Talk me out of it? Passive house.

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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:58 pm

Another thing you can do is look at the Federal Flood Insurance maps for the area. Most Insurance Agents will have them for the area they deal with, or the local Twp will have a large copy in their offices. It shows the 100 year flood boundaries and indicates what land is in the flood zone. If your land is outside of the designated flood zones you do not need to buy flood insurance on your home, if it is located in a flood zone you will be required to purchase flood insurance if you get a loan from a National Bank. This does not mean that your land will never floor, there is a 500 year flood that we have to worry about, but I think you might just take that chance. ;)
As a suggestion for buying land now, have you looked into buying on a Land Contract? In a Land Contract you and the seller agree on a down payment and monthly payments and an interest rate. Each month you own another little piece of the land until it is paid off in full. The advantage to the seller is that they can spread out their income tax burden over several years, they get to keep the deed to the land in their name until its paid for so they have security. The advantage to you is that its difficult to get a Bank loan on raw ground and this solves that problem. It also lets you tie up the ground now, at an agreed price. You control the land now, you pay the taxes and insurance, you get to use it as your own now as you pay for it. The down side for you is that most Land Contracts say that if you miss a payment you forfeit your interest in the land, so you are taking all the risk, the seller takes none. Once you improve the land or build a house on it you can qualify for a bank loan and pay off the Land contract.
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby DrewInToledo » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:57 pm

Well guys, I think I put the cart in front of the horse. I seem do that often. I pretty much sold my house on a formal handshake :) The interested couple's children moved into town here and they have kids as well, so the couple wants to be closer to their grandchildren. They seem straight, honest and serious... We will see just how serious they are.
I'll need to find a place in the interim so this will give me a chance to acquire a lower cost house so I can start saving and continue my search for land.
Land... boy it is expensive. I find it difficult to locate anything less than $9k/acre, and you're lucky if you find it at that price. Mostly, it's being sold in the range of $10k to $20k. And... due to the algae blooms in the lake, increased restrictions govern stricter septic system designs that seem to cost on average of $17k. I'm starting to get turned off on the entire thought of building.
When I see everyone's 'steads here... Matt, Manny, Tru, Pa, TS, all of you.... I see myself happier living more on the lines of you all! What I mean is find a lot to live from.. gardens, etc.. a peice of happiness somewhere.. You're keeping me inspired.
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:21 am

Yeah, when the economy sank it seemed land was the only good investment, so speculators have really driven up prices. Housing, not so much, but land, yeah. You're either competing with commercial prices or farm prices, and either way it's hard to score anything unless you're lucky. Even looking in other countries is getting harder and harder.

Land around me is around $10k an acre too unless it's marginal land, like what I'm trying to live on.

I'm glad they're tightening down on water quality and septic systems. I wonder, any rules against gray water systems and composting toilets? I don't know if I was going to go build somewhere right now that I would even worry about septic. Especially if you have an expanse of land... who knows what you're doing in there? ;)
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby TruGrit » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:46 pm

.. hang in there Drew .. the right plot will come along at just the right time .. meanwhile, here's what things look like down in my neck of the woods ...

http://www.carolinaforestry.com/forsale.htm
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby thickstrings » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:34 pm

The land where I live is about 1500-2000 $ a acre and taxes are very reasonable....not exactly farm country....you won't see row crops...more like ranch... hayfields, cattle and horses...Summers can be harsh, but, the other 3 seasons are great. I have a piece of forested hillside for sale right now....about 5 miles from me... 9. something acres...When I bought it,12 years ago, I wanted to build into the hillside....half underground...city water and electric is close.
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby DrewInToledo » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:52 am

My house sale last year fell through, so I'm still in the same place but found just over 3 acres that I may acquire soon.

Pros: relatively low cost/acre. Good open land location for solar based home. About the same drive to work, slightly closer to children. Country living, move away from dicks. Friend owns adjacent lot. Little to no inspections to build.

Cons: open bare flat land, although the small tree line adjacent to property. High water table and clay based soil needing complicated septic. Still too much $ but I don't think I can find it lower cost around this area. $ needed to build.

The land is bare and I would rather have hills and trees, but that doesn't exist much around here and if it does, it will cost and arm and a leg.

When/if I build, I will be shooting for an insulated envelope, including insulation under the basement floor, and an insulation goal of r40 in the walls and r80 in the ceiling, triple pane windows and such.

If I finally close on the land, I'll just need Manny to drive his ford over and push some dirt around.
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby matt walker » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:36 pm

Moving away from dicks is pretty much the best thing ever. Good luck on finding your spot Drew, you really need a place for all your tinkerings to evolve man!
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby DrewInToledo » Mon May 02, 2016 3:02 pm

Right on Matt! I scored the acreage but boy is it EMPTY however there is a small ditch to the south on the neighbors property which supplies a nice strip of foliage. The ditch runs from the south west to east and I actually own a small bit of it but it's way at the back end of the property.
I won't be able to build for a couple of years, so I joined myself and my g/f to the Arbor Day foundation and already ordered 20 trees. The membership expires every 6 months at which time a renewal process and more trees can be had.
Along with these trees, I ordered a few apple trees and I'm going to start dividing up my hostas, ferns, columbine, lilac starts, and pretty much everything I can to start establishing around the property.

Here's a view of the property. You know I'll be looking for advice and tips on laying out my house from y'all.

Image

In the mean time, I've been scavenging materials. I've acquired a couple of toilets, a dishwasher (which isn't really needed), a sewage pump, light fixture, used wet tile saw, and other stuff--all recycled/used (except the toilets which I scored at an auction NEW for $17 each). I also scored 40 sheets of 3" XPS insulation that was torn off a commercial roof job for $350 (less than half the cost of new). I'll continue to acquire materials but I am quickly running out of storage.

Image

I WILL make this happen!
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon May 02, 2016 8:16 pm

That is great news . I am looking forward to seeing your progress. Just keep making small improvements and you will be amazed how they add up over time.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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Re: Talk me out of it? Passive house.

Postby matt walker » Tue May 03, 2016 1:27 pm

DREW!!!!!! Holy shit man! So Awesome, I can't tell you how stoked I am for you! The spot looks great. Man, I'm so excited. CONGRATS DREW!
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