one thing you could try is looking at trading posts,craigslist or if you currently live in or near the area you could just drive around and look for sale by owner signs also you might consider going outside of the area I live in wnc and personally I think the ashville area is overrated there are much cheaper and more practical places that have just as much if not more to offer in sustainable development yeah the local community is already there but your never too far from ashville anywhere in wnc or even east Tennessee
Christopher Baber wrote:I'd ideally like to purchase about 10 acres of land to start our homestead on. I can live with anything +/- 5 acres easily enough I think. I'd like to be within about an hour of Asheville, NC.
I've been looking at land for months, and the only land that's remotely cheap is the side of a mountain. Looking at Google Earth and placing paths on the land I've found shows slopes from 30% to 50% being pretty normal for anything I can find in my price range. Geoff Lawton says that anything over about 23% should terraced, which is expensive, and requires high skill level to do right. I'm not sure I've got the skill or money to do that right now, and I also think that the costs to do that will put me into the price range of gentler land anyway. I could do the terraces over time, a little at a time, but I'd really rather avoid it to be honest.
Other than terracing, is there any other way to put steep land into a more productive state without spending a fortune?
I've tried looking at much smaller plots, from 1-2 acres, since it's better than a suburban lot, but once you get that small, the cost/acre goes up so fast that it's about the same price as buying 10 acres, but with 9 to 9 1/2 acres being the side of a mountain, and still only getting maybe 1/2 to 1 acre flat enough to easily do anything. I'm kind of thinking that I'd just as soon buy 10 acres with 1 acre flat enough to use, and at least have some buffer to the neighbors, but I would still prefer to put it into some kind of productive use one day.
Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions on what could be done?
I agree to a point in the area I live (blueridge mountains,north western NC)the most useless land is typically the most expensive because "it's pretty" also real estate agents take advantage of native and non-natives in different ways but as an example I am paying 12,000 for 16.5 acres of timber in prime development area less than .5 miles from the new river I could easily lot it off in 1 to.5 acre lots for 15,000 to 40,000 depending on where the buyer's are from so I guess Im trying to say not to show your hand to quickly when looking for land if you act or seem like you have money or aren't from the area be ready to find yourself paying way too much
Roman Milford wrote:Land is not a homogenous commodity where there is a "fair" price for an acre. You get what you pay for.
When I was looking for my property here in Ontario, I had to avoid southern Ontario because good farmland was way overpriced, probably because it's all on the outskirts of a still-expanding subburban sprawl. I started looking north, and found either expensive cottage properties, or "recreational" land that was affordable but useless for farming. Most of it was uncleared and typically conifers only. Uncleared land will probably cost you more per acre to clear than the purchase price.
Finally found an ideal 80 acre property that was about half cleared, with a nice mixed woodlot, and most importantly, the soil was tested and identified and had a history of no chemical use. I paid an average of $2000/acre, which might seem like alot but my soil is a fertile sandy loam, and one of my neighbors runs an award-winning winery!
You usually get what you pay for.