Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,031

    Totally OT: Buying high-desert land

    Looking for some insight and figured there's a bunch of smart folks here that could possibly help.

    I got a trade offer on a street bike I'm looking to get ride of. Guy offered five acres of what appears to be undeveloped land at about 6400 feet up in the White Mountains north of St. Johns.

    Other than having been in that area a few times, I'm completely ignorant of what questions I should be asking or what resources I should be checking. I assume the biggest hurdles are availability of water/sewer and electricity

    Goal would ultimately be to build a modest ranch or cabin on the land. Someplace remote my wife and I can go on weekends and possibly a retirement area down the line. Would be powered with solar (assuming you can have a closed-loop solar when you're off the power grid).

    Anyone have experience with this stuff and/or can guide me in a direction to learn more? Thanks.

  2. #2
    AKA shitbird
    Reputation: eabos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,342
    The first thing you will want to do is talk to a title company and get a full title report on the property to make sure that it's not subject to any liens (tax or otherwise) and that this guy is the true owner of the property. Secondly, find out what jurisdiction oversees the land (Apache County?) Then call or better yet visit the development services/planning department for that County or Town and make sure that there are no restrictions on the property that could keep you from building what you want; environmental restrictions, zoning, etc. They can also let you know where the tie in for the closest utilities are.



    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant
    Looking for some insight and figured there's a bunch of smart folks here that could possibly help.

    I got a trade offer on a street bike I'm looking to get ride of. Guy offered five acres of what appears to be undeveloped land at about 6400 feet up in the White Mountains north of St. Johns.

    Other than having been in that area a few times, I'm completely ignorant of what questions I should be asking or what resources I should be checking. I assume the biggest hurdles are availability of water/sewer and electricity

    Goal would ultimately be to build a modest ranch or cabin on the land. Someplace remote my wife and I can go on weekends and possibly a retirement area down the line. Would be powered with solar (assuming you can have a closed-loop solar when you're off the power grid).

    Anyone have experience with this stuff and/or can guide me in a direction to learn more? Thanks.
    JRA

  3. #3
    banned
    Reputation: cesslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,111
    Why are you out of work with all those smart ideas in your head Mo?

  4. #4
    AKA shitbird
    Reputation: eabos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,342
    Quote Originally Posted by cesslinger
    Why are you out of work with all those smart ideas in your head Mo?

    Because riding is funner than working Seriously though, having education/experience in planning/development/architecture doesn't do whole lot of good if nobody out there has the money or desire to build stuff.
    JRA

  5. #5
    banned
    Reputation: cesslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,111
    Oh, it will get better. Go make some FLW shiite; some Scottsdale Dbag will surely pay for it to be built.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: azjonboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,649
    Once you've completed your title search, check with the county to make sure there are no restrictions on lot size for building in rural areas. Coconino county has a 10 acre minimum requirement to build on in rural areas.

    Power, septic and water are all doable. For about $45 - 50 K ( 2300 sq ft ) you can be totally self sufficient with a generator for back up.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  7. #7
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,198
    Go look at the property , you may not want to live there .

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    237
    If you ever plan on building there, and will need a septic system, you should check that the land "percs." It has to do with making sure the ground percolates well enough to accept a septic system. Basically, they dig a big hole and fill it with water.

    My dad bought some land near Show Low many years ago, and now he cannot sell it because of this problem. The land is basically worthless now. My grandma bought the lot adjacent to his and did not have any problems putting in a septic system, go figure.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MattyBoyR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,062
    Check for water rights, wells and access. A piece of prop is worthless if you can't get to it. there should be an established right of way.

    Definately go look at the prop. Arial shots from google wont tell you the story of what the land and neighbors are like. Before building you will need to locate all prop corners, utilities if available and get some sort of survey for title and lay of the land for the designer. Make sure it's not in a flood plane as well.

    If you'de like Moses and I can get you over a quote for the work surveying and planning. ha ha

    What kind of bike are you selling?
    Got Daytons on the Motha Ship - Cube

  10. #10
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,031
    Thanks for the insights. I've bought and sold numerous houses, but a chunk of land out in the middle of nowhere is a different beast.

    Selling my built '01 Ducati Monster, big bore, high compression, etc. Awesome bike, but it appears I'm getting a work vehicle that has to be stored in the garage and I'm out of room.



    Looks like I'd need to spend some coin before even figuring out if the deal is worth it. Guess I need to budget a day to drive up there and see what it's all about.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flOw dOwn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    352
    Not tryin to burst your bubble, but I would think twice on this. I was looking into land in the same area last year. My brother-in-law found this great deal on some of the cheapest land still available in Arizona, out there. They were selling parcels of a subdivided ranch northeast of St. Johns for dirt cheap. I got pretty excited about having a family ranch out there to get away to, and the land looked pretty good... but... two major issues turned me off to this deal.

    1) Groundwater is deeeeep up there. Drilling a productive well will probably cost you >50 times what you are paying for the land. You are off the grid out there, and will have to either drill a well, or pay to set up a tank and truck in water or pipe it in from somebody elses well, then pay monthly fees. Not really a deal breaker, but something to consider.

    2) More important for me was this... there is a coal fired power plant just outside of St.Johns, upwind less than 10 miles from the parcel I looked at. There is also a coal fired power plant in Springerville, 20 miles to the south. These are some of the worst air pollution emitting facilities in the country. I've heard that you can see the haze from these emissions settling down in that valley on a clear day from the top of Sunrise. Seeing as I was looking at this land for an outdoor recreation destination and family getaway, I decided against it for this reason.
    Last edited by flOw dOwn; 05-14-2009 at 02:49 PM.

  12. #12
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,031
    Not bursting my bubble, I appreciate the practical experience. I'm not sold on it necessarily. Like you, I'm interested in the concept of a nice getaway spot or, you know, a redneck last stand for the zombie apocalypse.

    Might still take a drive up there at some point to look. Basically, it wouldn't be costing me anything. Trading one unused asset for another.

    Here's a google earth map the owner sent:


  13. #13
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,229
    hey B, couple thoughts not necessarily about the specific property but about a 2nd place in general...

    St. John's is pretty far out there. 4hrs at least, and you would be surprised how much effort it is to get to your 2nd place. you just don't go as much as you think, and trip prep takes longer than you think it will. PaulB has said there is some cool riding around Greer\Sunrise, but I don't know much biking up that way. I'm sure you could find some fun activities, but if biking is key closer to Pinetop might be better for you. Or course, you are halfway to Durango in St. Johns and 1.5 hrs? from Gallup...but you don't typically go to your 2nd place to road trip again, unless you are there for 4+ days.

    We have a 2nd place, co-owned with another family. It is kinda nice to have your own spot, but having a 2nd (or 3rd etc) owner lets you get into something nicer for the same money, on the assumption you and they get along and don't step on each other. You might find a nice place ready to go if you doubled your investment and found a partner. Or stuck with your plan and found a partner, it would change your outlook on expenses and effort. I went in with my best friend, and we still formalized the agreement in an LLC with bylaws which is worth it. We both use the place 6-8 times a year, and there is still room for 1-2 more owners without anyone feeling pinched.

    good luck!
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  14. #14
    Meatbomb
    Reputation: Phillbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    6,287
    Thats pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.Dry, dusty and WINDY in the summer and a cold mud bog in the winter.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.