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Where's the LAND????

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Redmondite, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Redmondite

    Redmondite Guest

    I've been researching alternative energy and building prior to our expected
    exit from the rat race this year. What I didn't expect was the lack of
    land. Every place I've checked is being restricted by building covenants in
    "subdivisions". The subdivision may be 50-10 acre lots but there's still
    the architectural committee and all that implies. We're in no position to
    the $50,000 and up that seems to be the norm for "uncontrolled" land.

    It's looking more and more like land either has restrictions that make
    offgrid living impossible or really difficult or completely unavailable
    (e.g. national forests). I never expected it to be such a problem finding
    reasonably priced land since all we're looking for is a four season road and
    access to water.

    FYI We've been looking at the Rockies, both the East and West sides.
  2. wmbjk

    wmbjk Guest

    Lots of off-grid land in AZ. Some with modest restrictions, most with
    none (at least for now). No free lunch though - nice land with shallow
    water is either more costly or less accessible. You might post your
    specific preferences and requirements, perhaps someone will know of some
    new places to look.

  3. Redmondite

    Redmondite Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions but I think we can all agree that the topography
    and climate of Arizona and Texas are a wee bit different than the Rockies.
    I'm beginning to think that the government and the Ted Turner's of this
    world are sucking up all the land.
  4. Guest

    Loads of land in Texas, but you'll have to put up with the wetbacks and
    What areas of Texas would you recommend?

  5. wmbjk

    wmbjk Guest

    Sorta'. Friend of mine lives on the other side of the valley (NW AZ) at
    about 5500 ft. ASL. Not much sunshine can get through the trees where he
    is. If he goes for a walk today he might be slippin' and slidin' in the
    snow with his nostrils stuck together. It's a fair bit warmer here at
    4500, with only traces of snow left on the north sides of the mountains.
    Sunny and warmer today, 31 F at 7 am.

    What *exactly* are you looking for? You must have something more
    specific than "Rockies" in mind, like distance to town, city, schools,
    etc. I'm guessing that if what you've looked at so far is in
    small-parcel developments with CC&Rs, then you're focused on locations
    close to civilization, with well maintained roads, etc. If that's true,
    then you're unlikely to find anything cheap or without restrictions.
    Unless it's next to a railway line or something.... Here's a tip - if
    you intend to buy cheap, then expect to get a map and best wishes at the
    real estate office. 'Cause if there's a real estate agent willing to
    drive you to a prospective "remote" property, then it's probably too
    close and more than you want to spend. :)

  6. Redmondite

    Redmondite Guest

    Well we need is to be within driving distance of a hospital and a
    supermarket plus we'd like to be within travel distance (i.e. 2-3 hours max)
    of a Costco or similar outlet. The only sticking point we may have is the
    desire to have access to a four season road. That generally means close to
    a major road which in most parts of the Rockies is a two lane state hiway.
    Our best bet so far is 20 miles outside the largest city in the area
    (population 9,000) and we're still running into CC&R's.

    FYI the two biggest CC&R problems we've come up against are minimum square
    footage on a single floor (i.e. minimum house size) and the need to get an
    architectural committee waiver for a wind tower. Most of these outlying
    "developments" are someone's ranch that they've subdivided. On the plus
    side we haven't seen much objection to solar panels.
  7. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    ie "Keep out them damn folks what ain't as rich as we am." Charming.
    Throw up a big plastic greenhouse (with concrete footings so it's a
    "permanent building", and put your real house inside that, whatever size
    you like...
    Which won't happen, but they might claim it will until after your money
    is spent, whereupon they will turn you down, cause thay don't want you
    building trashy things like windtowers, which "spoil the view" from
    their Hummers. Choose your neighbors with care...

    FWIW, out east I own all the land (not like the west where you don't own
    what's under your land, generally, and can be scewed over mightily by
    any mining operation that cares to dig out whatever is there), and the
    only thing I have to put up with are setbacks for building and a 35 ft
    height limit for non-agricultural buildings. Big or small, cheap or
    expensive - entirely up to me. I would have to get blessed for a wind
    tower (zoning, height limit), but I'm in a lousy spot for wind (85 foot
    tall trees with no lean whatever - agrees with the wind resouce maps,
    which basically say the ridgelines work, the rest is an exercise in
    spending money to make not much electricity). If I feel like fooling
    around with it I have room to put ~8 foot tall turbines on the shop
    roof, but I doubt I'll bother with that.

    Of course, I'm also not in a "development", which is your first problem
    - you need to look for land which does not have developers, who like to
    put in all the baggage you've run into as step two of "developing" it;
    Step one is jacking the price up. Check the obituaries and look for
    intact older property with less baggage in the deed. Check the town or
    county offices for property being auctioned off for non-payment of
    taxes. Etcetera...
  8. I wisely made the move to Australia 10 years ago. The only mistake was not
    to have done it earlier.
    Depending on your age and circumstances it is not all that difficult to get
    permanent residence in Australia.
    Australia is still the frontier of reasonable land prices and lack of
  9. Bughunter

    Bughunter Guest

    I remember being in Australia about 25 years ago. There were parcels of land
    not too far from Sydney, 3 MILES of ocean front, $30K!

    Can't find that here in the US anymore.

    Austrailians are great people. I like their frontier attitude.
  10. I dunno, I kinda sympathize with the desire to be able to stock up on
    large amounts of "stuff" on a quarterly basis. Yes, Costco will ship
    many things to you, but ordering off the WWWebsite isn't nearly as
    good as wandering the aisles in person.

    You could always goto the Costco, Sams, BJs, etc WWWebsites and grep
    them for "nearby locations"...

    I'd agree with those who say that "The Rockies" is a bit nebulous, do
    you have a particular state in mind? I'm guessing you aren't using
    the correct search strategy, I can't believe all of "The Rockies" are
    covered by covenants...
  11. Chris Hill

    Chris Hill Guest

    You're looking in the wrong place. Missouri still has counties with
    no zoning or restrictions or building codes for that matter. Get two
    counties away from a city of more than 20,000 people and you'll be
    home free.
  12. Guest

    You're looking in the wrong place. Missouri still has counties with
    I live in Missouri and agree.

    But arent there a lot of states still like this?

  13. Richard W.

    Richard W. Guest

    I am not sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if there wasn't. In Oregon
    we are so regulated you wouldn't believe it. The feds closed the Columbia
    river gorge as a senic area. You have the friends of Oregon sueing the state
    almost constantly every time someone applies for a permit to build
    something. The enviromentalists want farmers off the land they have farmed
    for generations. They do that by claiming some fish or bug is indangered. A
    year ago last summer farmers were denied water from a reservoir which they
    are paying back the federal government for building. The really funny part
    is before the reservoir was built, the stream would completly dry up to dust
    in the summer. Also the only stream that the sucker fish is endangered in is
    the one that has the reservoir. There are plenty of other streams in Oregon
    that have the same fish, but they aren't considered an endangered fish.
    Zoning has more than doubled the price of housing. We can only live on
    4% of the land here in Oregon, the state and feds own the rest. Then they
    try to steal land by zoning restriction that make it worthless and buy it
    for $28 an acre instead of the present $4,000+ an acre in farming areas. In
    certain parts of Gresham Oregon they are really pushing for high density
    housing. So if your house burns down you can't rebuild it. You have to put
    in an apartment building instead of the single family house that was
    originally there. Almost all of these changes have been made with out the
    property owners knowledge or consent.
    One 90 year old lady has owned some land for over 50 years. Instead of
    it being worth 4.5 million dollars if she could build on it, it's worth
    almost nothing. When she and her husband bought the land there were no
    restriction at all on the property. They thought it would be a good place to
    build on when they retired, but the City of Portland and Multnomah county
    changed all that. She had even talked to the governor about getting a
    special waiver to be able to build and divide the property with her kids.
    Good ole Ted denied her.

    Richard W.
  14. News

    News Guest

    That is going the ridiculous route of the UK. 58 million live in 7.5% of
    the land mass. The UK is not a small country, having a land surplus. We
    are not allowed to build in the country. 1% of the population own 70% of
    land, mainly aristocratic land owners, whose families have been stinking
    rich for many, many hundreds of years by just taking rent.

    Our system is still far too Medieval. These people have environmental
    groups as their front in order to keep people out of the country for them to
    retain their lucrative acres. They also produce a lot of green propaganda,
    saying that it is wrong to build on green fields. Emotive terms are used
    like "urban sprawl" and "concreting over the countryside". If the urban
    footprint doubled, that is London, Liverpool, Glasgow, and every town and
    village was twice the size, it is still only 15% of the land mass. You just
    can't concrete over the land as there is far too much of it. Fields that
    are subsidised by the EU not to do anything in many cases, are just left,
    while house densities are increasing.

    To build their own homes, people buy perfectly good house and have to
    demolish them to have what they want. It is so ludicrous. Then they have
    to put up with the style police, the planners. They turn down submissions
    for ridiculous reasons, and then people have to spend many 1000s to appeal,
    with no costs paid by the losing planners if they win. Advanced domestic
    British architecture disappeared in 1945, as we all are dictated how to
    build by the almighty planners, who in some areas want a theme park.

    Putting people in the countryside is one way of protecting it from landscape
    rapists and poisoners (factory farmers). People would not tolerate the
    chemical being sprayed about them. Agriculture only amounts to less than 3%
    of the economy, the land can be better utilised and allowing people the
    freedom to do what they like in it.

    Like Oregon an artificial land shortage is created with 2/3 of the average
    British house being the land value. The bricks don't count for much at all.
    80% of all consumer debt is mortgages to keep a very small expensive roof
    over their heads.

    All this does is make people poorer as a large percentage of their income is
    just to house themselves. High land prices mean higher rents, that
    discourages foreign investment.

    The richest man in the UK is the Duke of Westminster, who is rich by taking
    rent. In the USA it is Bill Gates, who is creative and produces a product
    people want. A big difference. The USA should look to the UK as a way of
    how not to do it.
  15. News

    News Guest

    I can do London to Manchester in 3 hours - 200 miles. I can't think of
    anyone in London wanting to go to Manchester to do their shopping.
  16. News

    News Guest

    I know someone who was thrown out of Australia as his permit expired and
    they would not let him stay, even though he was self employed.
  17. Guest

    Manufacturing new land has been discontinuted in most places where
    volcanic activity is no longer in style. As such, what there is is up
    for bid. :)
  18. East-of-lake

    East-of-lake Guest

    Inline post

    That leaves out the Oh-My-Gawd it's cold weather that blows out of Canada.
    My sister's family lived in College Station and she's had the temperature
    drop 70 degrees in less than three hours. And let's not forget the lovely
    fire ants. All and all I'd be really sure before moving to Texas, even if
    the people are friendly and land is cheap.
  19. All countries will throw you out if you do not have permanent residence

    I applied through the proper channels and had permanent residence
    notification in 5 weeks.
  20. Ben Simons

    Ben Simons Guest

    Am Mon, 5 Jan 2004 11:26:53 -0800 hat Redmondite
    Be happy! 50000$ for a 10-50 acre landpiece ist very low. Here around you
    must have very good connections and a LOT of luck if you find land for
    lower than 600'000$/acre !!!!!
    No, there isn't a zero too much on this number. And this is the price not
    in the city but on the countryside. City is even higher.


    P.S. I calculated with 1 acre equals to 4047m^2. Dunno if this is correct
    in the US. Perhaps there are different kinds of acres. Who knows.
    US, go metric please! There are only three countrys on the world with
    these ancient measures.
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