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Tips for buying raw land.

Discussion in 'Home Construction, Remodeling, and Woodworking' started by Andres Velez, Jan 7, 2020.

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  1. Jan 7, 2020 #1

    Andres Velez

    Andres Velez

    Andres Velez

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    Im new to this homesteading. Currently Im driving around different rural area in California looking at raw land for sale. Im curious as to what to look for. Pro and cons of buying raw land.
    Can you offer a cash payment thats 70% of the value?
    Hoping to start that discussion or join an exiting discussion on this topic.
     
  2. Jan 8, 2020 #2

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

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    There are some things you need to find out about raw land before you do anything else about it.
    1. Look at the county and city's long term expansion plans and how it might affect the property.
    2. rights of way - Are there any? If yes how does it affect your plans?
    3. Are any portions of the land leased? Are they negotiable?
    4. Zoning -what are the limitations of zoning on the property?
    5 Wetlands - are there any? how much area do they cover? can you recover the land or is it a protected wetland?
    6. Do you have any water rights? Is there a working well for potable water? If not can one be drilled?
    7. Easements - are there any? Are they leased? Are they negotiable? Do they give right of way to the public?
    8. Are there fences along the property line? If so who is responsible for them?

    Those are some of the top questions that you should get hard written answers to. A real estate lawyer can save you a lot of money and even more heartache when looking for property.
    Remember that real estate agents ALWAYS work for the seller unless you have a specific contract that overrides that rule - a lawyer is a lot less expensive.
     
    goshengirl, vjk, Bacpacker and 4 others like this.
  3. Jan 8, 2020 #3

    Cnsper

    Cnsper

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    Water, water, water.

    Hundreds have been killed over this simple material/commodity. Is there a water source for you should power go out? Lack of water will kill you faster than no food etc.
     
    viking, Bacpacker, Sentry18 and 2 others like this.
  4. Jan 8, 2020 #4

    Sourdough

    Sourdough

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    A different STATE.......
     
  5. Jan 8, 2020 #5

    Andres Velez

    Andres Velez

    Andres Velez

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    thank you. some stuff I knew, but some new tips I haven't though of.
    I'm sure another state will have less restrictions and cheaper property tax.
    I've also been looking at parts of oregon and washington. I heard about klamath county but there water apparently has high levels of arsenic.
    How easy is it to take well water and turn it into potable water?
    Maybe finding a place with a natural spring is better. I've just lived on land near rivers and creeks and delt with ridiculous flooding
     
  6. Jan 8, 2020 #6

    Terri9630

    Terri9630

    Terri9630

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    You would need to get the well water tested to see what if anything needs to be removed and use the appropriate filters. On both of our wells we only need sediment filters. Springs are no better and can be worse due to surface contamination.
     
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  7. Jan 8, 2020 #7

    CrackbottomLouis

    CrackbottomLouis

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    Find a local real estate agent with a land consultant designation. You can go to RLI (realtors land institute) to find one in your area.

    A cash offer is not as advantageous as people think. Yes, it has a quicker closing and less closing costs (for the buyer generally) but the seller gets paid the same whether from a lending institution or someone's bank account.

    I do land real estate in the southeast and will try to answer any questions you have but very different market in Cali as opposed to the southeast so I recommend getting a local expert.

    No skin off your back to use an agent as the seller pays the fees if they are listed with an agent already. You an run into issues if it's a for sale by owner but I find 95% of the time it's a a for sale by owner it's because the property is heavily overpriced.

    Good luck ad I 3rd the "look outside of California sentiment. Those taxes are killer. Especially if you are buying close to state line where a couple miles away taxes are much lower. You'll never sell it if you have to.
     
  8. Jan 18, 2020 #8

    Andres Velez

    Andres Velez

    Andres Velez

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    Thank you all for the tips and this new information.

    As Im visiting land in the foothills of the sierras (California) and talking to land owners and agents, its becoming more and more clear that Ill be spending tens of thousands on building permits and keeping within local county regulations.

    I am officially moving my search to Oregon and other surrounding states.
    If the people in this community are willing to share some more insight as to which states/counties/communities are more suitable to my needs.
    • Raw land
    • Off grid sustainable living
    • small modular living units
    • solar powered
    • composting toilets
    • well/spring water system
    • nice neighbors
    Thank you for your time.

    P.S. I work seasonally from April to October so during these colder months I am completely free to drive all over the west and southwest to look at land. (not a humble brag, just expressing my availability and willingness to physically look at land)
     
  9. Jan 18, 2020 #9

    hiwall

    hiwall

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    Property taxes vary greatly between counties in the same state. Same with restrictions on land and building. In some places off-grid living is not allowed.
    Water is the key issue everywhere. Most well water is potable right out of the well. Most county websites allow you to see what the actual taxes are for similar properties in your area. Also many county websites have vast information about all wells in the county. Often you can see well size, depth, static water level, pump rate, and other very valuable information.
    If you find a property and decide to make an offer, before doing so I would visit your potential neighbors first. Neighbors can make or break a place. Yes they make that much difference. They also have information that would be valuable to you, things like whether that piece of land floods or that the county is planning on making a landfill next door to the property, or other info.
    I could live anywhere and I picked Arizona. I have lived in two way different spots in this state and liked them both. Arizona offers hot low desert areas or very high cool/cold well forested areas along with everything in between. Many homes are off-grid in Arizona. In many areas wells are a sure thing (and in some areas wells are impossible).
     
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  10. Jan 18, 2020 #10

    Terri9630

    Terri9630

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    I live East of hiwall in NM up in the mountains/forest and we have virtually no restrictions and our taxes are $350 per year.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2020 #11

    viking

    viking

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    I know a lot of things, but master very few Neighbor HCL Supporter

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    It just so happens that my wife and I saw the results of living near rivers and creeks when we lived in Colorado and we vowed to never live in low lands where that can happen. When we bought our property here in Oregon, our building place is well up from the local creek and even if the county road gets flooded we'll be safe. We had water here from a spring that was crudely developed, but due to design flaws from the former owner, occasionally large green larva would get stuck in the pressure reducing valve coming into our little trailer, this was because the spring water storage was two 30 gallon galvanized trash cans buried in the ground that were lined with plastic trash can bags. Anyway, I redesigned the whole system and it no longer gets bugs in the line, the only thing I've run across is small freshwater scrimp and that is rather unusual considering the spring pick up is under ground and the storage cistern is covered and screened. Underground lake somewhere in the mountain behind us? Who knows, the scrimp doesn't bother us, it's probably an indicator that our water is pure enough for those creatures to survive. As others have mentioned, water, water, water, the ability to do anything you want to do, defined property lines (survey markers that you can find), an area that you can plant gardens and probably more important than you think, good neighbors. We have great neighbors, we all look out for one an other and they understand how important it is to be well armed. This is not a good area for bad actors! I've had friends that had nightmare neighbors and it just isn't healthy.
     
  12. Feb 20, 2020 at 1:57 PM #12

    Meerkat

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    High and dry! We bought a place in Ga. and out horse and donkey were up to their knees in mud.
     
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  13. Feb 20, 2020 at 11:06 PM #13

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

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    Try a neighboring state!
    Seriously, the taxes in California will eat you alive and the land will cost at least twice as much!
     
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