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Southeastern Pennsylvania Couple Looking for Land  RSS feed

 
Dan Compas
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Hey all! My wife and I have begun exploring the idea of a modified homestead and we greatly desire to remove ourselves from our suburban mortgage and purchase land that we can build a small house on. Our two thoughts are reducing our debt (paying for the house in cash and buying only as much land as we can pay off in a relatively short period of time). Given the astronomical price of land in Southeastern PA (Bucks County, Montgomery County, etc) this thought is proving to be rather difficult.

As many of our most fruitful endeavors have started, we hope to make a personal connection with someone first who currently owns land that can be subdivided. We would be looking for no more than 5 acres of land. We would build a small dwelling and tend the land responsibly. Our goal of course would be a high level of self-sufficiency, stewarding the land, and beginning our family as close to Nature as possible.

If you know anyone who would be open to a conversation that might help point us in the right direction, we would welcome any and all thoughts!

Please let me know if you need more information - thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

-D&N
 
Jon Butts
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You might want to check out the www.ic.org website and just see what might be available as far as intentional communities in the areas your interested in. Places like Earth Haven have different arrangements for different budgets. Also, there's the Egar Farmer web site, where older farmers are looking for persons to take over their existing farms. This was created by Joel Salatin Daughter-in-Law, Sheri, after he published his 2013 book 'Field of Farmers'.
It's really hard trying as a single family to do what your wanting to do (a high level of self-sufficiency, stewarding the land, and beginning our family as close to Nature as possible) in our money driven society!
In our situation we've work our butts of and own that farm homestead but as we get older can't keep up with what we've created and are really striking out as far as finding partners or community, or someone to take over what we've started. We're in Florida and it's a dead zone for most community minded permies! Hate to sell out!
Seems most want to start there own projects, as we did but humans really function better in groups. Of course in our present day culture and society we need to be educated in the process of working and living together.
Best of Luck! Jon   
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Dan Compas
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Hey Jon!

Thank you so much for the resources. I will definitely check them out. We do seek a smaller property (in comparison to some of the larger farms) only in thinking of the amount we can truly manage, while having a family, etc.

I agree, it does seem rather difficult to conceive of in today's modern world. I try to remain hopeful but it can be a challenge at times.

I am really happy to hear that you guys have done what you found right but sorry to hear Florida is not proving fruitful for fellow permies! Where in Florida are you?

Again, thank you for taking some time to reach out.

Best,
Dan
 
Denise Kersting
Posts: 76
Location: South Central PA
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Don't know your budget, or where exactly you are looking for, but here's a listing for 5 acres/$49,000. http://www.landandfarm.com/property/5_03_Acres_in_Bucks_County-3815357/ (Bucks & PA in general  are pricey, I'm in Central PA and feel your pain) Keep hunting, and get out and drive the back roads, I've found many listings for more rural lands around here aren't publicized, just a sign out front. Keep looking, and you can always pull the GIS if available for the county you are looking at, gives you tax assessments, landowner names, etc. You might also want to look at the county tax sale info, Dauphin county puts that up on the web, and with the GIS info, you can pull a lot of info on a property before even viewing it. Here's a listing for 4 acres/$5000 http://www.landandfarm.com/property/4_Acres_in_Bucks_County-3976736/ & 17 acres/$67500 http://www.landandfarm.com/property/17_63_Acres_in_Bucks_County-4013750/.
 
Dan Compas
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Hey Denise,

Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate that information.

It's great to see that there might be some properties out there in my area without having to move out of state.

I'll have to start driving the backroads to see what I can find. Any suggestions if I do find something I like as far as negotiating, getting a realtor, etc? I have bought a house before so I understand the process - just not sure if there's a different approach to buying land.

Thanks again!!

Best,
Dan
 
Denise Kersting
Posts: 76
Location: South Central PA
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Hi Dan,
I'm afraid that the buying process is a bit different for "land only/cabin" in our areas. We have an off grid cabin and land we purchased (upstate NY), but it was financed from my father in law (easy peasy). I have looked at several places closer to us that don't fit the standard house/yard/etc. and there very well might be different financing required if you need a mortgage. There are experienced land realtors/finance people out there though. If you need to purchase a mortgage to buy, with a traditional home loan, it will need certain basics, i.e. septic or city sewer, running water, etc. If you are able to pay cash however, your options really open up. I don't have anyone local to you to recommend, but this website allows you to search Bucks county GIS http://www.buckscountyboa.org/pt/search/commonsearch.aspx?mode=address by address if you find an area you are interested in. If you find they are out-of-towners, you might want to contact them to see if they are interested in selling directly...
 
Dan Compas
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Hey Denise,

I appreciate the info again on the process. I will reach out to folks I know in the area for potential leads on the process in PA.

I've used the Bucks County BOA site when looking at a recent property so I will have to familiarize myself more with it.

I have an oddly optimistic feeling that I will meet someone who shares my vision and be willing to let me purchase land off of them. I know it exists somewhere!

Thank you again - so greatly appreciated.

Best,
Dan

 
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