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Venting frustration and hopelessness in land search

 
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Nathan MacAilpin wrote:Hey man, I too get it. I’m ahead now but it wasn’t easy. I started out with 13 k, bought a junk mobile home and renovated it. Lived in it 4 years, sold it bought 2 acres and another mobile. Bout to sell and buy a bigger property.
I learned to build community and relationships; couldn’t do it without that. My brother is in a similar situation like you, but worse. He has debilitating health issues, lives in his car, and makes bad money decisions. He’s 26 years old. Trying to get an apartment, and struggling along. But his heart is in the right place, and he is always striving to do better. No friends except me and my community I’ve introduced him to.
I think you deliberate thing by trying to connect with people on here. Folks have suggested an intentional  community, and I think that’s the idea, although I personally wouldnt choose that.
I’d suggest becoming a truck driver, or getting yourself a motorhome camper, and driving to an area that embraces the rural  lifestyle, get a job, live in the camper, build a community of people. Get invested in that community, make connections, get to know people. Doors open up.



I've heard new England can be a real hard place to making connections, I've been told there's a polite coldness as part of the culture there by a buddy I used to know. New jersey everyone kinds keeps their distance, friendly but not friendly, but I've heard you guys have that cranked up double. How did you manage to meet folks? What were some of the biggest challenges you had integrating with folks? (Not integrating as getting to know folks but integrating as in getting in their actual friend circles).

Really sorry about your brother, I can relate to his struggle on a very personal level. Car life isn't easy, especially in the cold season. And everyone and their brother tries to "help" you by calling the cops to give you a warm place to sleep, so you are always stressed about who may notice your presence. Make sure he has blankets, and that he can keep showered, staying clean was one of the hardest parts when I was in that situation but I couldn't talk about it much and it was hard to find good openings to get washed up. Everyone suggests gym memberships but it can end up being a matter of time before folks catch to what you are doing depending how bad of shape you end up in.

You are right, trailer living is probably the best idea, I don't believe I'd need a whole lot of trailer space. And thankfully I drive a small truck so it should not be too difficult to get a lightweight trailer to store my books, put a bed, pisser and shower of some sort inside that won't overload the truck.

I've been going to church regularly and have met a few nice folks, tried joining a local seed swap/gardening club but that dissolved lol. But in the end you are completely correct, in a suburban to urban area I guess I won't be able to connect with people so well since my goals and motives in life are very radically different, maybe this is why after 4 years here I haven't made much a network?
 
Robert Tiller
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Ted Abbey wrote:Sorry to hear about your predicament, and the resulting frustration. One thing you may want to consider is caretaking other people’s property, or room and board situations on farms and ranches. As rural populations age out, there is an ever increasing need for help. I have done this at several places, in different states, over the last decade. Read my thread below for a little bit about my current situation, where I will have spent the last 5 years as of this coming Thanksgiving Day.

https://permies.com/t/192087/Desert-Southwest-opportunity-person#1674715

Feel free the message me with any questions, and keep your head up.. it’s always darkest before the dawn!



What prevents me or anyone else for that matter from becoming an indentured servant of sorts in that situation?

Maybe a better way to phrase it is, how did you avoid becoming an indentured servant?
 
Robert Tiller
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Lielubelle Rios wrote:The more “high quality” the land the more expensive it is. I wouldn’t diss shrubland. My neighbor is in her 60’s and runs a sheep ranch on 80 acres, with a huge garden, an orchard. There’s something called a USDA microloan you should check into.

what's the location? I know goats can eat just about anything, sheep are also fairly ravenous. How many sheep?

What level of arid to desert is the cutoff in your perspective?
 
Robert Tiller
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Chris Bernard wrote:I didn't get a chance to read all the replies, so apologies if this is repeated information. Have you looked into property management gigs? Or ranch hand jobs? I know of a few people who live 'rent free' (part of their payment is housing) while maintaining a plot of land for someone; ie weeding, prepping irrigation, animal husbandry, etc.. One person I worked with has now lived on the land they maintain for 10 years, and as well as the house they live in, have 5 acres of land to work with how they wish. I believe they have paperwork drawn up for the inevitable transfer of ownership to maintain their home and parcel. Good way to develop skills, learn mistakes, and build a foundation of knowledge to the land you eventually purchase as your dream parcel.

Definitely look into all codes, state and local prior to purchase. We purchased land withing the Williamson Act. So we have strict guidelines of how we can develop our property. Not impossible to do what we have in mind, but has to be done in a methodical and painstakingly long way.

I got tied into a bad "rent free work" gig not going to get too detailed in public (maybe I'll talk about it in PMs if I trust you a lot), but there's definitely risks that can seriously hurt the rentor in this situation. Normally at a job you are employed and it is a separate aspect of your life, aka you have the decision to leave, you have the ability to stand up to the boss, and you have the option of privacy. In these live in situations your boss is your tenant and essentially owns you. You have no options and no consent as to what happens if the landowner decides they want extra. Its not a fair playing field and I've seen and lived through the less positive aspects of this.

This doesn't fully apply to what you refer to though, I wasn't renting with the expectation of inheritance, just as sort of an "extra family member". If there was a permanent legal arrangement that the ownership has to be transferred after the passing of the Landowner, it is a more fair playing field, that means you have similar standing as an actual blood relative and nor some grafted branch waiting to be shed off.
 
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You are wise to focus on these details. I understand the desire to own your property, but options exist. I am currently caretaking two properties, and both owners are open to ideas and collaborative projects. Good folks that can be trusted, and solid in politics and philosophies. This is in Nye County, Nevada.. just outside of Death Valley, in the aptly named Oasis Valley. Send me a message if you want to know more.
 
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You might want to consider Christmas Valley, OR. I went there myself in search of a homestead place and know quite a bit about it. I spent about 1-2 weeks visiting there talking to locals and exploring the area.

You can get a piece of land there for $2000 to $10,000. I even know some people there who financed a piece of land in that price range, if I remember right their payment was around $200 a month with very little down. There are options like this on Craigslist and Zillow right now.

Lake County technically has building codes but they don't seem to enforce them. There are unpermitted RV's and tiny homes everywhere, driving around the highway you'll see more obviously unpermitted dwellings than those which appear to be permitted. How long it will be like this I can't tell you for sure. When I talked to the locals, I learned that Lake County recently hired a code enforcement officer. But if they do start enforcing codes, your neat and tidy off grid home won't be the first they come after. There are some really dumpy properties there full of trashed RV's, abandoned mobile homes, even burned out mobiles, etc. and they'll have a lot of other people to go after before they maybe even think about knocking on your door. Locals also tell me that code enforcement will be much more strict along the major highways, and if you buy property that's hidden from the highways they're more likely leave you alone.

There are certain unavoidable risks when you simply choose to ignore the building codes because they don't seem to be enforced. I can't promise they'll leave you alone forever. But you will definitely have "safety in numbers" in an area like this where off grid dwellings are very common. I know you said you want a "legal dwelling". Well, we all prefer to not have to worry about code enforcement, and to be able to get insurance and all that, but you might have to compromise somewhere.

There will be challenges. This area is a desert. Winters are cold, down to the 20's or colder. There is constant wind. If you disturb the soil, you'll be eating dust, but otherwise the place isn't really a dust bowl. Like most deserts the soil is alkaline which will limit what plants you can grow.

Water will be a consideration.  There are no rivers or creeks, the water just drains down into lakes instead. If you're lucky you might even find land with a natural lake on it already, there's your water source. I wouldn't drink any surface water in the area. If you have to drill a well it won't need to be deep as there is a good water table, but that will still cost you some money. You can also fill up water containers at the Water District in the town, for 5 cents a gallon on the honor system. You can legally irrigate 1 acre per homestead/house using well water.

Your firewood options are limited. There are a few Junipers here and there. No public lands real close that I'm aware of. Whatever gets harvested takes them a long time to grow back in the desert. Sagebrush wood burns really fast and won't last long. You'll definitely need a truck to drive to the mountains if you're serious about harvesting firewood.

Christmas Valley is a small town with a gas station, dollar general, some small expensive grocery options, some local stores selling car parts, hardware and agricultural supplies.

Ultimately I haven't moved there... yet. I'm in a worse financial position than you and have some other options to look into for now. But maybe for your situation it might work out. I would also be happy to answer any questions you or anyone else might have about homesteading in the area.

Robert Tiller wrote:I don't know if this is the best place to put this but I just need ideas to help me escape this bind before it is too late. I need a few acres of land that could be built on legally in the future as my finances develop.

I'm 23 and live on my own, I moved out of a bad family situation at the age of 18, was homeless but for now rent a room. I've saved around 10,000 dollars, I have no debt but don't really have credit either. I occasionally see chunks of land float around within the price range but there's always something critically wrong with it such as it being wetlands, landlocked, illegal to build on, contaminated or various other nightmarish things I could never fix in my financial situation. I understand that anything I could afford is guaranteed to be very low quality, almost completely non arable desert, that would bring very limited payout in terms of homesteading (For something like that at least a greenhouse is an option) but I will take whatever I can realistically get. I have watched all those land websites (landwatch zillow etc) and it has been very fruitless. I tried calling logging and mining companies to see if they ever sell off land after they strip it and all told me no or give per acre prices (and minimum quantities to buy) so high it is impossible.

I don't know how long I'll be able to maintain my current rent situation, I rent a room and part of a greenhouse on a farm but the relationship with me and the home owners are extremely strained. And I'm starting to suffer serious burnout and fatigue from the stress and working too many hours, I really don't know how long I can take it.

 
pollinator
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Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
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As a very successful (now 59) bad starter, bad friends, drugs, unemployment etc etc and with 23 I was just in the middle of the sh*t...
My breakthrough came with 34 years of age...  

One reason:
With 23 it will be almost impossible to jump into the real money jobs, but as soon you are in any job try to stay at least 1-2 years and then out of this job apply for better ones.
(I preferred always to get people that were still in work but felt undervalued.)
For most employers you are in the "Greenhand" age and the only way is that you tell them that you are in a job but would like changing for the better (only this time of course, you will be glad to get the job and stay longer).

Even here in cheap Thailand a "rai" good farmland away from big cities (1600 sqm or 0.395 acre) is about 1,000$ and above, if it has a proper land deed.
So for my 6.6 acre I threw in 50,000$

Hence the fact that, 10,000 $ is a toothpick in a bonfire..
Make a good plan and push yourself harder, then with around 35 your dream will come through.
And with 35 years of age is nothing lost...

Sorry, no bad feelings but this is reality..

 
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A couple of thoughts on your comments and ideas.

The reality is real estate cost money. You are shopping for a commodity you do not have enough money for.

You have some money making industrious ideas, you could try studying them and the industry, get a job in them, learn the trade and learn the industry then you will know what it takes to make it work. How much land, out buildings, water, labor. People will invest in real legit business that have a real legit plan. Study business proposals. I have know people that did this and have heard of a good number of stories of success doing this.

Another potential angle. You do have enough money for land in many parts of the world. From Mexico to the bottom of South America 10k would by a decent spread of raw land in many areas. 10K would also support a year or more of rural living in these countries to see where would be a good place to live on the land. These places usually do not have much of an economy so many people leave for part of the year and make money elsewhere. You have US citizenship you have what it takes to do that.

Robert Tiller wrote:I am on my own and would be stuck back on the streets as a filthy bum if I cant pay the debts for some reason.



Someone mentioned “self fulfilling proficiency” this sounds like one to me. Not a very good one. I have been without money or a place to live before, all it takes is a gallon or two of water and small amount of soap to stay clean. You have earned and saved money on your own I don't think you will turn into a "bum" in one lost deal.
 
Posts: 199
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
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I bought 10 acres 3 miles from the closest town, riverside, good land. Scandinavia.
If you move here, you will be eligible for free government health care within 6 months and a pretty decent society all in all.
 
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