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Country Discussion Topics
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Finding Land
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Joel Rand    Posted 12-25-2003 at 19:25:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello. My wife and I are trying to buy 5-15 acres of land to build a home and small antique tractor restoration shop on near Des Moines, Iowa. We are having a difficult time finding anything that is either useful or affordable. Farmland prices in Iowa are at a 25 year high, some going for 3,000 an acre. Developers have been asking for as much as 70K/acre if it has trees or water. We have done everything but go door to door asking strangers if they would be willing to "sell some of the back 40". Any suggestions or stories of how others have done this would certainly be appreciated. I'm tired of living in the city!


Jimbob    Posted 12-26-2003 at 06:10:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have seen ads placed in the local newspaper for land wanted. Some land owners around our area have land for sale, but do not advertise it beyond word of mouth.


bob    Posted 12-26-2003 at 05:19:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
how close to the big city do you have to live. in the southeastern section of Ia there is still a lot of small farms and such. seems like you have to get out of big cities at least 50 miles. don,t try on east side as along miss river that area is really growing,but back west and closer to mo. border there is lots of property. Just be patient and be ready to buy if it feels right bob


Tom A    Posted 12-26-2003 at 03:48:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Once we firmly decided to "take the plunge" and buy our little farm "ASAP", it took us almost 3 years of very serious searching to find the place we now own. We looked at probably dozens if not hundreds of farms, dropped our sights a couple of times, and made many many offers before we landed our little 19 acres.

You can't find a place with just one search technique or without a lot of serious work, unless you're just really lucky. Buy newspapers from all over and watch the classifieds; buy those "Thrifty Nickle" type papers, too; talk to everyone you see and ask about places that might be available; stop in every little country store and barbershop and such places. Make friends in the area you want to live in: we actually found our place through word-of-mouth from a retired farmer who had lived in the area his whole life and knew third-hand that if we made any offer on this place it would be accepted (the asking price was almost double what we paid so we weren't going to even offer!!) I know of one or two farms around here that are not for sale, but might actually sell to the "right" young couple if they came around and asked...old timers who don't want *their* land to go to developers and would like it go to somebody who'll preserve and farm it. Until they see the right buyer, they're happy to continue to live there and hay off the farm themselves til they drop.

So don't get discouraged, you're following a road many of us have before you. If you really want a place, you'll get one with some work and patience.

Good luck, Merry Christmas.
Tom


deadcarp    Posted 12-26-2003 at 00:25:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
you can joke about it but that's the clue alright - find some likely spot, go to the court house, look him up and talk to the owner. years ago most newleyweds got started face-to-face that way - besides old guys often have soft spots for young couples with gumption. :)



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