home.

Within a month we closed the sale. I had several calls from the other perspective buyers to see if we would subdivide and sell a parcel to them, but we declined. Within a month we sold our existing house and paid off the loan on the land, and used the collateral of the land to get a good mortgage for the next house. During that time we moved in with the mother-in-law, and put most of our stuff in storage. Took a couple of months to clear part of the land, find a builder, work out utilities, etc. We ended up trading 1/2 acre to a neighbor for utility access, and the land gave him access to a portion of his land he wanted to divide off and sell. That worked out for us, since it was 1/2 mile from where we were building. Finally had the house under construction and moved in about 6 months later.

Still a semi remote site. We have a couple of neighbors that are a bit closer than before, but still fairly private. Our one issue has been that our driveway (0.6 miles long and paved) seems to show up on google maps, and we occasionally get people driving back expecting the road to go through to somewhere. We turn them around and have put up private property and no trespassing signs, but still get the occasional person following the driveway that does not go where they want to go.

paul
 

oosik

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Aug 22, 2012
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AMBER, WA
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2009 Kubota M6040
tech man - - there is a mapping company located in Seattle that makes EXTREMELY detailed county maps of WA, OR & ID - - I think. For many years my driveway showed on their maps. There was no designation of either private driveway or county road. You would be surprised how many folks would drive into our yard and say - wow, we never saw a county road with two big 'ol gates on it before. I never could figure if they were truly that stupid OR it was the first excuse that came to their mind.

I mean - when was the last time you drove on a county road where it starts with a huge gate and large "No Trespassing" right in the middle. Then you go a mile and there is a second huge gate with another "No Trespassing" sign right in the middle. Some folks must exist with an ongoing/unsatisfied death wish.

Finally - this Seattle mapping company agreed and they deleted my driveway on all Spokane County maps.
 

TnAndy

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Aug 9, 2013
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East Tennessee
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Yanmar LX410...IHI 35J excavator Woodmizer LT40
Only way it happened for us was owner financing, (two school teachers making 18k/yr combined in 1982) since it was raw, unimproved land.....to the point the power line wasn't even up here. Paid $1000/ac for it, and 2 years ago sold off 33ac for $5,000/ac cash sale.

IF owner financing appeals to you, that is often how rural land is sold since banks are very shy about lending on larger tracts of vacant land. It can be a good deal for land owners, giving them above CD rate income, and you a good deal if you don't have enough for a cash deal. Just make sure you go note/deed of trust route, and NOT a land contract.

Another way I've bought land since is to notice unused land.....property that appears to just be sitting there. Go to the county tax office and look up the owner, then contact them by mail (sometimes you can find a phone number, but not often), and explain yourself/intensions, and simply ask if they are interested in a sale. Most you'll never hear from, or the answer is no.....but every now and then, a jewel is found.
 

Big Barn

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Aug 20, 2013
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Victoria, B C
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More than 40 over the years. Ten at any one time. Mostly Ford and New Holland
You would be surprised how many folks would drive into our yard and say - wow, we never saw a county road with two big 'ol gates on it before. I never could figure if they were truly that stupid OR it was the first excuse that came to their mind.

I mean - when was the last time you drove on a county road where it starts with a huge gate and large "No Trespassing" right in the middle. Then you go a mile and there is a second huge gate with another "No Trespassing" sign right in the middle. Some folks must exist with an ongoing/unsatisfied death wish.

.

No. People are just ignorant.
 
  
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03 shaker

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Nov 13, 2018
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North Alabama
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None
IF owner financing appeals to you, that is often how rural land is sold since banks are very shy about lending on larger tracts of vacant land. It can be a good deal for land owners, giving them above CD rate income, and you a good deal if you don't have enough for a cash deal. Just make sure you go note/deed of trust route, and NOT a land contract.

Another way I've bought land since is to notice unused land.....property that appears to just be sitting there. Go to the county tax office and look up the owner, then contact them by mail (sometimes you can find a phone number, but not often), and explain yourself/intensions, and simply ask if they are interested in a sale. Most you'll never hear from, or the answer is no.....but every now and then, a jewel is found.

Owner financing is something I haven't really heard all that much about. I'll read up on it and keep it in mind if I find a piece I like.

The unused/abandoned idea is something i've thought about before. Once I have enough saved up for reasonable offer/plan I could present to the owner, I'll have to start writing letters :D It's amazing how much land seems to be abandoned, once you start paying attention. At least in the more rural parts of my area.
 

TheFarmerInAdell

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May 15, 2018
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371
Location
Adell, WI
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Massey Ferguson 2706E, Massey Ferguson GC1705
I was looking for some vacant land to build on that had a south facing hill. I happened upon an old farm for sale with the land I was looking for and an old house and barn. I ended up paying the price of vacant land for the property and getting the house and barn for nothing because that's what they were worth. I'm working on renovating the house and barn so I can split them off and sell them with a few acres to fund building my dream home on the part of the property I want to have my home on.
 

Diggin It

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Aug 12, 2018
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Three Posts A Day. Or less.
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LS MT125 TLBM
Bought a city house at a price I considered OK, but more than I wanted to pay. A few years later at near the top of the bubble, I sold it for about 80% more than I paid. Used the funds to pay outright for this place at about half of what I paid for the city house. The rest of it was used for renovations and living expenses for a few years until i decided to go back to work for a while.
 

Jstpssng

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Aug 7, 2005
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Maine
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Nobody has mentioned it but you can sometimes find good deals at tax auctions.
 

Alien

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Jul 13, 2011
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Grantham, South East Queensland
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Kioti CK30 HST
I divorced and had nothing until next payday. Rented, borrowed and built a real nice house, remarried, sold the house a year later and made big money, in fact, enough to pay a substantial amount on my 40 acre property. Retired and took my super and paid off what was owing. Property has doubled+ in value. Been here now 15 years. Probably never leave. We love our paradise.

So from nothing to my own property in about 2 years by using capital gain on a house I built. It can be done.
 

PILOON

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Aug 26, 2004
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10,188
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North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
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MT180D
I was 18 and a friend suggested we go with his aunt to see a potential real estate listing in the north of Montreal, a cool outing at the time.
Once there I asked where the road led to and was told it dead ended on crown land (Gov't land).
Having at that time read of free gov't land I decided to investigate further.
(Note I always read of USA government free land in Popular Mechanics classified)
I pursued and sure enough I applied (after many determents) and obtain a nice waterfront property but being a minor had to take it out in my father's name, we transferred when I reached 21.

I am still on this nice pristine lake that is all spring fed and only one hour north of Montreal, and a pure paradise.
We are surrounded by a government wildlife preserve in all directions with all kinds of wild life.
Our lake is at the top of a watershed hence no contaminants and we have a very strong owner's association to keep it that way.
I also have been very involved in our association as a director, president and presently as VP.

Initially we simply rented (with clauses) and had purchase options for a mere $600. once conditions were met.
Naturally I purchased!
Over the years I also acquired 2 more properties (now sold) and am retired to the best one LOL.
Must say life has been good to me.

These properties all while waterfront were nor serviced by a road so everything was boated in.
As a director I accepted the challenge to head up a road building program that proved successful. All funds came from owners and we completed it within our budget. Later we were able to have it verbalized and it became a municipal road.

Still active on the board we just this year won out with our constant pressures and they are paving it for us.
Life has been good!
 
 
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