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Affordable remote land in United States
Old 03-20-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
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Affordable remote land in United States

I'm still a ways off from retirement but I am interested in possibly purchasing a piece of land for future development for retirement. Where I live (Canada) there aren't any places that meet my criteria that I can think of off hand. I missed the boat for affordable land in my province by about 10 years. If I was in the market 10 years ago I could've had my pick for a fifth (or less) of what the prices are today. I want to avoid waiting another 10 years and finding the property is even less affordable. Plus for the kind of living I want (small cabin etc) my province gets extremely cold (-40C) in the winter.

What I'm looking for is:
-Remote and peaceful
-10+ acres (though 30+ is desireable)
-Lots of bush/hills
-Only climate restriction is that it doesn't get much colder than 32F-15F at the coldest.
-At least some kind of road access, rough dirt road is fine
-Around 25,000$USD
-No existing house on property, unless it is just a very small cabin or something.

Does anyone have advice on how I should look for land like this? Any suggestions on states to look in? I stumbled across Wyoming as an option but I'm not sure if the website selling land are out to screw me or not.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtjas View Post
-10+ acres (though 30+ is desireable)
-Lots of bush/hills
-Only climate restriction is that it doesn't get much colder than 32F-15F at the coldest.
You will have to go considerably south of Wyoming to find this type of climate.

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Originally Posted by schmidtjas View Post

-Around 25,000$USD
Only if you are willing to settle for some remote desert location with no water supply. Think Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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It's hard to find decent land for much less than $5,000 an acre if you want something with road and utility access. The latter could be moot if you're planning something off the grid, but then you'd need to make sure you had a good supply of well water.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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I'm down in the SoCal desert right now - here's Realtor.com's listings for under $45k for this area:
92277 Real Estate Listings and 92277 Homes for Sale - REALTOR.com®
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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NW Arizona has places like this. 32 acres around Yucca, Az. Our friends bought, put a straw bale house with solar on the property. They still have to truck in water though since they drilled a thousand feet and never hit water.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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NW Arizona has places like this. 32 acres around Yucca, Az. Our friends bought, put a straw bale house with solar on the property. They still have to truck in water though since they drilled a thousand feet and never hit water.
Agreed. I think this is why we need a little more information from the OP with respect to how they develop the land. Land that might be totally appropriate for someone planning to live off the grid (probably much cheaper per acre, all else being equal) won't be appropriate for someone who wants to live on an improved road with ready access to hooking up water and electric to the grid (which is much costlier per acre, all else being equal).
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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If you find it - let us know.
I think potable water influences the price of the land greatly.

For Sale-Junk land $1,000 per Acre

Land Sale
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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Yes I would mainly be interested in off the grid living (probably spring, summer, fall). How much is it to truck in water these days? We always had a well, but where I live water is pretty easy to drill for.

For now we would probably use it as summer camping trips (ie spend a couple weeks there in tent camping). Basically the plan would be to slowly develop it over years to something that could be lived in for extended time periods as opposed to short trips.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:14 PM   #9
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Think Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas.
Not much chance of seeing -40C there!

Is it just the cold you're concerned about? Because the summers in these places can be hotter than hell.

There are probably a lot of places in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico where you can get land for $2,500 an acre or less. (Unfortunately, Texas is full so don't bother looking there ) You will be out in the middle of nowhere, at the end of an unpaved road. I think electricity would be doable for an additional expense, how expensive depends on how far you are from an existing power line. Water would be from the well, but I would research that issue carefully, because I don't know what a 1,000 foot well costs, but I bet it's not too cheap.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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USDA Properties For Sale

Sometimes you can find land here. You have to check often.
I've been looking for cheap land also but haven't had any luck.
A friend of mine picked up some acreage a few years ago with a mobile home on it. It cost more to have the mobile home removed and cleaned up than the land cost.

Several people tell me that land rarely depreciates. It's one of the few real estate investments that has done relatively well.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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Not much chance of seeing -40C there!

Is it just the cold you're concerned about? Because the summers in these places can be hotter than hell.
Yeah mainly the cold. Hard to live without some form of powered heat (natural gas, electricity) below freezing. I mean I guess there is always wood or oil burning stoves/furnaces, but I see enough cold where I live now, a few days ago it was -30C (-22F) without the windchill factor.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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You might consider NW Florida (AKA the Panhandle).THe cost of living is very reasonable and raw land prices have come way down.We even have some hills and lots of woods(no mountains).It's a 4 season climate but winters are mild. Although it can sometimes get down to the 20s at night in the winter it almost always warms up nicely during the day.Real estate taxes are ridiculously low but I'm not complaining.We have 121 acres and the property tax is $245 a year. You might want to check it out.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:29 PM   #13
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If you love snow, and lots of it, do a search on land for sale on the Tug Hill Plateau (open rolling hills and flatland) or Adirondack Park (mountains) in upstate NY. Otherwise, run like h*ll.
Seriously, there are beautiful hardwood forests in the NE and lots of abandoned camps that already have utilities connected and wells drilled. Many owners just default on the taxes and the land is sold cheap to get it off the local town's "books".
The climate between spring and fall is fabulous here. Winter is winter...
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:43 PM   #14
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www.eurekaspringsranch.com

follow the links for similar properties around the western US

caution: H2O is usually a big factor.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:45 PM   #15
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...there are beautiful hardwood forests in the NE and lots of abandoned camps that already have utilities connected and wells drilled. Many owners just default on the taxes and the land is sold cheap to get it off the local town's "books".
What is an abandoned camp? Like a logging camp?

Anyone know a good site for searching for upstate NY land like the kind Freebird5825 is referring to?
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:52 PM   #16
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Make sure and get any available information about water testing from wells in the area you look at before buying. A great deal of the well water in arid places in the the Great Basin like Nevada and Utah (which are basically dried-out ancient seabeds) is steeped in arsenic, selenium, uranium, and other rather nasty things.

It makes no sense to drill a well only to find the water is toxic or otherwise barely potable.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:56 PM   #17
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Southern TN / Northern AL might just be the ticket. We have hills, you can easily find large lots in remote areas, temperatures rarely drop below 20F, lots of woods and greenery, prime hunting ground. Prices are also reasonable, though $25K might be a bit light for 10+ acres.

Check this property out:
ValleyMLS.com

To see more properties in my area checkout this website:
ValleyMLS.com
In "category" check "land/lot" and scroll all the way to the bottom of the search results for the lowest prices.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:54 PM   #18
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Man, our old farm with seven acres left, a barn, a new well, and a house is probably worth $50,000 tops. We sold 10 acres for a total of $3000 about 8 years ago (corner touched a river) and 10 acres for about $30,000 3 years ago. Power at road. Easy drill to water. But -40c and f in the winter. And filled with mosquitoes and woodticks in the summer.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:25 PM   #19
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Man, our old farm with seven acres left, a barn, a new well, and a house is probably worth $50,000 tops. We sold 10 acres for a total of $3000 about 8 years ago (corner touched a river) and 10 acres for about $30,000 3 years ago. Power at road. Easy drill to water. But -40c and f in the winter. And filled with mosquitoes and woodticks in the summer.

Yeah that's how the prices were around here back then (and climate too!). Now you can't touch anything for less than 80,000CAD. It annoys me that 10 years ago you could plunk down 30,000 and have a nice lake front cabin. The same thing now is 150K+.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #20
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About three years ago I bought 5 Acres in North Missouri for $15K. Only about 2 of it is usable. But there is good road access, power, water and phone service at the road. It is possible to buy land cheap but I had to look for a long time. And its nothing special. No one would want it very bad for a building site. 15 miles from the nearest small town. I think in small plots 5K an acre would be about right.
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