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1 Way Poor People Can Buy Land With No Money

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1 Way Poor People Can Buy Land With No MoneyI know what you’re thinking: “It’s too good to be true.” In this video, Becky from Becky’s Homestead explains how people with very little money can get themselves a small plot of land.

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To be clear, she doesn’t mean literally no money. But as you’ll see, owning a piece of land in the countryside is not a pipe dream. In fact, it is very doable.

You can watch the full video below, but if you prefer text, I typed up all six steps. Scroll down to read them.

Step 1: Gather Local Newspapers – You’re going to have to do more than a simple Google search for “land for sale.” You need to gather local newspapers from counties all over the state you want to live in. I recommend going on a trip for a few days to check out the area and gather papers as you go. Oftentimes, there are great deals in these papers that get overlooked.

Step 2: Search The Newspapers – Get out a Sharpie and search for land for sale by owner because if you try to go through a bank, they’ll probably turn you down for having little money or bad credit. Remember, the property you get doesn’t have to be that large. Several years ago, my parents purchased 60 acres of land, but it ended up being way more land than they needed. Most of the garden and livestock was on just a few acres, and the rest of the land just sat there unused. What a waste! As Becky says, “Two to three acres is plenty of land for a homestead.”

Step 3: Call The Owners – First, ask them straight up how much they want for the down payment. It’s best to be friendly and honest, but direct. If the down payment is too high, you might be able to talk them down a little. Second, ask what they want for the interest rate. Shoot for 8 – 12%. Without a lot of money or good credit, you’re unlikely to get anything for lower than that.

Step 4: Investigate The Property – Get the full legal address of the property, including the county it’s in. Once you have that, find the county’s website to find the property appraiser’s office, specifically the zoning department. (You should be able to do this online, but if not, you’ll have to go to the brick and mortar office.) Then you need to do two things:

  1. Find out if the property is zoned “residential/agricultural” or just “agricultural.” It needs to have the word “agricultural” or you won’t be allowed to have a homestead on the property. Other than dogs and cats, most animals aren’t allowed in strictly residential areas.
  2. Find out if the property is in the “hundred years flood zone.” You don’t want to live in a flood zone, not just because it might flood, but because it’s probably a very damp and wet piece of property which is not good for animals. You need high and dry land if you want your animals to be happy and healthy.

Step 5: Visit The Property – Call the owner first to make arrangements, then drive to the property and check it out. You want to walk around, have a good look at everything, and make sure it’s a suitable place for a homestead. Here are three things in particular that you should look:

  1. A Well – You can always add a well yourself, but you’ll save time and money if there’s already one there.
  2. A Septic System – Again, you could put this in yourself, but having one already there would be very convenient.
  3. Flat Land – It’s hard to use land that isn’t flat, and as a homesteader, you want to use as many square feet as possible.

Step 6: Find a Title Company – For a fee, a title company will research the seller to make sure they’re the actual owner of the property, and they’ll make sure there are no liens on the property. This could potentially save you a lot of legal trouble.

That’s it. Sign the contract and you are an official landowner!

Check out the full video on Youtube to read the comments and ask Becky any questions you might have.

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39 Comments

  1. Talea on February 26, 2017 at 11:53 am

    This is great, practical advice. Especially about the land being flat, (that is SO important) and using a Tile company. Great job.

    • R. Allison Geer on July 30, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      I’ve realized for a long time now that flat land is not all that important – treated posts, set into the ground, can make most any site useable, and non-flat sites are often much more interesting…. the classic “pole house”….

    • J Z on November 2, 2019 at 11:14 am

      I’d prefer land with a slope. Building into the earth saves a lot in materials and provides great insulation.

  2. Jesse Dean on May 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Good info but if you can supply some info as to some sites or plasplasces where you can look for people selling there property there property there self, I LOOKED ON LINE,CRAIGSLIST .newspaper’s. BUT WHAT IM LOOKING FOR IS AN OLD FARM HOUSE ON @ LEAST 5 OR MORE ACRES FOR SALE BUY OWNER & I CASNT SEERM TO FIND MUCH.Do you know of any special sites thast wol hasve more of these listings.

    • Vauban Schwarzwald on July 9, 2017 at 12:57 am

      Look on eBay “Land For Sale.

    • Tim on September 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Bullyland.com or Oregonlandcc or just google cheep land and you will be surprised at what you’ll find.

      • WM Schmidt on December 4, 2017 at 6:06 pm

        Tim, I looked up bullyland.com and it was all in German. If we are in the USA, shouldn’t we look up something with an American website? Did I miss something?

        • Penny Pincher on December 16, 2017 at 9:25 pm

          billyland dot com

          • herbaLady on January 13, 2020 at 8:51 pm

            Farm Finders often run good deals if you want land in OR, FL, or AZ. They occasionally offer NV too.



        • Troy on April 24, 2020 at 7:50 am

          It’s Billyland.com and not Bullyland…
          I hope that this helps someone.

    • nancy on January 21, 2018 at 10:01 am

      realtor.com

    • Ms.Sarah on January 13, 2020 at 9:10 am

      MORNING FROM “A COLD NORTH EAST WA.” I found my house and land on ZELLOW”! I move in to the house not knowing a damn thing on country living ! THIS house only has WOOD heat! I cash them out ! IT is a hole new life stile I lived IN SEATTLE THAT says it all! one other thing is the tempters here right now it is 16 ! OK to go to the store takes about 30 mins. + going one way and there is no fast food here !

  3. Theresa on May 30, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    I’m having problems getting financed. Easier to get a car financed!!

    • Vauban Schwarzwald on July 9, 2017 at 12:59 am

      What state are you in and are you looking for RURAL land ?

  4. Mona on August 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Looking for land near Greenville, S.C. 1 to 3 acres. Wooded, NOT a golf course subdivision. West of Greenville, we like the mountains. City water wld be nice but not necessary.

  5. Mr Home Maker on August 31, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Prices of land and houses here in Australia is many times dearer than the US. I’m too old to moe to USA unfortunately

    • paul gunderson on August 29, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Arizona , Yes how old is that? Just curious

  6. Jessica on September 21, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Check ordinances for land use too within the township that you plan on purchasing. Where we live, you can’t have a lot of typical livestock on less than 5 acres.

    Also, check property lines, easements and (including DOT). We bought our property and found out two years later than a deal was made back in the 70s with the DOT. We still technically own the land, but it’s there’s whenever they want it. Its about 1/4 Acre and the lines do not show up on our parcel map.

    Another item we ran into was water. We live pretty close to the city and the land had an existing well. However, the city would not allow us to upgrade because we had a water line in front of our house. That cost us 14k within the first two months of moving in.

    This is a great post, but it isn’t as easy as just finding land. 🙂 hope my experiences help others!

    • Heidi on September 26, 2017 at 6:46 am

      thanks for sharing!

    • Brenda on February 28, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      How does one go about researching DOT promissaries and easements? should that not have been part of the disclosures? If not, how would you find out? And as far as the water, how were you notified? Just when you applied for the improvements to your well? All of that, found out after the fact, sounds a lot like a lawsuit. But if they can legally fail to disclose these things, how do you find out prior to purchade?

      • Mike Sublett on May 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm

        Title search and title insurance. It’s part of your due diligence.

  7. JETHRO PAUL RAYMER on December 18, 2017 at 6:40 am

    CAN YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW I CAN GET LAND FOR VERY LITTLE MONEY I AM POOR AND I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT THE 1W WAY POOR PEOPLE CAN BUY LAND.

    • M.P on June 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      If you are”poor” how on Earth can you think of buying land?! It’s NOT free no matter what you read. The advice here is rediculous. You need money that’s the bottom line. No one is giving you anything. What would you do with land?! You need a well,septic,electric. A house. All that is a huge amount of money. Get a job and save money.

      • JoAnna on April 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm

        You don’t necessarily need electric. The poor may have jobs but not much of a savings; try saving on the current minimum wage which doesn’t just apply to fast food places while paying bills. Also, when people are released from jail and prison they have fines onto of everything and when society doesn’t seem to forgive seven times seventy then they end up on the streets or right back in.

      • Roadkill on May 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm

        Need a well grab a shovel and dig til you hit water then tie a bucket to the end of a rope or collect the rain. Need a house buy a cheap tent or build a mound into the ground. Need light use oil lamp need to cook camp fire. Need a toilet out house and then compost.

    • Troy on April 24, 2020 at 7:55 am

      The best way for people who are cash strapped to purchase land and/or a home is through a land contract deal where the owner is willing to carry the financing for you.
      I hope this helps someone.

  8. Wanda on March 10, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Check the County Zoning for the property you are considering. Where I live, it shows online, if the property is zoned agricultural or residential or a combo. Forest is zoned separately in some counties I think. We don’t have any here in my county. The maps can be confusing so check with the appropriate zoning authority and ask them to send a copy of the zoning so you have it in writing. Look on ebay. My Father listed a large farm thru his granddaughter on ebay. There are farms listed as well as hunting land which can often make a wonderful off farm, off grid property, homestead. Craig’s list is another place to look. The classified ads for property in the county, town or nearby you are looking at is another. Realtor.com is for listed with an agent and u will pay extra. HUD maybe, as well as trailer, mobile homes with land in rural settings often are cheaper.

  9. M.P. on June 4, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Very misleading information. Nothing is free! Why lead ignorant people on?! Most of the comments can’t be understood because the grammar is so bad. If you don’t have money for property ,how do you get the rest of it!? Asking others to buy you stuff?! How outrageous.

  10. Ness on June 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    This article has a basic – but critical – flaw: it is mistaking a “for sale by owner” property with a property for which the owner is willing to hold the mortgage (or possibly do a land contract or lease purchase deal). The overwhelming majority of owners of for sale by owner properties expect to receive full payment for the property at closing, just like owners of properties listed with a Realtor. This means a buyer needs to either have cash on hand to purchase, or they need to secure a mortgage. The seller isn’t much concerned with the down payment; that is between you and your lender. The scenario the author is describing is the rare seller willing to finance the deal themselves. In this seller’s market there is no reason for a property owner to bother with someone who doesnt have any money and/or can’t get financing. The major reason a buyer can’t get financing is damaged credit. If a buyer is such a credit risk that a bank with billions of dollars won’t loan to them, why would a seller? In my area of Ohio, as in many rural areas in the US, there are zero-down USDA Rural Development loans available to credit-worthy buyers. A potential buyer who does happen upon a seller willing to hold the mortgage themselves or sell on land contract should exercise extreme caution. There are unscrupulous sellers who “sell” the same piece of property over and over again, essentially setting up a buyer for failure with terms that the buyer will never be able to meet. The buyer defaults, the seller forecloses, or depending on if it is a land contract, simply evicts, and the property is ready for the next inexperienced or unsophisticated buyer who reads an article in how to buy property when they’re flat broke. And don’t get get me started on Craig’s List and other online sites. There’s an excellent chance you’re not even dealing with the actual owner of the property in some of those schemes. I hate to be the bubble buster, but the old saying about a deal being too good to be true applies in real estate too.

    • Jan on December 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Thanks

    • Wanda Diamond on July 13, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      Thank you for boldly busting the bubble because what you say is hard core facts. If anyone could read this first, even though it is basically common sense with some basic life experience thrown in, it didn’t cost several thousand dollars as it would to find out the hard way.

      • Ms.Sarah on January 13, 2020 at 9:23 am

        I moved into this house the first of OCT. 2019 I wish I could have moved in JUNE,JULY then we would been able to cut are firewood here cutting firewood permeant is free! DO I MISS SEATTLE,WA. HELL NO! I even had to buy a GENARATOR POWER HA ,HA, HA AS they say living off the “GRED”

    • Troy on April 24, 2020 at 8:07 am

      One reason people are willing to sell on land contract or carry the note is because they are asking more than a mortgage company would be willing to lend on that property…

      Most people do not pay much attention to the overall price if the seller is willing to sell to them and is willing to make the monthly payment what they can afford…!

      Most people are happy with any deal they get as long as they are getting to purchase the place…!

      This allows the owner to charge more than the property is worth…!

      As you stated, if the buyers don’t follow the agreement, then the owner just forecloses on them and the buyers walk away with nothing to show for all of the money they’ve spent up to that point…

      I hope that this helps someone.

  11. CHERRYMAR on June 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Don’t know about America, but in Australia you have NO hope of buying land if you don’t have a steady income and haven’t saved a deposit. I would hope it’s the same all over the world. Here in Australia we the workers just keep funding the lazy who expect everything for no effort. Best to be realistic about what you can afford and take joy from smaller things. Grow vegetables in containers, visit the parks around you and soak up the ‘green’. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Assuming it’s a bigger dose of Nature you’re seeking. I’m sorry you’re not living the way you want to be. I too am disappointed about the false hope this article may give to low/no income folk.

  12. Rose minor on July 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Rose brock I get 730 dollars on SSI I would like to buy some land up in pink oaklahoma with a trailer on the land it don’t have to be a big trailer about a 2 bedrooms with some trees

  13. cora on August 4, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Suggestion: Land for sale by owner…also known as contract for deed. People selling land usually list it as Contact for Deed.

  14. D. Swindell on October 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Do not forget to ask who owns the mineral rights. The property owner my not own them and you could be in a big unpleasant surprise down the road. The right to access the minerals may be owned by someone looking for coal,oil, gas etc and can look for it regardless of what you have above ground.

  15. Kerri on January 1, 2019 at 6:01 am

    The article also pointed out nothing is free!!! Owner finance is becoming more popular in our area. We bought our first home Owner finance, just because we needed to move quickly. 3br, 2ba, 1/2 acre, inground pool. We later refinanced through a bank for a better interest rate. And we made over 25000.00 when we sold it 7 yrs later! It IS POSSIBLE. You just have to be patient and smart.

    Thank you for the article and the information!

  16. Barbara L Keller on January 14, 2020 at 11:46 am

    I wanted to ask how do you keep your chickens from digging under the fence and getting out into the neighbors.

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