I am getting ready to embark on a fact finding land acquisition trip to Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska this next week.
The prices seem reasonable in the areas I'm looking at. Missouri appears like my best option at this time because it offers many of the opportunities in the plus column for a Permie wannabe. 1. Very little government regulation overall 2. water rights 3. ability to drill multiple wells if needed 4. able to build as many outbuildings and or living structures as you want. 5. able to easily divide property if needed 6. many properties have springs and/or live water.
Is there anyone out there from Missouri who could give me more insight on living there? Information that an outsider can't easily find out? I need to find a place to fit (fit in?). I am in my sixties and at least initially will be living there alone. This needs to be a smart buy because I'll need to "bloom where I plant myself"
I sincerely appreciate any help, ideas or information you could send my way. Thanks in advance for helping make my dream come true.
Missouri may not seem like it on the map, but is a pretty big, diverse place. MO River, or I-70......take your pick, is the general dividing line between north MO and south MO. They are widely different places. North MO is farm country. Cropland, pasture and woods. South MO is Ozarks......some farming, but far more pasture and woods. Better soils to the north, but a colder climate. Then there are other things to worry about like access to medical facilities, or if it interests you, distance to urban centers like KC, St Louis, Springfield, etc.
Do you have an area of interest? An idea of size and amenities? Budget?
Do buy existing buildings if you can find something you like. Far and away less expensive than building new.
Oh Thank you so much Eugene for your reply. There are 8-9 properties (so far) that I will be looking at in Texas County. All priced just above or below $200,00, all with good outbuildings and from 20-120 acres. There are some other properties one in Pulaski County (north) and one I like in Crawford County. I would like any property to be completely fenced and cross fenced a plus. Many of these properties have ponds as well. My goals are to plant a food forest and many of these properties have woods. I also want to grow all my own food and meat and have alpaca to start a fiber business. Other things I will do is large scale worm farm for castings sales to organic growing operations. I already do this on a smaller scale now, bees and several other endeavors that I will sell the products mostly online. I just want a peaceful, safe place to "do my thing". I know there can be crime anywhere but I don't want to deal with it constantly or have to be on guard every minute.
Sounds like you are on your way. You are on the right track. Look at lots and lots of places before deciding on any one. And don't be afraid to negotiate. On the listings, look at days on the market. If 6 months or more, odds are the price is too high or something is wrong with the property. It also does not hurt to ask to see properties that have recently sold and ask what the sold for. Ask price is one thing. Sold price may be another. Best values will be found south of I-44 (actually south of the Meramec River) and west of Hwy 63. North and east of there has St. Louis value influence, so you pay more for what you get. It's more related to drive time to St. Louis than quality. You are competing with buyers from St. Louis looking for weekend recreational property. Also, keep in mind that in this area.....and perhaps most other areas, there are two prices paid for things. One for the locals and one for outsiders. Talking land values. Locals often get things bought......one way or the other......for far less than they will try to sell to an outsider for. There is no public disclosure of value as in most other states, so buyer beware. Best defense is to do your homework and look at lots and lots of properties. And again, negotiate.
On the area you are looking, that is the heart of the Ozarks. It is not uncommon for folks from out of state to move to that region, so there is an "acceptance" factor. Contrast that with some areas of North Missouri where that is not the case. In some areas and communities in North MO, you almost have to be born there to be accepted by the community and/or neighbors. If not born there, you are always considered an "outsider". Not so in the Ozarks.
Texas County is one of the largest, so is pretty diverse. All the areas you mention are not far from Rolla and good medical care. Down there you might find an eclectic mix of third world hillbillies and MIT rocket surgeons living side by side and dining side by side in the local cafe. Summertime is float season, on the Current, Jack's Fork and some other floatable rivers. Those can get a bit wild and out of hand, but it is a big part of the economy in the summer months.
On the safety factor, once you decide on a place, make it a point to go visit the county Sheriff's office. Tell them who you are, where you live and ask if there are any known troublemakers in that neighborhood. (Actually, you may want to do this before you buy a property......you would not want to knowingly move next to a problem neighbor). They know the troublemakers by heart and are on a first name basis with most of them. They, and perhaps the realty agent you are working with may also know which neighbors you can count on for help if you need it. Be a good neighbor and you will find good neighbors to live next to. Even a total jerkwad can be softened up over time. If not, shoot em. (kidding.......just kidding..........although if you did ask the local sheriff if it would be OK to shoot a troublemaker, they would probably just smile.......and politely so NO.....not OK.....by secretly hope you would). The term "shoot, shovel and shut up", if not coined by Missouri Broadcaster Derry Brownfield, was made popular by him. Generally, that applied to things like mountain lions and other natural predators like skunks, etc, but some will extend that sentiment to some human stinkers as well.
I can also speak for Missouri as a growing permie haven. More and more people are making the migration here because land is affordable and most counties are not too restrictive. You're never more than a couple of hours from a major city if you need that. I'm in the northwest where land is great, but a bit more expensive. I recently did a land search for a friend on Facebook and found him at least a dozen places in southwest Missouri that were very affordable. You can find everything from 1-acre places to hundreds of acres. I admit the southern Missouri area is attractive because the timber land is very affordable and a great place to start a food forest and introduce animals.
Be sure to check out the website Lands of Missouri and filter your searches.
Rae Ellis wrote:I am getting ready to embark on a fact finding land acquisition trip to Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska this next week.
Did you end up buying in Missouri or are you still looking? Out of curiosity, why did you not include Oklahoma on your list? I've been looking at land in SE Oklahoma hoping to do something similar to you.
I'd love to chat with you about what you're doing. Maybe we'd hit it off and throw in together. I can make a living anywhere I can get internet and help out with whatever is on the plan. Oklahoma has a lot of high speed access in the middle of nowhere. Maybe Missouri does as well?
Gail Gardner @GrowMap
Small Business Marketing Strategist, lived on an organic farm in SE Oklahoma, but moved where I can plant more trees.
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