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We dont know how to buy land

 
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Me and my friend are going to start our own comunity/homestead.
We are currently working a night shift with an income of about 1900 euro. of witch we put 1000 each month to our savings.
We are currently at 10 000 euros in savings.
Our next step is to start searching for a piece of raw land to start our homestead on.
The problem is that we dont know where to look.

Any suggestions on where we might look to buy land we live in belgium but any other country in europe will do we are searching for a cheap land.

 
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Hi Pieter:  Big Welcome to Permies!
I can't help you on your search, as I am in Montana USA.
But I have added your post to the Europe forum.
Hopefully someone there may have some possibility's for you.
 
pollinator
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It can be hard for me to pick a specific state in USA, so I can see it being similarly hard for you to pick a specific member state of E.U.

To better help can you start by defining your goals, be very precise. Do you want pasture land for your horse, do you want to make a living off the land, etc?
Rate the different climates in your search area, by order of which one you prefer.
Rate the different regions
Bare Land or a Pre-Built House
Rate/List the site Natural and Manmade Disasters?
Water, rainfall only/well/creek/etc
Slope and Aspect
Access/Roads
Soil and Vegetation Cover
 
Pieter Kennes
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allright thnx for the advice. but our question is. what are the sites where we should look to buy lands?
 
S Bengi
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To better help. Pretend you were buying it in USA.
Use this link to select three plots of land, that you would buy.
https://www.landwatch.com/Land_For_Sale

Based on what you select. I might be able to get some idea of what you are looking for.


Here are a few European websites
https://www.sreality.cz/en/search/lands
https://www.propertypal.com/
https://gratka.pl/nieruchomosci
https://www.idealista.com/

After doing a quick browse in the Europe section of permies.com
I see this: https://permies.com/t/121989/SPAIN-ANDALUCIA-simple-house-forest  https://elpocito.wordpress.com/


 
Pieter Kennes
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We are looking for a land that is at least 4 acres big with mostly forest and a small open space to garden. Also we want a little creek or something that can function as a water source. im going to check these sites. im amazed how helpfull you guys are. big thnx from belgium
 
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Hi Pieter. I'm also on the look out for a place to settle within the eu. Some of the eastern european and balkan countries are more affordably when it comes to real estate than some of the western countries. But i've also looked at properties with great prices in other parts of the continent especially the Iberian countries and rural Italy, and it really comes down to preferences and what you intends to do with the place. You write that you are a´looking for raw land and I get that you guys are after something cheap to start from scratch.
But being raw land it can very well have its disadvantages like zoning and if your allowed to build (or have a portable structure like a yurt or caravan on your land) and getting all the right permits for building, drilling a well  etc. and also the cost of said permits.

There's plenty of sites to start your hunt for a place

ss.com - A latvian site where I have found farms at fair prices
- https://www.ss.com/msg/lv/real-estate/farms-estates/ludza-and-reg/pusmucovas-pag/ijjdi.html
- https://www.ss.com/msg/lv/real-estate/farms-estates/liepaja-and-reg/pavilosta/jcexf.html
- https://www.ss.com/msg/lv/real-estate/farms-estates/cesis-and-reg/drabesu-pag/bfemdf.html
- https://www.ss.com/msg/lv/real-estate/farms-estates/cesis-and-reg/drustu-pag/cgpbj.html

kv.ee - Estonian site
- https://www.kv.ee/muua-talukoht-koos-juurde-kuuluva-maaga-1-ha-vilja-3027810.html?nr=3&search_key=b9b213d275ec82420cc31524202ad908

ingatlan.com and jofogas.hu Hungarian sites
- https://ingatlan.com/nyirabrany/elado+mezogazdasagi/termofold-szanto/hajdu-bihar+megye+nyirabrany/26896093

imot.bg/pcgi/imot.cgi and olx.bg - Bulgarian sites

Spanish sites
- http://www.consultorrural.com
- http://www.fincasmatarrana.com
- http://www.rusticaapi.com
- https://www.milanuncios.com
- https://www.idealista.com
- https://www.fotocasa.es/es/

www.allyoucanread.com is a good site for finding real estate- and classified sites in various countries
https://www.reddit.com/r/europe/comments/6fzehy/real_estate_websites_in_europe/ helpfull to get a fast overview of sites
There´s a great breakdown of costs in bulgaria here that really helped me gain som insight- https://permies.com/t/116543/permies-Bulgaria-Hungary

Hope you find some of what i listed useful - Simon  



     
 
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With my experience Raw land is going to seriously limit you, as many EU countries will not allow you to build or even park a caravan on it. So the first thing is to check which countries will allow this. And which ones fit the climate you want. Up here in Denmark the chance of getting a permit to build on a field is very slim, but the cost of buying something with a tear down is cheap. Open agricultural land round me sells for about 13000 euros a hectare, and forest (where there is 0 chance of planning permission) for around 11000 per hectare.

I have a place available here if anyone is interested.. it wouldn't suit you being 2.2 acres and having a inhabitable house on it, but it does have a spring and some planting and to be honest we would part with it for the cost of the transfer papers! (Danes like eveything perfect and this is the definition of a fixer-upper!)
 
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Pieter Kennes wrote:

Me and my friend are going to start our own comunity/homestead.
We are currently working a night shift with an income of about 1900 euro. of witch we put 1000 each month to our savings.
We are currently at 10 000 euros in savings.
Our next step is to start searching for a piece of raw land to start our homestead on.
The problem is that we dont know where to look.

Any suggestions on where we might look to buy land we live in belgium but any other country in europe will do we are searching for a cheap land.



France has quite a bit of land that I've noticed being affordable of late. Wolf and I were thinking of buying one of the old, rundown Chateau's and there are more than 25 that come with enough land for homesteading. One property comes with almost 250 square hectares on which there is an established orchard and vineyard. That means you already have a good start and a possible income stream from the property far faster than if starting from total scratch. There are also some similar properties in Italy. I have not looked at Germany but I did start searching in the Netherlands, since that is the point of origin for half of Wolf's family. I only found two properties there that were along the lines of what we were looking for and they had some stipulations about what could be done with them without the need of approval, so they were scrapped as possibly needing more study.

Redhawk
 
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You might consider finding a farmer who wants to retire or who has passed away.  Their children do not want to take up the work since it is hard and often not profitable. In USA I am finding many older farms are going to foreclosure and I am looking for one that is being broken up into small plots for sale to people like you.
 
Pieter Kennes
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wow i really needed to post this im so a step further than i was a week ago thank you all for the help.
wich country do you all think is the best place to find a cheap big raw land and not alot of paperwork. or are there no countrys at all where it is easy?
our endgoal is to live there with up to 30 poeple if we find the right poeple
 
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Number one priority is to only look in places where you have a ready-made support network.

This could be family, friends, a church you would attend, a social group, a local nonprofit in which you would be involved.  Something local, physical, with people who will come out to your homestead and help you when you desperately need extra manpower.

There is absolutely no chance that you are doing this on your own with your budget.  People first, plant later.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Pieter, In Europe I don't know of any country that doesn't have loads of paper work nor do I know of an area with Raw land for sale. Every where we have looked seems to have at least some infrastructure already there, even if it is in dilapidated condition.

Redhawk
 
S Bengi
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You and your future partner, plus maybe kids, will need at least 2 acres. The same goes for your 1 other friend that you posted about.
But if you are now saying 30 friends, Then I think that you need at least 62acres. Will each of these 30 friends invest $10,000 too?
With $300,000, you shouldn't have much trouble finding land with a small creek and a existing building.

But if I were to go back to the original assumption, that it is only you and your 1 friend, that will deposit $10,000 each for a total of $25,000 by the end of the year. It will be harder but not impossible to find land with a stream, +electric, +road, +well, +septic, +at least a 1 bedroom building.
I would recommend starting in your home country of Belgium.  

I recently bought 2 acres for $20,000, with a stream. It has a paper road, but the real road is about 300ft/100m away. That is going to cost me $40,000 to turn the paper road into a real road with water, sewer, storm management. Then there is a $16,000 impact fee to build a house. There is 10 or so houses that borders my 2 acres. I am now looking into buying one of them.

 
Skandi Rogers
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I found a link that might help you Agricultural land prices by country EU While you are not looking for agricultural land it will show the relative land prices between different countries. Which also shows me quite well why Belgian is not a good choice to stay in if you want to do anything with land!

 
pollinator
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:

France has quite a bit of land that I've noticed being affordable of late. Wolf and I were thinking of buying one of the old, rundown Chateau's and there are more than 25 that come with enough land for homesteading.



Hi Bryant,

If I may be so presumptuous as to give you advice, I would not recommend buying a château in France.  The taxes would be crippling, they're a bitch to heat in the winter, building materials are very expensive in France and a château will undoubtedly be in need of some restoration.  A  lot of them sell cheaply because it is costly to maintain.  
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:With my experience Raw land is going to seriously limit you, as many EU countries will not allow you to build or even park a caravan on it. So the first thing is to check which countries will allow this. And which ones fit the climate you want. Up here in Denmark the chance of getting a permit to build on a field is very slim, but the cost of buying something with a tear down is cheap. Open agricultural land round me sells for about 13000 euros a hectare, and forest (where there is 0 chance of planning permission) for around 11000 per hectare.

I have a place available here if anyone is interested.. it wouldn't suit you being 2.2 acres and having a inhabitable house on it, but it does have a spring and some planting and to be honest we would part with it for the cost of the transfer papers! (Danes like eveything perfect and this is the definition of a fixer-upper!)



That sounds like enough space to have a basic small holding.  What is the house like?  I find it difficult to wrap my mind around parting with land for the price of transfer papers.
I'm an American so I'm assuming transfer papers are the same as closing costs and title fees?
 
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We recently bought a piece of land in Germany and are currently going through the process of getting building permits, so I'm somewhat up to date on the bureaucratic aspects of these things in Germany.

20.000 Euro will basically buy you 1ha of agricultural land, if it is considered decent by farmers. Woodland is less expensive, but also often less productive, as are less desireable plots.

BUT: you have no chance at all of getting a building permit (which is needed to install any type of permanent lodging) for agricultural land. In fact, you may even have to get permission to change the land use type (from woodland to field, or vice versa), although this is less complicated.

Building permits are only granted in specially demarcated areas (this needs a vote in the town council and is a very political process) or on plots that can be build on "by right", meaning that the plots around them already feature permanent lodgings. As you can imagine, buildable land comes at a premium in most places as a result. The exception are probably very rural areas (more than 3 hours from the next major population center) that have experienced population loss. This includes some areas in South-Western Germany, but primarily rural parts of East Germany. There you can find cheap "fixer-uppers", although good agricultural land will still be pricey.

I would support those in this thread that have advised to put "people first", especially if you plan on building a community. Moving anywhere with 20+ people will arouse suspicion by the locals and requires detailed knowledge of the laws and regulations. This will be no different in Bulgaria, England, Spain or Belgium. Speaking the local language is probably a basic requirement, as local officials especially in rural areas might not be fluent in English (I know they wouldn't be here).

I would suggest defining a few target areas along criteria like climate, language/culture and the general availability of cheap land. Then go there regularly on holiday or shorter visits, talk to the people and let them tell you what they think of your plans. Find local groups that share your goals. Build a network of people that can help you navigate the process.
 
Olga Booker
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Peter, this is a very succinct reply.

You've said: "This will be no different in Bulgaria, England, Spain or Belgium."
I should like to add that it would be pretty much the same in France also.  I would hazard a guess that the rest of Europe probably follows the same guide lines,
 
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Pieter Kennes wrote:wow i really needed to post this im so a step further than i was a week ago thank you all for the help.
wich country do you all think is the best place to find a cheap big raw land and not alot of paperwork. or are there no countrys at all where it is easy?
our endgoal is to live there with up to 30 poeple if we find the right poeple



Hi Pieter, fellow Belgian here that moved abroad to find affordable land.
Belgium itself is a pain if you want a big property. Too overpopulated for that. If you’d want to stay in Belgium I’d suggest to look at the Ardennes, but with the tourism that’s going to be expensive as well.
When we started looking for land we had a few options. Sweden can be very cheap if you stay far away from Stockholm. My parents bought some property there, and when they were searching it often occurred that you first had to drive 15 min-20 min on a deserted forest road before finally reaching the first property. These kind of remote properties could go real cheap because no-one wants to live there. Sweden also has the ‘allemansrecht’ which is a rule that says the riches of the land belong to everyone, even if the forest is private property (I don’t know the small details of this law), which is great if you want to be able to forage (and which would be unthinkable in Belgium).

Then there’s the Czech Republic. Wonderful country, and you can find gorgeous huge farmsteads for relatively cheap, if you stay away from the big cities. Try the south-eastern part of the country, where there’s less large roads developed. If you are willing to do work on a fixer upper, you can get great deals here. Best way to make friends with the local population is to bring strong beverages with you

We eventually we decided on Northern Italy, mainly because we love the mountains, the food and we already spoke the language a little. If you search for ‘rudere’ or ‘rustico’ you can find large plots of land with usually one or several ruined stone buildings on it. Some valleys in the north are still very remote and land can be ridiculously cheap. You also have ‘Aste’, which are auctions of government or bank seized properties. You have to decide quickly, but the prices are often half of their market value. (Think 20.000 euros for 15.000 km2 of terrain with one or several buildings on them).

There are also several regions in Italy where towns are becoming ghost towns. Old population dies out, and the young people move away. There are several villages where you can either buy a house/ several houses for a few euros, or where the government will even give you money to go live there, as long as you promise to stay there for a certain amount of time and rebuild the houses. If you have children, they even give you more, because you are ensuring the survival of the village. You can check out some in this article, but the offers are constantly changing so best to do some digging yourself: https://www.hln.be/reizen/1-euro-voor-een-vakantie-huis-deze-idyllische-italiaanse-dorpjes-doen-nog-straffer-en-betalen-jou-geld-om-er-te-komen-wonen~a4ad60eb/

Have you considered joining an existing/ starting community? There’s a gorgeous mountain village that they are trying to rebuild. There’s a YouTube video about it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB3e8xwu_Do
I believe they are looking to sell the other houses in the village.

Hope that helps a little!
 
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I found this site a while ago: https://www.propertyunder20k.com/country-list

I have no idea how it all works though. Others here have said some very helpful things.
 
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Welcome to Permies Pieter! Your question and the conversation it started is fascinating to me. You obviously came to the right place for suggestions.

I see others have mentioned building regulations, restrictions, and permits to consider for various locations. Excellent advice. My question is, am I correct that you plan to purchase your land outright without borrowing? That's a realistic possibility? That is definitely preferred. If you have to get a bank involved, you have a whole new set of stipulations (and problems). My husband and I encountered that while trying to buy raw land in the U.S. Interest on undeveloped land was extremely high, with the expectation that it would be rolled over into a building loan, of which the building had to meet bank specifications. I don't know if that's the case in Europe, however. At any rate, I encourage you to not grow weary or impatient in your search. It takes time, but in the end it's better to get what suits you best.
 
S. Bard
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Peter Dörrie wrote:

I would suggest defining a few target areas along criteria like climate, language/culture and the general availability of cheap land. Then go there regularly on holiday or shorter visits, talk to the people and let them tell you what they think of your plans. Find local groups that share your goals. Build a network of people that can help you navigate the process.



I wholeheartedly agree with this! Europe has so much diversity and so many languages. All of the countries we considered were countries we either knew from childhood, or have visited for many years. We spent 4 years travelling the Alps during our holidays to finally narrow down a region that we were happy with, while in the meantime we were taking language courses and starting to make connections with Italians who could help out.
Whenever we discussed/ visited property we would take an Italian friend with us. Having someone with you that speaks the language fluently is invaluable. And helps to make sure you’re not being outwitted by the person selling property.
Also building regulations are complex in Europe, and if you don’t speak the language it becomes a hopeless situation. (contracts and permits can already be daunting in your own language, let alone in one you are still learning)
Many people in the most rural parts of Europe don’t speak English or do so poorly (Scandinavia is an exception to this rule). The main difficulties we are facing right now with our project stem from us not being able to communicate specifically enough, and misunderstandings occur (which cost money!).

 
Simon Flygare
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Do you have any ideas about a source of income when when you guys have bought and moved to a place? You need to keep in mind that living costs and taxes fluxuates from place to place, and
when looking at properties I personally think that it could be a huge benefit in the long run, to investigate potential income flows. Like others have said, take your time and get to know the area and the people.

Try to get and idea about the general living conditions in the area. If you are going really rural and far from larger populated places I would also look at what the majority of people do for a living to get an idea about the possibilities in that area, e.g market gardening might not be that profitable if everyone around you are growing or bartering there way to produce. Also as mentioned elsewhere in this thread people comes first. Let people know that you are looking for a place (lots of places are not listed online) Involve yourself in the community. It's much easier to relocate to a place where someone cares about you and want you to success, and also becoming part of the local/village economy is probably less hard knowing people and local customs and traditions than being a total outsider.

This comment is not meant in any way to limit your options when looking for a place, just a reminder on that making some groundwork, thinking ahead and making some excessive thoughts about what you can bring to the table, hopefully can save you from some troubles later on.
 
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This may not be in the right topic thread, so feel free to relocate this question.

My husband and I are looking at land to buy, and everything seems to be wooded. As in, completely.  Not stands of valuable timber, just completely covered in young to mid size "weed" trees.  To grow, and build a home, we need a place that gets lots of  natural light. Besides the fact that I like open spaces and sun.  Hiring a company to clear the land would be expensive; doing it ourselves might be a death wish (we are months from the 60 mark, and we've never cut anything bigger than a small branch from a tree).

Are we overlooking an option?
 
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I am also looking for land to build on, or with existing farm/house. Budget flexible. Somewhere in Europe, south sounds easier, but I have roots in the north (Scandinavia), so could be interesting as well. Would like to be located in a neighbourhood or area where other permies are located. Have never bought a property before, would be happy for advice, or maybe to do it with others or, open to other solutions.
 
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Hi emilie,

The costs of land clearing may be much less than you think, depending upon how much land you want cleared.  The major problems I see with land clearing are the destruction of the top soil and what to do with the resulting pile of dirt and brush.  I suspect, based upon your stated experience, that you might be better off continuing your search.
 
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