You don't have to live in the country to buy land without going through an agency, or to get it for a better price than you're likely to find advertised.
There isn't any magic to it: you still have to have money, and doing it for yourself means more legwork and involvement than having someone do it for you, but if you know the right things, you can find the best price by buying land that nobody really wants anymore and you can be the one in control of the purchase process.
I've written an article about what I've learned in this regard.
If you like it, I'd appreciated it if you'd let me know, or tell your friends.
All in all, I'd say that was well researched and written.
Years ago, I called on some acreage that was for sale. The somewhat rude woman wouldn't come down a dime on the selling price. Later, after we bought our current property, friends of ours found out that the IRS was knocking at her door. They called her up and offered her 1/3 of her selling price in cash. She was so desperate for money at that point that she accepted their offer...complaining all the while.
I sold real estate for a brief period. Most of the paperwork is to cover the broker's a** in case of something weird...and to make sure they get paid. Any bank and title company will do the paperwork and save you tons of money, huh. We saved around $5K selling our last home ourselves, and buying this property with no realtor.
I'm glad you posted. It should help those who are willing to take the steps.
One of the things that particularly galls me is that whereas agents/brokers used to close the sale for you as part of their commission, now they turn that over to a title company which charges you for their work.
I wish I had read this b4 I recently bought land in Cherry Creek, MO. I may have been able to find a great place in one of our Southern MO counties. Great ideas! People don't realize what a little perseverance, leg-work, and good old fashioned charm can get you. Great article!
Just kidding, we love our new chunk of land. I'll contact you when some of our planned projects are finished and maybe you can come out and check out what we've done. Thanks for the opportunity to become as self-sufficient as possible!
I try to avoid promoting my day job on forums like this, but I appreciate your comments. Thanks.
How about posting some photos when you get them?
I thought that was the case about the day job. That's why I was a little vague. I have a ton of pics of our progress, where should I post them?
I'm sure they'd be appropriate here, but also on Homestead.org.
By the way, you have one of my favorite parcels. When one of my daughters wanted to move to the country, a decision she changed her mind about because of someone she has since married and divorced, I had the whole place to choose from at the time, and I was going to give her your parcel.
Wish she'd taken it, but I guess as it turned out, we're all happier this way.
I haven't seen them all, but I'm confident we got a GREAT spot. My friends Shellei and Clint live just down the road, so we're planning on helping each other out a lot this year (and next year, and the next, etc...)
We had been looking for land for a while and we fell in love with our place instantly. We loved it just from the pictures on the website, but upon visiting the place, we knew it was ours. Great vibes abound, good neighbors, and beautiful, functional terrain combine to make this an almost perfect place for our family.
We have big plans, I'll be sure and keep you updated. We finally got our culvert and driveway put in, next is a small shed and some raised bed gardens. (Damn clay!!)
Thanks for the opportunity and keep up the worthwhile work!
Uh... what happened to the culvert I put in?
You know, I have my garden located on some of the best, most-level, rock-free black-dirt on my place, and I still garden in raised beds and containers. It's just a lot easier that way and a lot easier to have complete control of the amounts of water and nutrients that each plant gets.
Hmmmm... this seems like and excellent chance to plug one of my articles:
I met a guy once who got a list of all parcels over 20 acres in an area he wanted to live in. He wrote a letter that he sent to all those landowners. He introduced himself and his wife, said he had one kid and they were planning for another, they were looking for land, described his vision. They ended up buying something that wasn't listed anywhere ... they connected with several people who had land and were willing to sell.
The standard model of selling land is rather depersonalized -- land is listed as a commodity, up for sale based purely on price, often handled through agents to shield the seller from person to person contact. Maybe that is best sometimes. But many people want to know about the people who are interested in buying and what they will do ... it makes it easier for some if they know that there will be environmental stewardship, or that a farming way of life will be practiced instead of suburbanization/speculation/exploitation & degradation.
Another note - more and more counties are putting the property info in a computerized database, and they can do a quick query to pull all the parcels within a certain area that are zoned agricultural/rural, that are above a certain size, etc. If you can connect with the person who does this (often the GIS analyst in the property appraiser's office), you might be able to do a powerful search and get the results mapped, along with a spreadsheet or text file containing contact info. Some counties provide it for free, some charge a nominal fee (and some gouge the public!) ... but if you present yourself as a simple citizen instead of a developer, the GIS analyst may take a few minutes and save you hours of work.