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Land buying with low budget. Help!

 
                                    
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Hi!
I am an aspiring permaculturalist/homesteader on a super limited budget of $50,000 for the whole shebang. I am hoping for 5+ acres with well and septic up and running, on good soil with power or solar and a road already in place. I am hoping for it to be organic quality soil, or something that can get to that point within a year or two. I will be acquiring bees, a horse, some chickens and a sheep or two when I can afford them. I will want outbuildings and a fenced off coop and livestock area.

A house already standing on the land would be great, but only if it's a turn key, as I cannot afford a tear down or several major repairs. I am desperately trying to make this vision work with my budget, but doing it alone and am having great difficulty. Also, realtors in the Pacific Northwest are scoundrels, and have alterior motives for most properties, most won't even work with someone who has a budget under $300K.

My search has me looking around the Oregon coast, southern Oregon and Northern California. Does anyone know of any properties for sale by owner in these areas, or forums/sites that would be of help? I'm currently in Hillsboro and there's very little up here, plus it's too close to Portland proper for comfort. So many cars!!!

Thank you in advance for any help or tips on this endeavour.


P.S. I have searched land and farm, lands of America, farm flip and several other sites, but they are outdated, or don't offer enough properties when I know there is a greater inventory than they list.
This has been a two year search already. What am I doing wrong, or does it take this long for every non millionaire?
Thanks again.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1808
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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While I've never attempted to buy real estate in your target area, I've always been under the impression that a functional farm like you are describing would go for a whole lot more than $50,000. Perhaps buying the right piece of land and living in a travel trailer or house trailer might be a way to start. Another option may be to look in a different region. Other areas of the country host more affordable pieces of real estate.
 
pollinator
Posts: 182
Location: Washington Timber Country
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I agree with Su. While $50,000 is a lot of cash, it's not a lot in the PNW real estate market, especially when looking for a turnkey home with acreage and out buildings. While some agents are definitely sketchy, I work in real estate and know that there are lots that are kind, honest people. I'm afraid the lack of interest you're getting from agents is more a reflection of their honest acknowledgment that what you're shopping for doesn't really exist at the price you want.

You can definitely find some undeveloped acreage around here for that price, maybe with an old un-financeable mobile home on it. You might also find something priced a little higher with quirks that make it ineligible for bank financing, so the seller would be motivated to carry a small note for you after your large down payment.

When we were looking for land, I found some interesting leads through the Little Nickel (http://www.thenickel.net/) and Craigslist. There's a lot of junk to wade through, but these are the kinds of places that sellers representing themselves will end up. Basically, you're looking for your seller counterpart - someone who can't find an agent to work with because what they're trying to sell is too far out of the box to be an easy transaction.

You might also keep an eye on the HUD home listings. I helped a gentleman finance a newer mobile on 1.25 acres on the Olympic Peninsula for $59k that was a HUD home. It did need a few thousand dollars in repairs to the electrical and plumbing systems, but was a nice home overall. There are a lot of scammy "HUD Home" sites, but this list of REO resources is from HUD itself: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/homes_for_sale
 
                                    
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I had been planning on buying a modular, but was hoping that if a house had been on the property in the past the hook ups/utilities would be easier to work with. I know I can get much, much more for my money with fewer restrictions on land usage and zoning in Vermont, and pretty much anywhere in the North East, but it's not ideal for what I plan to grow. I will be growing lots of medicinal herbs and other warmer weather plants.

I am from Pennsylvania, born and runn oft. The place has gone down hill Marcellus Shale has pretty much f***ed the land with their fracking. A good bit of the land from WV to OH and in PA is a bit hollow from the mining days, too. Also, the good old government won't let me grow what I want. So, dirt cheap PA is off the radar. Had been part of a few movements toward change for farmers and alternative medicine for 15 years, but it won't be changing for quite some time, I fear. The East is great, and even PA has much to offer to the right people who are cut out for it, but I need to be far south (not ideal) or far west.
 
                                    
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Hi Roberta,

Thank you (and thank you, Su).
I do not mean to offend any realtors, I've had experience with a couple out here and it was bad. I had someone talk me out of an affordable property only to sell it to his colleague who flipped it. I felt like maybe he was holding out for a double commission. He did the same with another property.

I had someone else refuse to work with me claiming that "it did not exist" and another realtor from the same area showed me about 10 different listings that same week. These are the reasons for my mindset about the Willamette realtors.

I have been looking for foreclosures, but keep hitting dead ends with scam sites or fake properties (Craigslist had the perfect parcel for sale, only the real owners didn't know it.) So I greatly appreciate the links and will put them to good use.
 
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Cristina, herbs? Not 420 herbs? lol

Seriously though I just did a few searches that you might not know of. I like http://adhuntr.com no "e" . It searches craigslist but nationwide, I did a "Oregon acreage" search and "North California" both had properties and some possibilities. I liked the square mile/640 acres for $169,000 Do a real estate investment program with some and slice off 10 % for a finders fee, maybe your investment is a community well that they all pay to share. A nice yurt, or cob style home.

I also did a search on ebay for "acreage Oregon" and "North California acreage" more possibilities. Even some gold claims came up, they are a different sort of animal but would work in a way.
Don't give up too quick on WV or Ohio or KY, great growing areas and with a green house you would have year round herbs.

You might do searches for "acreage with rent to own or lease to own, try the adhuntr.com site without state specifics to get country wide ideas. I have even heard if you get off the main island in Hawaii you may find property for a song.
http://tinyurl.com/really-a-song Please let us know how your search goes.
 
                                    
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**Addendum to original post**

My search is for Land, but I was just posting a "hope" in case anyone knew of such a place. I know what $50k can buy out here and thought it wouldn't hurt to put my wants out there, but now I fear it makes me look so silly that I won't be taken seriously. I do know that it's highly unlikely to find any such turn key property for under about $200,000 out here.
Just a hope.
 
                                    
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Mike, thank you so much!

I will check it all out.
I had been considering Hawaii, but was worried about the cost of living.
A few gold mines have come up in my search, but are very restricted, even in the high desert.


Some of the herbs may be 420 friendly, but even some herbs as benign as Salvia have been outlawed in PA because someone got high off of it. If I lived on a reservation, or an Amish farm, I'd have a heck of an easier time.

I would consider, WV if it came down to it.
 
Roberta Wilkinson
pollinator
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Location: Washington Timber Country
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Not "silly," just maybe overly optimistic? Never hurts to ask for what you want.

What about something like this? It's a short sale, so lots of room for things to go sideways, sadly, but a cash offer could help seed up the process: https://www.redfin.com/OR/Clatskanie/13247-Highway-202-97016/home/56364609

Or this!? A permie could get around the dead septic issue with ease, but it might drive off other buyers: https://www.redfin.com/OR/Terrebonne/6533-NW-Rainbow-Rd-97760/home/87076860

There's also a bunch of remote recreational land out by Pineville, OR listed in 5-10 acre parcels for very cheap prices, but it says it needs a conditional use permit to build a structure. No idea what's involved in that, or if, say, towing in a travel trailer would be an acceptable workaround.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Cristina just because I like to joke around doesn't mean I don't take you serious. I love what a determined person can accomplish, I would recommend reading or listening to "The Magic of Thinking Big", it is an older book but the logic still applies. http://audible.com

I used to read Success magazine, a great interview was done on a guy that with a friend started a chemical company. They found out Dow Chemical was looking for a certain chemical, they settled on a price Dow eagarly paid. They walked away $1.75 million richer. The punchline is, Dow Chemical already owned the item, one of its' subsidiaries had the product.
Your $50K dream is like that, sometimes you need to back up and get a different perspective.

I did a few more searches of Hawaii, for $50K you could buy the land in paradise, live in a yurt, build whatever future you want.

Don't ever settle for less than you deserve, we're worth alot.
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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If your plans might be to grow cannabis in Hawaii, beware. The Feds are still running the Green Harvest program. They have cut back quite a bit on the raids, but I still hear the helicopters buzzing the tree tops from time to time. The feds were nailing plenty of folks who have medical licenses to grow their own , destroying their plants, and dragging them in to court. And while Hawaii is looking into having some legal licensed growers (incensed by the State not the Feds) in the future, your chance of snagging one of those licenses will be zero. There are plenty of locals already in line. Favoritism is alive and well in Hawaii.
 
                                    
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Hah! Su, Hawaii sounds like Pennsylvania. I've had many reservations about Hawaii for a number of reasons, the cannabis thing being a huge one. The laws have never been clear and just seem like a nightmare waiting to happen. Also, the agribusiness restrictions on exporting goods to the main land give me pause. But it would otherwise be a beautiful place to homestead if my day job can support it all. (I work from a home studio online and via phone)
I'm not hoping to grow cannabis for profit, but it might be a part of a blend or tincture. So having the freedom to grow regardless of a license (ie, for personal use within a a natropathic healing community) is what I'm seeking. Thank you for the informative warning. I did not know it was so sketchy.

Roberta, I had almost forgotten about sites like redfin, I always think they're just for houses, but land can pop up.
Thank you so much for the links and taking the time look. I was trying to stay a bit further west than pineville, but it is an option.
There is a lot if cheap land the further east you go, but I have noticed it's less accessible and is often unfederated. This concept scares the single woman a little bit.
But it's always worth a look, I think.
They do require zoning and permits for almost everything, I'm not sure about the restricted use. I have almost purchased land that I wasn't allowed to even touch,let alone live on before. I learned and walked away unscathed, but now know excessive due diligence is a must pretty much everywhere around here.

Mike, thank you for the recommendations, moral support and all the energy you have lent to the hunt. I have every intention of keeping up with Hawaii and seeing what shifts over the coming elections. It's a beautiful place and will meet 99% of my needs, but might not suit me for everything that my venture needs, right now. My move to the west came after a few years of following the local politics in the coastal states. Sadly, the law has a lot to do with what your growing rights are. I believe that Oregon (unlike Pennsylvania) will not sell the land next to me (lets call it a state park with river access, for example) to an oil drilling company. I actually like the restrictions a bit, but not when they are applied to me.
I will look into the book and magazine, I think they have a blog. That may be Money?
I am working on a course through Mind valley right now. It's about positive thinking and focusing on creating a better life. I felt this was a good time to usher in these changes/mental updates.


I didn't intend to imply that I had been made to feel silly by any of you. I re-read my post and it came across as being serious without specifying what my true search was for, it also sounded a bit unresearched. I'll give a wink next time . I tried to add the addendum, but it would not permit me to edit. That's why it was randomly placed in the thread. But I am genuinely grateful for all of the encouragement and support. It means more than you know. Thank you all so very much.
 
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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The listing agent who sold my place was a drunken buffoon. He failed his client (a logging company) in every way. I watched and waited, as a really nice property was reduced to less than half of the original price. This happened during a general rise in property values.

There is only one type of idiot that I like to deal with. A salesman without a clue, is a rare find. Look around, they do exist. I stalked mine for four years, before pouncing.
 
gardener
Posts: 1199
Location: Longbranch, WA
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I have a 5 acre and 2.5 acre lot which has my sisters goat barn on it but no road access. There is no building on the 5 acres but there is an established driveway with dich for installing electricity. There are some camp trailers and motor homes ther that are from a failed attempt to set up a tiny home agriculture group one of them may be available. Your budget is below the land value but willing to work with you on contract.
The property description link is in my signature line.
Also have wooded lot in a community development, that is turn key, closer to your budget.
 
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
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You can try a lease option agreement, and try to use local ag lease prices as the lease base.....
 
master steward
Posts: 14617
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I just remembered that I hadn't posted this already. When we went looking for our property, we used a buyers agent that was recommended to us, and he really did a fantastic job finding our property and negotiating with the other agent and the previous owner. He even ended up throwing in a few hundred dollars of his own to help pay for repairs on the property that the previous owner did not want to pay for. Our manufactured home+property was only $200,000, and he still put a lot of time, research and energy into it, even though it was a small sale. He really seemed to spend as much time in our property search as he did on people with expensive properties, because he knows he gets more business if there's word of mouth spread that he does a great job. Anyway, he's a great guy. He mostly works in the Puget Sound area. If that's not where you're looking for land, he may know someone good down in Oregon.

His name is George Caudill, and here's his webpage: http://www.pugetsoundhomesbygeorge.com.

I hope that helps!
 
Posts: 317
Location: Onalaska, Lewis County, WA
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In Sept 2015 I closed on a 10.13 acre property in mid-Lewis County in WA state. It has 2.5 acres wetland, year-round stream, 2 acres cleared with little old barn, 5+ acres brushy woodlot, ratty 2-car garage and trashy enclosed single-wide mobile with pristine well, working electrical and septic and good driveway for $72K. It's only 13 miles east of I-5, so has decent access to Centralia/Chehalis for finding work. I would've paid less if I'd been willing to be further away from the I-5 corridor; I saw some AMAZING deals in Grays Harbor County. I didn't use an agent ever - my price was too low for anyone to be interested. The websites I used were Zillow, Remax, FirstHarborRealEstate.com (a GREAT site), Redfin, Landwatch. I knew I'd get more if I paid cash for a mobile that couldn't be financed, as Roberta noted above. If you have a solid farm plan, you can get some financing from the Farm Bureau or other agricultural lenders, if you're buying ag land. I'm sure you already do your research by putting interesting addresses into the local county parcel search websites, as well as Google. I looked on-and-off for 8 years, and really seriously for 2 years - visited a LOT of properties - and I'm really happy with what I finally got. Keep up your search! You'll find something eventually.
 
pollinator
Posts: 415
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Here is a resource for finding land. If it is Washington State and has an active MLS # it will be listed here by county: http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/

 
Jack Edmondson
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Check out 43 Tuffree Rd in Humptilips WA. MLS # 748000. 5 acres of good soil. Plenty of rainfall. High organic matter in the upper 2 feet of soil. Good neutral PH. Not too remote but well outside of towns. Asking price is $27,000 - no structures.

https://goo.gl/maps/EiUSAuWFejQ2

Soil classification description:

https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/OSD_Docs/H/HUMPTULIPS.html

[edit: fixed link to map]
 
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