Finances are the bane of any young permaculture enthusiast. With urban sprawl eating away at prime ground, and raises property values most are hard pressed to find their own patch within an hour of a urban center. I was raised to believe that the impossible can be attained without a monstrous bank account. With a lot of grace I've held on to my currently stressing job, and have a nest egg saved, though small compared to most. Unless I happen to meet a wonderful landowner willing to let me start my work with very little money down, I fear just the down payment on a 5-10 acre parcel here in Missoula would eat away all of the funding it took 5 years of hard toil just to accumulate. Leaving me with very little to invest in the basic infrastructure of what I hope will become an amazing bio shelter and food forest farm.
What is the most logical course when looking for acreage that doesn't involve a broker taking a slice of the pie, and enables you being able to express your hopes and dreams to prospective sellers?
Should be some sort of conservation land trusts in the area that may help you find land which has easement restrictions, which shelter the land value from development pressure. Or, you may be able to buy land and then sell or donate (or find a grant or sponsor to pay for these environmental restrictions) the easement rights to the trust which would save money on taxes. Good luck, I imagine there's gotta be something out there in the middle of nowhere 59 minutes from the city...
Here in Massachusetts we have some zoning laws that are simpler than the trusts and easements route, with different "chapters" for forest, ag, or recreational land which all help reduce annual taxes.
Whatever you do, you should not put off buying land until you are well healed. In the 8 years since I started
buying my small acreage the price per acre has gone up from $500. to $1300 an ACRE. That rise negates a lot
of the savings. There are a lot of Forest property owners who have started selling off lots, that have been partially cleared.
You can choose your acreage amount, with payments and a low down payment. Their market is people who want "to move
to the country", some time in the future, but want to start buying now.
You can find these parcels, besides looking for adds, by just driving around undeveloped land in the Counties of your choice.
Going up & down County highways or turning on a few dirt roads, you will start to see signs saying "Southern Forest
Properties" or "Wild Lands" ect. If there is a phone number they are OWNERS selling. Give them some cash and they will start
you with payments. No Brokers and they will usually have their own agreements made up.
You need to check the Deed records,encumbrances and chat with the County Clerk, to get more information. You need to make
certain who really owns the land and make sure the whole acreage is not on a blanket deed, that could cause you a problem
getting a clear title when you pay it off. If you are not sure about how to search those things, get a lawyer to look things over for you.
There is a lot of fairly unimproved land available. Some has Electricity available, and some Well and or Septic.
But it is going up all the time.
I'm not sure how transfer of property works there.Here I went to a lawyer and did everything through him.If I'd went realator route and closing would have cost between 3000 and 5000.I think it was around $300 for the lawyer but my family used his services reguarly so I got a break on cost.You can find people willing to sell without a realator as long as they feel their interest is being protected.
Hi to all. Financial Strategies----I bought land when I felt that I couldnt afford it, but bit the bullet and now Im glad I did. The axiom "The longest journey begins with a single step" I think applies pretty well. I actually bought three properties (all in SW Texas) before I felt sufficiently clarified to understand what my needs were and learned something important in each transaction. To date I have a 22 acre and two 5 acre properties for sale, and would likely sell exactly for what I paid for them and not cry that I didnt make a profit on them. Im content that money went into building equity and did not get frittered away on something else. But my main point is that its good to start small, stay flexible, actually practice buying a small piece of land somewhere, because it teaches you so much. For instance I have a beautiful property which is only 6 miles from a small town, but the surrounding mountains make it feel like the ends of the earth. Not a soda can or telephone pole in sight. A unique microclimate where rainwater runs down onto the property so that the mesquite trees have more water than generally the surrounding properties, yet I was unable to attract anybody down there so there was little I could do in terms of building community. I am in Utah now, and have worked my process somewhat backwards (think I got it right this time.) I now have a smallish community of alternative/ag people and we are looking for a property in joint, to reduce the cash outlay of any single party. I have realized that its easier to build the community as a first step than attract people to your ongoing project-in-progress, as people come with so many "must haves and preconceptions" , and I think we all worry about having a little control and do not desire to be absorbed by somebody else's vision...My friends and I have worked out all the compromises and find that we are pretty close to each other's vision, enough to make it work. We are even cohabitating on a rented property and are developing businesses on the side while we look for a property to buy. This tells you alot about your ability to work with and stand close quarters with one another. And, though it has been difficult evolution, I have gone from a totally "me" concept of land ownership to being okay with a jointly owned property. Small groups have greater buying power-certainly more than a single person..but this is common sense...Just my two cents for the day. Mike L.
( google all these things, or check out the pv website,videos and podcasts : http://www.permaculturevoices.com/ )
SPIN farming to get started. ( Small Plot Intensive )
Joel Salatin's work, rent some land and raise a few crops of animals, then buy land.
Greg Judy's work, mob grassing. He got into land by custom grazing other people cattle. Then his own. Then his own on his own land.
Find an old field around where you are that isn't being used. Go talk to some people and make them a deal. Lots of yards are getting turned into gardens for 1) not having to mow the yard any more, and 2) enough veggies for the household, 3) when the deal is done they'll have a kick ass garden plot.
The average age of a farmer is 60 something years old. Lots of them are looking to down size, or slow down. If you can show success on a 5 acre piece cut off the back 160, maybe you'll be running the rest in a few years. Or the place next door, or down the way because someone was paying attention to success.
Pay special attention to Joel's work. Polyface farms keeps much of their infrastructure mobile and cheap so they can move it along to the next opportunity. That's kinda smart. If you start out renting you can trailer stuff away when the time comes to buy.
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