Purchasing land in the country

I’ve learned quite a few things from our property search. I thought I would jot them down, just in case this information can be helpful to someone else.

 

1) Find a good, local, realtor. You want someone that knows the ins and outs of the area you are searching for. Our realtor has given us a ton of great advice. We had our search narrowed down to a general area, but she was able to give us suggestions based on things that we would not have learned until we moved to the property. (One town we were interested in is rumored to be a giant meth lab. ACK!)

2. Save as much money as possible before your move. And then save some more. Seriously. DH and I only had mortgage debt before, and we got a pretty nice check from the sale of our house. However, rural loans are different than conventional loans. I wrongly assumed that our payments would be based on 20% down with a 30 year note. In reality, the bank wanted 30% down on a 20 year note. Also, the average interest rate for a land loan is about 2% higher than the interest rate on a conventional loan. Yikes!

3. Don’t get discouraged. We sent out three contracts to three different properties. I really liked both of the first two properties, and I could have seen us in either place. However, they didn’t work out. When we didn’t get the first place, I was bummed out. When we didn’t get the second place, I was really depressed. It was hard to find the motivation to keep looking. The third place we offered on felt like home as soon as we stepped on the land, but I didn’t let myself get attached emotionally to the place until the contract was signed, the ink was dry, and we checked out everything that could change our mind on the property. Now, I’m thankful and grateful that the first two properties fell through. This place has everything on our must have list, and almost everything on our wish list. It’s fantastic and the journey that we took to find it makes me appreciate it that much more.

4. Research, Research, Research, then Research some more. Research the schools, the town, the county, the laws, the churches, the people, the industries, the restaurants, the grocery stores, the streets, and everything else you can think of about the area you are interested in. Then when you find a property, research some more. You need to check if the property has mineral rights, surface rights, recent survey, appraisal, and flood plain data. Is the property accessible during all types of weather? Does it matter? What is your commute from the property? Are water, electricity, and septic on site? What type of septic is supported with the soil on the property? Has a perc test been done? Has a soil sample been done? Has the water in any ponds, creeks, or wells on the property been tested and deemed safe? Are there restrictions or zoning laws that are applicable to the property? Does the city, state, or county have plans to do anything major within a few miles of the property that will have an affect on your land? Are there any endangered species on your property that will force you to change the plans you have for the property (i.e. not cut down an area covered with trees)? Can you dig a well, get to water quickly? How deep is the top soil? Have chemicals been used on the land in the last few years that could interfere with your plans for an organic garden? Does anyone have any easements to the property? Has anyone started to encroach on the property? Have their been squatters there recently that could be hard to evict? Is there mail service, trash service, and internet service available? What is the closest fire department? Where is the closest hospital? You should also check out the property at different times of the day and night. What would happen if you finally found your piece of paradise and the “empty” barn next door is really the local salon that stays open every night until 4m? You cannot do too much research.

5) Time. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to look for your place. Everything takes longer than it should. If this is going to be a long term, forever, type of move, it’s worth it to take the time to make sure that you can get what you want to get. It’s easy to make mistakes when you are rushed.

6) Lastly – Soak up ideas from every place you visit. Open your mind to this new lifestyle. Take your time. Breath deeply. And, Enjoy the journey.

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye House

Well, we officially sold our house. We are staying with my parents for a few until we get our new place and get everything set up. I don’t have much time to post. As of right now, we close on our property in mid July. Everything is going well. I’ve learned a lot about the process of buying land, as soon as things settle down a little, I’ll write a post about the things we’ve learned.

P.S. The new property about 423 times bigger than the suburban lot we just sold.

Under Contract

We are officially under contract!

We have two weeks to double check the information that the Sellers gave us. If everything is legit, we will close in mid July.

I really hope everything works out. This property is amazing and I already feel like it’s home.

I will post more when I can, Time Warner Cable shut of my internet a week early. Grr.

Lazy Day

Today is a lazy day. We don’t get many lazy days around here, so I’m taking advantage of it. I’ve been packing, cleaning, and listening to this free permaculture design pod class.

I’ve listened to half of the “lessons” so far. There are some great ideas in it. There are some things that I don’t agree with, but even the things I don’t agree with are still thought provoking. If you are interested in permaculture, it’s worth a listen.

I got some yummies from the garden yesterday. Look at all this loot!  I harvested all of this around 2pm and it was all gone before we went to bed. Carrots from the backyard are so much better than carrots from the store. They taste carroty and delicious. (No one asked for ranch dressing to dip them in!)

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Not wanting anything to go to waste, we shared the carrot greens with the rabbits and the compost worms. These are the babies that were born on April 14th. I think we have 4 girls and 2 boys this time, but I’ll double check them sometime this week to be sure. (The seventh one died a week after birth. The mom stepped on his head when he was born and he never recovered.)

When rabbits are very young, I sex them by looking at how far apart their “parts” are from their anus. Girl parts are right next to the anus, and boy parts are a fraction of a tiny bit further away. When they get older, you can press on the area outside of the vent, and the sex becomes very obvious –  it looks like boys have straws and girls have oval slits.

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We signed, sealed, and delivered our third offer on property today. The first two properties we liked didn’t pan out; so I’m not going to get excited about this one yet. I am hopeful though. This is in the town and school district I want, it has the acreage DH wants, it’s peaceful, it has great soil, and it’s got a price tag we can afford. If everything works out, this could be my backyard in a few months.

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We should find out more within the next few days. Until then, I’m going to avoid thinking about it and try to make the most of the last lazy day we will have in this house.

We be hunting land

Land hunt update – –

I don’t want to jinx anything, so I won’t go into details yet; but, if everything checks out with water, electric, and perc testing – we might be making an offer on this.

 

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It’s huge (the lot is the size of a shopping mall and accompanying parking lots). It’s also got a few ponds, one of which is a giant mosquito breeding pit. It has no house, no water, no electric, and no sewage system; but, it’s fenced, it has a newish metal barn, and it comes with a family of rat snakes.

Are we crazy?

….don’t answer that.

Blah de blah blah blah

We made another offer on a different property. The owners are apparently going through a divorce and they need a certain $$$$$$ amount that is not equal to the current value of the property to pay off all of their debts. We offered them 6% below their asking price and they didn’t even counter us, they just came back with their original asking price. At least now I know why it’s been on the market for over a year….. 🙂

It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but we are 100% certain that there are plumbing issues with the house (there was sitting water in the drains of all of the bathtubs), and if the sellers won’t budge from a specific number, it’s hard to imagine that they would be willing to fix any issues that come up during the inspection process either.

We are going to look at a few vacant land properties next week. Hopefully the third time we make an offer is the charm.