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Those of you building in rural areas, areas that don't require permits or don't ask about permits, what do you do if you decide you want to sell your land with an ... unconventional... structure on it? Knock it down and sell as land-only? Look for a fellow permie-type to take it off your hands and continue the trend? Asking for a friend. (Not really, asking for myself, lol)
 
pioneer
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My wife and I came across something similar when we were looking for land to buy. There was a nice parcel of rural land with a double-wide and a detached garage and a run-down little cabin further up the hill. The bank we had gotten a small loan from to aid in buying the land (it's Farm Credit, hardly any other bank sees value in raw land) said the structures had zero value and would only loan x amount for the appraised value of the land, which was not how the owners viewed it. We did make a low-ball offer based on the land value as we didn't want to over pay for the land, and the sellers rejected our offer of course. It worked out for the best as we found another parcel better suited for our needs that cost less.

I would leave the unconventional structure on it instead of knocking it down. If it's not dilapidated, a buyer may see value in that structure and have a use for it, but I wouldn't get my hopes up in it adding value to what the land itself is worth.
 
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We had a semi normal house when we sold our forty acres but found that buyers couldn't get a mortgage on the house because we didn't have an indoor flush toilet.  The house was plumbed to municipal  water even, just no flush toilet.  The house was valued along with the other two outbuildings, useful but didn't add much to the sale price.

Ironically, a flush toilet with a pipe running it off the mountain would have been acceptable...but not our well maintained humanure system.

In the end we felt fortunate, because the new owners are very much into permaculture and definitely value the land there as we did.

 
Vick Smith
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Well, if there's anyone looking for land in TX with an unconventional structure....
 
Judith Browning
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Vick Smith wrote:Well, if there's anyone looking for land in TX with an unconventional structure....



There's a permaculture real estate forum here if you want to start a post about your property with more information and photos.  Now we are all curious about the 'unconventional structure)
 
Vick Smith
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Well, I don't know how unconventional it is, but could probably use a professional's going-over, as I built it with my adult child..
I know. Plans, and drawings and calculations should be part of the mix. But I built it *sigh* by the seat of my pants. Please don't throw tomatoes - I know there's a right way to do this stuff, and I didn't follow the plans/etc. I'm living in a no-permits area, and so I just went for it.

Very simple structure, a henge with another henge on the outside 8 feet away to make a wide corridor -circle in the middle is unroofed, has a door in, it's a courtyard. You've probably built a card house along the same lines. South side extended for a large kitchen, whole wall is windows between the 4x4s instead of siding. Floor was earth - then the cats ripped it to pieces no matter what I did, so I went to laytex-crete ferrocement with burlap. (lay down damp burlap, squish in laytexcrete mixture, paint over it with more laytexcrete to make smoothish surface. -Needs another layer painted on -Cats can't rip it up.) Roof built like a deck, with the intention of eventually building a deck up there, but - due to some personnel changes, I can't complete it. I love it, really, but oh my gosh as I get older I realize there's going to be a lot of upkeep and and I may have to even knock the whole thing down simply because I can't keep it up, probably won't ever be able to totally complete the project and won't be able to sell it either.
 
Judith Browning
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I know there's a right way to do this stuff, and I didn't follow the plans/etc. I'm living in a no-permits area, and so I just went for it.



That sounds like a wonderful fun house!

You are not alone in this forum...there are many here who have built or are building rather differently

Our first cabin years ago was a group project with not much collective experience...hay bale walls for the first few winters...a quick floor just before our oldest started to crawl...cedar shakes replaced after the first chimney fire...vertical log walls that made chinking quite difficult...sometimes we knew better and sometimes we didn't...sometimes we just do what's necessary at the time and move on.....
 
Vick Smith
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Judith Browning wrote:

That sounds like a wonderful fun house!

You are not alone in this forum...there are many here who have built or are building rather differently

Our first cabin years ago was a group project with not much collective experience...hay bale walls for the first few winters...a quick floor just before our oldest started to crawl...cedar shakes replaced after the first chimney fire...vertical log walls that made chinking quite difficult...sometimes we knew better and sometimes we didn't...sometimes we just do what's necessary at the time and move on.....


Thank you So Much for that. I've been stressing about it a lot lately and have been dreading people shaking their head and wagging fingers. Around here (local, not this forum!)  I get patronized a lot - 'silly girl building a house without a man!' And am just over it lol.
 
Judith Browning
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I've been stressing about it a lot lately and have been dreading people shaking their head and wagging fingers. Around here I get patronized a lot - 'silly girl building a house without a man!' And am just over it lol.




The cabin is long gone but when we sold our most recent home and acres, it was stressful meeting potential buyers who wanted to know why we did this and that...especially the outhouse and composting toilet and no water heater but the wood stove.  I wish I had been better prepared for that part...I really didn't want to argue my chosen lifestyle  

We definitely received a lot of head shaking...and of course offers of 'how to do it right' and we still do.  Here in this small town we finally have convinced a neighbor that we don't need help mowing we like it that length...he actually mowed it for us without asking three times over the last two years and we were mowing it, just not as short as he thought necessary.
 
pioneer
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Where I live most properties are selling in the $300,000 range.  There are probably very few of these properties that have a house on them that is valued for that much.

I don't know if this applies to everywhere or just certain situations:

Many times with properties, the value is mainly on the land so a mortgage company or bank will only loan on the land.

Land loans have a higher interest rate.

I would leave the property as is unless you have a buyer with problems getting their land loan due to the structure.

Be sure to put in the contract that the structure is "as is".
 
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This happens a lot with rural properties, especially barns. It really does not matter if the barn has two bathrooms, a kitchen and a dining hall with horse stalls, or is a lean-too like structure; an out building is an out building is an outbuilding; here worth about $10 a square foot. Many buyers and seller are both put off because the dream farm they want to buy/sell gets appraised at a much lower rate than expected.

Really it is that ancient way they determine the value of a property; it must be compared (called comps in the industry), and many times there is nothing to compare it to in regards to other real estate sales in the area having underground structures and outbuildings, so they throw up their hands and just do not count it at all.

My farm is valued at 9% of its true value, but by "true value" I know what it has for forest products (forester derived) and mineral rights (test drilling). The appraiser never counted that in on a per acre basis, just the value of the land, the houses, had the sawmill counted as "storage structure", forest land on a per acre basis, and then tillable land. My 8 acre gravel pit alone is worth a million dollars at $2 a cubic yard, that being the standard stumpage rate here.

But I cannot fault the appraiser, all this is like saying my junk Ford Focus is worth $5000 based on if I removed the individual parts and sold them on Ebay, while the appraiser is looking at its value at a scrap yard.

What is the most likely scenario? 9 out of 10 people would take the junk car to a scrap yard and not bother to dismantle it. The same thing with land. I could easily get what I value my land at if I cut all the wood off, excavate the gravel, remove the slate, sell my animals, sell off my equipment, and then finally sell the land because someone would still want it. Regardless, in that light, typically the lender wants the low-ball number so their investment risk is well covered.

Note: I did find a lender that would stretch their necks for me since my farm has a municipal dump on it (sealed and put to rest), but it also cost me; 1% more in interest than any other lending institution. Even then I consider myself fortunate, because most lenders would have walked away.
 
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