future homesteader - Southern VA

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am a future homesteader - I'm currently saving money to hopefully buy land this upcoming summer. I've heard some horror stories from people who bought land in various places, then due to various building and septic restrictions were only allowed to build conventional style. Now I'm worried - anyone have any words of wisdom for me. By the way, I'm currently looking at land in Southern Virginia, if anyone knows anything about that area .

-- Julia Teneralli (tofubiscuit@excite.com), September 15, 2000


Response to future homesteader

Hey, Julia. First of all, I know nothing about southern Virginia, but I do know that no matter where you decide to locate, you just gotta do a little homework & find out what your area does/does not let you do, what kind of animals you can raise, etc. None of this happens overnight. If you jump in with both feet, chances are you'll crash... and bad! There's a wealth of info out there on the net as to building & septic tank specs & regs for various counties. Dunno how old you are, I've just turned 49 and am just now doing some serious homesteading in southern Colorado. But, you go girl! Homestead in your back yard or on the patio of your apartment if you have to while you're checking out areas you like. Good luck!

-- debra in nm (dhaden@nmtr.unm.edu), September 15, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Well, if you'd like to go a couple miles further south, Hancock county in TN has no building codes outside Sneedville city limits. If you hook up to electricity you'll need a septic permit. Both electric and septic are inspected, but it's cheap. Another plus: TN has no personal income tax or "value" tax on property. (I can't remember the name right now, but VA charges annually on the value of your vehicles, etc.) We are right near the junction of TN/VA/KY, and if you get a good magnifying glass you might find Sneedville on a map.

We are building our own house--very, very slowly--and no one cares at all. Rumor has it that someone has been living in a teepee across the river for years, but I haven't seen them.

PS: Property tax on our 25 acres is less than $50 annually.

-- Teresa (otgonz@bellsouth.net), September 15, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Now you've done it, Teresa! Man, that sounds good! Hope you enjoy your place to the fullest !

Debra is right, check into everything before you buy and talk to some locals if youcan as they always are more aware of what's really happening than the weekly reader in the area. Best of luck to you!

-- Doreen (liberty546@hotmail.com), September 16, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

The rush will be on now for Sneedville, I'm loading the pickup in the morning.

-- Hendo (redgate@echoweb.net), September 16, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Sneedville here we come! When we all get there let's re-name the town Countryside, Tennessee! I get to be in charge of the gardens!

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), September 16, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Southern Virginia ? I guess I'm in South Western, Virginia. I would be glad to answer any question you have. Virginia has much appeal but there are also areas that don't take to strangers. I happen to live in one of those areas. Craig County. Franklin County and Bedford County seem open to new folk but both allow Mobile homes and are getting rather cluttered with them. If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to ask me anything. I looked at a nice Cabin and 15 acres with stream and pasture in Wythe County for 57,000 but my penny jar was bare.

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), September 16, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Cindy in Ky, if you get the gardens, I get the berry patches.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), September 17, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Wow, Teresa, I live in east Tenn. and thought our county had low property taxes! Our house, in-laws trailer and 3 acres for $120.00 a year. But you all have us beat. There really are very few regulations imposed on us here. I thought most states were like this, with the exception of the larger cities. (ummmm...maybe we shouldn't have told everyone this!) heehee

-- Annie (mistletoe@earthlink.net), September 17, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Oh, the potential fun! I'd love to have you guys for neighbors. Surely you wouldn't mind all my "free range" livestock, would you? We could all be one big happy family. Yeah, right. We'd be killing each other soon enough, don't you think? Or maybe not.

Actually, this is a very small, very rural county. Going to the new Family Dollar makes you think of the Brady Bunch putting on their Sunday best to go to Sears. Going to the next county to Walmart is really a big shopping trip. The people from here are very nice, really friendly, and would do anything for you, to the point that I'm sure some of them HAVE to dislike me, but I can't tell. In fact, I think there may only be two or three families (very extended) from here. Everyone else is an immigrant like we are. I met one woman who said she came here with the hippies in the 70's and never left.

On the down side, a retired couple from another state bought the property next to us (wasn't for sale--he badgered the old man into selling). They don't live here yet, have barely started construction, and have managed to drive me crazy already. The came and told me I HAD to keep my goats up, and I rarely kept them in their pasture because nobody else cared. It's a mile to my nearest neighbor before. So he's called the Sheriff twice for goats. When we started fencing our pasture, he had his place surveyed--nothing is surveyed here. Guess he thought we might be on "his" land. I'm wondering how long it will be before my roosters, guineas and geese are too loud. And surely he won't mind that our pig yard is upwind of him.

This is rare here, just my personal recent experience with someone who probably should be in the suburbs instead of out here.

By the way, Julia (and the rest of you guys, too) land is very inexpensive here, and we're deep in the heart of the Bible Belt. And my sister-in-law thought she could get a job tending bar...

-- Teresa (otgonz@bellsouth.net), September 17, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Hey Julia, I live in Henry Co. Va. If I can be of any help let me know.

-- Vanessa Weese (sdancers@nr.infi.net), September 18, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Teresa, could you give examples of land prices, or possibly some web sites for realtors who sell land? (We will be looking for just land with no buildings on it, or only a barn or shed -- no house, anyway.) We are still figuring out where we will move to when we sell our house here, don't know where we will end up, just investigating everything right now!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), September 18, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Lets try again.

Local realtors:

Appalachian Real Estate@worldnet.att.net (865-993-4000)

Hurley-Mullins Real Estate www.appspring.com 423-733-4464

Lawson and Hicks 423-733-4586

Land prices here vary widely, from $500/ac to $20,000/ac, so if anyone is interested, again, I strongly recommend using a local realtor. They are much more likely to know someone who knows someone, etc.

-- Teresa (otgonz@bellsouth.net), September 20, 2000.

Response to future homesteader

Well Teresa, if Virginia doesn't work out, I'll definitely look into your neck of the woods. By the way, I would have loved for your goats to visit me if I was your neighbor! By seriously, if Virginia doesn't work out for some reason, I am open to suggestions from other areas. The main problem is that the best, least expensive land is usually not near jobs - but thanks for all the suggestions - there are so many possibilities!

-- Julia Teneralli (tofubiscuit@excite.com), September 20, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ