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Buying Unimproved Land

Buying unimproved land near a lake in the Texas Hill Country was our goal last year.  We found 5 acres one spring day while performing a Google search for property in the highland lakes area of Central Texas.  We call it "Split Tree".

Split Tree Ranchito
Split Tree in the Spring

I printed out the details and a map, and the next day we drove out to the property to have a look.  It was covered with various oak and cedar elm trees and a variety of colorful wildflowers.  It as absolutely beautiful!

My wife and I fell in love with it right away.  Before leaving the area, we contacted the realtor to make an offer and get the ball rolling on the purchase of this beautiful unimproved property.

The property is located about an hour from where we live, which was the perfect distance in my mind - not too far that we wouldn't be able to visit it regularly, but also far enough away to give us that feeling that we own property in the country.

There's plenty of work to do; building a split rail fence; getting access to water; installing a septic system; getting electric service, etc.. 

Split Tree Ranchito
Split Tree in the Fall

Before we purchased the property, I wanted to make sure that we could get water and electric service (and that it wouldn't cost a fortune).  The property wouldn't be worth much if you can't get the basic utilities for a decent price. 

I called both utility companies and confirmed that water and electricity was available.  After the confirmation, we made an appointment with the Realtor and Title company to make the purchase. 

It was late May, and we decided that summer wasn't a good time to start working on the property.  It gets too hot in Texas to do much physical work, but we visited the property many times during the hot summer months and made plans for building a split-rail fence and an RV carport to park our travel trailer.  Here's what I had in mind for our RV carport plans.

RV Docking Station South Elevation
RV Docking Station - East Elevation

Our goal for buying unimproved land was to have something that we could build on from scratch.  We bought it primarily as an investment - an investment that we could improve on and have fun with (unlike investing in the stock market). 

We plan to "camp" on it in our travel trailer on weekends while we're getting it fixed up, and perhaps build a small house on it in about 5 years or so.  Our plans are deliberately loose so that we can change our minds and do something different if we choose.

We decided that the first thing we wanted to do was build a fence across the road frontage part of the property.  The fence would add definition to our property lines and prevent people from dumping on it.

Once the fence is complete, we plan to call the power company and begin the process of getting electricity to the property.  Since our travel trailer is self-contained, we aren't as concerned about water and septic this year, but will definitely add septic sometime soon.

I have always wanted to own some property that I could build on and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Buying unimproved land is also much cheaper than property that already has utilities on it.

This property has much potential, but there is much work to do.  It will definitely be a carpentry adventure and I am looking forward to getting started.

Stay tuned...


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