Most importantly, I like the option of having a self-sustaining lifestyle if I ever choose to go that route. txrad and I also need to be able to till the soil and have a large garden. Now comes the hard part.
Coastal regions and other low elevations are out. If and when Florida and Louisiana become submerged, what's that going to do to other areas of the country with major rivers feeding into the Gulf of Mexico?
I also want the land to connect with me on some spiritual level. A broad flat wide open space is beautiful in a way, but it doesn't really tug at my soul. Unless of course I could have 5,000 acres of it and then I might reconsider. Unfortunately that's a bit out of my budget.
Aside from some ugly personal debt related to loans I made to my failed business which also has a mountain of debt and with that corporation facing possible bankruptcy, things have never been better. Even with that ugly dark cloud looming over me constantly, I feel pretty damn good about life right now. I may never have a better opportunity to pursue my dream.
We are fortunate to be gainfully employed and drawing a combined income which exceeds any previous employment and I am socking away a good amount of money from each pay period. What's tricky is we have no idea how long this will last. So I have set a savings goal by the end of the year which is reasonable and I'm confident our employment will at least continue into early spring 2008 at least.
I have done a search of properties in four states for five or more acres of land within my budget. My ideal would be at least 10-20 acres, and more if possible. My ideal price is $25,000 or less, although I could go into the $40,000-$45,000 range by liquidating some stocks.
We have no immediate plans to build on the property; I just want to own it as a security blanket while I have the opportunity, and it's there when we decide to undergo a major lifestyle change, or we're forced to for whatever reason.
So, here are a few options. First, here's an example of what I'm not wanting:
I really want some contrast, some hills or mountains to lend some character.
39 acres in Snowflake for $25,000. Beautiful, the right price, and a good chunk of real estate. I'm sure the nearby towns offer some amenities, but it's a 175 mile trek to Phoenix and 200 to Tucson.
5 acres in Tierra Amarilla for $8,000. The acreage isn't much but for $8,000, it's something. And the remainder of my savings could be used for something else.
In the same area is this plot: 10 acres for $35,000. Twice the land, much more beautiful, but creeping to the top end of my price range. The area is roughly 80 miles from Taos and 90 miles from Santa Fe.
Another beauty is this one in Chama near the Colorado border. It's 10 acres with power for $42,000. The Chama area is a bit over 100 miles to Santa Fe.
This state isn't really my top choice. The politics aren't really to my liking. But for the price of the land and the beauty, I'll include it.
For $30,000 this is 35 acres and a nice view, with utilities "nearby."
I like this one even better. It almost qualifies as a "sweeping vista" or a "million dollar view." What's more, electricity is available "nearby." It's a 40 acre plot for $25,000. There must be some string attached -- as in the photograph is just the area and not taken from the actual property being sold.
As with the Arizona property, it's quite a haul to any major cities although there are some decent size towns in the area of southern Colorado. Pueblo is about 135 miles and Colorado Springs is closer to 185, as if I'd ever want to set foot in that evangelical Republican hellpit.
Property here has the advantage of being closer to a city than most of the previous ones, and also have utilities present. Unfortunately, Heber Springs is a hot area due to nearby lakes and attractiveness as a retirement area, so you don't get so much land for your dollar. But it's nice. And only about 65 miles from Little Rock.
Here's 5 acres for $30,000:
Another 5 acres for $32,000 with a very nice view:
A bit farther north in Mountain View, this 5.6 acre parcel can be had for around $14,000. I like! It's about 105 miles from Little Rock.
Feel free to comment with your opinions, advice, whatever. Call me crazy if you so desire.