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States with Lowest Cost of Living; Cheap Land

                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
I'm returning to the US after being abroad, on and off, for many years.  I would like to buy an acre of cheap rural or semi-rural land somewhere and put into practice permaculture principles.  My Internet searches have come up with the following lists.  I thought they might be of interest to others. 

It appears that the place to look would be in the Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma nexus, out as far as Tennessee and Texas, and as far north as S. Dakota although the growing season would be shorter there.  I expect there would be fewer hassles with zoning regulations for building in these areas also. 

I got these lists from various sites, but it strikes me that it doesn't include low-cost-of-living counties within otherwise prosperous States, so it is definitely not the last word.  Any feedback would be welcome.

General Cost of Living, from Lowest:
1. Oklahoma
2. Tennessee
3. S Dakota
4. Texas
5. Arkansas
6. Georgia
7. Ohio
8. Alabama
9. Kentucky
10. Indiana
11. Kansas
12. S Carolina
13. N. Dakota
15. Iowa
16. Idaho
17. Nebraska
18. Missouri & Illinois
19. Louisiana
20. Wisconsin

Cost of Living 4th Quarter 2008, from Lowest:
1. Tennessee
2. Oklahoma
3. Nebraska
4. Missouri
5. Arkansas
6. Texas
7. S Dakota
8. Georgia
9. Kansas
10. Alabama
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
Good morning,

I spent the last 2 years living in LA (Lower Alabama) and I can tell you that the cost of living there is not low.  It cost between 2 and 3 times as much for horse feed, hay or meds.  Gas was not inexpensive either.  northen Alabama is better but a friend in Birmingham paid almost as much to keep her horses there.

It is a wonderful place to spend the winters though!!
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
well I can mosty only speak for oklahoma. although the whole state is known for a low cost of living if you get next to tulsa or okc land prices do skyrocket (comparitively) western OK is still really cheap land but can be very iffy as far as drought goes. I ahve lived in the northeastern part of the state most of my life (known as "green country" and just recently moved a bit farther south. keep in mind that low cost of living is often associated with economically depressed areas. finding jobs can be hard.

my grandparents and and parents were from the south dakota. my grandparents house (after their death) recently auctioned off for 12,000 dollars full of everything that the family didn't want (think furniture, including antiques, and almost all kitchen stuff. if you want super rural I would vote for SD. but I also remember being up their as a kid and seeing the snow! being stuck in the ditch when caught in a blizzard, waiting waiting waiting for a snow plow to come by and pull us and the 2-3 other cars that went in the ditch at the same time (followed each other like little lemmings)  I wouldn't trade the heat humidity and pitfalls of a more southern area for that kind of debilitating snowfall.

I want to point out some things about growing seasons that northerners don't always get. long growing seasons and mild winters are nice for human comfort. but that means weeds and insects don't get killed off during the winter. you don't get to start over every year!  certain obnoxious things like bermuda grass, kudzu etc... can just go dormant instead of getting froze out. (never saw bermuda in SD) this can result in a more difficult time managing plantings and the natural enviroment. we don't get cold enough long enough for some things either. the heat becomes the killer to make up for the cold in the summer. alot of things just plain croak. 

we do get alot of rain here in OK but don't think it comes in nice neat little showers to water your property throughout the year. many times it can come with damaging storms. ice storms are not uncommon. if you have never experienced one it is hard to totally get across. last year it was both petrifying and fascinating to listen all night long to trees giving under the weight of ice and smashing to the ground. it was like listening to fireworks. 


[img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/havlik1/permie%20pics2/permiepotrait3pdd.jpg[/img]

"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
one of the cheapest places to buy land and repo houses right now is in Michigan..the county next to us just announced their unemployment rates at 20 % this morning..that means more and more homes are being repo'd cause people can't pay for their mortgages..

they are having auctions and just plain selling the homes and farms and whatever..for dirt..i mean dirt dirt dirt cheap in Michigan.

we sold MIL's house for 1/2 of it's worth before the housing market fell and before the car industry crashed..and now it would be worth less than 1/2 of that or whatever..

before the crash my niece bought a lovely home on 5 acres for $30,000..and that was over a year ago..prices have fallen horrendously since then..it probably would be more like $5,000 now for the same home !!!

seriously ..anyone wanting to buy land or homes in Michigan..you couldn't pick a better time to buy.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
We had a very bad ice storm in northern IN around 1990-92. Trees and power lines came down everywhere. Several trees around our house lost some large branches. That sound is an awesome reminder of the power of nature.

I am fairly partial to IN for affordability. Its hard not to grow most things here. That's probably part of why we're famous for corn, one of the harder things to grow, imo. Cheap land is fairly abundant. Cost of living is decent even in Indianapolis.

I'm with Brenda on now being the time to buy. Anywhere. There are very few places in the US unaffected by the crash.


"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller
--
Jeremiah Bailey
Central Indiana
Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
As a Georgia resident, I recommend it.  If you go into the northwest corner of the state (near TN and AL), you can find cheap land in the foothills.  I'm partial to sloped sites for water catchment and power generation .

GA is definitely in the humid landscape portion of the US.  We get around 30-40" of rain per year, mostly in those gentle showers that were mentioned.  Summers are hot, but in the hills that's mediated a good bit.  Not too hot, not too cold.


Check out my Primal Prepper blog where I talk about permaculture, prepping, and the primal lifestyle... all the time!
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
I think it depends a lot on what kind of lifestyle you want to have.  I'm hoping to move back to Alaska within the next few years, to an area which does not (yet, at least) have any property taxes.  We'll (my daughter and I) live partly on foraged stuff (greens, berries, fish) and partly on what we can raise (garden, dairy goats, meat rabbits, and either ducks or chickens for eggs).  Our house will be tiny and easy to heat (a 20' shipping container), and we'll spend much of our time outside.  When the weather is bad, we'll have a good-sized attached greenhouse to hang out in.  That's enough to make me happy, as I don't need access to the bright lights of a city, and hot weather makes me physically ill.  But each person needs to evaluate what they need to be happy.

Some of the places mentioned above may have low property costs right now, such as Michigan, but have very repressive taxes and building regulations.  So evaluate the laws and regulations in any area you are looking at as well as property cost.

Kathleen


ETA:  We will need very little cash income, and should be able to make all we need by selling eggs and wild berry jams and jellies -- the village has a commercial kitchen available for such uses.  Might make goat cheese to sell, too, if I can meet all the regulations.
                          


Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Posts: 23
The cost of living to a homesteader/permculturist is anything they have to buy which they cannot or choose not to provide themselves.  Obviously, land would be an issue, I think taxes that are not based off cash or monetary income and regulations,
Healthcare possibly?


Is it cheaper to heat or cool?

Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
As to whether it's cheaper to heat a home, or to cool it, that's going to depend on several factors.  First, it will depend on what fuel/source of energy you are using, and where it comes from.  If you have access to free firewood, and have an efficient, well-insulated house and an efficient stove (especially a stove like the masonry stoves or rocket stoves), then it's probably less expensive to heat a home, although you do have to figure your labor into the equation.  But if you can tolerate a lot of heat, and have a home designed to maximize natural cooling, then cooling might be less expensive.  Maybe a solar-powered fan or something like that would be all you'd need.  No labor, and very low cost. 

Kathleen
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
in Michigan we don't own an air conditioner..we have owned them but never used them so we got rid of them..don't need it.

we do use wood for most of our heat with a propane back up

i still highly recommend Michigan
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2658
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  71
There's a people element that's missing when you're looking solely at the dollar amount and only at land.

Here in the Seattle area, admittedly on the higher/highest end of the cost of living scale, I researched where to move with my family about 10 years ago. Every where that had lower home costs and less property taxes had higher crime, more school drop outs and poor student performance along with very few advanced or extra educational opportunities in those school districts. In fact, in one county, the farther east you went, the less populated it was AND the higher the teen pregnancy rates became.

At that time 10 years ago, I was in a dual-income household with an academically advanced teen theatre student and an academically challenged grade schooler. Not exactly a homesteading family, but I still think what we were looking at could apply to this thread. Since I wanted as safe and supportive of a community for my entire family as we could afford and as I could find, we chose to buy a smaller house in a smaller suburban town with a very small yard. The location hugely shortened our work and errand commutes. The public school and local community provided amazing theatre opportunities and educational support for our two kids. Our smaller home and yard allowed more time for supporting our kids in their school work and activities after our long work days.

I understand how a homesteading lifestyle and cheap land could translate to even more time at home with kids, if you have them. And I understand how homesteading can provide an education that is also probably quite valuable - maybe even more so than traditional public school education. Even without kids or their schools to consider, as an adult, I would still want to live where there is a community supportive of permaculture principles, or at least mildly intelligent, if you know what I mean. Sometimes it costs more to live in a place that has a neat community. And sometimes it's HUGELY worth it.


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
                        


Joined: Apr 15, 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Canada. Ont
Inb4 Canada

38 acres in boreal forest for $8k US

win?
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Cheese wrote:
Inb4 Canada

38 acres in boreal forest for $8k US

win?


Sounds good if you already live in Canada.  It would be a little more complicated for someone to move from the United States to Canada, though.

What are property taxes like in Canada?

Kathleen
                        


Joined: Apr 15, 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Canada. Ont
Im not actually sure about the property tax on woodlands.  Near Timmins Ontario, the crown retains mineral and logging rights for some properties, but the tax is not huge as far as i know.  Might be a good area for a eco-village, most of the properties have no road access, this is deep wilderness stuff.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Land in our neck of the jungle is roughly 1,000 USD per acre (I converted for you all). This would be on a gravel road (hah! River rock road!) probably 5 miles from the nearest town or paved road. Pretty hilly, good neighbors, incredible scenery. You might have to do your own electricity, but hydro is pretty easy.

Phone can be cellular, Internet is in town.

The more services you want, the more it will cost you. The great thing is year round growing of everything. You literally have 3 times as much time to grow. No cold weather in the spring or fall, and everything just shoots up from the ground. All that silliness about waiting for the soil to be warm enough is gone.

Labor is pretty reasonable - but anything imported is expensive. To live off the land is very common.

The Mennonites and the Quakers have been here for years, and did well.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
                                


Joined: Nov 23, 2009
Posts: 3
In south west Texas (100 miles around San antonio) land goes for 3000.00 to 5000.00 an acre jobs are there cost of living fair, wells where I have my place are 280 feet ,, good water , I rise goats for sale and BBQ  hay for horses (good fret coastal 1100 lb bale round bales 45.00 to 65.00 each . sandy loam that grows anything I stick in it >and the Beer s always cold and the Mexican food is cheap and great >
                              


Joined: May 03, 2009
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
Fred, where is your neck of the Jungle?

I can recommend Michigan if you like true seasons.  Admittedly Michigan has lots of taxes and you have to heat your home but you get good schools out of the taxes the snows and cold to re-set the land from bugs and weeds.  I grew up in Michigan and I miss it.  I would probably move back but my line of work doesn't provide much jobs for me in rural Michigan.

I'm now living in Central Florida and can comment on humid sub-tropical climates.  I wouldn't call our area cheap but we are in driving distance of being able to work at a money paying job.  No state income tax and I would guess that property taxes are not so high here and our schools show it.  This isn't really the place to move to for good schools.

Anyway, learning to garden here has been a challenge.  We have sand that eats huge amounts of organic matter quickly.  Some people call it a wet desert.  Generally the humidity is high year round but almost reaches lower civilized % during the spring when rain gets very scarce.  Irrigation is often needed through all but part of the rainy summer/fall.  Through much of the rainy season it is so hot that the plants use up what little rain they get quickly and still wilt (afternoon shade is often needed for gardens here.)  Unfortunately, even with the plants using up all the moisture in the soil, there are still problems with wet, wet air can make fungus and mold problems multiply so space and pruning can be important.  And the bugs!!!  There is no long hard frozen time to kill off bugs, diseases and weeds, bermuda grass keeps coming back.  (I don't know if I'll ever get rid of the sweet potato weevils that did in my crop this past year, I'll probably have to go several years without growing them and they are one of the few good crops for the hot summer.) 
But there are good things about growing here.  Compost can be made quickly and if you water the garden regularly, sheet composting is quite effective.  There is at least something that can be grown year round.  Right now all the cool weather crops are in and will survive happily over winter though frost/freeze might burn some a bit.  Broccoli loves freezes.  We can also grow some tropicals.  We have harvested banana, papaya, citrus, jicama, moringa, bamboo, pineapple, figs, loquat, and I'm working hard to add more and more perennial food plants.
It is also fairly easy to do aquaponics here in FL since only minimal protection is required to keep the water warm enough for catfish and bluegill (tilapia are good but they don't grow if the water cools off so we are not going to concentrate on them anymore.)

Good Luck finding the right place!  If you can manage more than an acre, and find something with a good water source, do it.  Finding a community that won't give your grief about animals and greenhouses and planting and such is important.  I'm right on the edge of an area with nosy neighbors that want to complain to code enforcement about anything.  Luckily the neighbors right next to me are cool but my property is visible from the park so I have to keep the chickens in back and can't range them through the entire yard.


TCLynx
[url]http://www.tclynx.com/[/url]
[img]http://www.permies.com/permaculture-images/2692_740/Avitar.jpg[/img]
                                


Joined: Aug 13, 2009
Posts: 10
I agree with Kathleen as far as Alaska providing the most bang for the buck because of several factors.

Including low to non-existent taxes. No sales tax in many boroughs, no property taxes in others. Plus, we still get reimbursed for living here. (Last year it was about $1300 per person, the year before almost double that. Probably much lower this year, but still good.) If you have a family of 4 or and live mostly off the land, own your own land and have things paid for, it's feasible to see that a family could live off of their PFD for cash purchases alone, with possibly a little supplemental income from crafting or selling goods or running tours or what have you.

Fuel and food and water are all abundant here in the good areas. Good land is not cheap, but it's an excellent investment. Animal feed is not cheap, it's expensive to over-winter livestock, but there are ways around it and ways to make the livestock pay for itself PLUS providing you with what you need.

Gardening can be REALLY good or REALLY bad, depending on several factors. But you can grow and put up A LOT in the short summer season and affordable technology is advancing steadily in the realm of season extenders. (Anything working with solar is particularly good for about half the year.)

Last but not least, in most of the state you will run into virtually NO regulations telling you what you can and can not do with your own property.

Gotta love that.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
I wonder how much longer the Alaska Permanent Fund will exist, though?  I think it may make things difficult for those families who are dependent on it, thinking it's secure.  My DD gets SSI (she's pretty severely mentally handicapped), and I'm not counting on that always being there, either.  Our world is a'changin' and not for the better, I'm afraid (and I'm not talking about government moneys not being available in the future, but the repressive political changes which started several Presidents ago, and are continuing at an accelerated pace under the current incumbent).

Kathleen
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Can anyone recommend a region of alaska?
Michael Hansen


Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
I've lived in Alaska most of my life.  Currently we're in Florida care-taking the In-Law's retirement home until they retire and move down here.  Alaska has a lot of pros and cons when it comes to homesteading.  The extra money from the PFD is nice, the non-taxes are also very nice.  The people are great; it's very much a different culture up there and I will miss it, because we're not going back.  We're definitely northerners and aren't managing the Florida clime very well but our situation is temporary.  We're going to buy our property next year up in Michigan; somewhere south of Traverse City.  Our reasons for this are: The season's, we want a full 4 seasons. (Yes even the winter)  We love a good winter, we just don't want 9 months of it.  It is cold in Alaska for 9 months out of the year.  People in the area of Michigan we'll be going to support their local growers, and the communities are great.  There are all kinds of neat events, like the cherry festival and the asparagus festival, parades and other community activities.  You won't find that in Alaska, especially if you live out in the bush.  The land prices are really cheap, I've been looking at 10 acres for 20-24k (even cheaper if you want to live in the U.P. or a bit farther from a town)  My parents just bought a house (3br 2ba) on 2.5 acres for 24K.  In Alaska if you want to find property at those prices you will be very far out in the bush.  The concerns we had with homesteading up there include medical attention (in case of emergencies)  More of a community to belong to (as opposed to 5-6 shady people who live out in the sticks for a reason)  The price of everything is a lot more expensive. (everything has to be shipped in to Alaska 1st, and then shipped out to your neck of the woods)  As far as living off the land,  so far from everything I've been reading and the people I've talked to, the fishing in Michigan is as good if not better than Alaska.  You also have wild turkey and deer.  The 1st time you have to dress a moose or caribou and haul that meat, you'll wish it was a deer.

Now don't get me wrong.  I love Alaska, and I will certainly miss it very much, but I think for the type of homestead we want to build, Michigan is for us.  If you're dead set on Alaska I can help point you in the right direction, but I'll need a little more information.  How close to a town do you want to be?  What will you do for income?  How much are you looking to spend on land?  etc.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Sometimes it costs more to live in a place that has a neat community. And sometimes it's HUGELY worth it.


absolutely! I love my life and where I live but the people in the area have had a great influence on some very large decisions. to homeschool my children for one. the values and educational standards that dominate the area should be a criteria in the decision making process.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Shamrock, you make some very good points about Alaska!  It does seem that the people who go beyond the end of the road (or even little places like Tok) are often there because that's as far as they can go to get away from other people, and there's often a very good reason for them to be looking to get away from other people!  Some really weird people live out there.  Some very nice ones, too, though.

And the climate can be pretty rough if you aren't used to it.  Tok and the surrounding area has snow on the ground for seven months out of the year; summer generally lasts for a few days in July! 

How are the taxes (esp. property) in Michigan?

Kathleen
Michael Hansen


Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
Kathleen, from what I've seen so far the taxes are all very middle of the road.  Some townships are a lot higher than others though.  We plan on being about 30 minutes from the nearest large town. All the property taxes I've seen in those areas are quite reasonable.  Also in Michigan you can claim your residence as a Homestead if it is your primary residence and pay a reduced figure than what is usually shown on the MLS.

For us, being part of a like minded community is worth the investment. My Brother-In-Law who lives in Traverse City was just telling me of a cider press party they attended in the late fall.  Some friends of theirs have an apple orchard and every year they take all the unsellable/left over apples and press it all into cider.  They had a great time, there was about 40 or 50 people there and they all got to take away as much cider as they wanted.  He even learned a couple recipes for some hard cider.

We've been looking for just the right place for a few years now, as this will be our last move.  We're putting down our roots and building our homestead from scratch.  The NW part of Michigan does receive a lot of snow in the winter, but we're just fine with that.  The winter temperatures are quite reasonable (compared to Alaska) You know from living in Alaska when it snows, that means it was warm enough to.  I've been monitoring the weather there for the last couple years and have seen 50 degrees there in November.  The summers are not too hot either and that's important for us as well.  Being off the grid it is much easier to heat with wood when it's chilly than it is to cool the house off when it's too hot.  And Michigan is 2nd only to California as when it comes to agricultural diversity.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Do you have any websites that are good for checking on land prices, especially in the UP?  One of my brothers (who lives in Tok) has been there quite a few times, as his wife is from there, and they've thought of moving back there.  I've thought of it, too, but am definitely concerned about property taxes! 

Kathleen
Michael Hansen


Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
Haven't check out too much in the UP specifically, but these sites look like a good place to start.

http://www.upmls.com/

http://www.upfsbo.com/

Cheers!
                              


Joined: May 03, 2009
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
I grew up in Michigan (Traverse City) NW lower Michigan.  Love it there.  The Ancestral house is still in the Family in Alden, Michgan.

Property taxes can be a little high in some places but that usually means the schools there are better funded and often good.  And Michigan has state income tax but I generally figure that as long as there are benefits from the taxes, they are worth it.  The Ancestral house is still in the Family in Alden, Michgan.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Well, in my case, the schools are irrelevant, since 1.  my youngest child is 29, and 2. even if I had school-age children, I'd be homeschooling them.  So I have no interest in paying high taxes for the sake of the public schools! 

My thought on taxes is that with the economy bad and getting worse, a location with high property taxes is a bad place to be, because even if your property has no mortgage, if you can't pay the taxes you can still lose it.  I'm not so concerned about sales or income taxes, because if you don't have any money to speak of, you don't pay those.  The main thing is to have a piece of land that's paid for, and that you can afford the property taxes on no matter what happens to your income, so you have a place for shelter and to raise your food.

Kathleen
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I found my property on this website:  http://landandfarm.com/ ;

They have international listings, too, and if you're up for living in south america, land, taxes, and cost of living can be found for CHEEEAP down there.  If you're comfortable living that far away from family and speaking spanish the rest of your life, it might be an option to explore.  A few countries have gotten expensive (Brazil for instance), but it's relatively easy to buy land as a non-citizen in most countries (argentina and urugay come to mind).  And if you buy soon, the dollar might still be worth something!

I agree that the cost of property and taxes aren't the only things to consider.  Isolated locations rule out many options for making money living on the land.  The most successful market farms and hospitality type businesses have close (within an hour) proximity to some size of city.  You don't have to live right outside a major city, but being close to some kind of urban population provides people to buy the things you produce.  The cheaper properties are generally priced that way for several reasons.  A bargain at face cost might not be a bargain in other ways, if yaknowhatImsayin.  Water rights add lots of dollars to the asking price, but a property without a good source of water is, well, worthless to a homesteader. 
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
You mentioned water, and that's something I've been meaning to bring up -- might as well do it here, at least to begin with.  In the big permaculture book by Bill Mollison, (I think it was in that one) he mentioned people doing permaculture successfully with collected rain water and various coping mechanisms in places that get as little as three inches of precipitation a year!  There's a lot of really cheap land in this country in dry areas where well water would probably be too deep to economically lift it to the surface (at least for most of us who aren't rich).  I've thought about getting a piece of that cheap, dry land and working with it, to see if I could do that -- although not in Colorado, where you have to have a permit to collect rain water!

Kathleen
                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
I've thought about getting a piece of that cheap, dry land and working with it, to see if I could do that -- although not in Colorado, where you have to have a permit to collect rain water!
Kathleen


I read somewhere that they've already begun to relax some of those regulations.  If you haven't checked recently  it may be worthwhile to do so.

                                


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 148
It's a little reading, but yeah, you can save water now with the proper paperwork of course!
http://water.state.co.us/pubs/pdf/RainWaterBills.pdf
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
That's good, if they are relaxing their rules on that.  There is some inexpensive land there that I've seen on e-Bay and other land sites.  How are their property taxes? 

Kathleen
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Anyone ever check out http://www.billyland.com/Cheap-Land-for-Sale
                                  


Joined: Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
stully wrote:
Anyone ever check out http://www.billyland.com/Cheap-Land-for-Sale


Yes.  For most of the properties they advertise there are several building and usage restrictions (designed to maintain property values) and an "owners association" that requires monthly dues.  Also, they give you low monthly payments and deposits but soak you on the total price and interest rate.  On the plus side, utilities are usually available.

They remind me of the used car dealers who specialize in poor credit cases.  Some people care only about their monthly payments and nothing else.  I used to get their emails but gave up on them. 

The other one that is similar is http://www.ozarkland.com/  They are better in some ways; e.g., there are no big brother owners associations, but their land also is overpriced and much of it is very remote and often accessible only by 4WD vehicles.  On-site utilities are rare.  They make their money by repossessing the land after people give up and leave and then selling it again and again.

These choices might be worth it for some people, especially if you make them a cash offer and arrange your own financing, but be careful.
                                


Joined: Jan 17, 2010
Posts: 1
Definitely go with your instincts! Check out Missouri. More specifically check out the great things that are happening in Scotland County, Missouri. There are already three intentional communities in the area who have plowed the way for homesteading types: Sandhill Farm, Dancing Rabbit EcoVillage, and Red Earth Farms. Don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to.

Land is super cheap, building codes are non-existent, and like-minded individuals already live there!

http://sandhillfarm.org/ ;

http://www.dancingrabbit.org/

http://redearthfarms.org/
                                      


Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 67
One of the things I like best about living out in the county in S.W. Missouri is that, since there is not budget for inspectors, there simply isn't one out here.  I am free to build how I choose to, and although there are still codes, there are no inspectors or permits, or fees, or the like.  I like.

I don't know if my hybrid wall system would have been approved by an inspector.  I suppose it would have to be since it is only an infill insulation and exterior skin (strawclay infill in the studwall and earthblock outer skin), but I like that I didn't have to pay extra for the luxury of building sustainably.
wesleyds Smith


Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Northwest Lower Michigan
I live in NW lower Michigan a little south and west of Traverse City.  The building codes are a pain in the rear end.  The winters are cold and the growing season is short and unpredictable.  I've seen killing frost in June.  I have had such bad luck growing a garden that I have just given up.  It costs me more to grow one than it does to buy the food.  The reason the homes are so affordable right now is because nobody can find work.  Businesses are closing left and right and people are fleeing.  This is a beautiful place to live but you better have a good job lined up already.


The only real mistakes are the ones from which you learn nothing.
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
I see these types of list but think to myself... "It matters a lot more on the individual than the state." What choices you make personally as to lifestyle are what really determines your cost of living. We live simply. It doesn't cost much. Land and our real estate taxes are our highest cost but I wouldn't want to live in Oklahoma. Not my style. So there are some things where you just have to bite the bullet and say "that is the luxury I choose."
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela


Joined: May 01, 2010
Posts: 143
    
    1
I live in Michigan, too.  The job market can be a little cagey depending upon your skillset.  Right now, technical people shouldn't have too much trouble finding work because there is a huge void in the job market. 

There are many land bargains to be had here.  Good "recreational" properties (river front, lake front, forrested lands) are selling for pennies on the dollar all over the State.  North Central Michigan near the Manistee Forest is seeing homes with good acreage sell for less than $30K (as Brenda indicated).  Houses in Detroit can be had for $1 (not that many people choose to live there!).

A team of investors or an intentional community would be foolish to rule Michigan out as a point of interest.  We have our problems here but water (at least in the Central LP) isn't one of them.  I've always thought a Michigan drought is just business as usual in most other states. 

Forages for livestock are on the rise at around $4 - $6 per bale but that is primarily due to Michigan haymen selling their crops to the southern states.  Michigan has a great farming history and, despite popular belief, agriculture is the top industry in the state (horses alone are an 8 billion dollar per year  industry in Michigan).  Michigan also has a huge tourism industry much of which is home-grown tourism. 



 
 
subject: States with Lowest Cost of Living; Cheap Land
 
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