BUYING RURAL LAND / MOVING TO THE COUNTRY

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Katie Rose
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BUYING RURAL LAND / MOVING TO THE COUNTRY
 
I have wanted to start a thread on rural land and living for quite some time. My profession is real estate and I sold my first home on January 2, 1979. I've lived through a few real estate booms and busts, but have never seen the US in such precarious straits as it is today.
 
One plus one does equal two. One is the US is broke with our means of production and our industrial knowledge given to a Communist nation which does not wish us well. The other one is we have become a lawless nation, with the rot starting at the top and filtering down to all levels of society. For me that one plus one means that unemployed, hungry, lawless folks will eventually make city living extremely dangerous, especially when Food Stamps, rent subsidies, etc are reduced or ended entirely. I do not want to be in the city when that occurs. That is why I live in rural NE WA State.
 
There is a saying among real estate professionals. "It is very easy to buy raw, rural land, and nearly impossible to sell it." Anyone wanting to buy raw land needs to be extremely careful. I do not recommend it. There are simply too many government employees desperate to keep their jobs that will make life HELL for anyone wanting to put in a road, drill a well, bring in power and build. Most rural counties are in great financial stress and have come up with many new rules, regulations, and permits for anyone so bold as to want to develop raw land.
 
Many rural land developments (where a farm or large tract of land has been subdivided) also have CC and R's (Codes, Convenient, and Restrictions) that give your neighbors power over what you do on your property. I hate CC and R's and will not sell any property so encumbered unless the buyer insists I do so. People think the CC and R's protect their property values. Not so! Who really wants their neighbors to be able to put a lien on their property because they have a clothes line and have wash hanging out to dry, or because they fly an American flag? (Yes, it really has happened...)
 
With CC and R's you get Homeowner's Associations, and believe me, there are lots of little Hitlers on their boards just waiting for an opportunity to make your life miserable. They pass ridiculous new rules, then have the power via the Homeowners Associations to make you comply. Courts have sided with the Homeowners Associations enough times to make bucking them nearly impossible.
 
So having given my opinion on raw land, what do I recommend?
 
First a disclaimer. If one has always lived in upscale urban apartments, homes and neighborhoods, what I am about to recommend will be very distasteful. Yet it is by far the biggest bang for the buck, and the easiest way to get started.
 
Twenty to thirty plus years ago many rural areas were without growth management legislation and many farmers sold off small acreages to relatives or friends who preceded to bring in mobile homes and plunk them on the properties. Counties did not require hundreds of permits, so driveways were created, septic systems put in, power brought to the homes, etc.
 
Then over the following years barns were built, out buildings erected, fencing put in place, orchards and gardens planted, and the property made into very civilized habitations. Many of the expenses one would encounter with raw land were taken care of, as well as the labor. And believe me, fencing is very expensive and labor intensive, as well as fruit trees, sidewalks, etc.
 
Here's the rub. The mobile homes are older, many not HUD compliant, not well insulated, and not attractive to urban dwellers and young couples. Banks won't lend on them, although a few Credit Unions might. So these older jewels are available at much reduced prices, often with owner financing. Then if the home is simply not going to work, it can be sold and another nicer manufactured home or stick built home built to replace the existing dwelling. Also many counties will allow a guest house or Mother-in-law unit. The older mobile can be kept in place for future family/friends who need to escape the city.
 
The way to pick one of these jewels is to pay careful attention to the condition of the landscaping and interior of the home itself. There are lots of retired men who live in these homes who are quite industrious. Over the years they have kept improving the property and their homes. Pay careful attention to the landscaping.
 
 We have friends who bought a single wide in terrible condition, but it had outbuildings, etc. that were in great condition. They had the volunteer fire department practice fire fighting by burning it down, and placed a new manufactured home on the property.
 
In my opinion, older mobiles are really the way to begin.
 
I did not follow my own advice. I could not due to family circumstances. We spent much too much money on our 20 acre farm, and now do not have the means to do the rest of the prep work. So this has come from my heart. Smaller acreages (you don't need more than five) are really all you need, so that money is left over for alternative power to the well, money for greenhouses, food storage, etc.
 
I will write more about soil, water, the need for level land for garden and orchard, etc. later. Just know that this is 30+ years of real estate knowledge synthesized down into a few paragraphs.
 
I am happy to help in any way. I really believe that moving to the country could mean the difference between life and death for your family in the future.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06

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First Improvement for Rural Property

Katie, thanks for sharing some of your knowledge.  So let's say the newbie buys his or her dream property out in the country.  Assuming there is already a residence there to live in, what is one of the first improvements the new owner may want to consider?

Fruit and nut trees!  These take years to become established and start producing, so if the new owner wants to move towards self-sufficiency, planting food-bearing trees is a good beginning.  This year we harvested our first big crop of apples from the trees that we first started ten years ago right after buying this place.

I recommend doing some planning first, and then transplanting some trees into the ground as soon as you have bought that rural property.

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Katie Rose, Very grateful for

Katie Rose,

Very grateful for you sharing your knowledge w/ us. I have 7 acres, 5 of which us cleared. Have been arguing w/ myself about turning the 5 into crop land but that's cuz I'm getting older and have no help. The Reb will get thru. Please continue to share your wonderful insights w/ us. I do look forward to them very much. May His blessings be with you and yours.

Mike

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Katie Rose, Very grateful for

Katie Rose,

Very grateful for you sharing your knowledge w/ us. I have 7 acres, 5 of which us cleared. Have been arguing w/ myself about turning the 5 into crop land but that's cuz I'm getting older and have no help. The Reb will get thru. Please continue to share your wonderful insights w/ us. I do look forward to them very much. May His blessings be with you and yours.

Mike

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Good stuff!

Nice thread and Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Liked your thoughts on the older mobile home properties that can be had reasonably.

You can think of yourself as a mini-developer if you can see past the old mobile. Problem for a lot of people nowadays is they only want to look at a finished product . Some prime spots have been claimed in years past but are sort of held back because of an eye-sore type dwelling. Photo-shop a new dwelling in place of the old and see how it changes the property. Those inclined can really score.

Get those trees in ASAP. They don't need much from you but they do need time. Think variety too. Trees won't always produce the same year after year so don't be shy about mixin em up. Last year's bumper crop peach or cherry may be a dud the next {temp, insects, pollination} Different varieties can help you weather off seasons and such.

A lot of city-types can't handle country living at all but if you're inclined it sure is worth a look.

Maybe now, more than ever.cool

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I agree. Orchard first.

The first thing we did when we bought our farm was put in an orchard. We hired a crew to put up a deer fence with pressure treated posts anchored in concrete and wired with heavy field fencing.  Then we hired a backhoe to come in to dig holes and fill them back in. They were about 8 feet in diameter where each tree was going to be planted. This is to make it easier for the roots to grow. This is what all the commercial orchards do in CA when planting new orchards. We spaced the trees 20 feet apart.

My sister's degree is in Pomology (Fruit Tree Science) and she carefully selected the trees for our climate (Zone 5). She is one smart lady (Cum Laude) and did everything possible to insure a successful orchard. What we didn't know about was gophers.

Long and short of it is that gophers killed over 2/3 of our newly planted orchard. It is now war with our side taking no prisoners! So we have replanted. We are on our third planting of peach and hardy almond trees.

We have learned that Stark Brothers Nursery no sends crappy trees that they do not stand behind. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply sends fabulous trees with vigorous root stocks. We only now buy from Peaceful Valley as they get their trees from Dave Wilson Nursery, the wholesale supplier of the big commercial CA orchards.

We are in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We are fortunate to have level ground for both the orchard and garden. Many of our friends have orchards on sloping land. I personally would forego an orchard if I didn't have level land. I know of nothing more terrifying than being perched on an orchard ladder on uneven land. Scary!!!

Desert Fox, that is one mighty fine looking orchard! Hopefully one day ours will look as healthy.

Now here's a question I need help with. Do any of you know of a nursery that supplies cold, hardy fruit trees that are healthy and strong? We are in zone 5 and need another supplier of hardy stock. Peaceful Valley is located in CA, and does not have hardy enough peach or almond trees for our climate.

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nice

I've been looking at raw land so this was a great read, thanks for your time.

I have .13 acre in town and over the last 5-6 years have put 20+ fruit/nut trees in half barrels with the idea of transplanting to an end destination later.

A few of my trees are in small cinder block planters & I've had 80-100 lbs of fruit off one tree at times. So get started with what you have & where you are. :)

I also have berries & grapes with plenty of clones, I could start a farm with what I have ready to move today. My blackberry/boysenberry patch gets me around 50+ lbs a year & it's small, altho tall at 12'.

Bear in mind, if the SHTF and all you have is a piece of raw land you can legally park a wheeled vehicle on it- think "RV". Have a self contained toilet & local officials can go pound sand. If you don't have the cash to get a "move-in ready" place then think outside the box, a BOL/ bug out location is better then nothing if the cities burn.

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I'll post my two bits too...

I'm "farming/animal/orchard" stupid (but learning), but pretty smart on the finding land/green energy/water source side.

I have 40 acres near my home that I'm almost finished outfitting and 100 acres in Idaho that I'll start on after the thaw next Spring.

Really looking forward to spending more time on these forums... My "stack" is on autopilot.

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Well Water

Almost as important as the land is the water. Without a strong, steady supply of water (not seasonal supply) the land is worthless for gardening, raising animals, etc.

Here's where I messed up. Our seller had pictures of Jesus throughout the house, and he and I got to yacking about my first love, Jesus. IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT HE WAS A FIRST CLASS LIAR. He had put in writing, in his Disclosure Statement, that the well gave 35 gallons per minute. I never questioned his statement and never went to the county to verify his well information.

That was stupid! I always tell my clients to verify everything. I didn't.

We did get an excellent artesian well, but it had about 2/3's the capacity he stated it had. During the Summer, when the house, garden and orchard are all needing water at the same time, the well can barely keep up. A 35 gallon per minute well would have had no trouble keeping up at all.

So you really need to independently verify the well information with the county or a local well driller yourself. You also need to have the seller supply you with a current test for bacteria or other pathogens. And, you need to find out the hardness of the water.

I think a minimum you would want is 10 gallons per minute, with a maximum depth of 250 feet. Putting a hand pump on a well that deep is really expensive and problematic. There are many wells much deeper and they scare me as they are very costly to repair and in the event you need to dig a second well, very costly to dig. Six hundred foot wells are common around here. I think that is just looking for trouble.

In areas with winter freezing, all waterlines need to be at least 4 feet underground. Any lines not that deep will freeze during a harsh winter. Again, that makes for very expensive repairs.

We have water in the barn, and it is wonderful.

It is nice to have a holding tank for your water. However, if an ad includes the words "holding tank" you really need to make sure there is adequate water. Most properties with holding tanks have low volume producing wells. Don't believe the line that a holding tank makes up for a low volume well. It doesn't.

Another thing to be very wary of is the term hydro-fracturing. If the property you are looking at has a well that has been hydro-fractured, or a neighboring well has been hydro-fractured, just turn around and walk away. In the event your neighbor has hydro-fractured their well it simply means they have disturbed your underground water supply, and made it flow their way. People do this when there isn't enough water and it is a big red flag. So always check with the county or local well driller if any neighboring wells have been hydro-fractured.

I'd say that at least half the homes in my area do not meet the minimum criteria I have outlined. Please be careful! Diligence in this area is vital for a successful Bug Out location.

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Katie Rose

Great thread!

I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written about raw land.  I think all jurisdictions make it harder to start from scratch than to refurbish existing structures/infrastructure.  

We bought a homestead in eastern Canada 4 years ago in an area with lots of older housing  and farms that were 20 to 30 years into the process of returning to nature.  We knew when we bought that our farm house that it would need everything replaced.  Part of the attraction to us was you could easily see that walking through the place.  There had been no attempt to put lipstick on a pig.  It was what it was.  

We paid $500 per acre for a mix of overgrown pasture, degenerated woodland with some freshwater marsh land and saltwater marsh land along the tidal river that our property fronts upon.  The house we valued at $25 per square foot with a 2 car garage and 20'x30' barn both built out of reclaimed materials and scraps and a small 80 year old apple orchard, grapes and raspberries to boot.

We knew the house was no more than an insulated shell.  The fact that it was insulated was a plus as it gets cold here in the winter and not all these old farm houses around here are insulated.  We hired a licensed electrician to rewire before we moved in.  Since moving in we tore the bathroom down to the studs and rebuilt. (the drains and supply lines were scraps and reclaimed material as well.)  That lead to replacing all supply lines in the house with PEX and all new drains (yup kitchen too) with PVC.  Had a licensed contractor install a 1,000 gallon concrete septic tank under special "emergency" provisions (we did NOT have to upgrade the leach field to modern standards.  I'll do that myself when no one is looking.) to replace the homemade one that had a 300 gal molasses barrel.  Installed two new CSA approved insulated flues and woodstoves.  All new windows.  New roof on the back of the house w/ new porch and screened in deck.  Replaced one foundation sill that was rotted.  Replaced a bunch of wooden pier footings (can you believe it!) with concrete and PT lumber.  Plus all the painting and decorating throughout the whole house.  

We are now at about $50 per square foot and within budget and more or less within expectations.  The house is almost completely modernized.  We have done most of the work ourselves without permits or inspections so our tax bill hasn't gone through the roof.  

The cost to build new in this area? . . . $150 per square foot.  Land, orchard and outbuildings not included.

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re: water

yeah there's some "cheap" mountain land I've looked at nearby, but wells are horribly deep & it would cost $10-15k easy to drill one

even with an existing well....around here wells on the sides of the valley as you start climbing the hills tend to run dry in August, just when you need them the most

no water, no sale

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Thanks for the Thread

I'm not in a position to do it very soon, but I hope to eventually be on 15-20 acres with orchards, gardens, chickens, etc.

I had been leaning toward raw land, but that's good advice to find something with a good well and septic already in. I hadn't even considered well depth and hand-pumping. So much to be careful of.

I'm more concerned with the land than the house, so a run down mobile is plenty good enough. I'd take a good tent if it got me into a nice remote area with good water supply. Eventually, I like the idea of building with earth-bags or one of the other types of high-labor, low-material cost methods out there. I've been researching permaculture, fish-farming, and homesteading. My sister has horses and goats - they seem easy enough on their own, but she doesn't farm. I hope I can manage to get not just the land, but some practical experience under my belt before anything drastic happens and self-sufficiency is no longer optional. It's the one thing I hope to trade my little pile of shiny pirate-treasure for smiley

I like the idea of starting fruit and nut trees in barrels to get a jump on things - I'll have to look into that.

Any advice on determining quality of soil (ie:too rocky to farm or some other unforeseen issue)? Anyone know any specifics about the WV/Eastern KY area to watch out for? Water quality after mining I guess is a big one.

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Bartertown

Your local ag college or state agricultural extension office should have soil maps.

Here's an example.

http://soils.usda.gov/survey/printed_surveys/state.asp?state=Kentucky&abbr=KY

Collected surface water (pond) is an acceptable water supply so long as you have the means to treat it and pump it.

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rural north florida

four acres here in a village half an hour out of a mid-size city (tallahassee).  i started preparing accordingly quite a while ago.  i bought two and a half acres in 1984 and tore down an old wreck of a house that was here.  built a two storey traditional southern frame vernacular  farmhouse, and picked up little pieces of adjacent land as it came available.   i have my eye on ten acres of woods behind me, but the owner isn't interested in selling.  perhaps hard times will change his mind.

pecans, chestnuts, almonds, black walnuts, even hazelnuts.  peaches, pears, plums, goumis, cherries, tangerines, lemons, avocados, loquats, and some banana plants that have never borne fruit.  (they need two very mild winters - in a row - to fruit.)  i don't do a lot of vegetable gardening any more, but several of my neighbors do, and i know how.  i've just gotten lazy.  

i've about given up on livestock too, all i have now is minnie, the wunder dachshund.  lots of neighbors raise chickens, cattle, and pigs.  the woods have deer.  water is good, i have a 100 foot well (semi artesian, the water comes up to 28 feet below ground level) that taps the floridan aquifer with a submersible pump.  if the grid goes down, i have a hand pump and the required piping to install it.  i'm working on a rainwater harvesting system as a backup (see water supply backup on this forum).

katie, your idea of a run-down trailer is a good one.  i did pretty much the same thing with the old wreck of the house that was here.  the county requires five acres for a building permit in this location, but they let me have one because i was demolishing one and building one - no net change, kinda grandfathered-in.

anyone thinking about a rural retreat for the coming unsettled times, i suggest you get a move on, time's a-wasting.   getting things set up and going takes much longer than you'd think, and usually costs more.

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@Frog, Nice buddy.

@Frog,

Nice buddy.

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My 2¢

Just some things to consider about rural or even 'very' rural property with respect to possible coming financial and social events.

We own considerable acreage of what I term 'very' rural property. I term it 'very' as it is 10s of miles from a paved road and is many miles from the power/communication grids. If we climb to the top of the nearest peak it is possible to get a cell signal most of the time....that kind of rural.

That being said, while we were in the process of building our cabin out there the census showed up and GPSd our front door! I then proceeded to have an argument with the gal doing the GPSing as to whether I actually lived there or not..........and I work with her!........and we were standing 60 miles from the town we both work in. I was finally forced to ask her if she was an effing moron who actually believed that I made that backwoods and interstate highway drive every day of my working life!? I 'think' she finally got it.

Sorry for the rambling start, but I did it to illustrate that you will not be escaping from the gaze of 'the State'. Not to mention that our county uses remote controlled drones to patrol this 'wilderness' looking for un-permitted work in progress! We have spent three years and every available dollar putting up this site which includes triple redundancy for all critical systems such as power, fuel, transportation, etc.

Now this all depends on what you are expecting it to protect you 'from'. In other words are we only talking about an economic collapse that produces civil unrest as the 'gov't cheese' stops coming and hungry folks get stupid, so you go to your retreat for some period of time to escape that, or do you expect  long term "Mad Max" and the rounding up of folks into FEMA camps (if they actually exist)?

Without trying to game-play all the scenarios here, let's just suffice to say that this encompasses a wide range of possibilities to consider when planning for your project.

IMO if the world truly goes to shit the more rural the better as this will buy you the most time. If the unthinkable actually happens and the military is used to control the population, I would expect that those resources would be very taxed due to the size of the land mass involved. I would expect the vast majority of resources to be placed in the major metropolitan areas. The farther away from that you are the more time you have before they get to you, but rest assured, get to you they will.

Short of that if there is only prolonged civil disorder sans the rounding up of citizens, then the more rural the better as far as security goes, but man you better have your ducks in a row. Everyone considering gardening better really know what they are doing and be prepared with ample water and chemical resources (pesticides/fertilizers) for a prolonged period as procurement of new supplies may be very difficult/expensive at best and impossible at worst. Simply 'sticking your head up' in search of supplies may be a catastrophic miscalculation, giving away not only your existence but your location. Use of cell phones (if they even still work) should be limited to absolute emergencies only, it's a dead giveaway pointing directly to you. Obviously, preparing for lesser events becomes less critical in your planning and stocking needs.

My recommendation would be to do an honest assessment of your actual abilities, including but not limited to: financial resources, construction/survival/horticultural/mechanical/plumbing/electrical expertise with regard to how much you can accomplish your self as opposed to how many people you have to 'let know' what you are doing and where you are doing it in order to get it accomplished. Once you have done that you need to decided where on the "future possibilities/personal capabilities/ability to execute in secrecy" continuum you can complete your project in the most robust manner possible.

And by all means, from beginning of planning to completion of project, DO NOT TELL ANYONE YOU DON'T WANT TO SHOW UP should the worst scenario come about, what and where you are doing it.

I've personally watched associates romantically talk about putting up a 'survival shack', but I can tell you first hand that there isn't one damned romantic thing about actually doing it and to the depth of your realization considering having to actually utilize it for it's intended purpose. It's an ugly scenario. Assuming it's just you and a spouse type. What other person will you welcome in only to cut your available resources by 50%?

I'm not trying to scare anyone out of doing it, you just need to be coldly realistic about it. I've only scratched the surface here. If you aren't up to it, spend your money and energies on fortifying your primary residence, don't squander your resources on an unobtainable pipe dream if you really aren't up to the task. It ain't cheap, and it ain't easy....proceed with your eyes open.

Just one of the many things to consider: You are a master gardener, fabulous! Are you prepared by training, both physical and mental to defend that garden plot to the death against pests both four legged and two legged? I leave it to you. Also consider that the more rural you are the greater the requirements for: medical supplies/knowledge, who/where are the neighbors and are they friend or foe, can you navigate distances accurately and on foot, and the list goes on.

Best of luck to all
 

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Communal Land Acquisition

Anybody ever been a part of a communal effort to buy/develop/inhabit rural property, where several people co-own and live and work the land?  Perhaps with multiple names on the note (if a mortgage has to be secured)?  Does this approach work on any level?

Thanks for the thread, Katie......much needed topic.....

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Run Away!!

It rarely ever works well, if at all. Our nearest neighbor at 'our spot' tried it and it's been nothing but headaches. Wasn't perfect to begin with but when one set of partners got divorced it got flat ugly. Now they've all had to go to the individual expense to split the large property into smaller parcels. And then of course the arguments about who did what to that which became someone else's piece after the split and on and on. Worked really well while it was just a dream and an empty lot...............goes to shit when people show up though.

I'd suggest reading the true story of thanksgiving about how the pilgrims who started out on a communal basis almost died until they established personal property rights, and flourished.

That's one personal account for you.

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@rear flank,

there was a group near here that bought a large tract communally in the early '70s. it turned into a neighborhood of middle aged, middle class ex hippies with land held by a condominium association. more rules than a homeowners' association. i used to date a woman who lived there and was always at odds with her neighbors because she kept chickens. her birds got out from time to time and ate some of the yuppies' flower gardens. they finally sicced the health department on her for selling eggs without all the proper licenses and inspections. big fines. crazy big :(

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I'm an aging hippy

who lived on a commune. I was in charge of the big organic garden.

Long and short of it was nobody was there to help me plant, weed, water, etc. But when harvest time came they threw a big harvest party. People I had never seen showed up and harvested my entire garden, with the blessing of the commune leader.

Whoopee!!!!!!!!! Free food!!!!!!

And nobody could understand why I was so upset. They thought I was selfish by not wanting to share.

I love communal living, but sure do not love the adultery, free sex, drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. that goes with it. People hide things from one another and you have no way of knowing if someone who is joining you is an addict, is having an affair, or engaged in other self destructive behavior.

From my experience, it is better to buy a small little property. 1/2 acre of level land properly managed will give a great garden and small orchard.  I would advise having control over your property, rather than putting yourself in a position where others control your ability to survive.

***********************

I want to thank everyone who is participating in this thread. I believe we really can be of service to each other by sharing our experiences and concerns.

I believe this is a very important topic.

Thank You!!!

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surface water

I get the computer every other night, so I want to add more information about water while I can.

I am trying to condense years of experience into a few paragraphs, so that costly mistakes I have made can be avoided. And I have made lots and lots of mistakes. I hope this is helpful...

This nation has gone crazy when it comes to water. It seems everybody wants to control what a property owner can do with the water that may puddle on a piece of property. WA State is no exception, and that is where my experience comes from. It is by no means the only restrictive state. Don't think that because the property you are interested in is located in a Southern State that things will be different. Universities are graduating thousands of environmentalists who end up working for Local, State or Federal Governments. And they are on a mission to "save the earth."

In WA, the State claims ownership to all the water, even rain water. It is illegal to gather water from your roof and drain it into a rain barrel. They tell you what the setbacks are from the creek, what is and isn't wetlands, if you can build by a lake or a pond, etc. They have a troop of new graduates with degrees in Environmental Science who have never owned property, never paid taxes, dictating what the property owner can do. They turn life into a nightmare for anyone who has any surface water on their property at any time. I am not exaggerating.

Much to my amazement, I discovered after closing on our property that over 1 acre was classified wetlands, and the seasonal creek that carried melting snow was classified as a year round creek with all kinds of setbacks and restrictions. Now this is in an area that gets 17 inches of rain a year. Both the "creek" and the "wetlands" are bone dry during 2/3 of the year. I am not allowed to have my goats graze by the "creek", although wild turkeys and deer are welcomed by the state. They are native, my goats are not.

So, if the property you are looking at has standing water at any time of the year, has a creek or pond or wetlands, just know that you will be in for a major battle for years to come. There are thousands of city folk who insist that they know best how to manage your water on your property, and they do it through their elected officials.

If there is any hint that there is water on the property, please be smarter than I was. Write a 10 day Feasibility Study into your Purchase and Sales Agreement, then spend time at the County Planning Department finding out how they have classified the property you are interested in, and what the classification means for your ability to use the property.

I have spent years fighting Planning Departments on behalf of folks like you and me. I have never won. I sold 8 acres of land to a couple who rescued horses. The property had a foot wide creek on it that ran into a lake across the street. The lake had no outflow. Someone classified that creek as a "migrating salmon creek" which is clearly impossible as the creek did not empty into or have any access to salt water. Long and short of it was that the couple was only allowed to use 2 acres of their property for their rescue horses due to the "migrating salmon creek." No one was willing to reclassify that tiny little creek. They got off on their power over the couple.

Ideally we all want property with creek, pond or lake frontage. Be prepared for years and years of conflict with governmental agencies if you have any surface water at all.

The new Environmental Science Graduates will work their way into positions of authority in the future, so there may be no issues now, but I can practically guarantee there will be in the future.

__________________

Katie Rose

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