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RonDean

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I am starting this new thread specifically for those of us who think buying a hunk of land is a good idea. Whether as an individual or a community. We have already had some conversations in another thread and in PMs. So, we are not looking for discussion about IF we should do this. Only about the how, when, and where of it all.
 
I am starting this new thread specifically for those of us who think buying a hunk of land is a good idea. Whether as an individual or a community. We have already had some conversations in another thread and in PMs. So, we are not looking for discussion about IF we should do this. Only about the how, when, and where of it all.
For ourselves individually or are you taking someone's suggestion (from another thread) to start a thread about buying land to share?
 
For ourselves individually or are you taking someone's suggestion (from another thread) to start a thread about buying land to share?
Both and all. It was suggested that a thread specific to this idea was a good idea. And that similar posts had been made before but soon got buried by other concerns and topics. So... Here it is. I also wanted to reduce the conversations about doing it at all. A couple of us have PMed each other that we were ready for something a bit more serious than a "what if?" conversation.
 
There is a fellow named Brian who posts to YouTube under the "Off-Grid Backcountry Adventures" channel. Bob has also profiled him in several videos. I think he has done some interesting things on his Northern AZ property. A link to one of his videos is at >
 
Here’s about my 0.57 acre I bought 10 years ago for 400$. It cost me 800$ to have a culvert put in and the property taxes are 22$/year. Last year I added 300$ worth of slag gravel on the previously dirt/mud drive. Sooo after 10 years I have about 1800$ total into it. Yep, 180$/year.

The following below has been copied & pasted from a previous post on this Forum from my “How I Became A Vagabond” thread in the Captains Logs Forum.

This post is about my spot in West Michigan that I use for my Base Camp. It is a small approximately 0.6 of an acre (100' x 250') parcel of wooded/wilderness property that I actually OWN; have a legal & valid title to aforementioned & described piece of Natural Pantheistic Heaven. It is on a paved wilderness road surrounded by a combination of Manistee National Forest; Michigan State Forest and a large tract of private wilderness property. It just happens to be located in a corner of where these 3 different tracts all come together and I got it for 400$ - not a typo - 400$!

How did I aquire it? Well once I made the decision to live off grid few years back I began the process of finding a small inexpensive suitable place where I could hang. I didn't want to park it on National Forest Property and have to keep moving every 2 weex and there was NO EFFING WAY I was going to spend any time in a Campground at 500 to 1000 dollars a month and be surrounded by vacationers - idyut people with screaming kids & yapping dogs that entire suburban world that is just in rv's! - this would have been a qwik trip to prison for me and the only bars I like pour alcohol. I started looking around for some places that were for sale, etc. CHEAP! and remembered this particular isolated vacant parcel of land, the existence of which I had discovered years earlier while researching some deeds for a client.

Now at only 0.6 of an acre it did not meet current modern local zoning ordinance minimum size for a structured/home buildable parcel as it is a 1 acre minimum limit. PERFECT I thought. Only thing its good for is camping on! So who owns it?? So I can approach them about buying it! I get on the computer & dig into the County's Land records and it comes back that The County Treasurer is the legal owner! VOILA! How did the county acquire it? For back taxes!! The previous owner had simply quit paying the taxes on it and it reverted back to Local Governemnt ownership. Now once a year the County is required at Public Auction to sell off any land it has acquired from delinquent taxes so I find out when the Auction is; what the minimum bid is on this parcel blah blah blah so I can bid on this piece and get it...........

In the mean time I'm interested in the history on this parcel as in WHY did the previous owner just simply let this go back to The Gov. The taxes on it were EXTREMELY minimal as in like 25$ YES NOT A TYPO - twenty-five dollars a year. Gawd any1 can pay that Y just essentially give it back to The Gov?????? Y not sell it for at least a couple/few thousand bux? This MAKES NO SENSE INTJohny - I'm saying to myself. WTF is the deal?

The short story answer is this: The guy that owned it had it given to him by his parents years preev. This guy had never married or had any children or siblings. He did in fact have some really distant relatives like 2nd or 3rd cousins etc none of which had any close connections to him and anyway, one day he decides he's had enough of the conscious lifestyle and he hangs himself from this big oak tree thats growing on this parcel. In contacting the local Township Zoning Administrater (who was a retired deputy sherriff) he gave me the entire story about how they estimated he's been hanging there for about 3 days before anyone even discovered the swinging body! Blah blah blah.

So I get the parcel at Auction for 400$ - yes four hundred bux! Anyway it was a well timed albeit inadvertent gesture on the previous owners part as it worked out great for me!

INTJohn
 
Here’s about my 0.57 acre I bought 10 years ago for 400$. It cost me 800$ to have a culvert put in and the property taxes are 22$/year. Last year I added 300$ worth of slag gravel on the previously dirt/mud drive. Sooo after 10 years I have about 1800$ total into it. Yep, 180$/year.

The following below has been copied & pasted from a previous post on this Forum from my “How I Became A Vagabond” thread in the Captains Logs Forum.

This post is about my spot in West Michigan that I use for my Base Camp. It is a small approximately 0.6 of an acre (100' x 250') parcel of wooded/wilderness property that I actually OWN; have a legal & valid title to aforementioned & described piece of Natural Pantheistic Heaven. It is on a paved wilderness road surrounded by a combination of Manistee National Forest; Michigan State Forest and a large tract of private wilderness property. It just happens to be located in a corner of where these 3 different tracts all come together and I got it for 400$ - not a typo - 400$!

How did I aquire it? Well once I made the decision to live off grid few years back I began the process of finding a small inexpensive suitable place where I could hang. I didn't want to park it on National Forest Property and have to keep moving every 2 weex and there was NO EFFING WAY I was going to spend any time in a Campground at 500 to 1000 dollars a month and be surrounded by vacationers - idyut people with screaming kids & yapping dogs that entire suburban world that is just in rv's! - this would have been a qwik trip to prison for me and the only bars I like pour alcohol. I started looking around for some places that were for sale, etc. CHEAP! and remembered this particular isolated vacant parcel of land, the existence of which I had discovered years earlier while researching some deeds for a client.

Now at only 0.6 of an acre it did not meet current modern local zoning ordinance minimum size for a structured/home buildable parcel as it is a 1 acre minimum limit. PERFECT I thought. Only thing its good for is camping on! So who owns it?? So I can approach them about buying it! I get on the computer & dig into the County's Land records and it comes back that The County Treasurer is the legal owner! VOILA! How did the county acquire it? For back taxes!! The previous owner had simply quit paying the taxes on it and it reverted back to Local Governemnt ownership. Now once a year the County is required at Public Auction to sell off any land it has acquired from delinquent taxes so I find out when the Auction is; what the minimum bid is on this parcel blah blah blah so I can bid on this piece and get it...........

In the mean time I'm interested in the history on this parcel as in WHY did the previous owner just simply let this go back to The Gov. The taxes on it were EXTREMELY minimal as in like 25$ YES NOT A TYPO - twenty-five dollars a year. Gawd any1 can pay that Y just essentially give it back to The Gov?????? Y not sell it for at least a couple/few thousand bux? This MAKES NO SENSE INTJohny - I'm saying to myself. WTF is the deal?

The short story answer is this: The guy that owned it had it given to him by his parents years preev. This guy had never married or had any children or siblings. He did in fact have some really distant relatives like 2nd or 3rd cousins etc none of which had any close connections to him and anyway, one day he decides he's had enough of the conscious lifestyle and he hangs himself from this big oak tree thats growing on this parcel. In contacting the local Township Zoning Administrater (who was a retired deputy sherriff) he gave me the entire story about how they estimated he's been hanging there for about 3 days before anyone even discovered the swinging body! Blah blah blah.

So I get the parcel at Auction for 400$ - yes four hundred bux! Anyway it was a well timed albeit inadvertent gesture on the previous owners part as it worked out great for me!

INTJohn
Interesting story. There are small parcels like that all over Illinois. A law firm near St. Louis handles the auctions for each county every year. After the auctions end, the unsold properties are still available to buy. Most are around $700 per parcel. Some even have buildings on them.
 
The one thing one must be aware of on parcels like this is what kind of egress & ingress exists. Many tax parcels are in heavy wilderness and a survey alone may cost 10,000$. Then one will need to clear a drive route & build a drive in.

So tax auction property may sound good initially at first but ahhh maybe not. My parcel I was already well aware of as I’m a retired geodetic engineer/land surveyor/deed researcher and knew it had existing county paved road frontage.

intjonny
 
I bought the very remote 32 acres on the west side of the Upper peninsula on the Silver River that I built the cabin on for $4500. I owned it alone but later my hunting buddy & I bought 13.5 acres of prime hardwood for $1200. All the parcels were staked. It had mostly hard maple which at the time there were 4 Pro Gym floor makers, 3 in the U.P. & one in Canada. We had it selectively logged taking nothing under 14" & made over $14k & still owned it so a good ROI. The cabin property & our 13.5A just kept paying for themselves over & over. I could have bought 1080 acres of prime timberland for $100k in the same area which was 6 sections of private land surrounded by the Sturgeon River National Forest Wilderness Area near Silver Mountain. That same small voice that told me to get out of mutual funds & into cash just before the 2008 crash told me buy it but I offered $50k & missed a great oppertunity. Cabin was 10 miles in by 2 track but they had a road only association so I paid $150 per year to maintain the 2 tracks. For the winters I had a SnoCat with 3' tracks that seated 5 plus a big gear rack on the top & one on the back, also a Military 6x6 truck.
INT John, I used to hunt the Manistee Nat forest near Youdell Hills at the base of the fire tower hill before buying in the U.P.
 
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Those are fascinating stories and provide valuable information. I hope I (or we) can find something more southerly and westerly. Someplace with more moderate weather. I am thinking back to a couple of years I spent in Minnesota and how I don't want to do that again. :)

It does make me think that watching for tax sales in some preselected areas might be worthwhile.
 
Here's my ideas on what we may like to do with the farm. We have a 1890 8 could be 10 BR or 8 BR & a 2nd kitchen & living room upstairs as it has 2 stairways, 4 full bath & a 5th plumbed in on 40 acres with a nice remote 22'x24' cabin with a 8'x12' sauna & full bath next to a stocked pond on the back of the farm. 52'x84' hanger which includes a 12.x52' heated workshop + other out buildings. We want it to go the right people. We're looking into doing a Sub S Corp & sell shares of the Sub S stock plus a monthly fee to cover utilities, taxes & a maintenance fund. Make it 50+ every new person pays to live there for 6 months to make sure they're a good fit. People could garden, have horses, chickens, other animals, wood shop, machine shop, etc as the hanger/shop has 3 phase. When someone dies or goes to a home the S Corp gets 1st chance to buy a stockholder out.I'm not giving advice just what we're thinking of that may or may not work for what you're looking at. I know you want to be in the SW but we've had the best weather the last 5+ years I've seen.
 
Here's my ideas on what we may like to do with the farm. We have a 1890 8 could be 10 BR or 8 BR & a 2nd kitchen & living room upstairs as it has 2 stairways, 4 full bath & a 5th plumbed in on 40 acres with a nice remote 22'x24' cabin with a 8'x12' sauna & full bath next to a stocked pond on the back of the farm. 52'x84' hanger which includes a 12.x52' heated workshop + other out buildings. We want it to go the right people. We're looking into doing a Sub S Corp & sell shares of the Sub S stock plus a monthly fee to cover utilities, taxes & a maintenance fund. Make it 50+ every new person pays to live there for 6 months to make sure they're a good fit. People could garden, have horses, chickens, other animals, wood shop, machine shop, etc as the hanger/shop has 3 phase. When someone dies or goes to a home the S Corp gets 1st chance to buy a stockholder out.I'm not giving advice just what we're thinking of that may or may not work for what you're looking at. I know you want to be in the SW but we've had the best weather the last 5+ years I've seen.
I like this >"When someone dies or goes to a home the S Corp gets 1st chance to buy a stockholder out."
thinking. That has been one of my concerns with any group plan.
 
You might want to take a close look at Escapees plans as they deal with all those concerns both at member run and their parks they own. They have a park in Southern Arizona so have dealt with Arizona laws but many other states as well.
 
The one thing one must be aware of on parcels like this is what kind of egress & ingress exists. Many tax parcels are in heavy wilderness and a survey alone may cost 10,000$. Then one will need to clear a drive route & build a drive in.

So tax auction property may sound good initially at first but ahhh maybe not. My parcel I was already well aware of as I’m a retired geodetic engineer/land surveyor/deed researcher and knew it had existing county paved road frontage.

intjonny
And getting permission from neighboring property owners to establish a permanent right of way on their land can be a major major hassle, especially if there is no existing trail or access to the "landlocked" property in question.
 
Something I haven’t seen mentioned here lately is in Utah schools get funding from “School Lands” rental fees. A 99 year lease for 40 acres used to be less than $1,500 a year as long as you made improvements like a well or septic I believe. Often the state offered land cheaply to promote development in remote areas for things like lodges or RV parks promoting tourism which would be probably way to big a project to consider, but maybe? Right now the Hite Utah community in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is closed and the concession is being granted on a yearly basis so land around Blanding Utah might be found reasonably.
 
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And getting permission from neighboring property owners to establish a permanent right of way on their land can be a major major hassle, especially if there is no existing trail or access to the "landlocked" property in question.
Yeah. I was involved in several issues like this over the years on each side. In Michigan it’s essentially illegal to convey a landlocked parcel and property that essentially overtime has acquired a prescriptive easement or not will almost always end up in court for a variety of reasons.

Between property survey costs; route survey & description costs; legal fees, etc the $$$, time and exasperation may not be worth it.

Not to mention the cost of running in utilities: electricity for example. This also needs to be addressed.

INTJohn
 
Here's a great tool in proving property lines. When I got the 1st e--mail from them I put in our address & it showed we own all the tree lines as I thought. It's the new way to survey. Also Michigan clarified or passed a law that you're a spot where 4 corners of 4 properties meet you can step kittycorner across to access the one with not joined by a side boundry, sorry it's hard to explain. https://www.onxmaps.com/?gad_source=1
The remote cabins I've built were miles from utilities but you'd never know it or miss them. Last I checked outhouses were still legal here.
 
Both and all. It was suggested that a thread specific to this idea was a good idea. And that similar posts had been made before but soon got buried by other concerns and topics. So... Here it is. I also wanted to reduce the conversations about doing it at all. A couple of us have PMed each other that we were ready for something a bit more serious than a "what if?" conversation.
Good start, thanks for your effort. I made a list of 10 key subjects and then realized this will be a ton of work, and we might not even get it right. So, instead of trying to invent the wheel, let's find a model that works.. Look at the model, see if there is someone that consults on this kind of thing, and then decide how to proceed.

Ten key subjects. My top four are 1-Elevation, 2-distance to services, 3-structure of renters/owner, 4-landscape. Notice that cost is not in the top four. The other six are access, water, septic, lot sizes, cost, vetting unknown potential renters.
The last is a complete 'unknown' since it may not even be part of the equation.

The last thought is related to Plan B. I did a search using a combination of COMMUNITY, INTENTIONAL, AFFORDABLE, SENIOR, RESIDENT OWNED. This last one mainly refers to trailer parks that were ripe to be bought by a corporation with the likleyhood of rents going up by 30%. There are many stories of parks that were guided by a group in Colorado called ELEVATION to put in a bid and now the residents own the park. Elevation has partnered with financial instiitutions to be involved with the purchases.
 
At one time I might have considered utilities to be a major problem and/or cost. But I have been learning how to booddock long enough and technology continues to improve to the point that off-grid is now much easier to accomplish. My remaining concern on this subject would be local or county requirements. My next issue would be water. Is a well or harvesting rainwater for non-potable uses locally acceptable? Depending on distance and access, trucking in drinking water might be OK. Next, I have been told that in some areas a DIY 55gal septic is allowed - but not everywhere. I think I would go with a DIY composting setup before an actual outhouse.

I am thinking that with many of us, just a place to legally "circle the wagons" would get us by for a short period of time.
 
Good luck. It does sound interesting. I hope you and your other interested parties can find a good piece of land. And I can see starting as a "circling of the wagons" to start with.
 
re: vetting unknown potential renters
You can rent for 1 year as temporary, month-to-month or something. After 1 year, community can vote if new renter can get "tenure". Could be that during that year, renter cannot leave for too long. Or make it, tenure is only after 300-400 nights spent onsite, while paying monthly rent.
There must be something for law/consulting companies making a "partner" after passing the probationary period.
 
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