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Old Mar 12, 2008, 2:29 pm   #1
ShroomsNShamrocks
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Name: Joel
Northern, Indiana USA
Wells County
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Looking for camping land

I am looking for an affordable piece of land somewhere in the lower peninsula. I am basically looking for a secluded, wooded (or adjacent to woods) piece of land for camping trips and a base location for morel hunting in the spring. It would be nice if it were a place that I could build something small on eventually, but for now I would just like a primitive area to set up a couple of tents for an extended weekend.

Does anybody have any tips or experience with this? Know any good websites that I could browse? At this point, it's kind of a dream that I'm just casually investigating. But soon, I hope that it becomes a reality.

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-Joel
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 5:02 pm   #2
SWMichRealtor
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Southern, Michigan USA
Plainwell
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If you are interested in Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Allegan, Van Buren or Barry counties, feel free to PM me.

I keep a really close eye on what is listed and know of quite a bit that is unlisted but for sale.

Ed

ps...I agree with big shroomer. Land remains expensive, despite the steep decline in values for single family homes. And, its always best to find a seller that really needs to sell.

It never ceases to amaze me what people are asking per acre vs. what actually gets sold. Sometimes its a 30 to 50% differential.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 10:57 pm   #3
miker
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Ed, I'm into vacant lands also, but not buying or selling them,mike
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 12:04 am   #4
SWMichRealtor
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Originally posted by miker
Ed, I'm into vacant lands also, but not buying or selling them,mike
You and me both, miker.

I have been putting together a personal 'landbank, of other people's land. Making an effort to go out and meet landowners, gain their trust and, hopefully, be allowed to walk their property at certain times of the year. Most people are interested in what grows on their land (speaking of mushrooms now).

This has done several things for me:

1) It has allowed my daughter to see how trustworthy people interact with other trustworthy people. I remember how my dad treated folks and I don;t think kids get that exposure these days.
2) It has opened up much more land for me to walk and mushrooms for me to harvest.
3) I have met some of the most wonderful people on the planet.
4) it has helped my business on some small level.

Ed
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 1:14 am   #5
Ohio Transplant
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Southern, Ontario CA
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If I may interject quickly. Lots of vacant land here in Ontario :)
Also, related, you'd be surprised at how few no trespassing signs I see here and how many folks are willing to let me on their land.
I know when I left Ohio, a lot of the old timers had passed on and the younger generation acquired the land and put a stop to any activity at all.
I miss the old timers. One in particular, old man Factor we called him. Mr. Factor to his face. Farmer all his life, never married. Walk up and sit a spell with him, eat a fresh tomato he'd just picked, get a tin cup of water out of the old hand pump and he'd let me on his land to hunt deer and ginseng every year and asked for nothing in return. I enjoyed many an hour listening to him talk. I remember getting there one time and he came out all bruised up on his face. He's taken a fall. He passed on not too long after, and the son took over. The tin cup that hung off the pump by the road was gone. The no trespassing signs went up and I wasn't even allowed back in to get my store bought tree stand. See, the son never visited his father much, or I'd have met him at some point and time, but he was sure there when Mr. Factor passed.
I never thought I'd live to be old enough to say I miss the old days.
Another woods was similar. Can't remember the old fellers name, but he was a farmer, pretty near 90 I'd say,and had a bitter edge but was kind and always let me back to dig roots. Kids built a modular home next to the old farm house where he lived, and one day I was coming out of the woods, and the lady of the house approached me and informed me that "they didn't allow anyone in their woods for any reason".
I told her that the gentleman next door let me and has for years now. She looked over at the house where her father or father-in-law lived and said,"He doesn't know what he's talking about. We don't want you back there again". And so it was.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 8:41 am   #6
Justapickin
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Northern, Michigan USA
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Rex,I remeber when you were here a couple of years ago and you ask me about all of the no trespassing signs.I said it was because trespassing was rampant.Even with signs up there is still a total disreguard for private land here.I don't get it but there are those that think going on someone elses private land is totally acceptable Gone are the days of asking permission to hunt and sharing the bounty with the land owner and striking up new friendships...
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 9:50 am   #7
ShroomsNShamrocks
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Thanks for the advice. Any ideas on how to go about watching for back tax and foreclosure properties?

OT, I liked the Mr. Factor story. I'm sorry to hear how it ends but it sounded like you got to know quite a guy.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 10:27 am   #8
SWMichRealtor
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Originally posted by ShroomsNShamrocks
Thanks for the advice. Any ideas on how to go about watching for back tax and foreclosure properties?

OT, I liked the Mr. Factor story. I'm sorry to hear how it ends but it sounded like you got to know quite a guy.
If you are watching for foreclosure properties, do not waste your time on the pay-web sites that tout foreclosures. They are worthless. The banks are barred from conducting real estate, so they will hire brokers. Every community has a broker or two or four that specialize in bank foreclosures. Pick your community and seek out that broker.

You don't see bank foreclosures on land nearly often as single family homes and condos. The reason is that while I could buy a $300,000 home with no money down, the lending guidelines were never loosened that much on land. In fact, I had trouble finding any lender that would allow anything less than 15% down on land mortgages.

That means that most landowners with a mortgage have some equity and have the ability to slash their price to sell it and avoid foreclosure. If everyone had been required to put 15% down on their homes, we'd have alot less home foreclosures (we would have also sold alot less homes in the last 5 years!).


As far as property tax foreclosures, I can't really feel good about giving advice about these. Many of these are long-time owners that have run into job losses or other troubles. The system is devastating to them once a municipality goes after their land.

Ed
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