• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Leigh Tate
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
  • Beau Davidson
gardeners:
  • Jordan Holland
  • thomas rubino
  • Nancy Reading

Hidden Land Gems? How to Find Affordable Land?

 
Posts: 2
Location: Richmond, VA
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are looking to build a container home in central Virginia and we're struggling to find the right property.

As it's an off-grid tiny house situation, we could take advantage of a property that otherwise would be difficult to sell. We're desperately avoiding HOAs (which I'm sure you all can appreciate) and we're trying to find something in the three acre range.

Do any of you with more experience have a favorite land website, or do you know of a place we should look? Should we go after the auctioned land? Is there a place on facebook to look?

Please share your wisdom with us because we would like to get moving this year and the search so far has turned up very little.
 
gardener
Posts: 4803
Location: Southern Illinois
1104
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since you are wanting to go off grid and avoid HOA’s, it sounds pretty obvious that you are wanting to avoid suburban/exurban areas.  

One option would be to look for tax sales.  Some might not feel right about these, but someone is going to get these lands, and if it is a developer, then that rural place is going to be rural no more.

Maybe you could look for farm sales, though I bet that you won’t find much in the 3 acre range.

Estate sales?

Maybe talk to a realtor?

Just a few ideas,

Eric
 
Posts: 83
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is difficult, land is very pricey in general


Even going very rural often does not improve things


usually  takes a lot of effort and timhere in centeral Pennsylvania land is very pricy

Heep looking, be open minded
Best of luck
 
pollinator
Posts: 4715
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
487
3
hugelkultur forest garden fungi books bee greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Check this out Quin  Landwatch, 3 to 5 acres in Virginia

On the left hand side you can narrow the search by clicking on different price ranges , by city, by county, etc.
 
Posts: 20
Location: Dunn county, WI
2
purity homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi. I just want to share what I've found helpful, in my last couple years of looking for a homestead for us ( it's a very long story as to why we're still renting right now ). Yes, Facebook marketplace can be helpful, as more people seem to be on that than craigslist nowadays. Helpful for "for sale by owner" properties, otherwise Realtor.com is the best place. It has the more up-to-date information, in my experience, compared to Zillow. I can't recall why, but I didn't find using Trulia or any others, worthwhile ( either Realtor. com was better or they were comparable and I just stuck with Realtor ). Zillow does have " for sale by owner option" and more forclosures or soon to be forclosures,  so I do check that as well. The site's main drawback is that it does NOT update the add with " contingent or pending " or "sold" promptly, AT ALL. So, it's helpful to limit your search on it to a recent time limit ( such as 1 week or 1 month ) to weed out those no longer available, especially in this hot market, and check it regularly within that time frame, for new listings.  The problem is that raw land sells much slower, land that's been listed for a year or more may still be available. But unless it's a for sale by owner, you'll find it on Realtor.com . On either, you can set up an "account " ( your email and a password ) and then "save search" and check the box for how immediately you want notifications of new listings which match that search, to your email. I search by county name, maximum price and my main other helpful requirements ( click minimum 1 bedroom but nothing for bathroom to find properties which have a dwelling of some kind but not necessarily a well, or just don't have plumbing - Amish properties and "up north" cabins will show up under this, though not all cabins have what is considered a bedroom, so I also check further into ads for land which seem higher priced than normal for that area, that's often a sign that it has some improvement on it. Or just land that has other reason which prompt me to read the ad ). You can save several searches, so I save 1 of these for the many counties I'm considering within my State. You may also want to save searches for the lower maximum price and no bedroom or bathroom requirement, to get alerts for just land, at a lower price point. For examples. Doing this is the most helpful. You'll also get emails for price reductions. If you "like" ( click the heart ) an individual property listing, which wouldn't qualify for one of your saved searches ( such as, it's a little above your max price ) , you'll get email of it's price being lowered. Always check under " property history" to find the property tax amount for recent years. They'll not always be in the ad or the data below it, but will always be in this spot unless not available at all ( property is recently parceled out ).
DO NOT use the provided links to contact the agent ! As you'll see the warning of, if you click on that, you'll be signing up to receive calls and texts from any realtor. You'll be inundated with solicitations. Instead, look over the ad to find the company and agent it's listed with, then go online to find that company's website and find the agent's phone number there, or call the main office. Have the MLS number written down, or the property's address, to tell them which one you're wanting to talk about.
Lastly, hiring your own agent to help you look can be helpful, as they will have the most immediate access to new listings which are listed with their company. But there are so many companies, unless you're looking in only 1 smaller area and that company is popular in that area, that isn't very likely to happen right now, with so little on the market ( comparably ) and although the seller often pays for your agent too, not all sellers will OR this cost will be reflected in the price you pay, anyways. Always get a title search done of course, either way. We haven't found home inspectors to be very thorough, so we don't bother with them anymore, as my husband knows a lot and now has learned even more.
Currently, there's even less new coming along, per usual in winter/during the school year, but there are some good options for under 105k in Wisconsin, on between 1 and 11 acres and near some jobs. A few, on 4 acres or less, for under 90k. Raw land for little more than 1k an acre in some areas, too ( 24 acres for sale for 26,000 just south of Ashland. Very few jobs up there, but if you don't need much of one, or can work online... ). Lots of low priced land - some with decent homes on them - in central WI and to the north all the way up to the NE border. We just want to stay near the little bit of friends and family we have in the northern Dunn county area, or we'd go for one of those.
Not that you're wanting to buy in Wisconsin, but I thought I'd add that for anyone who is.
 
Posts: 83
16
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ditto everything Angela said.

I found my place by Realtor.com, but it was listed as way out of my price range. What made the difference was realizing it had been on the market for 3 years already and the price had already been reduced by a third. It turned out to be a grown-over wreck where the guy had burned his own house down for the insurance money, gotten busted, and wandered off to Texas, leaving it in foreclosure. It was waste deep in wreckage and chest deep in thorny weeds and the bank could easily have gotten the full price if they'd kept it bush-hogged, but they didn't want to invest even a little in the mess, so they were willing to come down quite a lot because it had sat so long and they just wanted it off their books. It really did look terrible, but I said to myself, "Self, if the weeds are that tall, there must be soil under them." And there was.

Also, there had been a house there but the town had no record of a septic system. There turned out to be one after all, but it was a pleasant surprise: no way to find out but to dig a hole. I begged prettily and the State agreed to grandfather it in as it was. Pure dumb luck, that bit.

So that's something to look for: properties which have been sitting for a long time and which the owner might therefore be willing to accept a low-ball offer on. There's probably a reason why they haven't sold, but it might be a reason you can live with. Do find out exactly why before you jump though!

And the bad news: I had to look for ten years before something like this turned up.
 
Posts: 82
27
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sometimes the absolute cheapest lots aren't listed through realtors at all. If a piece of land sells for $2000, for example, it just doesn't make sense to have a realtor waste their time with it. If the land isn't listed with a realtor, then it isn't going to be on any real estate websites such as Zillow or realtor.com

For sellers that aren't going through a realtor, Craigslist is the logical place to list their properties for sale. You'll find all kinds of listings on Craigslist that aren't posted anywhere else. This is where almost all real estate gets listed that doesn't have a realtor selling it. Sometimes experienced house flippers and real estate investors/developers also use Craigslist to hawk directly to the public and cut out the middleman.

In Christmas Valley OR, for example, the cheapest lot on Zillow is $6500 whereas the cheapest lot on Craigslist is only $2000 (with the option to make payments on that!).  

A word of caution about Craigslist, it's buyer beware on there. There can be tax liens, old mortgage liens, all sorts of problems, fraud, etc. and novice buyers may be better off working with a realtor as their buyers agent to protect them from these sorts of things.
 
master steward
Posts: 11097
Location: USDA Zone 8a
3307
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nathan said, "A word of caution about Craigslist, it's buyer beware on there. There can be tax liens, old mortgage liens, all sorts of problems, fraud, etc. and novice buyers may be better off working with a realtor as their buyers agent to protect them from these sorts of things.



For land on Craigslist or buying from the owner, make using a Title Company part of the Sales Contract with the seller paying that cost.

The Title Company will search the Titles and Deeds for those kinds of burdens.
 
So it takes a day for light to pass through this glass? So this was yesterday's tiny ad?
Better Wood Heat: DIY Rocket Mass Heaters (8-Movie Set) by Paul Wheaton
https://permies.com/wiki/134176/Wood-Heat-DIY-Rocket-Mass
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic