Land and Transportation Issues

Started by qwiksilver, April 28, 2006, 04:10:24 PM

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Hi, I am new here.

With gas prices rising and wages stagnating I am wondering how we will afford to live on a little parcel of land with a small home?   :-/

I currently live in a 3 room apartment in the heart of Hollywood.   I would like to move out and find a quiet little acre to put a small house on for myself and my 3 pets.  But as it stands, with gas at $3.27 and not scheduled to ever be below $3.00 again, how can I afford to move from an area where I must use a car to get to work?  At the moment I am four miles from my work and use a 50cc scooter.  The only land I can find that I can build on is out in areas where the commute can be upwards of 50 miles to a job that pays enough to keep the mortgage paid.

What are your suggestions...other than a larger bike?

(I'm afraid with property going up the way it has and fuel going up too...I will never own my own home.)


If you have enough equity in your home, sell it and use the profit to go start over on an acre with a small cabin. If you can generate enough money from your sale and keep your new project in budget your mortgage rates should be lower and your new job (out of the city) would not have to pay as much. It depends on how you want to of country. Personally, I love all the people that live in the city and it's culture because it keeps the country nice and quiet for all of us small-town folks! We can enjoy our fresh air and space. GOOD LUCK


My computer is being intransigent.  third try the charm??

I had a couple of Honda 50's in a big city back in the 60's.  Nearly perfect for what I needed at the time.  Amazing how many groceries it would carry.  But tomorrow I get to crank up the truck and go into town to take trash to the dump and see if I can find everything I need to finish the water at the barn--10 feet of 6" pipe for one thing.  12 mpg is not much--but heck, it's 3/4 ton, 4wd, extended cab, and an 8-foot bed.  (looking  back, I don't know if I really needed the extended cab--having it means that sometimes I get to go into 4wd to get out of the driveway that the Saturn has no trouble with--or the 4wd.  But at the time I thought I'd only need one vehicle)

I loved Rob Roy's old book on building without a mortgage.  Haven't read the new one, but here's the link (might want to look at the companion book--How to survive without a salary--Amazon says "buy them together," but doesn't offer a price break for doing that.):

Might consider doing some minimalist gardening.  I have friends at a nearby intentional community who are doing OK now, but when they first moved in, being able to grown a fair amount of their own food made a big difference.  This is an introduction to intensive/raised bed gardening.  You may be gratified by what you can raise--now--in a 3'x6' space.  There seem to be two revisions of the old Square Foot Gardening, the newer one (2006) is not eligible for super-saver shipping, and takes six weeks to come in.  Here are links to both:



Also, might be useful to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.  Whether or not you have building experience.

The days of the old intentional communities may be gone.  Although I have some acquaintances who are building now at
The Farm.  She's retired, he's out of town a lot.  She's working part time in two of their enterprises.  (and they had to fight with Farm bureaucracy to be able to move in the way they wanted to).

The new trend seems to be kind of pricey eco-villages.  Very nice, but out of my price range, not sure I want to live there anyway.


Oh, yeah, and there are old books like 5 acres and independence.

OLD, as in 30's and 40's.  Recommending things like lining the cistern with lead (let's not).  But still..., trying on that lifestyle and seeing if it's for you is a good idea.

And, start looking at plans books and especially the less expensive periodicals.  The Sunset vacation home book isn't bad neither terribly expensive nor McMansion city.  

John's plans here are quite inexpensive.  And there's a fair amount of handholding available.  But there's nothing like really studying a whole book of plans some of them ridiculous from your point of view (Not to mention finding out what really is ridiculous from your point of view)--visualize walking through the houses, cooking, putting groceries away, being sick, having bunion surgery and spending two weeks in a wheelchair, etc.


Dear Heart of Hollywood:
I assume that you are in Hollywood Calif rather than Hollywood Fla.  You said that you are in a3 room apartment; I assume that is not a condo and you are currently a renter.

I'm in Ventura Cty, Calif.  Some thoughts regarding getting that 1st starter home:  The metroliner runs out thru Simi, Moorpark, Camarillo, Oxnard and North.  What is the feasibility of re-locating to one of those areas then communting by train to Hollywood?  Calif has a first time homebuyer's program.  "0" down and finance most of your escrow costs.  However, you will need some $$ for some fees.  For Ventura cty, $561K is the maximum mtg.  Currently there are LOTS of choices for that amount avaialble in our cty and I can think of about 4 or 5 right off the top of my head that are within walking distance to the train station.

What is the feasibility of buying a duplex either by yourself so that the income from the rental unit can help pay the mtg or partnering with someone and jointly investing in the duplex or triplex?  Plan on living there for 3-5 years; selling, then take your profit and move on solo.


Being a new guy reading old posts I am going to give this topic a bump. I own 54 properties here in AZ, many of which were purchased from people behind on their taxes. I have purchased small lots for as little as $40 and I had to catch up the taxes. My mountain cabin site was purchased for $100 + $864 in back taxes. It is a 5 acre piece and I bought it sight unseen. The county assessor had it pegged at $8000. When I went and saw it I loved it. Later I was able to acquire the 5 acres next to it from the county for $3350, also assessed at $8000. It had been taken for taxes. That area has since been "discovered" and values have risen considerably. The point I am trying to make is that where there is a will there is a way. But only if you are willing to do the work necessary. The bad news about tax properties is you don't get to pick the one you want. You have to find a seller that wants to bail and if you are as fortunate as I was you will wind up with something you really like.


Good info, desdawg, and one that has not been brought up here.


It requires some work but the folks who frequent here are quite obviously not afraid of that. I purchased a course from this website. They offer a manual that is specific to whatever State you happen to be interested in.