Good stuff Katie, looking at buying my first property too. I thought I'd chime in with a little old farmers trick to keep the gophers at bay when i saw you are at war with them re: your fruit orchard. I got this tip from a old farmer who was a client of mine, and its defiantly one of those counterintuitive things that sounds wierd but actually works better than anything I've seen (poisons / traps etc) and i have tested it over several years so I can speak firsthand of its effectiveness.
The trick is you take an empty glass beer bottle and bury it so only the neck sticks up above ground. something about the sound of the wind across the top of the bottle resonates through the ground and gophers hate it. I really have no idea why it works, but my best guess is it has something to do with the sound the bottle makes that sounds to the gopher like a predator is waiting to snatch them up.
I've been farming for years and this works the best out of all things I've tried. Once again, I have no idea how or why it works, but I will vouch that it works, and you wont find it anywhere on the internet, just one of those weird old farmers tricks.
The only other thing that worked even close to as well as this is one time my mom came over and sat out in the garden in a folding chair with my .22 and a sweet scope. When the gophers popped their heads up she blew their brains out and then shoved the gopher carcass back into the hole and covered the hole mouth with dirt. Her theory is the smell of rotting gopher flesh underground would deter more of the rodents from the area. That method seemed to keep them at bay for about a month. After that I switched to the beer bottle method, and I haven't seen a gopher hole in years.
Just be careful where you put the bottles and dont run them over with the mower. For a full size tree, I'd use 4-5 bottles. Right now I 'plant' a bottle every 10-20 sq feet.
Also now that gophers are gone I see a lot less snakes around. I used to have rattlers out the yinyang, but havent seen one of those in a while either. Hope this helps!
It's amazing the amount of interests and topics on this site. I have been registered since the day this went live but am only now deciding to participate.
I bought 5 acres in Western NM 6 years ago. Beautiful area and location. I wanted to stay under the radar in any building I decided to do. Building codes allowed me to not require a permit for anything under 200 sf. About two years ago I started building a small camp cabin with a loft etc. It's been an ongoing project but should have most finished by the end of this year. It started out as a place to get away on the weekends etc. As time has been passing and with all the concerns in this country I am glad I will have a hidden away property and comfortable shelter if needed.
I wrote a response to the question raised about purchasing raw land with or without a well, and this site ate it up before I could post it. I was so disgusted I just gave up and walked away.
So I'll try again.
Besides level land for gardening and an orchard, the most important item on the property is the well. Without a sufficient amount of water there can be no homestead, garden, livestock, etc. In my opinion, the least amount of water you need is 10 gallons per minute. This will allow you to water in the summer without running your well dry.
Our property has a 25 gallons per minute well with an overflow pipe. Bottom line, it is an artesian well. This last summer was very dry and scorching hot. We had water going in the garden, orchard, nearly all day. Our well could barely keep up with our demand. That is why folks will try to talk you into property with lesser producing wells, sighting holding tanks, etc. Please don't do it!
You need good water.
I am in a location with about 17 inches of rain/moisture a year. There are many, many properties with little to no water. The properties started off with a few gallons per minute, then tapered off to no water at all. Neighbors hydro-fracturing their wells to get more water will just steal water from you.
So, in answer to the question of purchasing land with a well or not, the answer is: it all depends. It all depends on the quality/quantity of the well water on the property. And, if you have neighbors who are hydro-fracturing their wells. If there is hydro-fracturing going on around you, just walk on by, find a better location, do not purchase property there.
You do not want a really deep well, because getting the water out of the ground in the event of power failures will be a nightmare. Our neighbor just put in a 650 foot well and is getting 15 gallons a minute. He is thrilled! I think it is the well from HELL! There is no way a hand pump will be usable on that deep of a well. Hand pumps go down about 200 feet.
I would want a well installed on any raw land I purchased. I would want to know its' depth, quality of the water, gallons per minute, etc. Water is simply too important to not know what you are getting. And there is no guarantee that because neighboring properties have great wells, that the one you purchase will have a great well also.
So we are back to a property with a crappy mobile/older home.
You know what you are getting.
Hope this helps!
Sorry you lost your last missive! I have started looking at smaller pieces of land...mainly due to price. I am sticking with the 10 acres to save tremendously on the tax bill. It's slow going..... a lot of strong hands in my area... and I can't blame them!
Plan for Tomorrow, but Work your Plan Today
I'd agree with trees. But make sure you get water to them. I am about to plant some bare-root. I've had the piece for about 6 months. There's a pump, but no irrigation. Finally, I have a drip system set up on the existing trees, and it's ready to go for the new ones.
This must have been a walnut orchard in the past, as that is predominant, and other trees were planted. Many of them died or were near dying from lack of care. Some oranges did well even without care, but I hope to have a better crop next year after a bit of thinning and regular watering.
I hope I can coax the fig back to life. The pomegranites were wonderful, as were the walnuts that we collected. A few pecans, after we figured out what the tree was. But it definitely needs some attention and shaping.
My back is sore. In a good way. My brother helped me plant 9 trees today. I'm happy to have them started.
with your trees, water is important, but don't forget fertilizer! trees need nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate. if you're going the organic route, you'll find nitrogen in manures, potassium is in wood ashes (hardwood is better). phosphate is in bones (scrap bones from your kitchen, or bone meal from the garden supply). if you're using chemical fertilizer, check the numbers on the bag label. 8-8-8 has 8% of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate each. i use both organic and chemical. compost, lime, and bones mixed in with the soil i use to backfill the planting hole, and i keep the area around new trees mulched with rough compost out to two or three feet from the tree, leaving a couple inches clear right up next to the trunk. light applications of 8-8-8, half a cup sprinkled a foot or so outside the mulch ring each season (jan, apr, july, oct). with larger, well established trees i bump it up to a cup or two sprinkled around the drip line (a circle under the outermost branches).
fig, orange, pecan, pomegranate, walnut? sounds like you're borderline semi-tropical/temperate. what's your location? i'm in the florida panhandle, and have all the ones you mentioned. citrus is touchy, some years we get some fruit, some years we don't. so far it hasn't killed the trees. have you tried some of the cold-hardy avocados? i have a couple, a "mexicola" and a "gainesville" but they're not much more than knee-high yet. there's a nursery about two hours away that has brazos belle, and some others. i'll probably go get a couple more varieties this spring. love avocados!
I was sent this the other day and immediately thought of this thread. Hope you enjoy as much as I did. https://freecabinporn.com/
My Mom loves to use the internet. She claims there is no other way to get "the truth."
Today as I passed her I noticed she was reading a fascinating article that pertains to this thread. She wasn't about to share as she was so enjoying the read.
When she had concluded the article, she stated, "I think its time you and your sister get serious about learning to shoot accurately."
Here is the article. It really is worth the read.
As the U.S. economy falls apart and as the world becomes increasingly unstable, more Americans than ever are becoming "preppers". It is estimated that there are at least two million preppers in the United States today, but nobody really knows. The truth is that it is hard to take a poll because a lot of preppers simply do not talk about their preparations. Your neighbor could be storing up food in the garage or in an extra bedroom and you might never even know it. An increasing number of Americans are convinced that we are on the verge of some really bad things happening. But will just storing up some extra food and supplies be enough? What is going to happen if we see widespread rioting in major U.S. cities like George Soros is predicting? What is going to happen if the economy totally falls to pieces and our city centers descend into anarchy like we saw in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? In some major U.S. cities such as Detroit, looting is already rampant. There are some sections of Detroit where entire blocks of houses are being slowly dismantled by thieves and stripped of anything valuable. Sadly, the economy is going to get a lot worse than it is at the moment. So is now the time to move away from major U.S. cities? Should preppers be seeking safer locations for themselves and their families? Those are legitimate questions.
bravo for your mom!
i've been in favor of moving out of the city (at least my moving myself) for a long time. but, having been wrong on timing so many times, i've acquired a little more philosophical attitude. in the period of y2k to 2003, i was convinced that pm's (particularly silver) were about to blast off on a rocket ride, and bought probably more than i would have otherwise at prices from $4 to $6/oz. looking back, i see where i was wrong, (would a better word be inaccurate? premature?) but i don't really regret it.
my point being, when is the time to bail from the approaching urban collapse? i don't think there is cause to panic, but each day that passes moves us nearer to the time when it gets really ugly in the cities. when's the best time to exurbanate? the short answer is asap. the downside of getting out a few years too early is a lot less than the downside of being a month too late. i think there is still time left, but that's just thinking. i could be wrong... i've been wrong before. more than once.
things may go downhill pretty abruptly depending on just what event brings on the tipping point. imagine just for instance, a big oil shock. a not inconceivable scenario:
mid-east tensions boil over, some supertankers get sunk in all the wrong places, hormuz closed for several months. gas prices skyrocket.
BULLSHIT! forget gas prices! the killer will be diesel fuel prices (and availability). without diesel fuel, the shelves in the supermarkets will be bare in a week (less?).
while i expect (hope) that we will have a few more years to prep, if i'm wrong, we could have food riots it all the cities in a weeks time with a worst case scenario. so that answers the when? question. ASAP!
the next question is where? the answer i chose was a small crossroad community a half an hour's drive outside of a mid-sized city (tallahassee - 5 walmarts). i have several acres of flat easily tilled, fertile sandy loam with neighbors for support/co-defense. i am near enough to a city that i have access to the things a city is good for (hospital/doctors, library. airport, commerce, social life, etc) but far enough (i hope) to be out of reach of the starving urban mobs. also, i am in the midst of an agricultural tradition stretching back as long as this area has been settled. most of my neighbors have vegetable gardens (and exchange seeds). there are several large commercial farms nearby.
i have lived here since the 80's. premature? maybe, but there's little downside. the improvements i put in years ago are up and running. .... and i really didn't like city life anyway. too many people jammed too tight together. i've lived in some pretty nice cities (paris, san francisco), and country life is better. imo.
I'd say timing is going to be highly variable depending on which city, and each individuals specific circumstances. No question, we are seeing a steady deterioation in the cities but under the monetary circumstances that Sinclair is talking about we are going to see injections into the economy unlike anything we've seen before. Those injections don't flow into the economy uniformly and they will first go to cities and companies in cities to prop up their business's. In other words, there is alot of fiat money to be made in the next two years that you can then put into precious metals.
If somebody is making a 6 figure salary in a big city, it doesn't seem logical to turn that way to go into either total or partial self sufficiency at this point. Again, it varies according to the individual. I also think that it's gonna get so bad that they will be giving land, cars, and boats away as people default. In that scenario, I want the best prices.
An ideal situation is if you live in a rural setting and your business is able to take advantage of the injections that will inevitably come into urban settings. I've known a few that have done it. I worked with somebody that lived with his family in rurual Wisconsin and commuted to NYC. Making big city money, paying country prices. Most people don't have that luxury and not sure I would want to separate from my family a week or two weeks at a time.
So yes, I am all for country life and I'd love me some of that once again. Preferably near a shore. But my first priority is to maximize profit to get me through any long period of total financial chaos and them move to an area of rich agriculture because as I get up there in age, I am under no illusion that my ability to learn new skills and to do physical labor will have to be augmented by a community setting.
Again, this is all related to my particular circumstance however, I expect many will be in the same position.
Avacados, yes, that's on my list of trees to get next as well as pistachio and cashew. I'm in the gut of California. Hopefully far enough away from the big cities.
I want to share with you a tale of two rural buyers. They are both my friends. They are both Christians and both want to have a rural home where they can grow food and help house others in the event TSHTF. One is male, one is female. Both are approx. 63 years young. Both are divorced and have not remarried.
When looking at www.realtor.com two weekends ago I came across an unbelievable property. It was a home and a mobile home and a number of outbuildings on 34 acres of land for $155 K. In my neck of the woods, that is a steal!!!!!! (For perspective we paid $375 K for our home, barn, outbuildings and 20 acres of land. And our home certainly needs updating and new carpets.)
I called my girlfriend and told her to get herself up here immediately and take a look at the property. I then called my former broker (I have an inactive RE License) and asked him to be ready to show us the property. He knew nothing about it, as the listing agent was playing games, and had not properly posted it in the regional MLS. The listing agent had been trying for two weeks to sell it on his own.
My friend arrived and we went to see the property. It was a foreclosure that had been trashed by the outgoing owners. They had ripped out the toilets and placed a plug in all the sinks, then turned on the water as they left. The bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen floors and sub-flooring all needed to be replaced. There was other cosmetic work to do, but by and large, I was ecstatic!!!!
We then looked at the mobile home and it needed a lot of work. Altogether, I estimated that about $25-45 K total was needed for both structures in order to make them both very, very nice. (I need to add that I have fixed up many homes like this in the past. I know construction and what it costs to fix things up.) For a country property, I was sooo thrilled for her, as it was priced $95 K under assessed value.
Long and short of it, she threw a fit, was very angry with me, as she said the home by itself would cost at least 100 K to make it “livable”. The mobile needed to be hauled away and burned. The fencing was terrible and all of it needed to be replaced, etc.
She spent the rest of the week looking at other properties. Nothing was up to her standards. It was very sad. She was still in city property mode. Country homes rarely look as nice as city homes. Country people value their land and animals much more than their homes.
After she refused the home/property, I called another friend of mine who wanted a rural home for a refuge. He had been looking for four years and was ready to buy. He went out to look at it. Someone had left the back door of the home open and he was able to walk through it. He called me immediately and asked me which agent to use as he wanted to buy it NOW. I referred him to my old broker. With two hours of viewing the property he had written up a full price cash offer. The cash was coming from the sale of some of his metals’ stash, and refinancing his free and clear primary residence.
He could not believe his good fortune!!!! For him, having precious metals was precisely for being able to purchase a rural property just like the one he bought.
He has since found out the property has two wells, three septic systems (all permitted), and a huge shop located on a part of the 34 acres we did not view originally.
My girlfriend missed out on a fabulous property. Her boyfriend is a builder, so she has very reliable help with any remodel work that needed to be done.
The lesson I learned from this is that one needs to go to the area where you are thinking about purchasing, and look at properties. Even if you don’t have the money to purchase at this time, start looking!!! That way if a good property comes your way, you will be able to pounce on it.
By the end of the week my girlfriend knew she had really missed out on a jewel in the rough. She was staying with me and I heard her quietly sobbing in the bathroom. It was too late. The property was gone…
I have asked Moderator Washington to delete the previous post. I typed it late at night, and was too tired to do a good job. When I went to edit it, I was timed out.
In the future I will refrain from late night posts, as the one I am having deleted wasn't fair to the sellers, and was unprofessional. Me bad.....
This is the kind of property I have been referring to for those on a tight budget.
I had wanted to share an example of an older mobile located on meadow land, but none are available right now in my neck of the woods. This one is a great example of what I have been speaking about. I’ll try to teach you what to look for and how to see gems in the rough.
First off, the agent did her clients no favor with the presentation of their property. Since most property is first previewed over the internet, what an agent presents can make or break the property's ability to sell. In this case, she shows the mobile from the side that has no windows, making the viewer think that it is dark and dingy inside. The other side has many windows that are not shown.
She also fails to show the outbuildings one by one. We are left to guess what they look like or their size. The interior pictures (there are more on the website) only give a glimpse of what is inside. So most folks would look at the web presentation and move on by.
Yet this property is priced by West Coast standards so low that the mobile is actually free!
The property is close to the town of Kettle Falls, close to the recreational opportunities of Lake Roosevelt. The power and water are already on the property. The septic is in. The driveway is in. All those permits (taxes) have been paid by the seller. There is timber on the property for firewood. There may be a gravel pit (think income.)
All a buyer needs to do is down some more timber for additional sunlight, plant grass, and create a garden using raised beds, remembering to deer fence it first.
Had I been the listing agent, I would have had the sellers bring in barrels of flowers and position them around the property as I snapped the photos. I probably would have had them paint the outbuildings another color. I would have emphasized the snow load roof, stating that winter storms would not damage this “hidden beauty.”
All in all, this property is a great buy, easily to finance, and cheap enough for a bug out location for those on the west side of WA State.
Yet I suspect that the price will continue to come down, simply because of the way it is being marketed.
So when you are looking for rural property, use this home as an example, and look beyond what the agent has presented. Thousands and thousands of dollars of improvements are not factored into the price.
KETTLE FALLS, WA 99141
$64,900 Price Reduced
2 Beds| 2 Baths |924 Sq Ft |5.82 Acres
924 sq ft
Area: F2 - Northeast Ferry County
Approximately 5.82 acre(s)
Forced air heat
Lot features: Irregular, Moderately Treed, Gravel, Public Road
Lot size is between 5 and 10 acres
Topography: Level, Rolling/Benches, Sloped
Utilities present: Community Water System, Septic/Drainfield
School District: Kettle Falls
Energy Info: 100 Amp
Electric Water Heater
Metal, Single Construction
More info and more pictures here: