What to look for in 2-10 acres? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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AimZeroed
02-19-2012, 07:36
I'm expecting my first child in June in thinking long term. My wife and I work in a city in Texas and rent. In the next year or two we want to buy land in the country but have a limited budget. We are thinking of buying land in the country and still renting in the city where our jobs are. Any ideas on what to look for? I'm thinking water access but worry about flood plains and contamination (This is Texas and Oil industry country afterall). I like forest but need a large garden as partial subsistence. And how far in hours drive time from the city should it be for bug out. Our idea is that is that the city is not bug-in ideal. Any help is appreciated.

racerford
02-19-2012, 08:26
Water is the key. Near Houston it may not be deep. Make sure you water, and hopefully mineral rights (this may make the land more expensive). Make sure you can drill a well, reasonably unrestricted. Some areas have controlled aquifers. Make sure the well water in the area is potable or be prepared to spend the money for the equipment to make it so. Where I live there are 3 aquifers at different levels 2 have levels of dissolved salts that are too high for humans but not too high for cattle, it is too high for a number of plants.

Check the soil type. There maps of the major soils in the area. Deep clay exists a lot around Houston. It does not make the best base for a house foundation and requires certain construction techniques. However, they do make ponds easier to keep filled without resorting to liners.

Sandy soils (also near Houston) have different issues. Ponds will need liners, well unless they are water table, in which case the water table determines the depth of the water in the pond.

Former famland tends to be flatter and less trees to move. It may mean the soil is good or depleted. Of course if it is in a large lot development, sometimes the developer will scrape and sell the good soil and you are left with crap. If you are just building a house no problem. If you are trying to subsistence farm it matters,, because you will have to rebuild the soil. That takes time or money or both.

Are there sources of natural or enviroment threats? Is there a refinery next door or close to the coast?

Lots of things to consider.

barbedwiresmile
02-19-2012, 08:32
Water access is a given. How much woodland vs pasture depends on what your plans are in terms of livestock, horses, etc. You'll want enough hardwood to be self-sufficient in fuel but enough pasture to suit your prep needs.

More important for a small piece of land is to get a feel for the area and the neighbors. Do neighboring properties have barns, fencing, livestock? Is the area zoned ag and, if so, what is the nearest R-80 or similar zoning. What you want to make sure of is that you won't experience a rezoning campaign down the road. Find out how far the nearest suburbs are and how far the nearest 'x-urbs' are - these are the pretend-rural "estates" where former city dwellers want the feel of rural without the reality. It's only a matter of time before they will start complaining. Then they will start buying up land nearer to you and a campaign for rezoning is right around the corner.

Like-minded neighbors who keep livestock and have deep roots in the area will help insulate yourself from this type of thing. But it's hard to escape once a rural area is broken down into 10 acre or less parcels. These problems have slowed down since the housing bust but not gone away. The developers will be back. And heirs will sell out.

Regarding renting in the city and keeping this as a kind of rural retreat, bear in mind how you could get there in the midst of a true emergency. I would urge you to rethink your strategy and deal with the commute to work. It will be worth it in the long term. Also note that you will want to keep things in your country house/cabin/whatever. Mostly empty homes are targets for break-ins and you may loose valuable items and gear that you store there. You'll also have a harder time keeping up with routine maintenance and it will be difficult or impossible to keep livestock if you're not there. (*ETA: this also brings up the whole "bug out" strategy that S&P'ers know I fundamentally question. Of course YMMV but I urge anyone to rethink the "bug out" as a viable strategy.)

Overall a broad question, so I gave you some broad things to think about. Good luck and come back with specific questions once you start looking.

TN.Frank
02-19-2012, 09:00
If you intend to build a house on this land you'll have to get it tested for a septic tank. Also, as had been said in the other threads, a well for water is a must since you'll probably be too far out for city water. Also make sure it's not low land that's prone to flooding.

Cali-Glock
02-19-2012, 21:44
It depends on what you want. When I was looking here were some of my criteria;

1) min 5 acres
2) not right off of major routes out of cities
3) more than a day's walk away from a major city
4) water on site
5) wooded
6) where I could shoot on my own property

308endurdebate
02-19-2012, 22:08
Beyond what others have said... I like to look at a few things - normal prevailing winds and what is upwind. I wouldn't want to be downwind of a chemical plant or a pig farm out or other. Having a hill is good for a few things - backstop for target practice, burrowing in a bunker/storm shelter, and if oriented correction - alternate energy (solar/wind), etc.

SFCSMITH(RET)
02-20-2012, 07:38
Based on what I know now.. what you are looking for in 2-10 acres is..

More acres. We have a dozen, wooded, with water. But given a chance to do it again, I would get more dirt. I know NO ONE who doesn't feel the same.

NDCent
02-20-2012, 08:03
Check the codes for your area. In Missouri you can cost yourself a bunch of money, or possibly even not be able to install a rural septic system, if you don't have at least 3.1 acres.

RED64CJ5
02-20-2012, 08:31
Lots of things to consider..

Proximity to major cities. I'd say 100+ miles is good. My opinion.

Proximity to rail lines. You don't want toxic waste railroading through your backyard.

Proximity to industry/commercial areas. Even in rural settings, you need to watch this.

Proximity to small rural/municipal airports. I want to be close, but not too close. 15-25 miles. Bigger airports I want 50+ miles away.

The neighbor situation. Very important. Hard to describe in words how much you need to consider in this department...And not just current neighbors, look at the future situation.

Personally I wouldn't go for anything less than ten acres in Texas. Less than ten puts you into some special requirements, such as needing a permit to install a septic system.

kirgi08
02-20-2012, 10:56
Water and wood,seclusion and the ability ta produce your own food.For my family we'd need at least 20.We have 4 right now that produces more than we can eat.Our garden last year was :faint:.

Soil samples are important,get you dirt checked,and follow the advise given.It was $85 for a test here.Area can equate ta distance and give viable b/ups on you own land.'08.

Dexters
02-20-2012, 11:04
I'm expecting my first child in June in thinking long term. My wife and I work in a city in Texas and rent.

Do you have the following?
Written budget - income & expense - projected out for 10 years? Did you include child care costs?
Are you going to send the child to a public or private school?
Tracked your actual expenses?
Have an emergency fund set up? If so, how many months of expenses does it cover?

Are you planning to buy a home and have you included that cost in your budget?

Are you currently debt free?

lonewolf01
02-20-2012, 16:36
Good thread. I would like to get some land too but money is a factor. Maybe 5 acres but look for room to buy more from large farms nearby. Questions like where do streams orginate from? Areas to plant a garden? Hidden from general public? Keep a trailer on the property?

45reloader
02-20-2012, 17:11
Look into your rights to build a pond, might help open up your options.

tower59
02-20-2012, 17:55
A few years ago I convinced my wife to get a few acres for exactly the purposes you describe. The land was pretty nice, but at 50 minutes' drive each way, I couldn't get out there but maybe two weekends a month. Totally, completely inadequate.

If you really intend on living on the land at some point, the way to go is to live there full time. That way you avoid the problems of theft and vandalism associated with absentee ownership. More importantly, you have to be there to get stuff done. And there is plenty of stuff to do. More than you can imagine.

Finally, to echo what others have said, make sure you can get a well, and shoot for as much land as you can afford. Good luck!!!

Atomic Punk
02-20-2012, 23:47
on my list of things to look for in a future land purchase.
flowing water. want to try and do a micro hydro setup.

RWBlue
02-23-2012, 23:47
First question is, what do you do for a living? Or should I say do you have a job that you will always have, or is there a chance of getting laid off, transfered..... If there is, buying land and setting it up for S&P might not be the best move.

Property you live on is an expense, not an asset. If you can get someone else to pay your rent on the property, it then becomes an asset.

Property that is setup for S&P doesn't sell well. Unless you just happen upon the right person at the right time..... Because S&P people think they can do it better than the last guy for less money than the last guy wanted.

Not that we have that out of the way.
I want property. If I get setup so I will not be moving for the rest of my life..... 50 acres minimum. Assuming we don't have a plague, people will move to where I am and with 50 acres, it can still be zoned country and I can shoot and hunt on it. Ability to setup a pond. Ability to set up a well. Prefer to be attached to city water, as I understand how it is treated, but want the well as backup, watering plants,...... Sewage is interesting, I have heard that city sewage is cheaper than a septic system in the long run, but.....septic has it's place.

I don't believe in living in the city and staying in the country. When you are away, someone will mess with your stuff if you are not there at least every day. So it isn't a matter of distance from the city as much as how long are you willing to drive to work. 1 hour drive time sucks, but it may be a decent split cost wise and ....

I would look into what you want to grow and make sure you can grow it. As I understand it, you can not grow apple trees where they have grown cotton. I don't know about the other crops.

I like trees. I am too old to plant seedlings and watch them grow over the next 50 years. I am not sure how I will solve this issue, but I want some mid growth forest/trees. I do not want total old growth. I don't want to cut trees to plant the garden.

Dexters
02-24-2012, 10:49
I think the OP is a troll.

kirgi08
02-24-2012, 11:01
Why is that?.'08. :dunno:

Dexters
02-24-2012, 11:14
Why is that?.'08. :dunno:

Starts a thread 5 days ago and never comes back.

Other things but, I don't want to improve his trolling technique.

RWBlue
02-24-2012, 12:09
I think the OP is a troll.

Troll or not, it is a question many of us have thought about.

A place in the country is on my wish list, but.....

JKDGabe
02-24-2012, 16:43
For most people the best solution is not to buy land. It is to find a friend who already owns land where you want to bug out to, and lives on it. Then rent* some storage space from him.

Moving from the city to the country is not like switching low skill jobs. Being even halfway self sufficient requires a ton of skills that most people don't even know exist! If you really believe it will come to that, get started now... by living there.

*rent can obviously be cash, or labor, or you pay for some infrastructure... you get the idea.

RWBlue
02-24-2012, 17:13
For most people the best solution is not to buy land. It is to find a friend who already owns land where you want to bug out to, and lives on it. Then rent* some storage space from him.

Moving from the city to the country is not like switching low skill jobs. Being even halfway self sufficient requires a ton of skills that most people don't even know exist! If you really believe it will come to that, get started now... by living there.

*rent can obviously be cash, or labor, or you pay for some infrastructure... you get the idea.

Tell me more about this idea of renting storage.
If you have relatives on land, I can see how this is beneficial to both parties if both parties are reasonable, but for someone who doesn't know anyone with land.......I am not sure how to get started on this.

Dexters
02-24-2012, 17:57
Tell me more about this idea of renting storage.
If you have relatives on land, I can see how this is beneficial to both parties if both parties are reasonable, but for someone who doesn't know anyone with land.......I am not sure how to get started on this.

One thing someone mentioned in this thread or a similar one was the problem with theft and vandalism while you were not on the land. That does limit what you would keep on the land.

So, I'm guessing the idea is rent storage on a friend's land but ultimately, you will need to move what you store to your own land. Unless, other arrangements were made with the friend to stay.

The closest I can think of if you don't have a friend to store things is a nearby Public Storage. At least there you have some, but not much security. Then you would need enough time to load up what you stored, and get it to your land. That isn't really very practical to me.

RED64CJ5
02-24-2012, 22:43
Access to water is really a big issue, the more I think about it.

One of the reasons I decided to accept a position on my Rural Water Supply Corporation Board of Directors is that I felt it was important to provide potable water for the future.

We have two functional wells on my property, but it was more cost effective to use the RWSC's wells and infrastructure. As a board member, I can set the direction and help ensure future availability of water in my area.

kirgi08
02-25-2012, 01:07
Water is life............................. .'08.

JKDGabe
02-25-2012, 09:01
Tell me more about this idea of renting storage.
If you have relatives on land, I can see how this is beneficial to both parties if both parties are reasonable, but for someone who doesn't know anyone with land.......I am not sure how to get started on this.

I honestly don't even know how to get started if you don't know anyone with land. I do know that there are "hook up" sites for preppers looking to live next to each other... but trust seems to be the critical issue.

Upon reflection, I think the OP is a realtor looking for ways to improve their marketing to preppers. :cool:

Stevekozak
02-25-2012, 10:58
Starts a thread 5 days ago and never comes back.

Other things but, I don't want to improve his trolling technique.
Maybe he doesnt have consistant access to the internet? Maybe he has been back several times to read what is written, but does not have anything to add yet? Don't trolls usually have a malicious intent of some sort? I can't see anything bad or negative that has come of this thread (a very interesting thread in my opinion) other than your troll comment. :whistling:

Dexters
02-25-2012, 11:24
You are mixing up things



Don't trolls usually have a malicious intent of some sort?


Not always.


I can't see anything bad or negative that has come of this thread (a very interesting thread in my opinion) other than your troll comment. :whistling:

No one said there was anything bad about the thread.

Do you have anything to contribute on the topic?

Stevekozak
02-25-2012, 12:25
You are mixing up things



Not always.



No one said there was anything bad about the thread.

Do you have anything to contribute on the topic?
Nope. Did your troll comment contribute something to the topic at hand? I may have something to contribute to the thread later. :wavey:

Dexters
02-25-2012, 12:49
Nope. Did your troll comment contribute something to the topic at hand?

Yes, if the OP is a troll, it would probably be more helpful to focus on other posters contributions.

Stop by again when you do have something worth while reading.

AimZeroed
02-26-2012, 16:08
Sorry for the late reply,

No I am not a troll just not as quick to reply as a sometimes should be. What I am getting is this

1. 10 acres at least
2. Water
a. well water
b. some sort of pond if the soil will hold it
c. I would like to set up some sort of rainwater collection
3. No absentee landownership. (This is the thing that gets me because it will take a few years 3 to 5 before I can arrange things to get out to any land on a permanent basis)
4. financial house in order which I have a good budget and we don't have any credit card debt and will be done with our auto payments this April.
5. Need to learn a lot more about real estate as far as mineral rights, septic permits (vary by county?), water salinity, floodplains and such.

Thanks so much for the replies I plan to be studying a few of them.

lonewolf01
02-26-2012, 18:32
I think if you can rent a storage unit nearby or on the way to your property with some survival gear then you won't have to worry about anyone stealing it off your property. It is somewhat risky since you'll have to load it from there but it's an option.

AimZeroed
02-28-2012, 17:58
I don't know about the storage facility idea. I do live in Hurricane country so it might be an ok idea for that but other wise I think its risky. There are too many unknowns, like will power go out and does it have automatic gates that you have to deal with, what will be the local civil situation, are the owners sinister or honest? ETC. No I can't see something like that being anything but a backup to a backup to a backup and in which case its too unreliable and too expensive. Whats a cheap storage facility cost $400-$600 a year? Money better spent elsewhere I think.

bdcochran
02-28-2012, 20:30
1. water

2. a way (absolutely) to secure personal items on the property

3. a visit to the county agricultural commissioner to learn (and follow the advice) as to what trees and other items can be planted.

Do not figure on moving to the property when you retire or building a house. What? That is correct.

Every person I know wants to build a house in the country and retire there. Here is why it doesn't happen. If you haven't the experience in construction, you aren't going to build anything yourself. Moreover, when you come up to retire, you only get one vote. If your "partner" has a doctor in town, a physical disability, or family in town, you aren't going to live on the small plot. This is why realtors tell people not to buy until 18 months before they retire.

Oh yeah. I know the stuff about buying and the whole family will enjoy it. My brother has a two week time share in Hawaii. His kids have never gone on their own - and they are 30 years old. I had a female friend who bought two expensive apartments in downtown Paris on the offhand thought that her 4 kids or grandchildren would always be enjoying one. Has not happened.