Went Land Hunting

Started by Mike 870, July 25, 2009, 03:58:32 PM

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Mike 870

I went land hunting today, found my dream lot.  Hopeing it holds out until I can save up a little more.  I could finance it now with a 20% down payment, but I'm of the anti debt school of thought.  It's shared deeded access so hopefully that scares the rest of the buyers away long enough.  It's in Southern Ohio, kind of in Poppy's neck of the woods but not in the same county.  No Ohio is not all flat!  We drove to to where the pictures are taken from on a logging road.  The road will definitly need some grading, maybe some culverts, ditches and gravel to get your typical 2WD in there.   While I was up there a couple lightning strikes scared the crap out of me.  Once the thunder was about 2 seconds after the flash I got the heck out of there!  Here are some pictures.  It's a rainy foggy day so they aren't great.  The pictures really don't do the view justice either.
This is where I would build, probably take down a couple trees.

And this is from another part for sale that I definitly can't afford.

I saw 3 wild turkey up there, and loads of deer sign.


Looks nice Mike.

BTW, a hard metal shelled vehicle offers a near ideal place to be in and sit out lightning. The metal shell acts as a shield. Much better than being outside.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

Mike 870

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.  If I end up in this spot, protecting the cabin and PV setup from lightning will be a major concern of mine.  I take the wife to see it on Tuesday, that's the big test, right there, make or break.

Mike 870

Well, back to the drawing board.  That one didn't meet approval of the boss.  Somehow I think we have two entirely different pictures of what we want. ???


Mike, that property has some impressive views; too bad the "boss" didn't like it.

You mentioned that this land had a "shared deeded access", and maybe that would keep some buyers away.  I would strongly urge you to think hard about entering into any shared access or easements.  There is a reason that some buyers would stay away.

Take a look again at the intro. to my build thread and read my easement fiasco on my first property.  I promised myself that any land I got after that would have direct access from a public road.

Yea, there are plenty of hills in Ohio.  We even have a hill called Peach Mountain in Adams county.  My land is at about 900' elevation.

The geology in southern Ohio has much variety, especially near where the glaciers dumped their load.

Mike 870

Thanks Poppy,  I read your post and that is good advice.  I may see about having the lot be flag shaped since It has not been split yet.  Another option would be to try to save up for the whole parcel if it's still for sale down the road.  The front parcel has road frontage.  Right now it's looking like it's a pass alltogether since the boss doesn't like it. 

Mike 870


What do you know of re-claimed strip mine land.  Don't touch it with a 10 ft pole?  I've come across some that has been reclaimed by the mining company. I have heard that black locust grows well on it and also hybrid poplar tree cuttings.  My intention is a cabin with a nice view, not productive agriculture, but I would like some trees and pasture if it can be had.  I've been told well drilling is ok?  Think that is true?


When I went looking in the coal region of PA, I found a few of these.  I asked around and was told to avoid these like the plague.  First problem was that usually the ground water was almost always contaminated.  I found some well reports and advisories from the PA DEP to support this.  Second problem was people reporting cave-ins.  Apparently, the blasting and heavy machinery can cause unstable conditions.  There are many caverns along the Appalachian mountains that can collapse.  I assume this is still probably rare but possible.  Third was there usually wasn't enough dirt to get it to perc or put a septic system in.  Usually only a foot or two before bedrock.  This would add a huge cost.  I am simply passing along the information that was passed to me.  I don't have much first hand knowledge of buying reclaimed strip minds.  So these are just notes of caution.
In the end one of the main reasons I avoided them was I didn't see any listing that all rights (including mineral rights) were included in the deal.  Which meant if the price of everything (energy) skyrockets again they can come back and drill or dig and legally throw me off.

Mike 870

Thanks squirl good info.  It concurrs with what the health department of the county told me.


Mike, I just now saw your question to me, but it looks like you already have some good info.

Besides, I don't know anything about reclaimed strip mine land, but I have a brother-in-law who lives in Zanesville and he would either know some stuff or have some contacts who do.

Mike 870

Poppy, maybe you can pick his brain next time you see him.  I went hunting again today.   The ones I could afford, I didn't like much, and the ones I liked I couldn't afford much.  I forgot to bring my camera though.  I think I may put off my search until March.  I should have more saved by then and I can learn more about the area I have it narrowed down to.  I think I have decided on Vinton, Hocking, or Ross County Ohio. 


Mike, I'll be seeing my BIL in about a month and will try to remember to ask him.

I would encourage you to keep looking if for no other reason than to see what things look like in the winter.

Mike 870

Good point.  It's also easier to walk the properties and see the potential views in the winter.

Mike 870

I went land hunting again.  I always forget to take pictures, but did take some at one place I visited.   This lot is about $40 K,  it has an approved septic and is 10 acres.  It is only about 1 acre of flat land and then slopes down for the rest of the land,  It's not too steep though, but the hill is facing north.   There is about another 50 acres that could go with this land.  It was clear cut about 15 years ago but has a nice mixture of trees growing back.  I'm kinda interested in this land but I really want some pasture so will probably pass on it.   It is in Southern Ohio.

This is what a reclaimed strip mine looks like.  It is across the road from the property.  I have been doing a lot of research on strip mined land lately. 

This is looking from where the lot starts to slope, across the building site and then my truck and the recliamed strip mine are in the distance.

This is looking out over the wooded slope that comprises the majority of the 10 acres.


That's sure a pretty pasture across the street from the lot. 

As for the lot, you say it has an acre of flat land and then starts to slope, but the picture you show (the one with your truck) is not an acre of dirt at all.  An acre would be roughly a football field in dimension. 

It looks to me like the majority of the property are scrub and downhill.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but some things to consider.  You could have a real pretty scenic curvy driveway going into what will be a nice forest in about 10 more years.  That would give you some privacy and possibly a revenue source of timber if you wanted to clear or select cut then.  Of course you can clear it on the first year as well if you truly do want pasture.  Also, another thing to keep in mind is given the winters in Ohio, you may be limited in what you could drive a good chunk of the year due to snow and ice and the incline.  That might limit where your possible build-site could be. 

It has some potential for sure if you want to put the effort into making it what you want. 

Mike 870

Good points Muldoon.  The level land stretches to either side of the camera on that one picture.  It kinda follows the road frontage.  The road is on top of a ridge of sorts (not a very big ridge).  The grade of the hill is really not that steep, and has an overgrown logging road on it.  I like the lot some, but I'm going to keep looking. I don't want to be next to a surface mine either, problem is they are everywhere out here.  Another thing I have to worry about is underground mines.  They only started mapping them in the 1930's.  Yet another thing to worry about is gas wells, Ohio is the 5th most drilled state.  State laws do not require the well driller to disclose what chemicals are used to extract the natural gas.  Many of our water tables have been polluted, but no one can be held accountable.  There are so many things to worry about and research when land hunting.


Mike, thanks for the pics.  It makes it easier to add my 2 cents.  ;)

That doesn't sound like a very good price for not having mature trees.  The market is pretty soft, so I would think that you could do better.

Property around me has gone down in value in the last year or so.

If you want to look at some Adams County property, I can give you some realtor web sites to search.

Mike 870

I love Adams County, especially Miller's.  I have never tasted anything so delicious as their creme filled coffee cake pie (although don't eat too much because it's almost too sweet.  They also make a mean apple fritter.  I actually started my land search in Adams County, but my wife prefers Vinton, Hocking County area.