The ultimate homestead

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by crikey, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. crikey

    crikey Member

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    I have a "friend" who is selling his homestead which seems likes its a pretty set up place.

    46 acres (80% wooded)
    980 sq ft cabin (wood) (including loft) ( a bit smaller than ideal though)
    wood stove heat
    solar electric (100% off grid)
    500 gallon propane tank for stove and fridge Is this enough to make it through the winter?)

    2 x 250 gallon diesel tanks (above ground)
    1000 sq ft metal pole building (he has it set up as a work shop and will include all tools, vices and a manual hydraulic lift)

    Chicken coop (pretty big one but I don't know how many chickens it will hold) He has about 30 of them but lets them "free range" and they just come in at night. (do chickens really do that?)

    Well with pump
    Fenced in "barn" (small but will hold a couple donkeys or horses or pigs or something. He uses it for his show goats.

    Barbed Wire fencing around 100% of property
    Stone fencing around about 2 acres of the cabin area
    Stone shed he used to store veggies from his garden
    1 acre garden
    Lots and lots of wild game
    Major river/stream with year around fish about 3 miles away
    Closest neighbor 6 miles and beyond that its about 25 miles to a town of approx. 4800 to 6000 people

    He has a few goats but I think he is taking them with him
    One part of the 40 acres backs up to a mountain

    Prime gold panning area and he claims (no pun intended) to have seen someone get some nuggets and fine gold from the local river

    two generators (for back up)
    3 wood stoves. One in metal workshop, one in cabin, one not hooked up and in a small outhouse size shed

    Will include his ATV plow and ATV tiller (I'll have to get my own ATV)

    What would this go for do you think? It is in S. Colorado so the growing season is short veggie wise....I know what he is asking is a bit much but am hoping I can get him down in price. I have visited the property and everything seems to be in good order. Nice long drive into cabin which cannot be seen from the road which is dirt. I am also concerned about winter access with all the snow up there.

    I can swing it financially as I own a small company I can operate out of the workshop so I am not too worried about finding work. I have 6 more years on my contracts (well the longest is 6 more years) and a few potential customers on the line. The question is do I make the move with the family and "invest" in this place. Its almost to perfect to pass up. I am interested in what you would think this place is worth. Of course I will have it appraised and put approx 40% down so the payments are super affordable and I can pay off early. HELP
     
  2. Moose33

    Moose33 Well-Known Member

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    I am interested in what you would think this place is worth. Of course I will have it appraised and put approx 40% down so the payments are super affordable and I can pay off early. HELP[/QUOTE]

    Hi Crikey,
    It's really hard to guess the value of property like this. If you move ahead to have it appraised be sure to find someone that is qualified to value the personal property and not just the real estate. 46ac with a 980 sq. ft. cabin in the Arkansas Valley or San Louis Valley is probably not worth as much as something closer to Teluride or Durango. Just a guess on my part. Going back and re-reading your post I'm guessing its not in the Arkansas Valley, there are no mountains there.

    Also, I don't know what kind of financing you'd be doing but it might be a challenge to find conventional bank type financing for a property that has only wood heat. You might want to consider getting your financing lined up before locking yourself into a purchase and sale agreement. If its possible make sure mineral rights and water rights run with the land are are not reserved by the seller. If you want to mine gold you want to make sure you have every right to do so and water law in Colorado can be a nightmare to navigate. Last but not least you must, must have clear title. While title insurance (imho) is a bit of a rip off it could save you thousands in the long run.
    Take it easy,
    Moose
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011

  3. crikey

    crikey Member

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    Hi Crikey,
    It's really hard to guess the value of property like this. If you move ahead to have it appraised be sure to find someone that is qualified to value the personal property and not just the real estate. 46ac with a 980 sq. ft. cabin in the Arkansas Valley or San Louis Valley is probably not worth as much as something closer to Teluride or Durango. Just a guess on my part. Going back and re-reading your post I'm guessing its not in the Arkansas Valley, there are zero mountains there.

    Also, I don't know what kind of financing you'd be doing but it might be a challenge to find conventional bank type financing for a property that has only wood heat. You might want to consider getting your financing lined up before locking yourself into a purchase and sale agreement. If its possible make sure mineral rights and water rights run with the land are are not reserved by the seller. Water law in Colorado can be a nightmare to navigate.
    Take it easy,
    Moose[/QUOTE]

    ahhh Mineral and water rights. Never though of that. You have the area semi pegged. its not too god awful far from the Durango area. Its just such a nice place. How can you buy land and not have water rights? Does that mean you can't use the well? I am not sure I understand. I have bought several houses here in AZ but never had to be too concerned with that.

    Good advice though. Thanks.
     
  4. Moose33

    Moose33 Well-Known Member

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    ahhh Mineral and water rights. Never though of that. You have the area semi pegged. its not too god awful far from the Durango area. Its just such a nice place. How can you buy land and not have water rights? Does that mean you can't use the well? I am not sure I understand. I have bought several houses here in AZ but never had to be too concerned with that.

    Good advice though. Thanks.[/QUOTE]

    Durango is some of the most beautiful country one could ever hope to find. I have precious little experience with water rights. I spent some time on a ranch in eastern Colorado as a kid. One of our neighbors had irrigation rights and got into a flap with the up river neighbor who was taking so much of the water (he thought he had the water rights) that there wasn't enough left for my neighbor's irrigation. They were in court over it for years.

    I know the state regulates where wells can be placed, how deep they are and so on. I was amazed when I moved east and to drill a well you just put a hole in the ground. No state regulation, nothing.

    Usually when you purchase a house in a metropolitian area you turn on the tap and you're good to go. Its a safe bet though that the city or state, especially in AZ, has water rights to the Colorado.

    Just make sure that everything is legal in the way of zoning, water wells and so on. You don't want the state coming in and telling you that you can't use your well(s) becuase something wasn't done correctly in the first place.

    Moose
     
  5. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    It sure sounds nice. Be sure to include a title search and if you can swing it without too much debt, it sounds tempting. #1 question - Why is he selling? It sounds near perfect. Too good to be true?

    Yes - chickens really do go to roost at their "home" at night after ranging all day.
     
  6. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a dream. :)

    My only thought (and you've probably already considered this) would be the items you need for your business communications - phones by satellite? Back up generator to keep the internet connection constant?
     
  7. crikey

    crikey Member

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    I have been giving that alot of thought. Mostly my business is working with wrought iron and could be done in the garage but I would need to use a generator for power to the welder and other equipment. The biggest issue would be TV, Phone and internet. no power puts a damper on communications. I will have to check the property with my cell phone to insure i have a strong signal. There are ways to get internet all over the world so thats not a big issue but using a satellite phone all the time could get very, very expensive. of course the wife and my daughter would want a TV and also the amount of snow fall each year will effect how my daughter gets to school. Still I am intrigued though and really like the location and property. it would be a great place to live and with the garden and chicken coop and barn, its a great start to not relying on daily trips to the store.

    No doubt it will be alot of work to get things where I want them and to get a garden going...etc...etc but if it were easy then everyone would be doing it. Theres also a herd of elk that are in the area I saw when I was there. that would take care of the meat for a year with one elk. Theres some grouse and other upland birds in the area also. I wonder how an orchard would do there?
     
  8. BobR1

    BobR1 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds Nice
    I would get a handle on what the Solar Power System will do. With a business you need some method of communication to the outside world.
    A computer with Satelite Internet is probably a minimum requirement so that you have e-mail. You may be able to do a phone connection with the satelite internet. This might be a good thing to check into before buying. I would find out if a satelite phone hook up has a problem with the computer being on only a few hours per day, instead of 24/7.

    Water: You have a well. What about an elevated reservois. If I were setting a house up off grid like this I would pump the water into an Elevated Tank probably in the house that will gravety feed the fausets, and water heater. This way you can run your generator once a day, or less often and pump the tank full, and have running water.
    How do you keep your well from freezing??? Without grid power this is an issue to look into. You may need a kerosene heater or lantern to stay in the well house. Something handy to have a handle on. Where I live most well pumps and pressure tanks are in a Dog House that you have some form of heat in for the winter. The well may be below grade with a remote tank in your area. I would ask and find out about this however. I am sure it is addressed, it might be handy to know how before moving it.

    Propane: You can always add another tank.

    Generator: You did not mention using propane for the generator. I am guessing it is gasoline powered.
    If the generator does not have a Radiator, Fan, Water Pump, and an Oil Filter, do not expect to use it very much at a time.

    Find out who works on the propane refridgerator in the area and write it down.

    I hope I gave you a thing or two to look into that is helpful to you.
     
  9. crikey

    crikey Member

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    Goos stuff robR. Some of it I have not considered and will ask him the right questions. He only uses it in the summers and around Christmas time but I would have to assume that he has something set up for water storage and to make sure the well does not freeze. I will ask him

    the generators are both pretty big and as indicated, one is in the "garage", the other is in a insulated small wood shed attached to the back of the cabin. Both are diesel powered, have radiator, oil filter, etc. I admit I do not know how big the solar system is on his house and he indicated that the generator is used to help power the batteries that run the electric in the cabin and garage. May have to upgrade those but again, i do not know. The stove/oven both run on propane and I would want to add a propane heater to the cabin to assist with heating from the wood stove. In a place that small, a wood stove alone will do it but with that much propane (at least it seems like alot to me) i would think i can make it through the winter on one fill of the tank.

    Thanks for bringing those items to my attention though and I will look into it. I am supposed to go up there first week of Feb for business and plan on stopping in on the property to another looksie around.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  10. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    sounds like a really cool place. without knowing how much they want for it, I couldn't say if it's worth it. however, already set up places like that don' come along all that often. it sounds like a very workable homestead and if you can afford it, then go ofr it, if you get water rights and such with it.
     
  11. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    If there is any streams, rivers, springs, ponds, or similar water on the land, that's where water rights could be a big deal. I don't know the laws in Colorado.

    In Montana, people "own" water rights. Even if a stream goes through your land, you don't dare use any of it, even to water your garden or to haul into your house to wash dishes. Unless you have water rights, and those spell out how much and when you can use it.

    A mile from us on our private dirt road is a lake. A landowner 2 miles on the other side of the lake owns the top 18" of water off the lake for irrigating his hay fields. As the water flows out of the lake, he has a diversion gate and he gets to take whatever would equal that 18" of water times how many acre-feet, whatever they do to figure it.

    A guy above the lake made an earthen dam to catch some of the spring snowmelt to water his cows, and the other guy complained that it was basically his water, and the guy with the small earthen dam had to tear it out and let the water drain down into the stream and into the lake.

    We have a marsh on our property and it's theoretically possible that if we pumped water out of it, that we'd be stealing that man's water too, because the string of marshes seeps along and eventually finds it's way into that same lake.

    So I'd ask around among the people in the area. If there's been trouble with water and water rights, they'll know. You'll hear the stories.

    On a different note, Durango and that whole part of Colorado is an exellent choice. Land is still reasonable and it's a great climate. Great area for solar power, too. Good luck.

    :)
     
  12. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

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    If you have a good cell phone connection out there, then look at the internet offerings from the cell companies.

    I've used AT&T USBConnect Lightning Cell Phone - Wireless from AT&T before and as long as you have a good signal it works well. Verizon, Sprint and others have similar devices. Otherwise, satellite isn't too expensive. Here's one option AT&T High Speed Internet via Satellite Is Here.

    In the case of the cellular adapter there is no extra power draw over and above the laptop/desktop use. Not sure on the dish but I'd assume somewhere it needs to draw power to work.
     
  13. crikey

    crikey Member

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    That is some seriously nutty stuff. How can someone "own" the top 18"'s of water. I would drop a pump in there and suck out everything below 18" leaving him with only 18" of water. I just don't understand that type of thinking.
     
  14. aluminum

    aluminum Member

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    Phone from satellite internet is possible, but there is a lag time you have to deal with... Not good for a business phone, but works for emergencies.

    500 gal of propane would last well more than a yr IF you dont use it for heating, just use it for cooking. It would be fine to use as a back-up only type with a ventless heater, for the rare mornings you dont get up in time to put another log in the woodstove... Then your 500 gals should still be enough for a yr..
     
  15. Moose33

    Moose33 Well-Known Member

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    Hi crikey,
    I think, if memory serves, someone may own water rights that allow them to take X number of acre feet of water from, for example, a river or stream. Again, if memory serves, an acre foot is the amount of water it takes to cover one acre of land with one foot of water. I'm not familiar with someone owning the top 18 inches, I've only heard it expressed in numbers of acre feet.
    Take it easy,
    Moose
     
  16. Necred

    Necred Well-Known Member

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    unless its over priced, how can you lose?