Win a copy of Coppice Agroforestry this week in the Woodland forum!
  • 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
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
stewards:
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Beau Davidson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • L. Johnson
  • thomas rubino
  • S Rogers

Venting frustration and hopelessness in land search

 
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know if this is the best place to put this but I just need ideas to help me escape this bind before it is too late. I need a few acres of land that could be built on legally in the future as my finances develop.

I'm 23 and live on my own, I moved out of a bad family situation at the age of 18, was homeless but for now rent a room. I've saved around 10,000 dollars, I have no debt but don't really have credit either. I occasionally see chunks of land float around within the price range but there's always something critically wrong with it such as it being wetlands, landlocked, illegal to build on, contaminated or various other nightmarish things I could never fix in my financial situation. I understand that anything I could afford is guaranteed to be very low quality, almost completely non arable desert, that would bring very limited payout in terms of homesteading (For something like that at least a greenhouse is an option) but I will take whatever I can realistically get. I have watched all those land websites (landwatch zillow etc) and it has been very fruitless. I tried calling logging and mining companies to see if they ever sell off land after they strip it and all told me no or give per acre prices (and minimum quantities to buy) so high it is impossible.

I don't know how long I'll be able to maintain my current rent situation, I rent a room and part of a greenhouse on a farm but the relationship with me and the home owners are extremely strained. And I'm starting to suffer serious burnout and fatigue from the stress and working too many hours, I really don't know how long I can take it.
 
Posts: 188
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
97
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have you thought of going further? I mean more rural? If you want to work and save the plot can wait. I found my farm by going further from the big cities.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 430
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
170
3
forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Without being more informed about your finances, skills, and goals, it's hard to really know, but maybe look for shrinking counties or places experiencing financial distress, check out parcel prices that you could work with. However, those are the places least likely to provide good employment. This might be recent enough to be valuable:



And also look for places with programs that help incentivize people to move there. I've read stuff about small towns in northern Missouri and Western Kansas that pay people to move there, but right now everything I'm seeing with a quick search is about bringing a 'remote' job with you.

And how would you feel about living in an intentional community? Maybe research that angle.
 
Posts: 25
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, 350 m, USDA 8b, sunset zone 7
1
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Robert,

You are already richer than 95% of population: $10000 + no debt. You are only 23 and looks that you are able to work and even more exotic nowadays - you can save money. Some opportunity will come at some moment and you will grab it hard. You will be fine!
 
master gardener
Posts: 4620
Location: southern Illinois, USA
1491
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Many counties regularly have forfeited tax land for sale. Aitkin County MN, for example, had regular sales when I lived in MN.  Such things are culturally sensitive.   As in, buying grandads house because he couldn’t pay taxes can put a target on your back.   In other areas, XYZ corp routinely decides not pay taxes and the sale is expected. Check carefully before you leap.  
 
Posts: 196
Location: East Tennessee
38
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought an acre of land at a tax sale here in TN for $500 a few years back. Tax sales are cheap, cash only auctions... Mostly.

Find an area you like and explore the tax sales in the area, usually only once a year.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Christopher Weeks wrote:Without being more informed about your finances, skills, and goals, it's hard to really know, but maybe look for shrinking counties or places experiencing financial distress, check out parcel prices that you could work with. However, those are the places least likely to provide good employment. This might be recent enough to be valuable:



And also look for places with programs that help incentivize people to move there. I've read stuff about small towns in northern Missouri and Western Kansas that pay people to move there, but right now everything I'm seeing with a quick search is about bringing a 'remote' job with you.

And how would you feel about living in an intentional community? Maybe research that angle.



Well, I've been in and out of various minimum to near minimum wage jobs for the last five years, been renting at expensive new Jersey rent for the last 4. If the world went my way I'd want to be a farmer, I have plenty of experience with food plants and quite a few trees. I can prune and tend to shrubs and trees relatively proficiently and that's what I do for a lot of my side jobs when I'm not working the day job. As for day work I have lab experience, greenhouse experience, driving (non CDL), and some deckhand experience, but all in the lowest tiers of employment. Essentially those red counties, particularly in Texas, Oregon, and Arizona have been the cheapest but  it's very hard to find land that can be used, there always seems to be something unfixable wrong. Once a while ago I even drove all the way to Texas to check out a parcel and it ended up it wasn't even under the ownership of the fella selling it. And another was actually landlocked despite the appearance of an easement. It pisses me off how it could be legal to sell land that can't be accessed.

Yeah I had tried to look into the government provided homestead land and I couldn't reasonably expect to fulfill those obligations, not only would I lack the funds, but the time frames concern me even worse because I've seen how life can be unpredictable, I can't afford to waste my good years and be fighting to catch up in my 40s. I already have enough issues missing 18 years of life experience let alone to waste more.

As for the intentional community idea, I am not opposed so long as I have genuine ownership of something, I seen how my landlord who was once a good friend and fully dependable now is become someone completely different. I expect eviction to eventually happen, but I for now am keeping the peace and being understanding of their mental slips. I know I must be careful especially in this day and age, and I know if something bad happens I am on my own without a strong network to back me.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cristobal Cristo wrote:Robert,

You are already richer than 95% of population: $10000 + no debt. You are only 23 and looks that you are able to work and even more exotic nowadays - you can save money. Some opportunity will come at some moment and you will grab it hard. You will be fine!



It took 5 years of hard grinding and careful planning to get this, I'm running out of steam, and the combination of stress, loneliness and economic crisis doesn't tell me I'll be fine.

I am losing despite being ahead to a point.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John F Dean wrote:Many counties regularly have forfeited tax land for sale. Aitkin County MN, for example, had regular sales when I lived in MN.  Such things are culturally sensitive.   As in, buying grandads house because he couldn’t pay taxes can put a target on your back.   In other areas, XYZ corp routinely decides not pay taxes and the sale is expected. Check carefully before you leap.  



How does one find these things, I've heard a little of it but have no idea how to get into it. I'm not a cruel person, but someone is going to buy that land and I'm sure I'd be more merciful to grandpa and his property than megacorp inc who decides its a great place for a dollar general or the latest suburban expansion, both who has no qualms of throwing grandpa penniless on the streets alone.

Grandpa can live out his years on the land but I'll need to start my life also on it.
 
gardener
Posts: 493
Location: Tennessee
294
homeschooling kids urban books writing homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You might think on rural Tennessee! I live nearish this county, where property is affordable compared to anywhere near Nashville: RealTracs Listings, Grundy Co., Tennessee Such a beautiful area of this state, Appalachia all the way, so very lovely!
 
Cristobal Cristo
Posts: 25
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, 350 m, USDA 8b, sunset zone 7
1
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I understand. I also had my dreams and was making only $600 per month and felt completely stuck.
If I was you I would get CDL license and drove non stop for at least a year, without renting anything. There is a huge demand for drivers, especially here in California where nobody seems to care to work even for minimum $15 per hour. With your saving abilities you would quickly amass 100k and would have a real choice of good land, not some dusty desert without water and soil. On top of that the time may be working for you, because the real estate market is getting bloated again and may collapse. Then the cash may be the king and you will not put your hard earned wealth against usury inflated prices.
I took advantage of post 2008 lower prices to get my land in California.
It would be sad that you desperately spent you hard earned money on some subpar land that needs way too much work to produce anything.
 
pollinator
Posts: 122
Location: Northern Midwest, USA
22
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am not sure what your situation is, but I can relate to your dream. My hubby and I have been searching for a long time. At this point, our needs have changed and we won't start with raw land anymore etc. I have a few ideas for you though; find a smaller town somewhere where there are a few distressed homes for sale or foreclosure.By smaller town, I am talking 15-20k people in it, or smaller. If you are handy, you can live in one while fixing it up. Make sure there is a larger type property that goes with it. Some small towns have larger yards for gardens and chickens. If you are in a smaller town, you may find employment to make ends meet. When you fix the place up and improve the property, you could rent it out, or sell it, purchase your dream property nearby and put a mobile home on it to start with. This you could live in while building your home and improving the land. I suggest a mobile home, because most rural type places will allow this as a home. Good luck to you.

Robert Tiller wrote:I don't know if this is the best place to put this but I just need ideas to help me escape this bind before it is too late. I need a few acres of land that could be built on legally in the future as my finances develop.

I'm 23 and live on my own, I moved out of a bad family situation at the age of 18, was homeless but for now rent a room. I've saved around 10,000 dollars, I have no debt but don't really have credit either. I occasionally see chunks of land float around within the price range but there's always something critically wrong with it such as it being wetlands, landlocked, illegal to build on, contaminated or various other nightmarish things I could never fix in my financial situation. I understand that anything I could afford is guaranteed to be very low quality, almost completely non arable desert, that would bring very limited payout in terms of homesteading (For something like that at least a greenhouse is an option) but I will take whatever I can realistically get. I have watched all those land websites (landwatch zillow etc) and it has been very fruitless. I tried calling logging and mining companies to see if they ever sell off land after they strip it and all told me no or give per acre prices (and minimum quantities to buy) so high it is impossible.

I don't know how long I'll be able to maintain my current rent situation, I rent a room and part of a greenhouse on a farm but the relationship with me and the home owners are extremely strained. And I'm starting to suffer serious burnout and fatigue from the stress and working too many hours, I really don't know how long I can take it.

 
pollinator
Posts: 527
Location: Central Maine (Zone 5a/4b)
144
homeschooling kids trees chicken woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Robert,
It is a frustrating place to be in, but trust me that it is better than most people your age. I am not suggesting you go into debt, but I do want to point out that the USDA has several programs for loans with little to no down payments if you are buying in an area they consider rural and if you make under a certain amount of money. That might increase your buying capacity if you wanted to consider that option.

I have kids, so I couldn't consider doing it, but the suggestion of being a truck driver... if you are not tied down and don't mind traveling it can be good option. If you can get into a truck with the sleeper attached, then you are essentially having the company pay for your accommodations. This should allow you to save up quite a bit over the course of a year.
 
John F Dean
master gardener
Posts: 4620
Location: southern Illinois, USA
1491
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Use your search engine to find the web site of the county you are interested in. Then look for forfeited tax land.
 
pioneer
Posts: 122
Location: Nikko, Japan Zone 7a-b 740 m or 2,400 ft
32
cat fish cooking food preservation medical herbs writing
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please look into Permies Bootcamp experience. I think it'll give you the time and the camaraderie that you seek for at least a couple of weeks up to year's. Read some of the bootcampers experiences here in the forums. For me they've all been a very interesting read. You're at the beginning of your life you could take some time out and explore these boot camp experiences and learn quite a bit. You might even be able to complete the SKIP program and be granted land -- read about the details. I think that's the whole point of the SKIP program. Read up on both concepts in these firums. Good Luck !
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John F Dean wrote:Use your search engine to find the web site of the county you are interested in. Then look for forfeited tax land.



I have been reading up and it appears most places simply sell tax liens, not tax deeds, which means I'd have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit to get the actual deed. I don't know how feasible that really would be for someone without a very deep pool of financial resources already, unless I'm missing something?
 
pollinator
Posts: 3261
Location: 4b
1092
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rural land usually sells for between $3k and $5k an acre in much of the midwest.  It's easy to find a couple acres to buy.  Buy in the spring and put a tent up.  Build a tiny home to live in while you figure out what to do next.  Put in a garden and plant some trees, get a food forest started.

Do your best to change this mindset.  "It took 5 years of hard grinding and careful planning to get this, I'm running out of steam, and the combination of stress, loneliness and economic crisis doesn't tell me I'll be fine.  I am losing despite being ahead to a point."  Hard times come and go.  Ask the people that lived through the depression.  At 23 years old, you're far from behind the curve, your life is just starting.  Experiencing life is the good part, not reaching the end goal.  Homesteading and the like is hard work.  Don't kid yourself about that.  If you are struggling not to give up with something as easy as trying to find a piece of land, you may have to change some things.  Finding a small piece of land is easy.  Very easy.  Making it into something worthwhile is hard, but satisfying work.

Want to know the easiest thing of all?  Reading everyone's suggestions and finding all the reasons none of them will work for you.  Problem is, you won't get anywhere at all that way.
 
Christopher Weeks
master pollinator
Posts: 430
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
170
3
forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Barbara Manning wrote:Please look into Permies Bootcamp experience. I think it'll give you the time and the camaraderie that you seek for at least a couple of weeks up to year's. Read some of the bootcampers experiences here in the forums. For me they've all been a very interesting read. You're at the beginning of your life you could take some time out and explore these boot camp experiences and learn quite a bit. You might even be able to complete the SKIP program and be granted land -- read about the details. I think that's the whole point of the SKIP program. Read up on both concepts in these firums. Good Luck !



I'd second this. If you're up for some hard work, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn a lot of great skills and maybe you really can set yourself up to inherit property so that you don't have to worry about being trapped in the rat-race.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Barbara Manning wrote:Please look into Permies Bootcamp experience. I think it'll give you the time and the camaraderie that you seek for at least a couple of weeks up to year's. Read some of the bootcampers experiences here in the forums. For me they've all been a very interesting read. You're at the beginning of your life you could take some time out and explore these boot camp experiences and learn quite a bit. You might even be able to complete the SKIP program and be granted land -- read about the details. I think that's the whole point of the SKIP program. Read up on both concepts in these firums. Good Luck !



Bootcamp I don't think would work for me, I have too many work obligations and it would be very hard to find another job here where I live if I had to look again. Everyone claims work shortage but a year ago before I got my current job I spent 4 months non stop searching for work and nobody would hire.

I am reading through this SKIP program, I've never heard of such a thing before. I may be able to do some of these SKIP tasks within my available means, many skills related to farm and greenhouse work I have already done several years worth of work with so I should pretty easily be able to document competence in these through my past achievements. I'll read further into it and apply.
 
Christopher Weeks
master pollinator
Posts: 430
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
170
3
forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Robert Tiller wrote:it would be very hard to find another job here where I live


Do you have to live there?
 
Barbara Manning
pioneer
Posts: 122
Location: Nikko, Japan Zone 7a-b 740 m or 2,400 ft
32
cat fish cooking food preservation medical herbs writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Read more about the Bootcamp. You have the money saved and could attend/live the Bootcamp experience. You'd learn a lot and also gain access to an acre of land (maybe even own it, eventually) to work and live on while you learn and get your SKIP credentials. I think its one of the best use for some of of your money. Please review the Bootcamp and SKIP materials in these forums with vigor and an open mind. (edited for clarity and sloppy fingerwork, Nov 12, 2022)
 
Posts: 10
4
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know your frustration. I along with many people have searched for "cheap land" basically found what you have. The best stuff I have found is in the southern states, most affordable and livable. 10k is a very low budget, so it is tough. In the southern US could probably buy 1-2 acres in a subdivision with no building codes, but you would be surrounded by a lot of single wide trailers, meth, etc. In the western US you could buy a couple of acres in a large subdivision in the middle of no where with no water and 50-100miles for a box store.

Robert Tiller wrote:

John F Dean wrote:Use your search engine to find the web site of the county you are interested in. Then look for forfeited tax land.



I have been reading up and it appears most places simply sell tax liens, not tax deeds, which means I'd have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit to get the actual deed. I don't know how feasible that really would be for someone without a very deep pool of financial resources already, unless I'm missing something?



The issue with this stuff is if it is worth money it is not a secret.. You have a lot of other bidders, real estate sharks and others trying to get this stuff for investments and resale. You might get a 20% discount for jumping tru hoops but not much more. The "get land for pennies" is a myth. Everyday millions of people get up, search and compete for deals.

Don't really want to be negative but this is the reality I have found in "cheap land". 10k is a good start it could get a couple of acres in a remote area.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 861
Location: Porter, Indiana
115
trees
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Robert Tiller wrote:

John F Dean wrote:Use your search engine to find the web site of the county you are interested in. Then look for forfeited tax land.


I have been reading up and it appears most places simply sell tax liens, not tax deeds, which means I'd have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit to get the actual deed. I don't know how feasible that really would be for someone without a very deep pool of financial resources already, unless I'm missing something?



I'm going through that process right now, so I can give you a pretty good estimate of the costs and the time line (at least for Indiana, all states are different).

In the fall every year the counties sell liens for delinquent taxes, and in the fall of 2021 I bought a lien for the southern half of this property. The first big expense was paying off the back taxes, which while far less than asking price, were still in the "new car" price range.

Next, about two months after the tax sale an attorney should be hired. In Indiana, most courts set a max amount for attorney's fees and title search that can be recouped, and most attorneys set their rates below that amount. In my case, the attorney fee/title search was $1,000.

Next, around the six month mark after the sale (late spring 2022) the next round of taxes are due to the county so you'll end up paying a year's worth of taxes on land you don't even own.

Finally a year after the tax sale, you can petition the court to take ownership of the property if the current owner has not reimbursed you for the taxes and legal fees that you paid. All the attorneys I contacted include filing the petition in their flat $1000 fee. If the petition is contested, some attorneys then charge an hourly rate for the hearings, but some include that in their flat fee.

About 15 months after original tax sale there is a court hearing where the court reviews the evidence presented (mostly making sure that the current owners and all interested parties received proper notice) and then issues an order for a tax deed to be recorded.

After all that you, you then own the property, but you'd have trouble selling the property since the chain of ownership is cloudy. To fix that, a quiet title action can be filed and those run a few thousand. If you don't care about selling the property, or have a buyer that is paying cash (i.e., doesn't need title insurance) you can forgo cleaning up the chain of title and save that expense.
 
John Wolfram
pollinator
Posts: 861
Location: Porter, Indiana
115
trees
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Steve Fammerton wrote:The issue with this stuff is if it is worth money it is not a secret.. You have a lot of other bidders, real estate sharks and others trying to get this stuff for investments and resale. You might get a 20% discount for jumping tru hoops but not much more. The "get land for pennies" is a myth. Everyday millions of people get up, search and compete for deals.


The online tax sales are brutal with investors all over the world going after the same properties. The smaller in-person auctions tend to be much better because it isn't worth the hassle for most real estate sharks and investors to show up when there are only a handful of properties available.

Also, Robert has an advantage in that he's probably not interested in the same properties the investors want. In other words, he's probably not looking for a cookie-cutter 3/2 house in the burbs, or land suitable for driving a combine over, so the competition will be less.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:Rural land usually sells for between $3k and $5k an acre in much of the midwest.  It's easy to find a couple acres to buy.  Buy in the spring and put a tent up.  Build a tiny home to live in while you figure out what to do next.  Put in a garden and plant some trees, get a food forest started.

Do your best to change this mindset.  "It took 5 years of hard grinding and careful planning to get this, I'm running out of steam, and the combination of stress, loneliness and economic crisis doesn't tell me I'll be fine.  I am losing despite being ahead to a point."  Hard times come and go.  Ask the people that lived through the depression.  At 23 years old, you're far from behind the curve, your life is just starting.  Experiencing life is the good part, not reaching the end goal.  Homesteading and the like is hard work.  Don't kid yourself about that.  If you are struggling not to give up with something as easy as trying to find a piece of land, you may have to change some things.  Finding a small piece of land is easy.  Very easy.  Making it into something worthwhile is hard, but satisfying work.

Want to know the easiest thing of all?  Reading everyone's suggestions and finding all the reasons none of them will work for you.  Problem is, you won't get anywhere at all that way.



I'm not intending to be rude in any way but I have never seen any plot of land at 2-3 acres selling for $10,000 located in a stable agricultural zone that was legal to live on, farm on or build a permanent structure on. I have seen countless plots over 20 acres that cost 3,000-5,000 dollars per acre that may have these permissions but that is beyond the scope of the discussion since I don't and won't conceivably have 60,000 dollars. If I'm wrong Please show me examples and I'll contact the sellers or agents immediately, but I entirely expect anything I can sink my teeth in is going to be very marginal land/desert. I also understand desert goes for around 500-1,000 per acre when you buy very large plots, but everything I have called so far within budget had not been buildable or even necessarily accessible legally. I know I could eventually make anything work that was at least as warm as a zone 6 temperatures (water limitations definitely is a hard one to work with though) with my current experience with plants, but It is not an easy search.

My life may be starting but it is not starting very good from my perspective, I left a cult at 18 and am thus missing an entire 18 years of people skills and social experience. I got a felony charge for simply owning a bb gun (I bought it when I still was living in Ohio and had no idea it was an issue to have in jersey) in new jersey meaning obtaining gainful employment is very difficult. I had to re apply for expungement but I'm not holding my breath. I don't want to live anywhere near this hellhole and will grab a chunk of land in a heartbeat when spotted. Preferably in the northwest or southeast since the weather is fairly amicable, but I'll take what I can reasonably get.

I know folks have had it tough before me, my dad lost 15 relatives in an Israeli airstrike, and great grandma had relatives starve to death when the communists invaded Finland and stole the food and interrupted food supplies, but that isn't the point, it isn't about one upping on the suffering scales. The point is I'm genuinely working towards trying to improve and trying to make do with what resources are available to me, but I am essentially alone and have been trying to figure everything out alone.

 
Christopher Weeks
master pollinator
Posts: 430
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
170
3
forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The only land I could find in your budget, in my neck of the woods, which is a harsher climate than you're seeking, was marshy or landlocked, but they were sometimes 20-40 acre parcels, but only good for hunting at best. So yeah, I think you're probably not going to find conventionally available property that you can afford. That makes cooperative ownership, intentional communities, something like the bootcamp -> deep roots, or pursuing SKIP a better prospect.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Christopher Weeks wrote:

Barbara Manning wrote:Please look into Permies Bootcamp experience. I think it'll give you the time and the camaraderie that you seek for at least a couple of weeks up to year's. Read some of the bootcampers experiences here in the forums. For me they've all been a very interesting read. You're at the beginning of your life you could take some time out and explore these boot camp experiences and learn quite a bit. You might even be able to complete the SKIP program and be granted land -- read about the details. I think that's the whole point of the SKIP program. Read up on both concepts in these firums. Good Luck !



I'd second this. If you're up for some hard work, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn a lot of great skills and maybe you really can set yourself up to inherit property so that you don't have to worry about being trapped in the rat-race.



I'll work at getting pics and apply to a few of these SKIP badge bits over the weekend.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Steve Fammerton wrote:I know your frustration. I along with many people have searched for "cheap land" basically found what you have. The best stuff I have found is in the southern states, most affordable and livable. 10k is a very low budget, so it is tough. In the southern US could probably buy 1-2 acres in a subdivision with no building codes, but you would be surrounded by a lot of single wide trailers, meth, etc. In the western US you could buy a couple of acres in a large subdivision in the middle of no where with no water and 50-100miles for a box store.

The issue with this stuff is if it is worth money it is not a secret.. You have a lot of other bidders, real estate sharks and others trying to get this stuff for investments and resale. You might get a 20% discount for jumping tru hoops but not much more. The "get land for pennies" is a myth. Everyday millions of people get up, search and compete for deals.

Don't really want to be negative but this is the reality I have found in "cheap land". 10k is a good start it could get a couple of acres in a remote area.  



Ahh, the intentional community with the addicts, also known as the methnostate LMAO.

I didn't even think about the real estate sharks with this, their mode of profit seems motivated in part by the interest rates also on the unpaid taxes, that is obscene how much debt they can stack on the poor person.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Wolfram wrote:
I'm going through that process right now, so I can give you a pretty good estimate of the costs and the time line (at least for Indiana, all states are different).



You don't realize how valuable this info is to me. I'm thinking I could actually pursue in that, the time lengths and costs involved tell me I should have a place to live and farm in the meantime though. Also as mentioned earlier people won't necessarily be happy you got land in that way and vandalism is a genuine risk, meaning again it would be wise not to have all eggs in a single basket and have a home base elsewhere.
 
John Wolfram
pollinator
Posts: 861
Location: Porter, Indiana
115
trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Robert Tiller wrote:I didn't even think about the real estate sharks with this, their mode of profit seems motivated in part by the interest rates also on the unpaid taxes, that is obscene how much debt they can stack on the poor person.


The rates offered on tax sale investing aren’t particularly good for investors these days which helps people hoping to take ownership of the properties. In Indiana, you get an extra 10% back if the owner pays their taxes within the first six months, and 15% if they pay their taxes within the first year. 15% might seem like a great rate, but U.S. government bonds are paying close to 10% [Source] with a heck of a lot less hassle/risk.
 
Steve Fammerton
Posts: 10
4
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Wolfram wrote:

Steve Fammerton wrote:The issue with this stuff is if it is worth money it is not a secret.. You have a lot of other bidders, real estate sharks and others trying to get this stuff for investments and resale. You might get a 20% discount for jumping tru hoops but not much more. The "get land for pennies" is a myth. Everyday millions of people get up, search and compete for deals.


The online tax sales are brutal with investors all over the world going after the same properties. The smaller in-person auctions tend to be much better because it isn't worth the hassle for most real estate sharks and investors to show up when there are only a handful of properties available.

Also, Robert has an advantage in that he's probably not interested in the same properties the investors want. In other words, he's probably not looking for a cookie-cutter 3/2 house in the burbs, or land suitable for driving a combine over, so the competition will be less.



I looked in to the tax liens in Colorado before. If you win the bidding competition for the lien, then you have to wait 3 years to seize the property. Most tax liens get paid off by the 3 year make so the investors make the 12% annual interest. So in the end most people(in Colorado) do not get property from it just 12%.

For me I wanted to buy some land not play financial games and tie up land money. Then if I "won"(I was able to seize the land) I feel like the karma and morals involved of taking someones land for not paying taxes is not something I wanted to aspire to.

 
Posts: 1637
Location: Fennville MI
78
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's a thing called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be careful about building one for yourself. You say you don't want to be rude - but you're also putting a pretty extreme set of expectations on the people you are asking for help. I'm currently building our homestead on 20 acres in Michigan that we bought for $30k in 2017. It's rural agricultural, we can build on it, we can farm here - everything we want to do is legal. We looked for awhile before we found this, but we did.  Our search was limited to one state, for our personal reasons.

I'll suggest that you need to work on your skill sets for both assessing what kind of land you can work with and for searching on-line for locations that match up with what you need. You say you want a site where it is legal to build - there are actually very few locations where it is not legal to build. But if what you mean is you want a site without building regulations - well then you've limited your options to a very, very small portion of the USA.

For the money you have, you'll be looking at a site that other people do not find desirable. It may be remote, or rough, or "too wet", or otherwise poor in quality or location by any number of measures. That's where knowing what you can work with is important.

Our site is 90% low lying and excessively wet. Aerial photographs show it was probably cleared in the 1920's and an attempt made at draining it. They failed and the land was abandoned to return to woodland. I know how to work with a wooded wet land site and so this was a great deal for us.

Sit down with pen and paper and spend some time making lists. What are your goals for a piece of land? What are the reasons you want a piece of land? What skills do you have to work with a piece of land? What qualities does the land itself need for you to consider it? What legal limitations are acceptable (like zoning restrictions, building regulations, wetlands restrictions, etc.)? Climate requirements (do you need four seasons, do you want to get away from winter, etc.)?

There's an amazing amount of information available online about most locations within the USA, if you know how to look for it and have some perseverance.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1113
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
310
2
hugelkultur dog forest garden solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I sympathize with your frustration, and wish you well in your journey, but also agree with the above people commending you for being ahead of the curve at 23. Nobody buys land of any inherent value outright on their own earnings at 23. This is why permaculture was designed largely for adapting and working with sites that are off standard agricultural’s radar.

Even so, you are right 10k$ wont get you much land anywhere without inherent difficulties in it. It is however, plenty for you to put down a fraction of it to get a sweet backpacking setup that will allow you to walk across innumerable beautiful parts of the country 4-6months of the year and realize how little we really need to spend to be happy. Knowing this is the ultimate bargaining chip, as you will know you can always walk away from anyone’s bs. In the winter, work and save, or go south. In my experience 10k$ to work with was more than enough to be a happy wanderer while not spending it down too much in between and as I worked seasonal jobs for the national parks service and related organization, and saved most of the small amount I made by living in cheap housing in remote but beautiful place that led to little temptation to spend. I then jumped on a favorable market at the right time and place (a recession in the last part of the region with good water) in the NW corner of CA, the only dark red part of the state on the map above. I can’t claim to have been as independent as you have in getting to having 10k saved at your age, but all the better for you, as you know you can do that yourself. Even if that backcountry path is not your thing, I hope the idea of it as an option is liberating.
 
Posts: 15
Location: Colchester Vermont
1
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey man, I too get it. I’m ahead now but it wasn’t easy. I started out with 13 k, bought a junk mobile home and renovated it. Lived in it 4 years, sold it bought 2 acres and another mobile. Bout to sell and buy a bigger property.
I learned to build community and relationships; couldn’t do it without that. My brother is in a similar situation like you, but worse. He has debilitating health issues, lives in his car, and makes bad money decisions. He’s 26 years old. Trying to get an apartment, and struggling along. But his heart is in the right place, and he is always striving to do better. No friends except me and my community I’ve introduced him to.
I think you deliberate thing by trying to connect with people on here. Folks have suggested an intentional  community, and I think that’s the idea, although I personally wouldnt choose that.
I’d suggest becoming a truck driver, or getting yourself a motorhome camper, and driving to an area that embraces the rural  lifestyle, get a job, live in the camper, build a community of people. Get invested in that community, make connections, get to know people. Doors open up.
 
Posts: 72
10
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry to hear about your predicament, and the resulting frustration. One thing you may want to consider is caretaking other people’s property, or room and board situations on farms and ranches. As rural populations age out, there is an ever increasing need for help. I have done this at several places, in different states, over the last decade. Read my thread below for a little bit about my current situation, where I will have spent the last 5 years as of this coming Thanksgiving Day.

https://permies.com/t/192087/Desert-Southwest-opportunity-person#1674715

Feel free the message me with any questions, and keep your head up.. it’s always darkest before the dawn!

 
gardener
Posts: 1320
Location: yakima valley, central washington, pacific northwest zone 6b
276
dog forest garden fungi foraging hunting cooking composting toilet medical herbs writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know the frustration.  We have been looking for 2+ years now. All the while I have been working on PEP cerification.

Paul Wheaton has a great solution to the "finding land to homestead on" problem!

Check it out -

 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The more “high quality” the land the more expensive it is. I wouldn’t diss shrubland. My neighbor is in her 60’s and runs a sheep ranch on 80 acres, with a huge garden, an orchard. There’s something called a USDA microloan you should check into.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Central California
hugelkultur forest garden homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't get a chance to read all the replies, so apologies if this is repeated information. Have you looked into property management gigs? Or ranch hand jobs? I know of a few people who live 'rent free' (part of their payment is housing) while maintaining a plot of land for someone; ie weeding, prepping irrigation, animal husbandry, etc.. One person I worked with has now lived on the land they maintain for 10 years, and as well as the house they live in, have 5 acres of land to work with how they wish. I believe they have paperwork drawn up for the inevitable transfer of ownership to maintain their home and parcel. Good way to develop skills, learn mistakes, and build a foundation of knowledge to the land you eventually purchase as your dream parcel.

Definitely look into all codes, state and local prior to purchase. We purchased land withing the Williamson Act. So we have strict guidelines of how we can develop our property. Not impossible to do what we have in mind, but has to be done in a methodical and painstakingly long way.
 
Robert Tiller
Posts: 26
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Peter Ellis wrote:There's a thing called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be careful about building one for yourself. You say you don't want to be rude - but you're also putting a pretty extreme set of expectations on the people you are asking for help. I'm currently building our homestead on 20 acres in Michigan that we bought for $30k in 2017. It's rural agricultural, we can build on it, we can farm here - everything we want to do is legal. We looked for awhile before we found this, but we did.  Our search was limited to one state, for our personal reasons.

I'll suggest that you need to work on your skill sets for both assessing what kind of land you can work with and for searching on-line for locations that match up with what you need. You say you want a site where it is legal to build - there are actually very few locations where it is not legal to build. But if what you mean is you want a site without building regulations - well then you've limited your options to a very, very small portion of the USA.

For the money you have, you'll be looking at a site that other people do not find desirable. It may be remote, or rough, or "too wet", or otherwise poor in quality or location by any number of measures. That's where knowing what you can work with is important.

Our site is 90% low lying and excessively wet. Aerial photographs show it was probably cleared in the 1920's and an attempt made at draining it. They failed and the land was abandoned to return to woodland. I know how to work with a wooded wet land site and so this was a great deal for us.

Sit down with pen and paper and spend some time making lists. What are your goals for a piece of land? What are the reasons you want a piece of land? What skills do you have to work with a piece of land? What qualities does the land itself need for you to consider it? What legal limitations are acceptable (like zoning restrictions, building regulations, wetlands restrictions, etc.)? Climate requirements (do you need four seasons, do you want inter, etc.)?

There's an amazing amount of information available online about most locations within the USA, if you know how to look for it and have some perseverance.



As some examples; as I contacted several counties in Kentucky in regards to relatively cheap properties the places were cheap because there was 3 pages of covenants on the lots including no houses below 1000 square feet exclusive of garages and patios, no mobile homes and no temporary structures or livestock animals. Another lot, if I recall correct in Texas, required a county certified septic tank installed on the property in order to have a mobile home on the property, the state official I was speaking with kindly informed me that the process was extremely expensive ($25,000) and in my situation I would swiftly be in over my head. Depending on the states you can not permanently build on a wetland parcel at all without a perc test, which means it is a gamble that could cost. A plot near me in PA had failed the perc and the owner was forced to wait several years to redo the test and that was why he was selling cheap, he also knew it was a gamble and was pulling his losses. Landlocked spots are also highly illegal to build on since you need to trespass to get to them. Essentially if the restrictions make it impossible for me to realistically in my means have something built within two years the laws have prohibited building thus making building something I could realistically build illegal.

I want to be able to profitably farm trees (fruit and wood) and livestock for meat, also fiber would be nice (pigs, goats/sheep/alpacas, I really like emus/rheas also), livestock profit would be before trees are profitable since the animals grow faster than trees grow. To my math profit should be able to be turned relatively easy given 3-5 years on 10-20 acres. I would want to eventually have a nice earth bermed house, but to start with I'd need something cheaper to live in such as a trailer, or similarly tiny structure. I want to start a family and thus will try to avoid politically hostile "blue" zones as much as I can reasonably afford. I have my prospects and options quite open and most the south and a fair chunk in the west in on the table as extremely good places in my book. I do have a paper list of "perfect land" requirements, but I am happy to settle for less than desired if the price is right. Most important is that it can be built, can be used, can be warm enough, has enough space and can be afforded. Affordable within means is so important, I can not go over my head in debt and refuse to take that kind of risk since I am on my own and would be stuck back on the streets as a filthy bum if I cant pay the debts for some reason.

I am very thankful the internet allows such great access to info such as regions, maps, and climatological data, it has been a very powerful tool.
 
Gravity is a harsh mistress. But this tiny ad is pretty easy to deal with:
Free Heat movie
https://permies.com/w/free-heat
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic