My wife and I got a late start to life. We both were previously married and had partied through our early twenties. As thirty approached, we found each other through a twist of fate and have been totally in love every since. I have dreamed about owning acreage since I can remember as a youth, but a certain level of immaturity kept me from my dream (i.e. fast cars, loud music, partying, women; all of which cost money).
Now that my wife and I have hit the mid-thirties, finally finished with college, both have good jobs, and a few kids, the time has come to settle down and get this show on the road.
We knew what town we wanted to purchase land in. The only problem is that no one in that town ever sells their land, and if they do, they want an arm an leg for it. After years of searching and looking, and having enough to make a down payment (so we thought) it was time to actively pursue our choices.
My wants: 10 acres, no trees, good land to be able to self-sustain ourselves as much as possible.
The wife: A space to plop our dream home on and no trees.
Off we go with a realtor looking at our picks. (This is where reality sets in) Our first property, 12 acres, too far from work for me (I am always on call and have to be near work), no water, no electricity, and the land is not ideal for farming. It just didn't feel right.
On our way to the second property (10 acres), the realtor talks us into stopping at a four acre tract very close to where we want to be, but I am not happy because it is only 4 acres.
We get to the property and the realtor ask us what we think and how we plan to pay for it. I say I love the location, hate the size (too small), and that we have roughly 20% to put down (this is where my dream was crushed). It seems that buying raw land is totally different, from purchasing anything else. The realtor told me we would need 30% down no matter how good our credit was. (I took this with a grain of salt as I have always been able to walk into the bank and ask my lender for what I need and get the check before I turn in my credit application. Turns out he was right, thanks to the sub-prime crash.) The four acres had water and electricity already ran to it which was a BIG plus. We decided that we did not need to see the other property with the 30% factor and talk to the bank first.
After sleeping on it and weighing the pros and cons, we decided we needed to take another look at the property. I had contacted a drilling company and it was going to cost about $20.00 a foot to drill a well and on average the wells in the area were 1300 ft. OUCH! Enough said. We decided the four acres would be best and I would have to tame my goals for the ten acres.