How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

How We Found Our Perfect Place

ourpondIf you recall, I was writing the other day about how we started looking for land to park our extended family on.  We were looking high and low, and as you probably know if you’ve done this before, it’s tough to find just the right spot for just the right price.

We looked in four or five different states, and looked at countless pieces of land.  This one was too small, this one was too close to town, this one had no timber, this one was on a hillside.  Until my little sister managed to find something that sounded interesting.

Enter the Mafia Loan

There was a gentleman who had moved into the area and bought a huge chunk of land that he intended to split with his brother.  This guy bought about 400 acres of land in a timber/pasture mix.  The land he purchased was an old homestead that had been lying vacant for years.

Well, unfortunately for him his brother backed out and decided not to move out there.  Leaving our poor land holder with a mafia style loan that he needed to get out from under.  That’s where we came in!

A hidden diamond

Turkey and Deer are all over ... apparantly so are bears!
Turkey and Deer are all over ... apparantly so are bears!

We went out and took a look at it.  It looked pretty good, though there were a few question marks about it.  My dad and I walked the place with a local realtor who happened to also be on the county fish and wildlife board.  Turns out that this land is what he called ‘a hidden diamond’ and if we didn’t buy it, he might!

Long story short, we ended up buying a big chunk of the land, and some long time family friends bought another bit of it adjacent to ours.  The guy we bought it from offered a final 20 acre plot for sale a few months later.  We decided to buy that as well as it secured our access rights.

Now there was no part of land that still had easement rights through our land so we could completely control access as we saw fit.  All in all we’ve ended up with just short of 200 acres between all of us.

But what about the criteria?

Water:  The place has a seasonal stream, a pond, and well water is available, though deep.   We’ve had to dig a couple wells to 200ft in order to get a high flow rate.  In the years since we’ve purchased the place, we’ve since found an artesian well that supplies far more water than we all need, and are in the process of developing that and putting a water distribution system into place.

propertyoneMixed Timber and Meadow:  Most of the land is timber and sparse timber/meadow mix.  There is about 40 acres of pasture land that needs significant rehabilitation work.  There’s another 30 or so acres of dense timber which is marketable if we want.  Most of the rest was thinned out 15-20 years ago but remains good timber land.

Utilities:  We’ve brought power and telephone in at surprisingly low cost.  And we’re even on the edge of the range for DSL access so we can get high speed internet access.  Extra bonus points!

Seclusion:  We’re half an hour from the two closest towns and about an hour from the closest major city.  We’re off the beaten path and a few miles down a dirt road.  Generally speaking we’re pretty much completely out of the way.  Our land is surrounded by other large holdings, farms, and ranches, and there’s also state land and timber company land nearby.  Overall, we don’t expect development to come our way any time soon.

Sounds great!  How are you going to get out there?

Always the hard part, right?  At the moment we have a trailer out there that we spend vacation type time in during the summer months.  My folks have just finished their place and will be moving out there next year.

Next year my wife and Ihope to begin building a home with the intent of moving out there full time within the next couple of years.  I’ll certainly chronicle our adventures here.  One of the biggest things that we’re worried about is income.  As my career is technical in nature it tends to keep me in the urban areas I despise.  I’m working on that too, and if alternate income generation is of interest to folks, let me know and I can post about that a bit too!

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2 Responses to How We Found Our Perfect Place

  1. Were I in your position I would begin looking at how to use the land to support a small farm. Check out Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms and some of his books on how it can be done. “You Can Farm,” “Salad Bar Beef,” and “Pastured Poultry Profits.”

    At the minimum you’ll find it very interesting. At the most, you’ll find a very profitable farm enterprise can be done very cheaply to help support your family.

    I confess I’m a bit envious…

  2. I’ve been lurking for a while now, I love the blog. I’m also in a technical field (IT Consultant) and I’ve been trying to come up with feasible remote work alternatives. I’d be very interested in anything you’ve considered or tried.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!