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Anyone have any luck buying small parcels out in the country?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

We are looking to buy a few acres. I have been told by several real estate agents that it is near to impossible to buy just an acre or two in the country. This really puts a hold on our plans. We have a few states that we are looking into but have only about 5,000 to spend. Could go up to 6,500 but really need the other money to get a well drilled. I am feeling quite disappointed. :( Any happy stories to share to cheer me up? :)

post #2 of 26

Most folks don't want to sell just one or two acres.  Where we live, you can't buy less than 20 acres as part of the growth management plan.  It's a good thing as you don't want multiple families living where water is at a premium (too many wells, too lcose together, can really upset the water situation!).

 

Also, where we live, acreage is going for, at least, $5,000 / acre.  It depends on the location, topography, power/phone lines and water availability.

 

We live on over 75 acres (and are planning on buying out our neighbor when they decide to sell). 

 

Also, be aware a well can cost waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than that extra $1,500 you are planning for a well!  We have two wells and they cost over $25,000 & $40,000 each. 

 

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

I was worried that this might be hopeless...greensad.gif

 

I had no idea how much it could cost for a well!!  WOW. How far down did you have to go? How much was it per foot?? How do you have it coming to the house? Is that cost included in your total? I was told by a real estate agent from MT that it averages from 2,000 to 10,000 not including septic. I did plan on paying that at some point. The extra 1500 was going to be more for having someone check to see how far water was and testing it. I am not sure how this is all done. I am still in the research phase. I really do appreciate you making it more realistic for me.

 

 I just can not find anything small. You totally made sense out of it for me tho. I guess I can only hope that someone has a ton of untouch acreage and they would be willing to sell a little. Thanks so much!! (I'll just keep dreaming) :)

post #4 of 26

Ok my area cost way more per acre than that, but as for your questions..... Our area also has restrictions on what size properties are allowed to subdivide and wont allow any subdivisions 2 acres or under. The only time I've heard of someone subdividing their land for such a small parcel was for family so you would have to know the owners ahead of time. FWIW wells in our area run around $20,000.

 

post #5 of 26

Farmers selling off one or two acres for building lots along township roads is still common in my area but those start at $30,000 and $45,000 to $50,000 is the norm.  Some townships have started restricting lot sizes to a minumum of 5 acres.

 

Wells are a crap shot, one of those things that it costs what it ends up costing because you don't know what you going to encounter until you start drilling.  On-site waste disposal is similar.  Where I am at, most municipalities are requiring sand mound systems, which start at $20,000 and quickly go up from there.

 

Have you considered an existing house with an on-site well and spectic already in place?  At least you could get those tested as part of the purchase contract.

post #6 of 26

Buying small acreages is really hard. I'm currently looking for 5 acre plots. Finding them, and then finding them for a reasonable price, is pretty hard. Right now, I'm looking for something under $30,000 and hopefully closer to $20,000. You pay extra when you buy the water rights, and it's also extra if you already have utilities run to the site as well. Electricity can get SUPER expensive. Also, watch out that you're not paying for a "view." Some plots the same size in my area START at $90,000 because of the "view."

 

DH has a lot of friends in the contractor's world. He says that in our area getting a well dug is usually around $10,000, and then a septic tank is usually around $5,500. (But, he knows the guys who do this for a living, so we'll be paying much less than that. It really helps to have contacts.)

 

I asked DH about your questions about water, and here are his answers:

How far down did you have to go? Your well driller will know that.

How much was it per foot?? It varies by region.

How do you have it coming to the house? You have to have a pressure tank, and run pvc lines to your house.

Is that cost included in your total? No.

post #7 of 26

Wells in my area are very expensive due to how far you have to drill down to get water. People who can not afford that or end up not finding good water haul all their water. Pick up trucks with a giant tank in the back are still a common sight. We used to do it for a while as a child and it is certainly a different lifestyle. If the well is slow producing, a cistern or two might even be needed underground to store water. 

 

post #8 of 26

I just wanted to give you a little encouragement.  We aren't in the most "farm friendly" area (mountains/desert), but it can be done if you know what you're doing.  Out here, you wind up paying a lot for the "view" too, but you know, we've found a few parcels (not a TON but a few) for 2-5 acres ranging in the $4000/acre price.  That is in the area that I really WANT to live.  If we moved a little farther out to a town I don't want to live in we could get land MUCH cheaper that is actually even better for growing (I'm just biased because I want to stay near my hometown - the other town is fine).  If you're looking around, check Chino Valley or Paulden, in Arizona.  They're able to get city-water out there, but it is a farming community so you wouldn't have to have a well, most likely.  I can't promise, but its possible. 

 

All that to say that if you're really wanting that, it can happen.  It takes looking around, and not giving up... but you can do that I bet! :)

post #9 of 26

Also - you might check out OzarkLand.com - they have a great program where they sell land without having to go through banks, and it is usually very affordable.  Normally I would be pretty skeptical about something like this, but I know someone who bought land through them and is currently living off the grid there now! :)

post #10 of 26

If I was looking for a place to homestead where family/existing social relationships/jobs were not an issue I would look at the northern tier of counties in MO.  The landscape is mostly rolling hills/pasture with a little bit of rowcropping.  There very few jobs but I think it's quite pretty IMO.  You could get a nice little "hobby farm" sort of place for 80K that would have a working septic and well and low taxes and enough trees to keep you in wood heat forever.

 

There are other places I would consider in the SW portions of WI where you can get a 10 acre farm with a small farmhouse for about 120K

 

Also keep in mind just because you can buy a small one or two acre parcel does not mean you can legal build on it.  The county I just moved from requires a building permit and they don't have to give you one if they don't want too.  Most offers for bare land are written contigent on having an approved permit.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post

 

There are other places I would consider in the SW portions of WI where you can get a 10 acre farm with a small farmhouse for about 120K

 

This caught my eye since that region is on our short list - do you have any websites/realtors to recommend?

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

 

This caught my eye since that region is on our short list - do you have any websites/realtors to recommend?

 

Not really.  It's an area I know mostly from camping. I did do a little more webed-based search a couple years back when DH applied for a job in LaFarge and I applied for a job in Westby. There are some sites that have MLS listings with nice pictures.

 

It is also a place with out much in the way of jobs.  Also 15 miles is this area can be a long commute because of the curvy roads, weather conditions, dodging Amish buggies.

 

I think if I was considering it I would also talk to the people running a couple of the big CSA's that delivery to the Cities and Madison.  They might have a good read on if a place was good farmland.

 

Lusa/Clean blog is really good, but it is mostly about Rachel (the author's) life.

post #13 of 26

Is Kansas on your list?  There is a listing on another message board I am on that looks affordable with a lot of perks... might be worth looking into.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

Mnnice and Kitchensqueen,

 

I used to live in LaCrosse, WI. So the Westby, LaFarge, Viroqua area is very well known to me. BEAUTIFUL AREA!!! Very good farmland. Viroqua is a very organic, alternative medicine, friendly place to start a home. My midwife lived in that town. I made many regular trips there.
 


Edited by Ydolem - 5/17/12 at 7:34pm
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have been away waaayyyy too long! Thank you for all the responses!!! Sounds like all of you have had to pay quite a lot for some wells. Sad such it is such a necessity really. We have decided to move back to a location we are familiar with. Okanogan County WA. The winters are mild and we will be looking at 300 days of sunshine. YAY! Land is very reasonable and beautiful!! Here is a link to some properties.

 

Finding that wells in that area are running 250 to 400 feet deep tho. OUCH!! We are looking to put a cobwood home there or a straw-bale. Perhaps a hybrid. We are planning to buy a 30' yurt while we build. lately we have been looking into a gravity fed tank, at least until we can afford the well. DH knows someone in the area that drills wells so we are hoping for a better price. Also, we will be going solar as well so no need for electricity. So paying for solar instead of getting hooked up to the grid should be cheaper. Our goal is NO BILLS!! ;) Except taxes of course. :(

 

We know some folks in the area so we are hoping to hear of a few acres for sale or of someone willing to arrange owner finance with us despite our poor credit. It is a friendly place there and I am sure that after we have spread the word we will hear from someone. Tonasket is a great town. We used to live in Oroville (15 min from Tonasket) so friends are not too far.

 

Thank you for all the advise and suggestions!!

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:

DH has a lot of friends in the contractor's world. He says that in our area getting a well dug is usually around $10,000, and then a septic tank is usually around $5,500. (But, he knows the guys who do this for a living, so we'll be paying much less than that. It really helps to have contacts.)

 

I asked DH about your questions about water, and here are his answers:

How far down did you have to go? Your well driller will know that.

How much was it per foot?? It varies by region.

How do you have it coming to the house? You have to have a pressure tank, and run pvc lines to your house.

Is that cost included in your total? No.

Mamainthedesert, Thank you for trying to get some answers for me!!! It is appreciated!!

post #17 of 26

Ydolem - that area looks completely beautiful. :)  Congratulations on finding a location that looks like it will work great for you!

post #18 of 26

Is there such thing a rural water in the area you are moving? 

 

My parent have rural water in their acreage/small farm in Iowa and have never had a well just a connection to rural water.

 

We currently live in the county in South Dakota and have rural water.  Our place has a well, but it has not been used for a very long time . Part of me would like to have a working bison pump just in case/

 

 I get the whole thing about not having any bills, but my last monthly water bill was $27 or less than a $1 a day for water for four people,  plus a little for the chickens and garden, and supplemental water for 50 head of cattle.

post #19 of 26
Quote:

...Also, we will be going solar as well so no need for electricity. So paying for solar instead of getting hooked up to the grid should be cheaper.

We put in 30 solar panels last Fall and it cost us over $30,000.  We are not off the grid (we opted no batteries at this time) but Avista has to buy our power.  We are considering adding additional panels next Fall, probably another $20,000 worth.

 

So, check with your on-grid power company for costs before (or, in addition to) committing completely to solar. 

 

Make sure you have a qualified solar contractor that will stand behind their work and be there for follow-ups.  I can tell you the company we used (outside Spokane).  PM me if you are interested. 

post #20 of 26
Quote:

Is there such thing a rural water in the area you are moving? 

 

My parent have rural water in their acreage/small farm in Iowa and have never had a well just a connection to rural water.

 

What do you mean by this?  If you mean making use of natural flows coming through your property (streams, rivers, etc), permits are required for such in Washington state.  Nobody can own the water (the land under which it flows, yes, but not the water itself. 

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