Re: Tips & Pitfalls of Buying Raw/Farm Land
OK – pink elephant in the room — the biggest drawback of buying raw land (even if it’s perfect land) is that it won’t be immediately productive. It’s going to take at least one year to clear, build, augment, plant, etc. I’ve never had a garden produce enough to live on the first year, and if you’re going to raise livestock you need to get those pastures & forage crops up to snuff before you bring the cirtters home. All this land tending is a little difficult to do when you are also trying to access water, build your home, build a barn, build a shed, cut down trees, dig out stumps, put up fences, clear out brambles & thickets, set up your power system, defend against wildlife, deal with permits and bureaucracy… well, you get the picture 🙂
Unless you’re planning/willing to go super-old-school pioneer, I wouldn’t count on raw land being able to sustain you until at least the third year you’re on it… first year to clear & build, 2nd year to establish crops & pasture (maybe get some chickens/rabbits), and 3rd year you get a somewhat decent harvest & some larger livestock.
BUT…. there are also sooooo many positives to starting with raw land, especailly if you want virgin soils and things "just so". The worst nightmare you can run into is buying developed property and having to correct everyone else’s mistakes (or get stuck living with them forever).