My partner and I are looking to sell our homestead. There is a house, gardens, fields, a barn, ponds, an orchard and just about everything else needed for a self-reliant farm. I have been living here for the last 9 years and put lots of time and energy and love into the land. Think of the project as a love child between Bill Mollison and Gene Logsdon. There is a link below with more information and pictures. Perhaps y'all would share this link with others who maybe interested as well.
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
posted 4 years ago
That is a nice homestead you have built over the past 9 years. Sounds live a very reasonable prices, as well. So I am clear, the lease is a one time payment for 99 years duration? Also the community requirement of 6 months of residency before being able to become a member (and take a lease), how will that work? Will you allow a potential buyer to postpone the transaction until the membership is secured? What happens if the buyer is not a good fit for the community, a membership/lease is not offered?
I think this could be a very attractive deal for someone. (MO is too cold for this TX Gulf Coast boy.) The price is reasonable for the amount of infrastructure you are selling. I don't have any experience with community owned land; but am curious. It sounds like your community and the ones nearby are a great asset for a homesteader. How did you get started with this group? It sounds like you were in from the beginning. Are you the first to resell? Has the community dealt with other transfers of ownership? Is this their first?
Good luck to you back east. It must be hard to change courses after so long and so much effort. Will you look at coming back to the community in the future?
We are wanting to move to northern Vermont to be closer to family in Quebec and Ontario.
The questions from Jack I am attempted to answer below.
The lease fee is one time payment and here is words from our lease agreement- "Leaseholder shall have and hold the Leasehold for a term of ninety-nine (99) years beginning on the ___ day of ____, 20___, and shall automatically be renewed in perpetuity at no additional fee every ninety-nine (99) years, assuming that Leaseholder’s successors, heirs, or assigns are in good standing with REFCLT. "
As far as residency my ideas (somewhat flexible) are that the resident would stay in the house or cabin during that 6 month period or perhaps rent a place in the area. Part of our farm income is growing seed so I need to be here until October to fulfill contracts. In the winter I was planning on going to Vermont to work and if the leasehold is not sold by the end of winter I will return and probably for another growing season. The details will just have to be worked out when there is an interested party. The leasehold can not be transferred (sold) until the resident is a member. If a resident is not approved as a member there are two potential avenues. There residency can be extended by there request or the community's. If the resident is not accepted as a member then the leasehold is not available to them. Red Earth is open to a diverse group of people. From my experience there has been no one denied membership.
I attempted to homestead in the Ozarks with little luck and had lived at a student housing co-op so was familiar with communities. Found Red Earth's website from a link on Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage's page. I am not the first to resell. Two years ago a leaseholder left and her leasehold was purchased by Red Earth (long story). Also, last year a family left and there homestead is also on the market. So in someways this will be the first 'real' lease transfer but the process has already been defined so it should not house complications.
The future is unknown but we do not have plans to live in this area again.
Would a stand alone farm of similar quality sell for much more, or a little more. Just wondering if the ownership model brings the price down significantly. It seems like you aren't charging a great deal for the improvements.
There are several Amish and Mennonite settlements in that area. That is a good indication the land is less expensive than average. USUALLY it is because it has creeks and timber and small field sizes that don't work with big 4wd tractors. Perfect for an offgrid homestead.
I don't know current prices in that area, but that price does not seem way out of line based on what I know from a couple years ago.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
The price per acre at our farm is much lower than land in the neighborhood. It was removed from the real estate market over 10 years ago and the land trust has only increased the price per acre to cover interest on the loan we had. Since the loan was paid off we decided to only increase the value by 1% each year. One goal of the land trust is to make affordable land available to people interested in homesteading. I would say our land would fall under 'pasture' (instead of row crop) and that goes for about $2,000-2,500 in this county. Also, the large local mennonite population has actually caused a large increase in land value in this specific area since it is a hub for their conference.