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Buying Land

 
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We're finally ready (well, at least we think we are) to make the leap and find a homestead of our own! This will be our first big purchase as we've been house sitting/renting all of our adult life. We're looking to make 20-50 acres in Northern Michigan our little permaculture oasis! In our price range, it'll most likely be raw land. So, have any suggestions or life lessons for us newbies? We've read Mortgage Free by Rob Roy and Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by Les Scher, and we're always up for adding to the library!
 
master pollinator
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Watch this video by Geoff Lawton about what to look for when purchasing a property for permaculture:  https://vimeo.com/168769052
 
gardener
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Hi Janell!

May I suggest the USDA web soil survey found here https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm with it you can learn all sorts of neat info about the soil of places you're interested in purchasing. It can tell you the names of soils, water absorption, expansiveness, depths of layers and more. It's a pretty cool tool to learn a little about a potential homestead from the computer.
 
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Watch this video by Geoff Lawton about what to look for when purchasing a property for permaculture:  https://vimeo.com/168769052



Good information. I setup a gravity feed water system, as going without a pump is much more convenient, even if it took about 200 m of tubes.
 
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Land is a tremendous amount of work, I purchased 10 acres and can't keep up with it. I'd suggest 5 or less
 
pollinator
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I haven't laid eyes on some areas of my property since last summer. Hell, there's areas I've never seen, I haven't owned it a year yet.

I figure these areas are probably doing OK without my help, they managed to get by that way for a good while before I came along..

But when I get the nearer areas somewhat sorted and get a hankering to do something new that needs some space, it would be tricky to manufacture the required space at that late date!

I can think of properties where ignoring portions would be a bad plan, though.. heavy invasive species pressure that would only get worse if ignored, for example. Thankfully my land will just keep trying to be a forest in the absence of intervention, shading out the invasives over time.
 
Mike Homest
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Eric Hammond wrote:Land is a tremendous amount of work, I purchased 10 acres and can't keep up with it. I'd suggest 5 or less



Depends on what your are doing/planning. Most people including me tend to want to much/fast. One really needs to make a plan and see what is a really need (such as a stable water supply/system) and is a want, like an outside pizza/etc oven!

So steady/slowly, if you can get some help from family/friends, it would be great.
 
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[quote]Janell Traicoff wrote:

We're finally ready (well, at least we think we are) to make the leap and find a homestead of our own! This will be our first big purchase as we've been house sitting/renting all of our adult life. We're looking to make 20-50 acres in Northern Michigan our little permaculture oasis! In our price range, it'll most likely be raw land. So, have any suggestions or life lessons for us newbies? We've read Mortgage Free by Rob Roy and Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by Les Scher, and we're always up for adding to the library!  [/quote]

I'll just assume Rob advises not to go into debt to buy your land and if he did, I'd wholly agree. My wife and I bought a small cheap piece of raw land and built a small cheap house on it just so that we could live totally free of any debt.

There is something else which figures into the mix... and that is destiny. I've worked for local realtors for many years, so I get the opportunity to talk with new homeowners fresh from their new purchase. I always ask them this question:

"How long did it take you to decide to buy this place?"

For almost everyone, their answer was: "In an instant" or a phrase similar to that.

I find the answers gathered over the years to be strikingly relevant in their similarity. A person could take longer choosing which apple to buy in the market than it takes for them to decide to make the largest purchase in their life! Consider this tiny bit of purely anecdotal information and what it implies. For it points to a sense humans possess to know how to to be in just the right place, at just the right time, doing just the right thing.

So I would never intellectually plan anything in advance as far as your decision to buy...

...for you'll KNOW it when you SEE it.



 
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