Rural Property Acreage?

How to avoid signing your life over to a mortgage
Hristo Botev
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Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Hristo Botev »

For those of you who own large-ish tracts of rural property, how many acres do you own and what do you use the property for? Primary residence? Weekend getaway? Investment? Hunting/fishing? Farming? Grazing?

Alphaville
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Alphaville »

i’m assuming from your polling questions that you might be looking for something to buy...

and i don’t want to say too much about me, but i’ll say that size of land for grazing is very relative.

you might need just a couple of acres per cow or you might need 100+, depending on where you are and how much grass grows in your pastures. eg. wisconsin vs west texas (this is why the dairies are in wisconsin).

eg. see: https://landassociation.org/how-many-co ... your-area/

farming also depends on water availability, soil quality, types of crops desired, etc.

intensive gardening is a different story though. you can do a lot in a quarter acre, even in the desert (provided you have water or are able to collect it, and have sufficient organic matter to work with in the soil).

for primary residence— proximity to utilities and/or internet might be important to your lifestyle. e.g. if you work remotely.

i don’t think rural land is a good investment, unless there’s oil and gas in it :lol:

Hristo Botev
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:08 am
We're thinking about buying, but not as a money-making proposition. We're just looking to either move out of the city or to have a place we can get away to when school is not in session; and also looking to have a place to "retire" to when our kids finish middle school, a place where we can host large family gatherings for holidays, etc., a place where our in laws can retire to, a place that we can pass on to our kids; a family homestead of sorts. And we're not interested in the suburbs or exurbs. The only things I'd want for sure with the property would be privacy and the ability to rifle-hunt deer. And DW will no doubt insist on either mountain views or lakefront or river front; both of which are doable where we live for not too much money, even if you require at least 10 acres.

I'm just curious as to how other folks on this forum use their rural property.

WingsOnFire
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by WingsOnFire »

I own about 87 acres of woodsy land with my husband. At one point we were going to build a house there. It's not being used for anything.
I'm in the process of dividing it into two plots so that it will be easier to sell. But I'm not in a rush there. If I had tons of money I would just keep it as a carbon sink! A friend has installed a game camera there at some point and we have taken a few small firs for Christmas trees. One side of the lot is bordering on farm land and could be farmed, one part is a rocky hill with pine trees.
There is a small lake really close, about 500 meters away, but sadly not on the plot.

Alphaville
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Alphaville »

i used rural land to waste money, years, and effort in the pursuit of pointless schemes.

(but also learned some things, as consolation prizes)

(eh, i had fun—good experience, leaving the urban bubble to pursue myths. like casanova, i have lived like a philosopher :lol: )

enigmaT120
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by enigmaT120 »

We have 32 acres. It's forest land. We also live here.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:02 am
(but also learned some things, as consolation prizes)
Care to share some highlights of any of those things you learned, as edification for someone who is probably a few months out from buying up some rural land myself?

RealPerson
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by RealPerson »

We live in an suburban environment with no land to speak of. The amenities of the city are really great to have nearby, but we are concerned about the near and distant future. Specifically:

- social unrest, even if the current wave of BLM protests subsides. I think unrest is at its core driven by peak everything (oil and other natural resources) and subsequently the rich and powerful cannibalizing the resources of those who are not. The drivers behind this unrest are not likely to vanish or even diminish.

- COVID 19 is a crash education on the downsides of living close to others

- food security and price inflation of food are real issues that will likely become more common in the future. Acreage would allow for a fair amount of homesteading or at least partially provide for nutritional needs.

- quality of life affected by traffic, environmental pollution, etc.

- fiscal and monetary policies driving up inflation in real estate to insane levels, especially in large urban environments. This has made real estate essentially unaffordable for young people. I see this as a ticking social time bomb.

- ever increasing regulations and restrictions on how you can use your own land. For example the insanity of requiring minimum sizes for homes, which is the exact opposite of what we need.


We have been considering rural acreage as a place to live, but we are concerned about some unknowns. These are:

- does living on rural acreage come with a boatload of work on the property, maybe more than we can or want to handle? For example, maintaining a fence around a 50 acre property seems like a huge undertaking to me, but maybe a fence is not needed.

- does living in a rural area create an unhealthy sense of isolation?

- Is the prevailing culture one of beer, hunting and football? Nothing wrong with that but I want to be able to connect with people capable of other types of conversation.

- will this type of living make us much more car dependent? That could be highly undesirable.

- will the relative absence of health care become a problem? We are healthy now, but will likely need more care as we get older. How do older rural folks deal with that?

- unknown unkowns. What drawbacks of rural living are we not even thinking about?

We are location independent in the sense that we are retired and have no kids in school. I am very interested in specific experiences or knowledge forum participants have in regard to rural living.

Alphaville
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:36 am
Care to share some highlights of any of those things you learned, as edification for someone who is probably a few months out from buying up some rural land myself?
too many things to mention, some of them i’ll never put to good use as they’re just cautionary tales, some of them are conceptual commonplaces but i never realized they were actual truths, etc.

random list off the top of my head:

-maintaining land in good condition requires a great amount of labor
-reliable rural laborers are very hard to find in our post-industrial world
-difficulties are always compounded by scale
-tractors and earth-moving equipment can be a lot of fun
-green rural living is negated by gas guzzling and coal soot
-thoreau was a tremendous liar who didn’t understand economics, and walden is a work of fiction
-rural healthcare is often unavailable or sub-par in rural areas
-and 911 is a joke
-guns can be useful tools, but extremely boring as entertainment. and so loud.
-mice are vile: always keep cats around
-cats can kill a lot of wild life, like birds: i can live with that (sorry birds)
-i’m better at caring for animals than caring for plants (but i don’t like cows)
-great cities are great places to live (but a great city is not to be confounded with a populous one)
-specialization and trade are a beautiful thing
-when you provide you own food, that is what you do all the time
-leisure is underrated
-i love the internet

Hristo Botev
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Thanks @RP; I share many of your concerns, thoughts, which is what prompted me to start this topic and for DW and I to start seriously considering, if not a permanent move in the short term (while kids are in school), at least the possibility of a phased move to the country. We live in an urban setting, which means we are effectively car independent, which is great, but all the other benefits of urban dwelling (proximity to a variety of restaurants, concert/theater venues, every kind of retail option, schools, jobs, sports, etc. etc.) seem to us to be either less and less something we value (e.g., the lockdown has taught us that, honestly, we quite prefer eating at home), or more and more nonexistent (e.g., retail is struggling to survive even in high density middle/upper class neighborhoods, thanks to Amazon et al.). A couple thoughts:
RealPerson wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:28 am
- Is the prevailing culture one of beer, hunting and football? Nothing wrong with that but I want to be able to connect with people capable of other types of conversation.
If it means anything, if the NFL and the NCAA are going to insist on allowing "expressions of solidarity" (so long as it's the politically correct form of expression) on uniforms, field graphics, etc., not to mention during the National Anthem, I don't think you have to worry too much about having to talk about football any more. Joking aside, and I know it probably says a lot about me and DW, a BIG part of our desire to get the hell out of dodge is that the discourse among our progressive neighbors and friends, and within our progressive community, seems to have gotten awful stifling and limited as of late--and, as a result, DW and I have found ourselves seeking out our friends from back home where we grew up, who are definitely of the "beer, hunting and football" variety, just to be able to get into some spirited debates about the goings-on of the day, with the freedom to speak your mind, even if (or especially) your ideas aren't fully formed, without fear of being cancelled. To that end, we've also sought out the small handful of folks in our local community who do NOT work for large corporations/professional services firms, but who actually run small businesses, and therefore are NOT getting indoctrinated day in and day out with the corporate wokeness propaganda.
RealPerson wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:28 am
- will this type of living make us much more car dependent? That could be highly undesirable.
DW and I came across this last week, and DW's takeaway was that rural living almost inevitably results in more driving. (Oops, edited to add the link: https://www.frugalwoods.com/2020/07/06/ ... -consider/)

flying_pan
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by flying_pan »

RealPerson wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:28 am
We live near a small town of 8k, and have just 0.5 acres of land – enough to garden, not enough to do anything else with the "land". But we are contemplating about moving and getting more area.

First, if you are in the US, yes, you will be really car-dependent, unless you are close enough to a town/city so you can jog/bike. We are actually close enough, but there is no pedestrian crossings, no sidewalks, cars go 60mph and it is really hilly so I don't want to do it. I walked/biked 1 time and I was terrified (used to walk everywhere in Europe), so not for me. But we are a popular tourist spot, maybe in less "hot" area it is alright.

Healthcare is my #1 concern and main reason why I am reluctant about moving to the Redwoods (we love the area). We live with my wife's mother and while she is alright now I think it is important to have something close enough (and good enough), not only for her but for us as well.
Also, service in general is lacking. Like, when you have 1 internet provider and it does not work, they are often like "well, restart your router...", so it is common to not have internet for couple of hours (and we are not that rural), same with plumbing and other contracting work, although I think it is hit or miss.

Speaking of environment and culture, depending on your acreage and place, a lot of people love either blasting music and (or) keep their dogs outside. So you might enjoy the entire day of pretty loud barks, and obviously, after one starts, others continue. If it were just 1 dog, yeah, you can talk, but if it is the entire neighbourhood...

Again, in the US, even rural land is regulated. You also typically can't just build what you want, it has to be approved, some zoning laws don't allow buildings at all (we looked at it and it seems if you want to get that route it is easier to buy something crappy and just rebuild it).

Here, in rural areas, people are very conservative, gun-lovers, even though Oregon is pretty liberal, I assume it is pretty common to have liberal cities and conservative rural areas. They also tend to be older, if it is important (younger people don't have tons of opportunities).

Hristo Botev
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Hristo Botev »

Thanks Alphaville!
Alphaville wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:33 am
-thoreau was a tremendous liar who didn’t understand economics, and walden is a work of fiction
This made me laugh out loud and prompted a little walk down memory lane, to 2 years ago when I was new to this forum and a good bit more thin skinned and defensive: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10037&p=171809&hilit=walden#p171809

Regarding healthcare, DW works in healthcare and several friends/family members are doctors and have always fielded our "what does this look like to you" texts in the past.* So my hoping is that with a little additional first aid training, being a couple hours away from major hospitals wouldn't be too much of a problem, with the obvious drawback of being SOL in the case of a serious trauma.

As an aside, whenever I hear speak of "privilege," this is the first thing that comes to mind. If ever there is an example of how rich, well-educated folks have many things stacked in their favor, this is it. Whenever I or one of my kids has symptoms I can't identify, I send a text to one of the several doctors who are in my extended platoon, for some gratis "what should I do" advice. I DON'T run to the ER, or the urgent care facility, until I know that's what I'm supposed to do. For most of the population, I imagine this isn't anywhere close to being in the realm of possibility. Instead, it's hours waiting in waiting rooms, etc., and likely $$$ wasted, for something that some OTC medicine at CVS could have taken care of.

Alphaville
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:25 am
hahah yes. he’s deceived many young people with his fabrications.

anyway, very true re: healthcare.

for people with no healthcare friends or family, even something as cheap and simple as a video visit with a nurse practitioner (free or inexpensive, in many cases) might not be possible given bad rural internet/ no phone/no reliable cell signal.

and one thing to consider living in the boonies far from trauma centers is that in an emergency you might have to be helicoptered out, so make sure to have insurance that covers choppers.

RealPerson
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by RealPerson »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:02 am
..a BIG part of our desire to get the hell out of dodge is that the discourse among our progressive neighbors and friends, and within our progressive community, seems to have gotten awful stifling and limited as of late--and, as a result, DW and I have found ourselves seeking out our friends from back home where we grew up, who are definitely of the "beer, hunting and football" variety, just to be able to get into some spirited debates about the goings-on of the day, with the freedom to speak your mind, even if (or especially) your ideas aren't fully formed, without fear of being cancelled. To that end, we've also sought out the small handful of folks in our local community who do NOT work for large corporations/professional services firms, but who actually run small businesses, and therefore are NOT getting indoctrinated day in and day out with the corporate wokeness propaganda.
Sorry for the hijack but this is so TRUE!! I cannot stomach the incessant progressive anger being spewed anymore. I know Trump's drawbacks and failings. I don't need to hear the same venom or list of complaints for the nth time. Tolerance means making space for the opinion of a variety of people. This includes the ones we don't agree with. Accepting people who happen to agree with oneself is not evidence of respect and tolerance. I am so glad you feel the same way. It sometimes feels there is nobody else who thinks like that.

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Jean
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Jean »

I own about one and a half acre of forest, which is already kindof large in switzerland.
As switzerland is densely populated, the main benefit is social, as it allows me to invite people to camp, and lend it for people who need a piece of forest to put bees on, organising foraging camp, and so on. In addition, it hedges me against energy price, altough i don't see me cutting down any of my living trees, as i already grew attached to them.
I use it for some experiments, like to test which berries seeds can survive my digestive track, as well as trying to plant my favorible cheese side : potatoes.
I wouldn't be allowed to use it for a primary residence, even if i ponder a lot of possible workarounds.
Hunting would require a license and owning the forest isn't necessary.
I see it as kindof an investment, because it's very hard to buy forest, and usually very easy to sell, even when asking for too high of a price.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I grew up in town with a parent that enthusiastically gardened, kept chickens, and heated with wood. I always enjoyed the experience. Ended up partnered with my DH that was a farm boy. We had homesteading fantasies for years and DH did his best to garden with the finite dirt he had.

In 2012 we made the move to the county and lived in an 1870’s farmhouse that DH’s homesteading Great-Great grandparents had built. We had an enormous garden. I made jelly from the crabapple tree. We had poultry. We also had a decrepit house that needed lots of repairs and difficulty getting of the other stakeholders interested in repairing and whom freaked when we changed stuff. We had a mild winter the first winter which was good since we had no real snow removal system. Just eight months in we had a fire and we scrambled to find another place to live.

We ended up four miles down the road in new farmhouse (1899 circa). We tried our best and picked up where we left off. This house was nicer; people had maintained it. Less family drama too. However, the next winter was brutal from a weather perspective which made my awful commute insane. We had a second nice summer there our first post FIRE months. Ultimately, we just grew tired of the cold and painfully aware of how isolating living 10 miles from anything, and how much financial and physical capital the lifestyle takes. I miss some aspects a whole bunch and others not at all.

Jason

Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Jason »

The whole idea is fiction. Aesop was writing/stealing about country mouse vs. city mouse in the 6th BC (C referring to Christ, not Coronavirus speaking to its timelessness). Its subsequent flare up of popularity always corresponds to the current political/cultural realities of a time. The Beatrix Potter version was popular immediately after the US second industrial revolution. Green Acres was a popular US TV show during the disruptive Vietnam Era. The Newhart Show (second one) ran parallel to the Wall Street/Reagan 80's. There's also the dark side of the motif - Straw Dogs/Stephen King/Deliverance but that's a whole other topic.

I know you brought up the charitable side of the equation, which is nice, but I'm thinking it requires more cred than money.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a- ... story.html

My suggestion - go to talk to a member of the bourgeoisie innkeeper class who are somewhat representative of the aspiration. DFW once described the misery of an MFA student in a a summer class. I would say the monied innkeeper escapee is a close second. Ontological escape is an impossibility. Being told to squeal like a pig is not.

chenda
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by chenda »

Jason wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:56 am
The whole idea is fiction.
What idea ?

Jason

Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by Jason »

The marble countertop successful suburban/urban professional finding paradise/utopia/peace of mind/escape in a remote or exotic area. It's a motif. Not a reality.

RealPerson
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Re: Rural Property Acreage?

Post by RealPerson »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:48 pm
Ultimately, we just grew tired of the cold and painfully aware of how isolating living 10 miles from anything, and how much financial and physical capital the lifestyle takes.
I imagine the sense of isolation. Could you elaborate on the financial and physical capital? If the house had been new or fairly new, would that have significantly changed the financial and physical capital requirements?

Although I have gardened for many years, I have no experience in maintaining a larger property or in managing small livestock. My concern is the time, money and effort it takes to pursue a fantasy, only to discover after the fact that is was much better in my imagination than in reality.

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