Been living in Los Angeles for 10 years, cant take it anymore. Please help me. i keep finding cheap land in nevada on ebay, but it looks like a cold desert, no place to grow. but i dont know what im talking about.
Please give me some hints as to where around i should look. I am looking to keep my investment under 25,000 buckers
If you built your into the hill like some are suggesting, the danger from tornadoes become less of an issue. Reduction of heating / cooling costs and safety from tornadoes, seems like a pretty good idea.
Where is a good unregulated zone for building??
When I made my list, about 15 years ago, it included cheap land, low taxes, no building codes, some winter but not a lot and many other things. That's what lead me to the Ozarks and I've been happy here and will never move willingly.
I have seen lots and lots of people move to Costa Rica thinking it would be wonderful, and within two years, often less, going back home, poorer, but often, not wiser. Costa Rica is a developing country, don't come here expecting something like the USA. And the people speak funny too (as in Spanish) and think differently too. (passive aggressive is an art form down here) You adapt, or you go nuts.
I know most of the people around me probably think things I don't agree with, like witchcraft believe it or not. Many of them have no more than a sixth grade education too. They definitely think I am weird. In some ways it is easier here, since people assume I am weird because I am a foreigner - not because I am just weird.
When going somewhere "completely different" one of the best things you can do is rent for a while and see if you like the community, the area, etc. Or do a rent with an option to buy. Yes, I know Gringos (I am one) want to put shovel in the ground immediately, but you could be throwing away all your work too, if you find a neighbor doesn't want you to have chickens, for example.
just my dos colones (which are worth 1/5 as much as 2 cents...)
And those who have left Costa Rica has some of the weirdest ideas of what it is really like.
- X 2
Mark Anderson wrote:My grandmother has a large ranch in the Missouri Ozarks about 40 miles south of Springfield; growing up I visited many times in all seasons. Spring is nice, and Fall too... but the summers are hell. There are poisonous snakes like copperheads, water moccasins, rattlers.. there are millions of hungry ticks that carry diseases, the chiggers will drive you insane with itching, the mosquitos can drain you dry in minutes and also carry diseases, rabies is still a problem there; one old woman I met had a rabid fox come up behind and bite her leg, they have lots of tornados, there are many places where if you take a wrong turn and end up near someone's meth lab they will shoot first or release pit bulls, the first thing people ask when they meet you is what church you are in, these folks think the planet is only 6,000 years old and that evolution is a made up story. If you're a right wing religious conservative, then you will probably like it. There are a few ecovillage communities such as Dancing Rabit which is in the northeast plains area of the state and East Wind which is in the Ozarks near the Arkansas border. I would recommend going to East Wind and staying for a while to see if you really want to live in a climate that's like being in a sauna 24/7. I'm in the Pacific Northwest which has a mild maritime climate perfect for gardening and there are many areas where you can find inexpensive property... as long as you get far enough away from the Seattle metro area; my biggest problem with this climate are the cold wet dark winters. Mason county on the southeast side of the Olympic Peninsula has lots of woodland acreage for sell, they have fewer restrictions too. I knew a lady who built a hidden strawbale cottage in the woods without permits, she put an r.v. space near the road for the county to see and built her home gorilla style, back in the woods. Bellingham has a thriving alternative lifestyle community and they really support each other. I live on an island in the Puget Sound now, but will be looking to buy a few acres later on where I can build my own off grid, non-permitted, small, earth bermed geodesic dome home. Most people I know who are from the west coast can't handle the Ozarks because of cultural differences and the climate, most of my relatives who have left the Ozarks and moved to the west coast may have nostalgia for MO but would rather not move back, ever. Check the Windemere real estate site, they have an interactive map and a good search program which allows you to zero in on what you want, you can also save your searches if you register to the site and it's all free of charge.
I came to this website accidentally -- looking for someone (or couple) who might be interested in homesteading a portion of our land free in exchange for helping us with things around the place. (Kind of a hired hand sort of thing, only not so intense.) I saw this post and began reading to see what sort of places people were recommending, only to come across this quote by Mark Anderson.
I have to say that I am sort of offended by being painted with such a broad brush. I am from the Missouri Ozarks -- as are most of my family back to the late 1600s. While a lot of what Mark says here is true -- there are a lot of ticks and chiggers for example, and the summers are definitely hot and humid (though I wouldn't call them hell, exactly) -- a lot more of this diatribe is simply unfair. The natural history stuff is basically true, if somewhat exaggerated, and I admit that there are meth labs and hillbillies in abundance, but there are also a lot of hardworking and sensible folks here who have nothing to do with any of that. Most people around here still don't bother to lock their doors at night. Some of us even have more than a 5th grade education, believe it or not. We are also not ALL Bible-thumping conservatives. We, (my husband and I) for example, are vegetarian, atheist, environmentalist liberals, card-carrying members of PETA, Greenpeace, NRDC and so on. (We supported Dennis Kucinich for president!) While we do have pit bulls (4 of them), we also have 7 other dogs -- all rescues from puppy mills and abusive situations; and 4 cats. We also have chickens and goats as pets, and love them all dearly. None of them ever gets turned loose on anybody. If they did, you might get licked to death. We even do bat rescue.
Yes, there are copperheads all over, but there have NEVER been any deaths associated with a copperhead bite in the state of Missouri. The rattlesnakes are, unfortunately, rare and becoming rarer because people still do not understand that they are a valuable part of a healthy ecosystem and kill them unfairly. Water mocassins -- while tough customers -- only inhabit the wetter areas. You can easily find a place away from a lake or river to live if snakes scare you unduly. I might also remind you that there are few states in this country without venomous snakes of some kind. We have many beautiful non-venomous snakes as well, and they far outnumber the venomous ones. (Besides, copperhead bites really aren't all that bad. We have had 4 cases of snakebite in our dogs -- who stupidly put their noses in the snake's face. The worst thing that happened was that two of them got mildly sick for a couple of days and had some localized swelling. We carry Benadryl in a fanny pack when we walk them in the woods. Give an immediate dose and the dog will hardly notice the bite. That does not apply to an extremely tiny dog like a chihuahua, of course, OR in the case of a really humongous snake. However copperheads rarely reach more than 30 inches.) I don't even know any person who has ever been bitten and I have lived here (off and on) most of my life. I'm also pretty sure that rabies is no worse here than in other states with abundant wildlife. Missouri is very lucky to have a lot of wildlife and beautiful, clear streams and diverse habitat -- forests, glades, prairies, cave life, riverine systems and lots of lakes. We have an incredible diversity of both flora and fauna (I should know -- I am a naturalist.)
As for building into a hill. One of the really nice things about country living here is that no one really cares what you build. If you own at least 5 acres outside the city limits there are NO zoning laws and you can build anything you like. Taxes are low too. My husband and I have been building or experimenting with one thing after another for over 20 years and finally settled on a hybrid timberframe/strawbale/tire earthship-style home with a living roof. Try doing that in any city anywhere else!
Land runs from $500 to $2000 per/acre for most of this area. The more remote and rugged the cheaper it is. The high end is usually only for outstanding farm land -- in other words, acreage with actual soil. (Most of the Ozarks grows rocks best. However, if you want to build with stone, that is a definite plus!) We own 75 acres of mixed savannah, glades and woodlands. We abut Mark Twain National Forest near Hercules Glade Wilderness, so we have the run of the forest as well. It is truly a little slice of heaven. We have a disappearing stream (wet weather creek with lots of semi-permanent pools in the creek bed and springs and seeps everywhere). The water quality is great here and you can drink straight from the well in most places. (Ours is 445 feet deep -- clear, cold and delicious.)
Anyway, my point is, there is a lot to be said FOR this area in addition to what has been said AGAINST. Every place has good and bad points and it is really not fair to list only the bad points. I notice there was no mention of the mildness of our winters (usually). Or the fact that we are in the perfect zone for growing almost anything you can name that traditionally grows in either southern or northern climates. (Like high and low bush blueberries. Or grapes -- did you know Missouri has an outstanding wine industry?)
Well, I could go on, but I think I made my point. If you would like to know more about this area, please contact me. I would be happy to send photos or research local real estate listings.
And we had dogs too.
Heck, I consider where I live safe, but I live within 30 miles of an active volcano on one side, and another that seems to be waking up, about 30 miles way on the other. But with active volcanoes, comes great soil, and hot springs.
Besides, there is active and there is explosive eruption. I would prefer active for decades over Mt St Helen types.
There is in truth, no place 100% safe. You choose your risks. The horses I ride are probably the most dangerous thing I do.
A small flock of guinea fowl will happily get rid of the ticks for you.
The thing is... and this is my little secret, but I will let you in on it... I have actually always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest. I love this place, (as long as I can be here on my own little homestead) but a long time ago I decided that I would be happier there. I love the lush forests (all those giant trees, ferns and fungi call to me like you wouldn't believe); the call of the ocean (I think I was a sailor in an earlier life) and the people -- so diverse and accepting. You have what I want, Mark. The only reason I haven't gone there is that I haven't been able to afford it. I want to buy enough land near the sea and in the wilder areas that I don't have to see or hear the neighbors. That costs BIG $$$ in that part of the country. So, I make do with this place. (Well, if I am being strictly honest, having a husband who doesn't care about moving, and a lot of animals who need me figures in too. When my animals die of old age, I may ditch the husband and go anyway! )
Don't get me wrong. I really do love this place and I would miss it a lot, but something in the NW really calls to me. Its funny how that works isn't it?
Deb Stephens wrote:Oh, I almost forgot... Yes we do have a lot of tornadoes, but that is why we also mostly all have root cellars in the country. You can find a work around for a tornado -- not so for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions like you get in the pacific NW. Domes work well too.
Whats a root cellar??
It seems the ozarks is the place to go simply due to the highly affordable big acerage lots im seein bordering forest land.
Someone pick for me dammit.
I know that there are several places for sale by owner ranging from a house and a couple of acres to hundreds of acres of "tillable" ground. price per acre will depend on the amenities already available, but $2K an acre doesn't sound unreasonable for a multi-acre plot of unimproved land.
A root cellar is just a shelter that does double duty as a place to store food from your harvest and get it through the winter. It doesn't have to be just roots. Lots of people store hard fruits, like apples and other vegetables like winter squashes and so forth in there too. I've even seen some more elaborate 2 or 3 room shelters that include areas for canning jars and even meat lockers. I've also seen versions that were little more than a hole in the ground lined with chicken wire to keep the critters out, then padded with straw and covered over with metal sheets or old windows. Those work fine for potatoes, carrots or turnips when you don't have a huge garden or a lot of indoor storage space.
The biggest problem with having a root cellar in the Ozarks is that we don't have a lot of soil to dig one in except in low areas around rivers and lakes and up around the upper part of Missouri. It's mostly limestone on the western side below the Missouri River, and tends to granite over along the Mississippi on the eastern side. (Granite is pretty much all you see from about halfway down the eastern side to the bootheel and then over toward the center along the bottom of the state. That is the area of the New Madrid fault -- the one area in the midwest that gets the BIG earthquakes like out in California. Anyway, back to root cellars... Most folks build a sturdy shelter by digging down as far as possible (maybe 2 to 4 feet tops); building the room in the hole and then berming or covering it up with the dirt from the excavation. It makes a mound. With a door set into it on one side for access, you're all set. The best way to build it would be to put a small ferro-cement dome in the hole and cover that up. Domes are very strong anyway, but with all the steel and cement over it, you'll have a bomb shelter as well as protection from high winds.
About chiggers. They itch like hell, but otherwise are not as bad as everyone seems to think. Most people who live here just get used to itching because there isn't a lot you can do about them except never go out. If you are one of those people who just has to use something, I have found that Avon's Skin-so-Soft bath oil works better than anything more toxic and repels mosquitoes too. However, the best way to avoid chiggers is to learn not to lounge around in the grass. You can always tell a non-Ozarker because he will be the one sprawled flat on the nice green grass with his hands cushioning his head gazing at clouds. Locals will be standing or sitting on a big rock -- even if they just hiked a long way to get to that pretty grassy spot. And guess who is going to be itching all night?
Ticks are worse, and you can get diseases from them -- Lyme disease, Rocky M. Spotted Fever, Erlichiosis... to name a few. Not much you can do about those either except try not to brush foliage along paths (they hang out there waiting to be brushed and picked up by passing deer and other animals). In your yard, keep grass short and get chickens. They love to eat ticks and you will never find them in a yard with free-ranging fowl, I promise. Ticks also hate hot areas, so when hiking, you are usually pretty safe in glades and open areas. Avoid deep leaf litter around trees like the plague! If you stand still for more than a few seconds in a place like that you will have them crawling up your legs. The "seed ticks" (baby ticks no bigger than the period here .) are the worst because they cluster together by the hundreds and will wipe off a leaf or tall grass onto you as you pass. My strategy, besides avoiding them to start with, is to carry along a few folds of duct tape. As soon as they get on you -- before they get a chance to spread out, just press a piece of duct tape over them and rub it down and pull off. You can also use the leaves from wild quinine (a common glade plant here) to brush them off. It works great because its kind of like sandpaper only with short stiff hairs all over it. It really grabs them. Just odn't panic if you get a tick. You aren't going to come down with some horrible disease instantly. It take up to a couple of days for them to transfer disease to the host (if they are even carrying it to start with -- most are not). If you always do a thorough tick check when you come back from a walk, and make sure to use a lot of soap when you bathe after a long hike (it kills them), you will be fine. I've lived with them my whole life and I give them little thought (except to register how annoying they can be) anymore.
On snakes... educate yourself about them. Knowing what makes a snake a snake is the key to not getting bitten. Learn where they like to hang out -- rock piles, wood piles, stretched out along the backside of a log across a path (never step over a log without looking and never stick your hand blindly into a rock crevice or wood pile). Learn when they hang out where they do. Sunny rocks on cool days and in the early hours of the morning -- to warm up. Shady holes and rock/wood piles during the hottest part of the day and in summer. Also understand that they are more active at night when its hot and more likely to be out during the day when it is cool (spring and autumn. They winter in dens -- caves usually, around here.) Understand that they are not hell-bent on biting anyone or anything bigger than they can eat. It would be self-defeating since that venom takes awhile to build up in their system and is essential to their hunting success. They want to save it for a rat or rabbit, not waste it biting something too big to swallow! They also don't want to be stepped on (it hurts!). If you watch for them and walk around giving them plenty of space, they will be very happy to leave you alone as well. The possible exception to this is the water moccassin. For some reason, they tend to be a tad belligerent -- especially on hot days when they can also be very agile and fast. I have even had them chase me a time or two! Best to give them a very wide berth. But, as I said previously, you really only need to watch for them in persistently wet areas like along rivers and lakes -- especially over in the bootheel area where there are swamps. You really don't see them otherwise.
As for land scammers... Mark, you know cons are everywhere. There is no corner on that market here in the Ozarks. Besides, it really would be an irresponsible buyer who neglected to get a platte map and see the paperwork on easements, or do a title search before plunking down money. Would you buy a car without looking under the hood to see if the engine was still there?!
Tristan, the area in Missouri or Arkansas you choose depends upon what you want. If you want to farm in a big way, I'd suggest looking north of the Missouri River, or down in the bootheel, or over toward Kansas. If you plan to just enjoy nature, hike and maybe do a bit of home gardening, the SW MO/ NW AR area is great. You can deepen and improve your soil with compost or use raised beds for a small garden, or if you want to work with what you have, grow grapes -- this rocky soil is great for those. The area around Willow Springs and east of Ava is generally flatter and more open than the SW corner or the eastern area around St. Francois County. Land is more tillable there (around Willow Springs/Ava) because the soil is a bit deeper, but in my opinion it is not as pretty as the hill country. You may have heard of the Little House on the Prairie series of books? The author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, lived in Ava -- her house is there and has been made into a museum. That should give you some idea of what that part of the state looks like. We have Karst topography over here in the corner -- meaning we have lots of caves and sinkholes. If you enjoy caving, you may want to check this area out.
By the way, people are a bit clannish around here, but that is changing as more people come into the are from other places. In smaller towns, it may take you 10 or 15 years to start being treated like a local (almost) but nearer to the larger cities, no one will give it a second thought. Its kind of funny, but it seems like almost everyone I meet these days over near Branson is either from California or Nevada. For some reason, a lot of folks from those states find Missouri appealing. Land prices out west are so high, I figure that must be it. Who knows?
Well, I've talked enough for now. Any more questions, just shoot. I will be happy to share what I know or look up what I don't.
Deb, it sounds like you know a lot about ecology; it really comes through in your writing, I'm certain you must be a great benefit to your community.
Tristan, I'm moving on to another thread... I hope you find a place that is just right for you; like others have said on here it's not so much where you go, it's more about what you do when you get there. If you are involved with the local community and show that you feel at home they will usually accept you for who you are... even if they think of you as a little odd and different. Maybe it's more about choosing the community than it is about the land. Deb is a great resource for information about the Ozarks, I think she would be a great person to have in your corner.
Christian McMahon wrote:I want to run a still for ethanol. I want to grow hemp for 50 thousand products it makes. Where do I move? Canada?
I suggest Mendocino, California check it out, very progressive.. pot/hemp is legal there... I live just south of there and it's beautiful and close to the Redwood national forest
Was in Missouri last summer visiting family and camped out at Meramec State Park http://mostateparks.com/park/meramec-state-park and even with the humidity and the bugs (that kept aiming for my eyes) oh and the overnight "storm" really just ALOT of rain that sent a river through our tent and "flash" flooded the road out of the park... not that it bothered us we were happy to just stay put... even with all that it was the most amazing place, everyone we met was so friendly, big rigs even made room for us on the freeway! that doesn't happen here! I call California "the hurrry up and wait state" no joke!
Excited to be moving to beautiful Missouri!
The government thinks you are too stupid to make your own lightbulb choices. But this tiny ad thinks you are smart:
2018 brown and purple schmoozaroo at allerton abbeyhttps://permies.com/t/74909/permaculture-projects/brown-purple-schmoozaroo-allerton-abbey