Thieves and drugs were getting bad in the county I was living in. My son had built a house in a town ruffly 40 miles away. He had a son that was 2 yrs old and we didn't get to see them much so we decided we would start looking for a few acres outside of the that town. As a joke he sent us photos of a big beautiful log home atop a hillside on 29 acres. It was double the price we were looking to spend and much too big for just the two of us but was such a beautiful home, lots of windows and great views in all directions we just had to have it. Glad he has a good sense of humor.
Been here over 11 yrs now and grandkids (he had a daughter 3 yrs ago) spend a night or 2 with us just about every week. I'm still doing the modifications to get the place the way I want it. I didn't realize how much work it was to care for a log home with acreage I may have passed it up if I did. I'm and old guy and can't put in the hours that I used to keep up with all the necessary work but still glad I didn't pass on it. We love it here.
I've been looking into this the last couple years. Went to two auctions last spring, didn't buy anything. Going again this year with just a bit more cash and a lot more of what to expect.
Speaking of auctions, has anyone bought land that was being auctioned off? My house now is across the road from an auction yard, cars, tractors, equipment, etc. But the guy also does real estate auctions. From what i've heard it's pretty involved. Proving funds before registering and things along those lines. Never been to one so I've wondered if someone is really getting a deal or not. I know his auctions across the road are high on stuff like farm equipment, but cars can be a great deal there. Which makes sense, I live in the country now, and lots or row cropping around. So the farmers come for the equipment, not the old city cars.
I might as well add our story. We had lived in a few rental property's in the area and wanted a place of our own. The neighbor had a place for sale but his price was way beyond our budget. He told me that the appraisal was $80,000 but he would let us have the acreage for the good deal of $60,000. I offered him $30,000 as that was what I could afford. He didn't accept it so I told him to put the real estate sign up and try and sell it. This was about April/June. In October he had a auction to sell his equipment etc. and the acreage was also auctioned. The bid would not buy the land. The bid became a real estate offer to purchase.
I still remember standing there with my heart in my throat. All of a sudden there was a bid for $25,000. Where did that come from? I never saw anybody. I found out later that another neighbor had left a bid of that amount with the auctioneer. The auctioneer worked for a while for a $30,000 bid and couldn't get it. I motioned for half and then all of a sudden I was the winning bidder at $27,500. The auction was over.
The auctioneer came to me and said that the reserve on the place was for $35,000. If I would raise my offer to $30,000 he would reduce his real estate fees and try to talk the owner into taking $30,000. The place was ours! We went looking for a mortgage. My mil gave us $15,000. We needed a loan for the rest which meant I needed an appraisal. I just happened to walk into the real estate office where unknown to me the owner had paid for an appraisal. The office gave us a copy and that was good enough for the bank. The amount on the appraisal was $32,200. We've lived here 28 years.
I'll add that possession day came and the owner and I took a walk around the property. (3 acres) I asked him if there was anything that he really didn't want me to touch as everybody has their pet projects. I'll never forget his answer. "Ernie, this is your place now!"
So....I can add to my fortunate tale of land ownership. My wife and I moved to AK in '65 - the day after my last college class. We had been in AK three weeks already when my class at the U of W went thru graduation exercises. I am not nor have I ever been one for great public affairs. So - I got a job with the government and "retired" from that job in '82. We sold the house we built and in '82 with the way the economy was because of the AK oil pipeline - we made a bloody fortune on the sale of our house.
We had this 80 acres waiting for us here when we moved down from AK. Had my driveway built and we built our Panabode cedar home. With the money from the sale of our AK home - we were able to complete everything here and owe nothing to anybody.
The one thing that everybody who truly "lives in the country" learns pretty quickly - - there is a WHOLE LOT of work that goes with country living. We live here and the only service provided by others is electricity. I wouldn't have it any other way.
There is no question about this - - I have lived and adapted to the country way of life so completely - - I would never be able to go back to city life.
When we lived in Anchorage - you would hear folks say - "that fellow must be a homesteader - look at the way he is". I know that I stand out, like that, every time I go in to the city. I'm just glad that my son is proud of me and not embarrassed to be seen with me.
We looked on and off for years. Wife is a horse person and wanted a place to keep the horses at home. We had finally given up on that idea. I looked one last time on Realtor.com. Found a place that looked perfect. I went and drove by it without telling SWMBO. I loved the place. So we set up a showing. Home was built in 1874. 18+ acres of tillable land.
We made an offer. The owners counter offered and we rejected their counter. They would not come down to what our realtor said was a reasonable price. So we walked away.
The sellers were selling because the Mr. in that couple was sick and could no longer care for the property.
A few days after the deal fell apart our realtor called us. The owners wanted to accept our original offer. They had found a place they liked and wanted to buy. So we of course said yes.
Now we have two large barns, one for stalls and one as a riding arena.
Prior to that we had saved up our money. Owned our home in town outright. So we were able to buy this one and not worry about how long it took to sell the other home. Thankfully that only took 90 days or so.
Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.
I bought my 10-acre ranch in Jan 2005 outside Corning, CA, about 120 miles North of Sacramento and 1.5 miles West of I5. It was the 55th property I looked at from Amador County southeast of Sacramento to Red Bluff about 20 miles North of Corning.
Prior to finding what I wanted, my search took me over to the Chico, CA area southeast of Corning. I looked at a few properties in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mts around Paradise and Magalia. I wanted a few acres so I had to look outside of town in the dense pine forests around that area. I'm not a tree person. I wanted a place where I could see sky, mountains and the horizon. I remember saying to myself that it would be foolhardy for me to buy in that area because of fire risk and because of the cost for putting in a well on those foothills. I ended up buying that 10 acre place outside Corning on the valley floor far away from those pines.