200 acers for sale but i only want 2-3

Started by Mr_Iowa, August 24, 2011, 08:06:52 AM

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spotted me a 200 acre farm for sale, but i only want the old nasty over grown looking homestead. looks like the farm itself moved up the road a little ways. the old homestead is completely overgrown and you can only see about 5 feet into the property, tons of trees, a few buildings(not usable) and maybe a well. how would you go about approaching the seller and asking for just a part of the land that they want to sell? its only 2.5 or 3 acres. It also has a stream that looks like it might only fill up when it rains.

i start a new job on the 6th its a temp position and after 3-4 moths i should be able to get hired on for around 14-16 dollars depending on what position i get. ill also be training bomb dogs here soon, and it would be nice to have my own kennel on property. Is 2500 a month sufficient to try to buy my own property?

i'm kindda rambling but wanted to join today and ask a bunch of questions...   


First is $2500 a month sufficient to try and buy my own property?  That is totally up to you.  First as far as I am concerned I would have to be on a written budget where every dollar has a name and place.  I would have to do this for at least one year before I could truly answer that question.  In the mean time I would get a book by Dave Ramsey called Total Money Make Over and I also would see about taking his Financial Peace University.  Ramsey is not a get rich quick guy but a grass roots get out of debt and stay out guy.  Ramsey is also on the radio and has a newspaper column nation wide.  There are a couple others out there as well. 

Couple questions right over the top and off the bat.  How much do you have in savings?  How much credit card debt are you saddled with?  Do you have a car, truck or boat payment?   Are you married?  Have you ever been married?  Are you paying child support or spousal support?  Are there any judgments against you?  DUIs or drug charges?  I do not need to know all that stuff, but you do.  You have to understand what your net worth is before you head off down this rabbit trail.  You have to have all that info gathered up before you can make a decision.

As far as splitting off a couple acres of that land.  Around here there is a specific amount of splits allowed on a parcel of land.  If I were the land owner and it was here I would say no thanks.  Not for two or three acres however if you want 80 or a half come talk to me.  But show me the money or where the money is coming from.  I own a small ranch in the mountains of Idaho.  You would be surprised of the amount of offers I get for just exactly what you are questioning.  Some get sort of POed when I tell them no.  They want to argue and tell me what a good deal it is, as they try and offer me like a $1000 an acre.  Like I am supposed to get all goose bumpy over $10,000 for ten acres.  Show me a million and a half for all of it and I will invite you in for coffee and to met the wife.  Let me find a pen and we can get some paper work started.

Next as far as a kennel that will require a licence and most likely a zoning chance so I would look in to that before I buy.  Do you have a 'track record' with a kennel?  Managed, owned, worked at one.  Sort of always wanted to own one?  Unless you have a good track record owning or managing I doubt you could get a loan to start one.  So are there any in the area for sale or rent.  How much can you really expect to make off bomb dogs?  Again sit down and write out a truthful budget and a business plan and do not kid yourself.  If it is going to cost you $400 a copy to make a product.  In this case a dog.  However the product is going to sell for $500.  And I can turn out 10 products per year I have only made $1000 in bottom line not a good investment of money nor time.         

I guess now I have to ask what the heck are you going to live in?  Your building a kennel and buying land and you say there are no buildings usable.  And you have no real employment.  Hey I am not trying to rain on your parade but get on a written budget.  Write ten things you want to do in your life.  Now ten things you want to do with you life.  Next write out a plan how you intend to do them.   
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.


Ditto rick on the problems of splitting off small acre parcels. From my dealings around here (NM) a seller sets themselves up for a lot of extra work and costs when selling small parcels. That raises the per acre price by a substantial amount. Small parcel(s) gets the seller into subdivision territory which necessitates things like roads and rights of way that have to be platted and recorded. Most of the time basic road work also has to be in place before the sale can proceed. Lots of complications but some also protect the buyers rights of access.

Ditto on the kennel; there are likely a whole host of regs and permits and inspectors. Perhaps you already know all that. 

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Sadly there aren't an regulations to start a kennel, that's why you see so many puppy mills. Starting a kennel is just like starting any small business.  The first step in this process would be licensing my business with my county/state,  then to get it bonded. 

That  said most of the dogs in the kennel would be considered personal. They would be trained to do basic obedience and hand signals and then sold to larger organizations (ex. http://k2si.com/Canine.php) who would then train them as bomb dogs. Typically K2 will buy a trained dog for around 5000-7000, train it as a bomb dog and sell them to the marines for 100k. The dogs would take a year to train and I would have around 2000-3000 invested into them.  If they cant be sold as bomb dogs they can be sold as gun dogs.

But we can forget about the dogs because they can be housed else where at another kennel. It just means more driving for me.  Also keep in mind if it means 2 hours of my day doing something that I love to do in order to potentially save a marines life someday, well id almost do that for free. 

As far as managing money I use mint.com works well for me so far. I have a lot to learn when managing money and my net worth is about -14000 at the moment because of school loans.  At this point I can either spend 700 on rent a month (higher then normal because of my dogs for this area)  or I could put that much a month into my own place.

Housing is a good question, id like to build a small cabin 15x20 give or take. Wood stove, solar panels and decomposing toilet. Nothing fancy...

Also lol thanks for the welcomes :P 

Alan Gage

You could also try approaching whoever buys the land. They might be more willing to split off a portion.

Where are you in Iowa? Estherville here.



I agree with Alan, check with the land owner and he may consider splitting a portion of the land with an option for you to buy more at a later date... No matter how much land you purchase, get it surveyed!
"You will find the key to success under the alarm Glock"  Ben Franklin
Forget it Ben, just remember, the check comes at the first of the month and it's not your fault, your a victim.

Pray while there is still time


 w*  Just happened to look at this thread - don't usually look here.  

Breaking off small parcels of land is difficult , just like what has been said.  My brothers, sister & I need to break off 5 acres that includes the house on my parents' estate (smallest parcel we can make).  It's going to take lawyers, possible re-zoning, etc.  Very expensive.  So we've just been procrastinating on it.  

Your dreams sound great - there is a lot to think about.  If you are single, no kids & don't mind taking risks, it could possibly be the best thing you might do or could be a hard learning experience.  There's no guarantees in life, even if you do all your homework - just look at our economy.  Sometimes we just have to go for it  :)  

Everyone has given you good advice.  Dave Ramsey has great advice.  You have to do what's comfortable for you, going in w/your eyes wide open.  

Glenn & I were just doing some sight-seeing in the Gold Country & decided to look at some land just for the heck of it.  The last parcel we looked at convinced us we had to have it.  We hadn't planned for buying land & really didn't have the money.  We were at the real estate office 1st thing the next morning - the land had been in escrow but had just come off that day.  So we made an offer, signed the escrow agreement & then went to visit the owner who lived on the 20 acre parcel next door & visited him for awhile.  He asked us what we had offered, thought about it for a moment & then said "I think you'll get it."  (actually he had split 40 acres & gave 20 acres to his daughter & son-in-law, but they didn't want to build there so were selling it).  

We looked at our finances, borrowed from my retirement & credit cards & family & bought the property.  We paid it off w/in 3-4 yrs & have never been sorry.  We didn't have the money to build a conventional house but did have an old backhoe & Bobcat to dig with & the rest is history.  You can look at our place here
http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.2760...  there's also a thread
http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=1166.0 about our $200 low cost RV garage...  

So where there's a will, there's a way  ;D

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


Just wanted to throw an update out there. I did take the advise to grab myself a copy of the total money make over, but its left me with a few questions.

My bills are as such:
Sallie mae loan of 15,000 at a $180 payment a month
Student loan of 4,000 at a $50 payment a month
And personal loan of 1,000 for my vehicle with a payment of $165 a month
Parents 2,000 (not making payments at this time)
Cell- $30 a month
Insurance $160 every 6 months

In the total money make over it suggest to save up a 1000 dollars as fast as you can, however my vehicle is in need of some repairs. Nothing that will stop me from getting to work, however its costing me money in fuel (I drive 50 miles round trip a day). So would the smart thing be to start repairing it now, And then save up the 1000 dollars?  Or my other idea was to pay the loan off to free up some money to fix my vehicle and then save.

In a 40hr week I make around 350 after taxes, but most weeks I work around 50hr's.  I took a job outside of my career field for the moment because I wasn't having any luck finding jobs in Iowa.  Seems like everyone is starting to get old and I really want to be around for my grandparents last few years. So I dint feel like relocating myself to another state for the moment.  Been At the new job for around a month now, so I've been catching up on some past due doctor bills and what not the last few weeks.

Anyway after food, gas, and some other things I think I should have around $600+ to put towards my total money make over. Where is it better spent or put? My $1000 "oh crap money" , car loan, or vehicle repairs


Hi Mr Iowa - great that you feel it is important to be around for your family, the memories will always be there when they are gone & you won't regret it.

Sounds like you are single, at least you haven't mentioned wife or kids.  You have a lot more flexibility than someone w/a family.
You asked about what was more important, saving $1000, paying off loans or fixing your vehicle.  If I didn't have any other transportation, I'd have to say that I'd fix my vehicle, especially if I needed it to go to work.  If I had a high interest loan, I'd try to whittle that down while trying to save a little.

I always like to have some money saved to fall back on but have never had the recommended amt all the financial gurus suggest...  it would be nice, but there always seems to be something that comes up. 

Glenn has been self-employed since the 70's, I've always worked for someone.  My jobs have been stable & I've stayed at them for several years, having just retired from the Veterans Admin (nursing) after 21yrs. 

I've never done things by the book although I am a lot more cautious than my husband - I guess we kinda balance each other out.  The best advice I can give is educate yourself on financial issues, keeping a budget, etc. then go w/what you feel like is best for you.  There's those who have done really well by following strict guidelines and then there are others who like to take chances & may make it big but may also fail big & do this over & over - it depends on your toleration for uncertainty & risk & whether you can stand losing it all.  I've never been a gambler so take a safer route but there's others that thrive on taking chances...

With all that said, I didn't really say anything, lol...  I've just kinda muddled through things & in my younger years, I had my parents to fall back on so don't really have a whole lot of wisdom, just life experiences to share. 

BTW, how old are you?  The older you get, the less time you have to recoup on losses.  We were 50y/o when we bought the 20 acres where our underground cabin is located, then 3-4 yrs later we went in w/my brother & SIL & bought another 40 acres w/a house on it.  You just gotta watch for good deals.  Thank God we've all had work & could swing the payments.  Don't know what we would have done if there hadn't been any work  :-\  Things have always seemed to work out, tho.   

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free