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Old 08-13-2013, 06:01 PM   #21
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The price sounds a little high to me, but without knowing where it is, not sure. Here in Florida, you have to have 10 acres for it to be classified as ag land. And you have to have 10 acres of ag land before you can build. You will want to check on that before you do anything. The ag property tax exemption is worth it's weight in gold. My sister and I own two pieces of land on the Chipola River, each one with a quarter mile of riverfront. They are 10 and 55 acres. The tax on both of them is under $300.

If I was you, I would look for some real farm land, and let it go back to trees. I think you could get twice the land for less money. You will find that trying to reclaim woods is a tough and costly job.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:08 PM   #22
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Life is full of choices and trade offs.

We bought property in Wisconsin 15 years ago. We have enjoyed it many times every year. In fact we are going to retire there and snow bird to Florida. Could we have retired a little earlier if we had not bought that? Maybe, but we chose the enjoyment and have note looked back.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #23
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Check the zoning laws. Where I live you can only live in a camper 120 days a year and can't hook up to a septic system. You must show proof of emptying of tanks every 30 days.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:53 PM   #24
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I remember something from real estate school about not buying land unless you intend to do something with it within two years. Like build. I'm not sure how true this holds today. The premise back then was that you would have a sizeable investment on which you would be paying taxes and unless land was to appreciate in value faster, it would not be good to buy. Don't go by this old axiom as things have changed since I was in that school (1988).
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #25
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A big part of my retirement plan involves a similar strategy. I bought 30 acres 4 yrs ago using 20k in cash, and 50k from a HELOC. We have been slowly paying down as the interest is low, 4%, and it is good to know that we own the property outright. We pay about $100/mo in property taxes, and $25/mo to have electric. We have built a pole shed to house a tractor and workshop, and I am in the process of building a house myself. I am hoping that in 2 yrs, I will have the house complete after investing 30-40k in materials, move into the house, and be mortgage free, hopefully making a profit off my current house in the suburbs. I am having a blast as my kids are in college, so I can spend every weekend working on the house. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #26
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If it gives you a buzz, buy it. You will have the best financing answer as you look in detail into your circumstances. Most people are not close to debt free at 40, you seem to know what you are doing.

My wife and I have 5 rural acres that were seller financed, [nice way to go, leave the banks out of it] and used a real estate atty. to draw up a deed of trust. It has gained value and generally puts a smile on our faces when we are there.

Practical considerations and entitlement to build and use are important, as others have mentioned. Most of that stuff can be thrown in as an offer contingency if it is difficult to discover quickly.

Idaho gets high marks as a recreation state, there is only going to be more pressure on that in the future.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #27
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“Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything.”
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:42 AM   #28
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#1 - Do it. Land isn't the worst investment as long as you're not trying to speculate


#2 - Bank financing is out there, but it is really cost prohibitive on land. Use your Heloc or a margin line on your taxable accounts, whichever is less. I'm sure you'll pay it back quickly with your habits.

Enjoy.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:19 AM   #29
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When we bought vacant land the first time is was owner financed.

The second time was through a bank but the longest they would do was a 5 year balloon at a slightly higher interest rate. A local bank was more willing to do this. We paid it off before the 5 year period.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #30
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CHasesfish: What is a margin line?
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:45 AM   #31
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If you plan to get liability insurance, check to make sure a company will insure it. In the western states at or near forest land most standard companies will no longer insure anything, many high risk companies will no longer insure (some of it depends on how much risk they have in the area), and if they do, it can be very expensive. Many people in these areas are going "bareback" because either they can't get any kind of insurance or the cost is prohibitive.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:54 AM   #32
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Have you looked into what connecting to power, water might cost. Assuming you want that sometime in the in future.

DW and I were ready to pull the plug on 20 acres, until we learned it would cost as much to get electricity there as the 20 acres cost. The electric co-op said too bad you didn't do this 2 years prior, at that time they ate the cost, knowing it would be made back over time.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #33
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By us the cost is $5 per foot. We already had electric at a barn but had talked about putting the house way back. Probably won't due that due to cost and other reasons.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:38 PM   #34
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I once did pretty much exactly what you're considering, but in Colorado.
Fifteen years later, I sold it for just about what I paid for it plus all the property taxes I had paid over the years, so I roughly broke even, discounting inflation.

Would I do it again? No. It worked out OK for me, but I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keim View Post
CHasesfish: What is a margin line?
A margin line is a line of credit secured by your taxable investments. You can get up to 50% of their value in a line of credit, typically at a good rate. The risk is if you get part 75% loan to value, you have to put in more money or your stocks will be liquidated to payoff the line.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:51 AM   #36
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Denouement

The rest of the story...

Went and visited the land I was thinking about. Very nice; beautiful location. But it did not make my heart sing. For $50k my heart needs to sing! Am continuing to look.

Am now going to look at a 1/2 acre spot (in a very small town-320ppl-surrounded by forest) that has a garage/storage building, RV spot, water and power for $15k. Nearby river and many trails. Less land for me to care for, but lots of public lands nearby to explore. And, a building to store my RV and prospective ATV in.

Advice from all in this thread has been appreciated. It has helped me narrow down what I am looking for. Thank you.
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