Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Retreat-Ranch in progress, part I, getting the land

This is the first of, a multiple part post, on the beginning of our off-grid property. This is how I found bare land, and turned open range into a homestead. I'll start from the beginning. There is so much information it will take allot of posts to cover this start to finish,or at least up to date. I dont know if one ever really,"finishes".

I had a house in at tiny town in Montana. I wanted a place with little or no neighbors, I dont know about you but it drives me nuts when neighbors stare, especially when all your doing is going from the front door to the truck. I wouldn't think its that exciting......but the old folks across the way would never miss a chance to gawk from their picture window. Living in town can be like living in a fish bowl. Also, I just want elbow room. I needed property near my town, primarily because I'm self employed and need to keep my customer base. I had other  financial issues due to problems with another state. So,a high dollar mansion on the hill was not in the scope of possibilities. Having property with power would be nice, but property without power is much cheaper. I kept an eye on every real estate magazine in the area, going through a Realtor can usually increase the price.A Realtor, tends to inflate prices, some times beyond the owners initial price. But, it never hurts to make an offer.I looked at some listed properties and offered half, they declined each time. I was hoping to find land that was for sale by the owner. I wanted to stay within, about 30miles from town. I started going on drives, looking for land for sale. I would use my free time, taking one road after another from town.Limiting my drives to the maximum of 30 miles. Its amazing how many roads I could find, traveling one spur after another.

On a whip ass cold, spring day I spotted a sheet of plywood quite a ways off the road. It was a  sign half falling-over, one of the posts was broken, Its angle made it impossible to read. I was sure was a for sale sign. I jumped the fence to look closer, It was a home-made sign, and a poor one at that. The letters were flaked, sloppy, barely legible. Even if the sign were standing it would have been tough to see, let alone read. I copied the phone number, one of the digits was a  5 or a 6 I wasn't sure. The other numbers were legible enough. The number was out of state, they probably had no idea the sign was down. The sign didn't have a price of course, but it did say 320acres for sale. It seemed likely, a place that big was beyond my price range, but its worth a  call  to get the scoop.

This is a pic. of the property, this is one of the parts with trees but most of the land is in the valley.

I dialed the number(s) I got from the sign. I got the owner the second try. He said the land was a family asset from way back. They just didn't foresee  making use of it, since they lived on the East Coast.
When I asked him how much, he said make an offer.I told him Id look-into it and give him a call back, I also gave him my number. I used his name to look-up county records and get property boundary information, Turns out the property is bordered on all sides by public land (BLM), Score-one for me!

To be continued.

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