Thursday, February 12, 2009

Junk Land - Part Two - Required Resources

Part One covered the main drawback of junk land is that it generally has little or no value. This is due mainly to the lack of sustainability that would give it additional value and a greater net worth. There will be a number of resources required to make junk land a viable option. Lacking any of the basic resources required will make the task even harder.

The first basic resource that will be required is money.

You will need money not only to buy or purchase junk land but for property taxes, a title deed, property surveys, legal fees and numerous other miscellaneous costs and fees. These extras may even be a substantial part of the "cost" of your junk land. You will need to know these costs before you make your purchase so as to insure you have adequate funds available. Budgetary strains caused by large purchases can create a further burden if you fail to take these extra costs into consideration when making a land purchase. How much money you will need will depend on land prices in the area you decide that will best suit your needs and the needs of your family.

The second basic resource you will need are basic skills.

If your junk land is of poor quality from an agricultural standpoint, you will need to be knowledgeable in such areas as gardening and raising simple forms of livestock such as chickens, goats or pigs. Do you know how to grow crops in a raised bed? Can you make compost to improve the native soil? Can you build a cold frame in order to grow crops in the winter? In other words, you will need to be able to provide the skills to make it sustainable.

Are your carpentry skills adequate to build your own shelter? Will you need an alternate form of shelter (RV, trailer, etc.) till the weather is in your favor in order to have sufficient time for construction? Are your carpentry skills non-existent causing you to rely on the paid services of someone else? These are all serious questions that you will need to know the answers before you jump off the deep end and purchase junk land.

Will it need a well for a source of water? Is the water table high enough that you can dig one yourself if needed? Or do you have sufficient funds for that basic requirement to provide water if needed? Will you have to haul water till a solution can be found? You will then need a means to transport it and money for fuel costs! It may already have a basic source of water which will allow you to avoid these problems. Or it may not!

The third basic resource is time.

It will take time and lots of it to turn junk land into a thing of beauty. It will take time to find the "right" junk land. Will you need it to be close enough to an area where possible employment may be found? Will you want it to be close enough to family and friends so that you can avail yourself of their help and resources? Or will you need additional space to provide for elderly or handicapped family members that are a part of your group? It takes time to grow crops, manage the needs of livestock, or to build or maintain a shelter. You will need to put in a lot of time to make it work!

The fourth basic resource is patience.

You will need a great deal of patience. The "right" junk land for you may not be "right" for someone else. Although basic needs are the same for everyone, your situation will be different from someone else depending upon what those individual circumstances are. This is something that can't be rushed. If money wasn't an object affecting your decision, you could buy the best available property out there. Unfortunately for the average person or family, this is simply not an option.

Using good common sense and a little patience, knowing the limits of your abilities, and making sure you have the minimum amount of needed funds will allow you to be successful in turning your junk land into a jewel!

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Years ago, I wanted to buy some rural acreage way out beyond the sidewalks. Maybe 10 acres or so, building a modest concrete block home, with small fenced pasture in back. Dig me a catfish pond and run a 'Pay by the Pound' fishing venture, as out there, fishing opportunities can be far and in between.

I figured with as many oil wildcatters / families we had living out there, you might turn a small profit by people who were looking for ways to put fish in their diet and kill some time as well. And still have a good source of food at your disposal, should business be bad, literally eating your profits.

Great points about having to be resourceful out there. You'll need some neighbor's help someday though, so cultivate the relationships. Country clubs don't mean much, but offering to help with needed chores will cement a friendship both of you will appreciate one day, if not just for security.

Albert A Rasch said...

Great commentary on using your head before making a purchase.

For sustainability, water is probably the most important aspect, along with means to access it regardless of anything. In other words, it must be manually accessible.

Soil can be improved through hard work and diligence, trees can be planted along with understory, crops can be coaxed from almost any soil, but without water... forget it.

Again, great post.

Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Southeast Regional OBS Coordinator

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:55

It seems that there always comes a time when we need each other's help. Thanks for this important reminder!


riverwalker said...

To: Albert Rasch

Water and access are both definitely high priority items.
Both of which will be essential!


Anonymous said...

Have to second that water recommendation - a real problem around here since the ice storm took out power to the well.

I'd like to recommend finding out what the locals do in their spare time & if you can join in. If it is bowling, fire department or something else. Everyone can get to know each other in a safe friendly situation - always a plus. Dh was always a bowler & by bowling got to know so many people including the local bank president & the real powers that ran the town. His job was at a seed company so he got to know the local farmers. Between the two groups it was amazing how accepted we were into the social system - in a town know to be very closed. It wasn't his goal, he was just being himself but it is always a good thing when locals will vouch for you.

riverwalker said...

To: Stephanie in AR

Being involved in the local community is a great way to build trust. Thanks.


HermitJim said...

I think what you said about letting common sense rule the decision is the main point...

Pretty doesn't mean practical all the time!

Mayberry said...

Good points, but I still maintain that a piece of junk land, with title in hand, is WAAAAAAYYYYYYYY better than wage slavery any day of the week. And it can eventually be whipped into shape.

I'd rather be camped out on a half acre of ex-caliche pit than pay a mortgage.....

riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

Very true that what looks nice doesn't always work the best.



riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

True a piece of land that is paid for is a lot better than a mortgage, but you will still need to eat and drink. Short term it would be OK but for the long haul a lot of improvements will probably be necessary. Thanks.


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