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Update #35 How long did it take you to find a farm? (warning--I'm whinning a bit)

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  • Update #35 How long did it take you to find a farm? (warning--I'm whinning a bit)

    I am just bummed. I cannot find my own little patch of dirt to call home. This is summer #4. I will look at a cheaper place (needs major renovation on a 100 year old house type) or nicer places for more money. It does have to appraise, which is a huge problem, but also why I am focusing on smaller parcels. There are so many cash buyers that sellers are asking prices that won't work for the bank it seems. The other big issue is it needs to be a decent drive for my husband and we are looking in the fastest growing county in our state.

    We made an offer on a place last summer, but lost out to a buyer who had cash and could close immediately. That place came along after looking for almost 3 years. Land prices have seemed to double since I've been looking as well. Any acres with a building eligibility seem to be in the 10-15k an acre range, so we are focusing on existing houses, as those seem to stay closer to 10k per acre. I remember thinking my friend was a little crazy for buying additional farm land at $4500 an acre about 5 years ago, and now it looks quite brilliant.

    I would sell our house and move into an apartment but we have two dobermans and two non-declawed cats (for some reason apartments don't want to rent to me ;-)).

    Anyway, I'm looking for a morale boost. I guess if I want to be positive, the good news is that we continually have more money saved for the new place. But anyway, tell me your tales of woe or the ease in which you found your place!!
    Last edited by TrotTrotPumpkn; Apr. 30, 2012, 10:30 AM.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    4 years

    And in that time we almost bought land that would have been a TOTAL disaster - saw it during a drought, we liked it, were about ready to just "get it over with", and me being the procrastinator, kept putting off accepting their counteroffer. I finally said to hubs - it's been so dry, let's see what happens when it rains this weekend". Well..... half the property flooded

    Are there any pieces of land you just love but aren't for sale? A friend had been drooling over a piece of property, and finally one day went to the courthouse to see who owned it. They lived out of state, he sent them a letter, found out they'd love to get rid of the land, and now they have their beautiful farm on it
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • #3
      We've been trying off and on for five years. In that time, we put our house on/off the market twice and looked at many, many a place. Each time there was a road block of one sort or another.

      So, bottom line is: When it's supposed to happen, it will. Until then, we will wait patiently for the market to shift, advertise the house by word-of-mouth here and there (one never knows!) and keep our eyes peeled for what we want.

      For whatever reason, you/we are not supposed to move just yet

      BUT.... When it is the right place, at the right time, you will know it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • Original Poster

        There is one place that isn't currently listed, but I know the owners want to sell (it was listed last year and didn't sell). Old, small, but charming house (needs AC and appliances among other things) old cattle barn that needed a new 10k roof yesterday (and is too low for horses--but I have some inate desire to save a dilapitated barn for some reason--I also must put a barn quilt on the thing--I have this whole vision), outbuildings that need to come down and one nice tractor garage that I would probably turn into the barn. It seems to be the place I compare all the other older homes we see to, but...

        It is 15 miles west and south of my job and 8 miles further south for my husband than our "looking area." He would have a 35 mile drive and I would have a 15. We were really trying to find something in between (or really close to at least one of) our two "work towns" which are about 20 miles apart. I just worry that I would really regret going that far out. For one thing, our fuel bill would jump a lot driving the truck 30 mi. roundtrip a day (he currently drives it 2 mi round trip). Also, if we ever have kids they are so far from friends and will need to be driven to town for stuff constantly...I'm just not sure...
        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


        • #5
          That one sounds like it's out for several reasons due to the distance.

          Have there been any others that were for sale that you liked but didn't/couldn't get for various reasons? they might be back on the market.

          It's frustrating, I know. The right one will come. If you start getting desperate, do you have a list of things you can and will not sacrifice?
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            One way to compete with the cash buyers is to write the sellers a letter. That obviously won't work with a foreclosure, short sale or investment property but can impact a "normal" seller.

            I had buyers in competition with another set of buyers. My folks wrote a letter to the seller telling them how much they loved the house and looked forward to raising their future family there. It worked and they've been in the house a year now.

            I had another buyer in competition with a fix/flip cash buyer and she also wrote a letter. The seller picked her.

            Also make sure that you're fully pre-approved (through underwriting) with your lender and only need clear title and appraisal to close the loan. A pre-qual letter just isn't strong enough to compete.

            It's frustrating but will be worth the wait when that right property comes along.
            "Crazy is just another point of view" Sonia Dada


            • #7
              Our commutes are 38 and 65 miles one way. You have to give something up to get a nice farm while you're young enough to work it. We looked 18 months and saw the tradeoffs and picked one.
              Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014


              • #8
                About three years. Hang in there!
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                • #9
                  Do either of you have the option to telecommute at least a couple days a week? That could make your normal drive in to work much less of an issue.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    When I was searching I had list of what I HAD TO HAVE. Which only applied to my animals and my hermit like self. After much searching, (hobby farms at the time were gone as soon as they were listed) I stepped onto the porch of my now home. It was and still is a money pit. However, it still is way better than the fancy shmancy home I traded for it. Choose your battles, if you want property for your horses plus all that entails, then your home takes the back burner.


                    • #11
                      The first one took about a week. DH and I drove to KY with a specific area in mind (no jobs at the time) and spent several days with RE agents. All I wanted was liveable and some acreage. DH is a carpenter and I have construction experience, so a fixer-upper was OK.

                      The second one? About a year of serious looking. I was pre-approved, and actually tried to buy a really pretty parcel at auction, but got outbid. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I heard that they had title problems after the sale. Then a farm (about 3 miles from us) that the guy we bought hay from owned suddenly had a "for sale by owner" sign up. It was essentially raw land, the 2 trailers and hay barn on the property had little value, and we planned to build anyway. I wrote up a full asking price offer and took it to the owner. He was thrilled that we wanted to buy it, and could easily have taken an offer for more money from a RE company around here that liked to buy farms and split them up into trailer lots. It was the last real estate bargain in the area!


                      • #12
                        We looked for 4 years before we found a place that was the right combination of price, location, house, and property. We saw a lot of lemons, including a couple deals that feel apart on inspection, before we found the one we bought.


                        • #13
                          The first farm I knew about because I used to bicycle past it. So when it went for sale we decided to buy it. So search time equaled zero. The second farm took awhile because it was during the real estate boom in 2003. We had told the real estate agent we wanted something we could move into untouched or something we could throw a match at and start over new.

                          The one we bought we burned and then built new.
                          A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


                          • #14
                            I so feel your pain! We have been looking very actively for over 2 years now. We call it the Goldilocks syndrome...too far, too much $$, too small, too much initial work, etc.

                            My husband and I know realtor.com by heart and when a new realtor tries to give us a list of potential properties we can say we've seen most of them.

                            I really believe the right one is out there and will be found. We are having a hard time selling our house, although we are in a nice, desirable area, so I guess we were meant to wait.

                            Chalk it up to having LOTS of education when you do see properties. We have much more knowledge than 2 years ago. If we had bought the first property we liked I shudder to think of all the problems we would be having!

                            Good luck!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by heavensdew View Post
                              I so feel your pain! We have been looking very actively for over 2 years now. We call it the Goldilocks syndrome...too far, too much $$, too small, too much initial work, etc.

                              My husband and I know realtor.com by heart and when a new realtor tries to give us a list of potential properties we can say we've seen most of them.

                              I really believe the right one is out there and will be found. We are having a hard time selling our house, although we are in a nice, desirable area, so I guess we were meant to wait.

                              Chalk it up to having LOTS of education when you do see properties. We have much more knowledge than 2 years ago. If we had bought the first property we liked I shudder to think of all the problems we would be having!

                              Good luck!
                              That, don't get impatient and resent the time it takes to look at what is available.
                              Consider looking at places to buy like looking at horses to buy, all part of a very good education process.

                              The more you see and evaluate, the more educated your eye becomes and you have a better way to decide what is a gem and what just superficial glitter.

                              Remember, while there are no perfect places, some are more perfect than others.
                              Good luck finding one that is the most perfect for you.


                              • #16
                                Took us over two years. Almost bought a Farm about an hour East of here, thank God we did not. It fell thru when the Sellers tried to sneak in that they were going to build a new house overlooking the farm into the contract. Uh NO! One of my major requirements was that I didn't have to look at another house.

                                The minute we walked up the drive to this place, I knew we were home. That was despite the falling down house, overgrown fields, and decrepit barn. Been here twenty years now, and they will have to carry me out

                                It seems endless when you are looking, but it will be worth the wait, I promise
                                Facta non verba


                                • #17
                                  What does your realtor say? PSA - your realtor will tell you whether or not your expectations re price, condition, and location are reasonable - and if so, find it with you. If you've been doing it on your own, check out horse property ads to see who markets horse farms in your area and see if you can enlist them as a buyer's agent. FYI -in nearly all cases, the seller pays the agent's fee - not the buyer.


                                  • #18
                                    Basically one day. We looked on line, called a realtor in FL (we were in MA), and went down for a weekend. The one my husband said he had a feeling about from the picture (which is weird because the house looked pink and you couldn't see much of the property) ended up being "the one"! I did panic the night we made the offer - actually cried about it worrying that we had bitten off more than we could chew, but have been happy here for 7 years and hope for many, many more years here...


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Part of the problem is there is really NOTHING on the market right now. Land that is available is all over half a million (bare). There are a couple places that are listed in our area in the half million range (think executive home--no horse stuff but Mc Mansion houses) and then there is one really cheap ghetto place--9 acres $114,000 but I am convinced from the reeds and the flatness that if we ever got rain that whole place is a flood zone. There would be zero drainage too.

                                      The only other one is literally in town (not either of ours) with neighborhoods on either side, and I don't want to do that.
                                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                      • #20
                                        Stuff around here is appraising for so little, I can't imagine anyone will be able to sell for what they are asking, so buyers should be doing well. However, the sellers just refuse to sell. I don't really blame them. The banks and appraisers are so scared, they are ruining the property values
                                        "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."