When you go looking at undeveloped land there are some things that you need to be thinking about that you do not have to take in to account when buying a house.
TRUST me….We had to learn this ourselves and having this knowledge sooner would have helped sooooo…
Here are the key things that you are looking for when you go look at land:
1. Is there a place that you can build on?
-Yes, some people will tell you that you can just get someone to dig out a place for you it will be easy but remember that it will cost more money to do that along with the cost of any kind of structure you have to put up to prevent erosion. AND if you will have to have a septic system, some EPA regulations stipulate that the land cannot be disturbed for a certain amount of time prior to putting in the septic system.
2. How steep will the driveway have to be and how far will it have to go in?
– Having a steep drive way is not such a great idea unless you live where you never see snow or ice. You want easy access and remember a driveway costs money so the longer it is or the more they have to dig out the more it will cost!
3. What is the lay of the land?
– How usable is it going to be for you? The views might be beautiful but can you use more of it than just to build a house? How does the water flow? You do not want to end up in an area that water will sit (it does not have to be considered a flood zone for you to have water issues). Is there enough timber to have a fire if you are using wood heat for your home?
4. How does the land feel?
– When you step on the land what is your first felling? Make sure you include that in your notes on each piece of property.
5. Driving in to the piece of property what kind of feeling do you get?
– PLEASE understand that when you are buying undeveloped land in a more rural area, things are MUCH different than you might be accustomed to. Know that people in that kind of area look out for each other and are not always the most friendly at first or they can be the most amazing person you have ever meet, you just never know what you are going to get.
Remember they are on their toes and do not know you from Jack. They have probably lived there their whole life or they have moved out there for similar reasons you are moving, to get away from the craziness and get back to a more homesteading lifestyle. If you like the land ask the agent it they know the neighbors. Just do a little digging and find out what you can about them for many reasons and make sure you meet the people who could be your new neighbors if you can.
6. Is this piece of property going to meet ALL of your needs?
– Again why notes are SUPER important.
The deal is that sometimes you have to use your notes of places to do some eliminating of properties. There IS a perfect piece of property for each family and what might meet your needs might not meet my needs.
There also might be some things that you have to either gain or lose to get that perfect piece of property.
***Finding YOUR perfect piece of land might take longer than you expected wanted it to***
PLEASE respect your agent enough to be honest about how you feel with the land they showed you. If you do not give them clear reasons you did not like something you are being part of the problem. They cannot help you find what you are looking for if you are not communicating with them to help them understand.
Another thing we did is even if we did not like the area and knew that we would not be buying land there we always offered to buy lunch. Yes this is their job however they spend a lot of money out of their pocket on gas, tires and matinance on their vehicle. They also spend a lot of time looking through listings to weed out things. So it goes back to the golden rule… Treat others how you would want to be treated.
Understand that it is OK if you do not find something right away. It took us looking at land for 9 months in 3 different states for that perfect piece of land. I also know that it is exhausting, frustrating and I would be a liar if I said that I loved this process because I DO NOT!
You have to think about it like this… “In the long run I KNOW I will be happy that I did this”, it is kind of like going to the gym. NO ONE like going to the gym at first until you get in the rhythm and then some days you still hate it, but you feel good and have more energy after you do it.
This process is stretching yourself to get to a better place and kind of like a cleansing process, so with that knowledge it makes the process easier (I said easier not perfect). When you take the time to know that this process is not always easy on you or your family it gives you more grace to deal with times that are stressful.
Keep in mind that we as Americans for the past few generations have basically been handed everything (Yes, I know not all of us have. Some of us have had hard or difficult upbringings but most of us do not have to deal with what some people have to deal with in other places of the world).
That is why it is soooooo hard to basically reprogram ourselves and re figure out what is important, what we can live with and what we can actually live without (you would be surprised to learn what you do not miss when you do not have it for a while).
Example: my grandmother, she built a house when she was young and she had no plumbing in that house until she could afford it. Now days they would NEVER let people do that. I just hope you are getting the idea. We buy something before we even have money for it, so now we are living in a place where we wait for nothing. I mean I have gotten pissed because I sat in the drive through line for 3 min before and I had to catch myself… We have grown accustomed to everything being instant, right when I want it, right now!
Just beginning to take action is the first step. There are SO many people who have a greater knowledge base about this than me; I am just one person sharing my story and what I have learned.
Every day is a new day with new things to learn and areas to grow. You CAN do this even though it seems like you may not be able to pull it off. There have been many days that I have told God… “I am not sure we can do this.” His answer to me was “I would not have put this on your heart if it was impossible.”
I will leave you with this… The knowledge that if God has placed this desires on your heart it is not without reason and knowledge that you can do this with His help.
Keep moving forward,
P.S. If you have anything to add to this about your experience or if you have ideas and comments please leave a comment. Do not be greedy with your knowledge, someone just might need what you have learned to help them get where they need/what to be.
AND…If you want more info on a homesteading lifestyle, how to have an organic garden or just knowledge period sign up to get more info here.