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Author Topic: In Which Season to Buy Land  (Read 1652 times)

Offline edhand

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In Which Season to Buy Land
« on: December 09, 2008, 05:00:21 PM »
So the wife and are actively looking at buying a parcel of land about two hours from where we live and I was wondering:  For those of you out there that have bought land, what time of year did you do it and why?

I see some advantages to getting the land before spring, as you could start prepping the land (to the degree possible, I'm up in Wisconsin) and starting seeds inside.  It's too late to buy before the snow cover forms, as we're in the midst of our first real snow storm of the season. 

If I wait until spring, I might have to buy plants rather than start my own seeds.  I'd probably get a better sense of the land after the snow melts.  I'd also see the price on many of these parcels drop, which is great, but I have this sinking feeling that less parcels will be for sale.

Any feedback, especially those in northern tier states, would be appreciated.

Ed

Offline JLMissouri

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 02:05:51 AM »
 I would not want to buy land having only seen it with a blanket of snow. Ideally it would be great to see it in fall or early spring before heavy plant growth, and then in the dead heat of summer. That way you can get a look at it before plant life covers up a lot, and later see how well the land supports the current vegetation. It also wouldn't hurt to take a look in the midst of a heavy rainfall, to make sure there are not any major drainage problems. It's a tall order, but then you would have a better idea of what you are getting. If I had to place a bet, there are going to be more parcels for sale, at a better price in the near future, unless your in a hot market area. Hope it helps some,
www.JLMissouri.com      Lewis Family Farm

Offline Ultio1

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 05:24:01 AM »
It would be nice to see it all seasons but in most cases pictures exist that can give an idea of what youll be looking at. I diddnt really plan the season at all, I just pulled the trigger when I found a place that I could live on produce enough food to survive on.  To be fair though the isnt much difference in the seasons here other than temperature.

Offline chris

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 09:42:55 AM »
I bought in October. I got a chance to see the land in August and September, so I thought I had a good idea of how it would handle the Texas summers. I was right. What I didn't get to see was how it handled Texas winters and rainy springs. The "driveway" turned into a mudpit that only my Jeep (32" wheels and 6" lift) could handle.  As soon as it dried out we put in a drain pipe, 30 yards of whtie rock, and concrete retaining walls to raise the driveway 16 inches.

It's probably not possible to see a piece of land through all seasons, but pick the worst season in your area and buy then. You might see the property in it's worst state and get an idea from that. I picked wrong, but we're making do.
Thank you for a constructive and positive contribution to the post!  I much rather see these types of responses than the negative, pessimistic posts of some other members.  - tankman1989


mule1rider

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 02:58:23 PM »
You can really tell a lot more about a piece of land with the leaves off the trees.   This really opens up land for viewing.   I'd look in late fall.  If you can stand the cold now would be a good time to look.   Walk the whole property and get a feel for it.  I looked for land back in the 80's for about 3 years and bought my place on the first walk around.  I just knew and you will as well. Write down a list of things you want in priority order and be willing to compromise.   I will point out that living on a paved road is very nice.  Also,  I'd look for land that someone has lived on before.  Final thought,  top of the list should be water.  I now have "city water" and it's great.  Before that it was a jet pump on a shallow well.  Working on a broken squirting jet pump in the frozen winter always at night of course is at the bottom of my list of fun things in life.

Offline Lowdown3

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 09:17:20 AM »
Good time to LOOK is the wet season. Sometimes in dry summers, everything looks good and then you find out you have swamp later in the year- BTDT.

SouthernLiving

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 10:46:24 PM »
We bought our homestead land in September.

We had our sights set on forty acres of very rural pasture land for a several years.  I contacted the owner several times and she always said she was not interested in selling and that she would call me if she changed her mind.  We kept asking her every month or so until finally she surprised us and agreed to sell.  We had the purchase contract signed that afternoon.

Preparing your land is a multi-year proposition.  Don't let missing a planting season make you wait too long or jump too early. 

If you research and believe the land is of good quality and at a fair price then grab it, regardless of the time of year.

Offline 1floridacracker

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 07:06:01 PM »
wet season!

Offline Philip

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 11:45:28 PM »
In my area of N. Idaho, early spring gives you the best idea how access will be and you can also see what areas have cold spots and still have snow. A winter visit to the general area of interest can show you places that will never see the sun all winter and places with a slightly warmer micro-climate. When I was shopping for land, I used a compass, an inclinometer and a sun chart to see where the path of the sun will be at any time of the year for that latitude. It's a great way to tell if the trees on the neighboring property will be shading the only good gardening spot or where to place structures for best summer/winter exposure.     

Offline flippydidit

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Re: In Which Season to Buy Land
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 01:24:24 AM »
Although my recommendation is definitely in the rainy season, we are down in Florida.  I first looked at our property in the April-May timeframe.  There were caterpillars EVERYWHERE.  All over the doors, home, rappelling from the trees, you name it.  A few weeks later when I took my wife to it, there were BUTTERFLIES everywhere.  A few weeks can be the difference between an "ominous omen of garden destruction" or "a pure symbol of paradise".  Rose colored lenses need to be left at home.

We have looked at property in 13 states physically.  With some of them being as far north as you can get in the lower 48 (across the street was Canada, literally), to here in Florida.  My suggestion is that you can look at it in any season as long as you remain objective.  You must also WALK THE PROPERTY.  Not just down paths and driveways.  Get out into the woods and fields.  We looked at a 40 acre property in Oregon.  The previous owner had an awesome shop that he used to build and repair trailers.  My red flags went up.  Trailers?  So what did he do with the tires and other hazardous waste?  It was only after walking some of the 40 acres that we found the gulch.  There must have been 300-400 tires as well as two scrapped cars in there.

We've dealt with many agents and our opinion is that if you are willing to put up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a property, the only person to trust is yourself.  YOU need to crawl under the house and into the attic.  YOU need to find out about the ticks attached to your leg after you walk the property.  Don't take anyone's word for anything.  Check it out yourself.  Pay for the well tests, sewage pumping, survey map, and anything else that "is out of pocket" before you close.  It's cheap insurance to know that you "need a new septic" before you close.

We wish you the best of luck in your property search.  As SouthernLiving mentioned, don't rush into a property purchase.  Especially if your rationalization is for spring planting.  We missed out on many planting seasons (about 3 years worth) to make sure we purchased the right HOME.  Getting the right place can save you much more $$$ that you could put into a massive greenhouse if you're that worried about missing the season.  Conversely, rushing into a purchase can be a serious money pit that could cost you everything (including your garden).

Hope this helps!
Nate
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