Land strikeout

Looks like I’ve struck out again. My real estate agent obtained the restrictions on the two acres of land I was looking at.  It’s the usual stupid requirements that I don’t want to have to follow so I’m going to pass again.

I really liked the land.  Even though I didn’t like it at first sight, after spending some time on it, it grew on me and I decided it was perfect.  It is a brand new subdivision of a larger property and, not having any development on it yet, I thought it might be a place to have free will.  Not so much.

I don’t understand why people can’t subdivide land without putting on a bunch of Nazi rules and requirements.   I don’t want to have to get approvals on the type of house I want and how many chickens I can have.  I don’t need someone to tell me that my house has to be brick on the front and what color the door is and whether the driveway is properly maintained.  All I want is some land and leave me alone.

I suppose it is to “protect people’s investments.”  Well, a home is NOT an investment.  It’s a place to live.  If you need someone’s approval to do something then you are NOT living.  I don’t care about my house’s resale value or what the neighbors house looks like as long as I can’t see them or hear them from my own.  Live and let live dammit!

So I’m disappointed but it is not expected.  I’m kind of getting used to disappointment and it doesn’t hurt as much anymore.  The search is still on.  I’m getting rather anxious to have this purchase done so I can have a foundation to base my life on.  It really sucks to be floating in limbo.

I am going to have to step it up a notch and maybe post wanted ads in newspapers and convenience stores.  I might see if I can find out who owns larger properties and send them letters asking if I can buy some.  Surely someone out there wants to make a little money.

Who knew it would be this difficult.



Land shopping success!???

Today I went back for a closer look at the 2 acres I briefly checked out last weekend.  I had some time to think about it and I thought it warranted another look.

I drove 10mph down the dirt road to see if I could avoid blanketing my car in dust and it wasn’t so bad.  The road was longer going slowly but not too bad.  Besides, who’s in a rush in the country.  That’s the point!

I parked on the road in front of the property and changed into my jeans so I would not scratch the hell out of my legs.  This property is completely overgrown which is exactly what I want for privacy.  I was worried about snakes and don’t have any boots so I wrapped some cardboard around my lower legs a few times as a bit of protection under my jeans.  Perhaps stupid, perhaps genius.

I plunged into the jungle to see what I could see.  It was very dense and I was glad I had long pants on.  The majority of the land is relatively flat but there are a few shallow dry creek beds that could be a problem.  After getting a good idea of where they went, I looked to see where I might be able to locate the house and a garage workshop.   The creek beds had me worried but I think the house can fit relatively well right about in the center and the back patio deck can overlook the creek.  I might build a little bridge.  I think the non-flatness will give it nice character once it is cleaned up.

I paced out as best as I could estimate the size of the house.  I might have to build a smaller garage/workshop but that might not be so bad.  Across the creek bed the other half of the property is mostly flat.  Plenty of room for a garden and a solar array if I don’t put it on the roof.

The house would face Northeast meaning the roof would slant Southwest which would put it in pretty prime orientation for solar.

The trees are mostly Oak and a few Mesquite.  There are a few larger Oaks but the rest are small.  Maybe 20 feet tall.   I was trying to visualize what it would look like after I removed the brushy undergrowth and unwanted trees.  I would of course leave the perimeter 10-20 feet untouched for privacy.  The front of the property has a nice growth of taller trees and brush to screen it from the road.  Other than a curvy driveway, I would leave it mostly natural.

I like it and I think it likes me.

After an hour of traipsing around I was hot and my underwear was drenched with sweat.  I imagined myself running around naked and it wasn’t so bad.

I headed back to the small town maybe 10 miles away.  I stopped and had a burger then drove up and down the main street to see what was there.  I visited the grocery store and scouted out two lumber yards.  I google mapped to see what kind of computer businesses there were.  There is one that looks good.  It would be great if I might find a job there one day.  Full or part time.  That sounds like fun.  Being a computer guru it should not be hard to find something for a little extra income once things are built.

It looks like this town might meet my basic needs.  It doesn’t have a Home Depot but there is one about 18 miles away.  That’s acceptable.

I like the small townness.  No heavy traffic.  No infinite masses of crazy people driving around pointlessly to burn gas.  I liked the feel.

I got home and emailed my realtor and told him I would like as much info as he could dig up and I would probably make an offer.  They are asking $60,000 which is more than I think is a fair price.  I’m going to see about offering $50,000.  I would feel comfortable around there.  If I HAVE to go to $60,000 then I guess it would still be worth it.

I’m trying not to get myself too excited because I’ve been let down too many times in the past.  If this doesn’t work out then I’ll just keep looking and waiting.  More time means more money to spend.  Look on the bright side.

Supposing I end up buying it, I would at least feel like the prophesy is coming true.  I’ll at least have a solid base to build my future and I can finally plan to get myself out of limbo and into motion.

Wish me luck!


Land shopping strike-out.

This morning I decided to take a fresh look at what land was available.  I opened up Zillow in a different browser so it would not see any of my preferences and started a fresh search.

There were still not many options but it turned up a 2 acre tract that looked interesting.

It was Sunday morning so I decided I would go check it out.  I drove approximately 100 miles to get there.  As I left the city and saw my first glimpse of farmland it was like I had driving through the stress bubble boundary and suddenly felt like I could breathe again.  I drove down some nice rural roads then the GPS told me to turn onto a dirt road.   Hmmmm.

I drove my nicely cleaned car that I washed yesterday down a dirty road until I came to the land for sale.  I liked almost everything about it.  It was properly rural, peacefulness oozed out of every crevice.  The size is good.  The zoning and restrictions are good.  It has water and electricity at the road.  It is almost in the right location.  The main drawback was the dirt road.

The place has been on the market for 50+ days which made me think something was wrong and I think the dirt road is the turnoff for most people.  It was dusty and like driving on a washboard that nearly shook my teeth out.  The vegetation was all covered in dust meaning my house would also be all covered in dust.  I like everything else about it but the dirt road is the road-block for me. Major bummer. The price is $60K which is just too much for a dirt road. I guess it was not meant to be.  If this place had been on a paved road I would make the offer right now.

I really feel that if I at least owned the land, whether I built immediately or a few years from now, a great weight would be lifted from my shoulders and I could start to make definite plans.  Until then, it’s all up in the air.  I don’t like that feeling.  It’s like being in limbo.

Finding good land is very difficult these days.  It’s mostly all taken or not for sale.  I’m sure I’m being too picky but were talking about the place I’m going to die so it needs to be as close to perfect as possible.  I don’t want to have to not be happy with my choice for the rest of my life.  I’m just going to have to put on my patience hat and wait it out.

I had the money sitting in my bank account ready to write a check but since it is taking longer than expected, I transferred it to my Wealthfront account to let it accumulate some investment profit.   My plan was to spend $40,000 on 2 acres but it looks like property-inflation is strong.  I will be lucky to only spend 60K.  I should probably expect to spend up to $100K.  All the extra for the land takes away from my house building fund though.

It makes me sad because my family used to own 40 acres that we sold back in the 80s for $2,000 and acre.  Now you can’t find an acre for lest than $10,000.  Really pisses me off.  Stupid young me didn’t think I would ever want the land.

It might be a good thing that it is taking longer since every month I wait my investments add $4-6K to my net worth so maybe having to spend the extra money won’t be so difficult.  Let’s hope the stock market holds up for a few more years.

Yeah. First world problems.  Still, it seems like the most important thing in the world to me.




Bidding on some land

pettytown auctionI placed a bid on a land auction site for 2.5 acres of land in the area I’m looking for.  It is currently occupied and has a double-wide mobile home.  They have a reserve price of $92,000.   I’ve been watching this auction and it hasn’t sold after a number of tries.  My plan is to bid $60,000 which is basically just an offer since it is under the reserve price.  I’m hoping that maybe since nobody seems to want it for $92K they might give up and let it go to me for $60K.  Unlikely but if you don’t ask, you don’t receive.  I wouldn’t pay any more than 60.  I’ve looked at property in the exact same area so I know basically what it looks like.

I’m not feeling lucky about this but what the heck?  The land is not perfect but it has a lot of what I want plus a few things more like a fishing pond.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  My plan would be to build my dream house right next to the mobile home then sell off the mobile home and build my garage in its place.   That would work out nicely.

The only spot to build is a little closer to the road than I desire but it is pretty private and can be made more so with a little creative shrubbery.

Like I said, I’m not holding my breath on this but it sure would be sweet if it works out. I’ve never done anything like this before.  I have no idea what I’m in for in legal stuff.

Any lawyers out there?


Possible Land Find

pttytnToday I drove out to the country to look at a piece of land I found on Zillow.  It is 2.5 acres way out in the country.  The location is not too bad.  It’s only 23 miles from my desired town.  That’s only a 25-30 minute drive.  Not bad considering it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get to work now.

The land is as shown in the picture.  It’s empty so I superimposed a house, garage, pool and solar array to get an idea of how things might fit.  I stood there for a moment and listened to the silence of country living.  It was wonderful.  All I could hear was a slight rustle of the trees and the hum of a single neighbor’s air conditioner.   No roar of traffic or the drone of a billion air conditioners.  I was in heaven.  Not even any dogs barking!

The land has some good qualities:

  1. A nice grove of trees in the front for a pleasant, privacy screening driveway.
  2. It’s nice and flat with no ditches to make the land useless.
  3. It has a brand new electric meter and pole with water right at the street.
  4. Enough screening from the neighbors by overgrown brush to let me run naked all day.  It can be easily fortified for maximum privacy.

It has one bad quality. It is very thin.  A pet peeve of mine.  I would prefer more width but it could do well enough.  I would always feel cramped.  This could be a major problem.  The lot on one side is occupied but the one on the other is empty and hopefully will never be occupied.  In the back is a greenbelt area.  Free emptiness!  Even though it is thin, there is more space than I really need and small enough to be easily maintainable.   If it was only 1/2 a lot wider I would be totally sold.  Right now I’m not feeling it 100%.  Maybe 75%.

I’m not giving up on it through.  Hopefully it will be on the market for a while and I can give it some thought.   One has to act quickly in real estate though.  Things can easily slip through the fingers of a procrastinator.  I am not really in a rush so maybe I should wait until a 80% or 90% shows up on the market.

The price is higher than I’m willing to pay.  At $50,000 if it was 100% perfect then I would go for it.  I’ve seen 4 acres sold for $40K so I feel that 2.5 should sell more around $30K.

I’m going to think for a a bit then contact the realtor to get more info if I feel I need it.  I would like to know:

  1. What it costs to tap into the water line.
  2. What are the construction codes.  Preferably minimal or none.
  3. If he thinks 50K is a good price.

I’ve already had scary thoughts about actually going through with retiring to the country it but it is my life goal so why should I be afraid?  Things are different when they start to get real.

If nothing else, finding that something I like could actually exist really raises my spirits.  I was getting really bummed out and frustrated.  There’s hope after all!

Two days later…

So much for that.  The property was just put on the market and is already under contract.  Acting fast is going to be very important.  It is apparently a seller’s market.

No Country for Old Man

No Land For You!

I spent the whole day driving.  I put over 400 miles on the car trying to satisfy my only life goal.  A house in the country.

I drove to the small town I’ve chosen to spend the rest of my life in and started by looking at a few properties I found on the internet.  They proved to be unsatisfactory as I expected.  You never know what it really looks like from the pictures and satellite images.  You have to experience it to really get the feel.

I stopped by a place that sells manufactured homes.  I was just wondering what they were like.  They’re still Mobile Homes no matter what you call them.  Made of cheap materials.  It was interesting to see but I decided pretty quickly that I was not going to go in that direction.  $60,000 for a house is a good price for instant house but I would not want to live in one.

My next stop was the office of a company called UBuildit.  They help you prepare your plans guide you through the process of building a house.  It would cost $11,000 for their services.  I may consider that.  I’m not sure I could handle it all on my own.  They will draw up my pans for $1.00 per square foot whether I use them or not.  I may take them up on that.  I will need quality plans anyway.  They offered me some useful advice in my land hunting quest.

After some lunch, I took to the backstreets out in the country south of town where I really feel like I want to be.  I drove up and down, left, right, in the middle, round the side and up the back for countless miles looking for the elusive “For Sale” sign.  They were few and far between.  It seems that people are just not selling any land.  If they are, they’re keeping it a secret.

I saw so many places that would have been perfect.  There were hundreds of little dirt driveways leading off into unseen areas through the trees.  THAT’S WHAT I WANT!!!   Nothing for sale.  It’s hard to fathom that in so many hundreds of square miles I can find nothing.  It makes no sense.

After being on the road for 8 hours I was tired and frustrated so I decided to call it quits.  I drove home like a zombie trying to figure out what I am supposed to do with my life if I can’t get the only thing I want.

I came home and immediately took a shower to wash off the external film of failure.  Next I wrote this blog entry to flush out the internal failure.  It helps.

So here I am back in Mundania with nothing to look forward to.  Kind of sucks.  I’m trying so hard to be positive and keep a good attitude.  I’ll feel better in the morning after I sleep it off.



Land Shopping Frustration

 I’m feeling really frustrated today.  Time is passing quickly and I am still unable to find a few acres of land for my retirement house.

I’ve located the area where I would like to live out the rest of my life but there’s nothing appropriate available for sale.  Literally nothing.  It’s like people don’t want to sell any of their land.  I know I need to be patient.  I totally feel like I did when I was RV shopping.  I got really frustrated then suddenly the perfect one appeared for just the right price.

I’ve been land shopping for years and am really serious right now.  I sure hope that perfect things pops up soon.  It’s starting to hurt.  I spent a good portion of the day scouring the real estate sites but finding nothing.  I’ve finally convinced myself that it’s OK to pay $40,000 for 4 acres.  It really sucks because 30 years ago we sold some family land for $3,000 an acre.  What a stupid thing to do.

Fortunately the area wasn’t really where I would want to live anyway so other than the loss of the value I’m not broken up too much about it.

I desperately want to get out of San Antonio.  I can’t stand it anymore.  It has to be the worst place on earth.  The area I like is near a small town around 150-200 miles away from San Antonio.  Far enough away not to be under the influence of this horrible place.  I’m sure hoping that one day soon my dream land will appear.  It better be soon!

I feel a little better now.  I needed someone to talk to about it.