Friday, December 10, 2010

Did I get what I thought I was paying for?

We just had the property surveyed last week and to my joy the lot lines are about where everyone though that they were. We found that the neighbor to the West has been getting some bonus acres to plant corn on and the neighbour to the East has a fence that cuts about 20ft off my pasture but when all is said and done it is close and at least the lot lines don't go through someones living room. It actually amazes me how people can get so close with there fence lines by simply measuring. Most of these were placed before GPS and according to the county there was no surveys in my section. So people must have measured and paced of there property based on the legal description. The crazy part is that the topography in this area of the state is rather hilly so to measure and get even close is amazing. The survey confirms that we have a fair amount of land that is wooded and some swamp. I went out to the property to try and find all the markers but it got to dark to find the southern markers so I will try again tomorrow.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

WOW! that was easy.

Have you ever purchased a home or land? Have you ever wondered where all that money paid at closing goes? Why, is it so expensive to close a loan? These are questions that I have had in the past. I just figured there is no way around it, like death and taxes everyone just pays it. However, when we finally did find the land that we wanted to buy and it was C4D (Contract for Deed) we found ourselves looking at a road less traveled when it comes to the purchase process. Neither the seller or I had ever purchased or sold anything C4D and we were not sure exactly of the steps to take. I spent a little time researching and found that the first thing to be done was to talk to the seller and come up with the terms of the loan (purchase price, down payment, length of the loan and interest rate). The man that we purchased the property from was really easy to work with and it did not take us long to come up with a deal that was win-win. I then had to find a place to get a contract. My first call was to a lawyer (several of them actually) where I found that to have a lawyer write it up and perform a closing (at $275. per hour) it was going to cost us around $1,500. At first this seemed like a good deal compared to the crazy closing cost I have paid in the past (typically $3,000 or more). I did find one lawyer that said that she would write up a contract for $250. A prime example showing that it pays to shop around. However I just felt that there had to be a way that was less expensive. I remember hearing about a site called and decided to look at that. I had some trouble on their site finding a contract for deed but when I did it was still $279. I again decided to keep looking for other options and there was a site that called that said they had a down loadable, fully editable contract for deed with a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for only $7.99. I remember saying to myself "Now thats what I am talkin about". I carefully reviewed their site and after some debate I decided to give them a try. I was very pleased with their product. The transaction was safe and secure. The file downloaded quickly, came with instructions and was of high quality. After reviewing the document there were some words and phrases I did not understand. So, I went , typed in the phrase or word and it explained what it meant. I then made a few edits to the contract so it would read how I wanted and included the terms that we had discussed. I was done in about 2 hours. It was cool that if there was anything that I didn't like or understand I could simply change it. I had originally planned to have the contract reviewed by a lawyer at this point, but it was so easy to understand that I decided to save that money and move forward. I gave the seller a copy of the C4D and ask him to review it and let me know if there was any changes that he wanted made. He reviewed the contract for a few days and had no objections. So we set up a day to sign everything. He came to our house, we sat at our table and went through the contract together reading everything so that he knew that I had not changed anything. We all signed everything and then went to our local bank and had it notarized. The notarization was free since we were customers there. It was a low stress and actually enjoyable experience. All in all we closed on our new land for $7.99. This still leaves me asking "Why, is it so expensive to close a loan?". It still blows my mind that it was that easy. I didn't leave out anything. I highly recommend that if any of you are looking for a new property that you look at the Contract for Deed option. I will never do it any other way again.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Clean Slate

On Friday, October 1st, two great things happened to my family and I. First, my wife and I sat down at our kitchen table and closed a land deal for 20ac. in central Minnesota. Second, the thoughts of new land and all the really awesome things that I have in mind for it, inspired me to start this blog in an attempt to archive our progress toward a new life for our family. I am very excited to have this blog so that I can connect with others who are living the way I would like to and also to inspire others to join the less is more life. The land is about 5ac. of Hay field, 12ac. of pasture and 3ac. of woods. The hay field faces North and the rest is a gradual south facing slope. Aside from a gate and some old electric fence the land is raw and ready to be our new homestead. The soil is allot of clay and rock. Some of the rocks our very large and I do wonder how I will move them if needed. There is a dirt road to the North, field and pasture to the West, woods to the South and a house and pasture to the East. Currently the house on the 40ac. to the East is a foreclosure so at the moment I have no neighbors (sweet!). The first thing we will be doing to the property is to get it surveyed. I figure with there being no current neighbors to dispute with, now is the time to make sure that all the lot lines and fences are were they are supposed to be. Since it is mid October we can expect the weather to turn sour here shortly so we will not get much more than the survey done this Fall and we will focus on designing a home this winter and starting to build it in the spring. I have never had the opportunity to build a homestead from the ground up and I look forward to the challenges I face. I also look forward to hearing from others and their stories. I think that my next post will be on hmmmmm.........
One of my favorite things about this property is that it has such a big sky. There will be many amazing sunsets and sunrises to see here.

Facing North

Facing West

Facing South with woods in the back.

Facing East

This site would make a great walkout or berm home.