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Cheap Land

 
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Hi guys, I'm currently living in the midwest but am looking to find some cheap land at least 4+ acres in Cochise county Arizona to build an earthbag home on. Does anyone have advice on finding/ buying cheap land?
 
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Define cheap.
 
Monica Stuntz
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Phil Grady wrote:Define cheap.



10,000 at most for 5+ acres

I see postings online for property that is 4 acres for about 2,000 but they all lead me back to ruralvacantland.com and I don't really trust that website, it seems kinda sketchy to me.
 
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While I have not used this site, they have property in your price range, once you gettpast all the 1/4 ac pieces.

https://www.landwatch.com/COCHISE COUNTY,
 
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Howdy Monica, Are you familiar with Cochise county? Aware of what it takes to live there? Are you looking at being out in the desert far from a town?

I keep an eye on the land listings from rural vacant land as they have some great deals in many parts of the country. I think they make it easy to by land but you still need to do your diligence before actually sending them any money so that you know what you are getting. I think they just flip property but if they were too shady I think it would have caught up to them by now.

Make sure you have deeded access. Seems like a lot of those properties were subdivided at some point but roads were not put in or were just bladed in and have washed out. Be sure you have a plan for water. Many folks down there use roof water catchment during the monsoons and have large storage tanks.

You might contact the folks at the assessors office and or the treasurers office to get more information on any land you will be looking at.  Cochise county

If you sign up/log in you should be able to get access to their "GIS" system most counties have these online GIS maps that show lot boundaries, ownership, and tax information that is really handy. I would also see if you can access the tax lean pages as sometimes folks buy land and after many years they just stop paying the taxes so the county repossesses the land and sells them. It looks like they have a bunch of those down there. Give them a call and ask lots of questions.

Either way you go, I would also have a Cochise County title company do a title search and give you title insurance for your land to be sure that you know about any hidden fees that might be attached to a piece of property.

I like what these guys have done, you might see if you can contact them for more in depth information.

 
Miles Flansburg
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Oh ya and if you plan on doing any gardening watch out for alkali or salty areas down there.
 
Anne Miller
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Miles has given you some great advice.

I would recommend using a local realtor to help you find the property.  Like Miles suggested, I would not buy through the mail.

If you can't see the property in person you might end up buying something that you cannot build on.  
Like Miles suggested: Be sure to get Title Insurance.

Any local realtor can show you any property in the area.

You might even want to wait until you can move there and rent something while looking for the best buy for your money.


  I would also see if you can access the tax lean pages as sometimes folks buy land and after many years they just stop paying the taxes so the county repossesses the land and sells them. It looks like they have a bunch of those down there. Give them a call and ask lots of questions.



These sales are usually held monthly on the courthouse steps.  You have to have cash in hand/cashier check to pay for your bid in full.  


I haven't looked at all of that video though it makes me wonder if they are trying to sell land there?  The permit and regulation bit made my head spin.


Like I said I have not used these people.

This lady has several listing and appears to be local:

https://www.landwatch.com/default.aspx?ct=r&type=146,13036


 
Monica Stuntz
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Howdy Monica, Are you familiar with Cochise county? Aware of what it takes to live there? Are you looking at being out in the desert far from a town?

I keep an eye on the land listings from rural vacant land as they have some great deals in many parts of the country. I think they make it easy to by land but you still need to do your diligence before actually sending them any money so that you know what you are getting. I think they just flip property but if they were too shady I think it would have caught up to them by now.

Make sure you have deeded access. Seems like a lot of those properties were subdivided at some point but roads were not put in or were just bladed in and have washed out. Be sure you have a plan for water. Many folks down there use roof water catchment during the monsoons and have large storage tanks.

You might contact the folks at the assessors office and or the treasurers office to get more information on any land you will be looking at.  Cochise county

If you sign up/log in you should be able to get access to their "GIS" system most counties have these online GIS maps that show lot boundaries, ownership, and tax information that is really handy. I would also see if you can access the tax lean pages as sometimes folks buy land and after many years they just stop paying the taxes so the county repossesses the land and sells them. It looks like they have a bunch of those down there. Give them a call and ask lots of questions.

Either way you go, I would also have a Cochise County title company do a title search and give you title insurance for your land to be sure that you know about any hidden fees that might be attached to a piece of property.

I like what these guys have done, you might see if you can contact them for more in depth information.



Thanks for all the advice! I have watched a lot of Derek's videos especially the ones about water collecting and such. Before I even watched any of their videos my plan lined up big time with theirs. I won't be able to afford moving for a couple of years and in that time i am doing as much research as humanly possible. My plan is to buy an rv/camper and trade my sedan for a truck and build an earthbag house and water collection system while living out of the rv.  We'll possibly have to live at an rv park for some of this time but are aware that our land could be quite a drive from civilization.
 
pollinator
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I actually live in Cochise County (Hereford, AZ)

Some things to be aware of.  While it's possible to find land here in your price range, pay attention to the location.  There are a lot of parcels out between Bisbee and Douglas in that price range, but you'll have to drive 30 miles to get to the grocery store.  You can easily end up spending way more money on gas than you saved on the land.

If you plan on growing food, check out the nearby weather stations on https://www.wunderground.com/, different areas can end up with vastly different amounts of annual rainfall.  I'm right up close to the Huachuca mountains so I tend to get 8-10 inches more rain per year than places that are only 10 miles away.

Another thing to consider is the soil here.  If you are planning on pumping water out of the ground, in many areas the ground water is contaminated with heavy metals, lead, etc.  It's possible to remove the heavy metals, but it's expensive.  There are quite a few off-grid homes here that have to haul in all their water.  Again this can get quite expensive if you have to drive 30 miles each way.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Miles Flansburg wrote:... I would also see if you can access the tax lean pages as sometimes folks buy land and after many years they just stop paying the taxes so the county repossesses the land and sells them.



Just a note about the way they handle tax leans in AZ.  If you buy the lean, all you are buying is the tax debt, technically you are bidding on the interest rate that you can charge the current owner (the lowest interest rate wins the auction).  Regardless of what interest rate you win with, you have to pay off the entire tax debt.
You don't get the land, at least not right away.  
You have to wait three years and if they haven't paid off the debt by then, you can take them to court and 'repossess' the land.

It's not a bad deal either way (unless you bid a really low interest rate) because you can either end up with the land at a fairly low price, or at least get your investment back with interest (assuming the current owners pay off the lean)
 
Monica Stuntz
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:I actually live in Cochise County (Hereford, AZ)


If you plan on growing food, check out the nearby weather stations on https://www.wunderground.com/, different areas can end up with vastly different amounts of annual rainfall.  I'm right up close to the Huachuca mountains so I tend to get 8-10 inches more rain per year than places that are only 10 miles away.

Another thing to consider is the soil here.  If you are planning on pumping water out of the ground, in many areas the ground water is contaminated with heavy metals, lead, etc.



Thanks for the tip, it would be helpful if i can get as much rain as possible. I am planing on building quite a large water catchment system and filter the water coming into the house. I am aware that we will have to haul water out until we get a couple good rains after it's built, i can only image the gas bills for even a short drive 😵
 
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Monica, just checking in on your venture. Did you end up buying yet?
The reason I ask is I’m also considering some areas of Cochise. Not too far from a town such as Sierra visita or similar tho, as it’s too difficult to travel those distances and also just to get help with a build.
I’d love to get an update!? TIA
 
pollinator
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I'll chime in with a couple more tips, as I lived in Tucson for 40+ years and spent a lot of time in various parts of Cochise County. You've already got some excellent pointers on title, access, water and soil.

Be prepared for an erratic climate. The valley floors there are mostly about 4000 feet and they get wicked hot in the summer, but can also get some sharp cold snaps for such a southerly location. Back in the '70s my uncle recorded several nights in a row of single digits in Sunizona. Peter mentioned his microclimate...it's a good idea to follow his lead and locate close to one of the sky island mountain ranges so that you will get more summer rainfall. Out in the drier flats annual precip really takes a nosedive.

The desert grassland that covers most of the county is a really productive ecosystem. Because of the summer monsoon, there is a period of crazy plant growth from July to September (most years). This brings hordes of insects, especially grasshoppers, that will eat every green thing except yucca and tumbleweed. You will need to net gardens and trees, and will probably want to run lots of poultry. Guineas are great for hunting bugs.

Look out for abandoned mining works. Concealed shaft openings, collapsed drifts and tunnels, and piles of toxic spoil can make an otherwise attractive place dangerous to manage...and this could be an opportunity if the price is right.

Border politics and the quasimilitary presence of the Border Patrol can be a nuisance. You will want to make your land difficult to cross if at all possible. The good news is that all sorts of thorny and impenetrable stuff is so easy to grow there that you don't need to build a wall.

Fire danger on the grasslands is an issue and in some years (including this one, according to my relatives in neighbouring Santa Cruz County) there is a winter fire season as well as the normal early summer one. If there's farmland near you, you're likely to get tumbleweeds (aka rocket fuel) lodging in your fences and windbreaks, and they are hard to clear...this was one of my teenage jobs on my uncle's farm and it was the worst. The Sulphur Springs Valley is bad for tumbleweed, especially around Elfrida/McNeal and Ft Grant.

Hope this helps. It's a pretty incredible place, with lots of challenges but also lots of rewards.
 
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I am in the process of searching for land in Cochise County. I am a second generation Tucsonan
my grandfather moved here in the 1920's. All land in not equal "Zoning" RU-4 is your friend but
not always some areas have draconian size restrictions on site built homes. You want 4 plus acres
with a RU-4 and a category -Rural or low density Rural. How to find out what the zoning is? Never
Trust a seller or agent to have the correct information.

There are a "Load" of land flippers right now and some are Real Estate agents jacking the prices
up 100%. The agents get to see these properties pop first on the MLS system.



Cochise County Geographical Information system

Cochise County Parcel map

The above link will allow you to find a Parcel by address or APN.  Information such as acreage, zoning, tax information,
even permits issued on the properties for Buildings and Septic systems.

Even use the Southern Arizona MLS public search.

Southern Arizona MLS


I found a property 2 days ago that just dropped from $14000 to $9000
16 acres. Sounds like a great deal right. Well I drove down this morning
on the 10th of January to put my boots on the ground.

The Property was a dead zone all 16 acres dead vegetation no
grass at all, it looked like red Martian soil. I went to the historical
aerial photographs from 1992-2013 nothing has ever grown there.
A quarter mile away desert vegetation and native grass.

Moral of the story get lots of photos , cost me only $16 in gas
and a 200 mile round trip to find out the property was a bust.

Good Luck!

PS one more resource is "Well" information link is below:

Arizona well registry

Zoom in click a red dot and click on report. Easy way to find well depths in an area.




 
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