Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Beautiful Home

There is a plot of land 105 acres about a half mile down the road from my mother's house. In this shot you can see one of the many old abandoned barns on the property. I am very interested in the possibility of purchasing around 30 acres of this land and maybe refurbishing the barn as a country home as it is in solid shape and on a good foundation. There are over 10 other abandoned barns on the property that could also be rebuilt into guests houses, dance halls, etc. The downsides to this land is that it is not waterfront, but it is across the street and about 5 minutes on foot to water. The desirable barn is right on the road which is also less than perfect, and the previous tenant seemed to run a tractor repair shop so there may be some oil spillage, or machinist oil sunk into the soil that will need cleaning.

Otherwise, it is a very exciting piece of property!

Carolina Barn Storming

I wanted to post some images of my recent adventure in the wilds of the North Carolina country. In this neck of the woods, there are plenty of old abandoned barns to be explored . . .

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beautiful Land

So this is the prettiest piece of land I have seen so far in Eastern North Carolina. It is gorgeous, untouched land, 282 acres of it, the eastern edge saddles right up to Blounts Creek, the same beautiful waterway where my mother owns land . There is this lovely old barn, no doubt abandoned from a previous era that sits in pastoral grace beside a large tree, see above!
There are two blasted problems here: 1. The land is not for sale, and 2. it is owned by a doctor of internal medicine. I believe that this doctor either plans on building his dream retreat here or holding it for investment purposes, in any case, he is educated enough to know the value of this property and wealthy enough not to need to sell it. I believe I will nevertheless contact him , to politely inquire into this parcel of land. I wouldn't usually go to such ends but I got that feeling when I drove down the road and saw this, that feeling that says, 'this is it!' . So I will write him just to follow my instincts.
The useful bit of information for you all is that there is this wonderful website in Beaufort County, NC that lists every parcel of land, its acreage, its estimated value, and its owner - a testament to the efficiency of North Carolina's local government. So you all can search from whatever computer terminal you wish all over the world for land with me in Eastern Carolina, the site is

open to suggestions and advice, happy Valentine's day!

much love,


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Department of Planning and Development

Had a very fruitful meeting with John Rodman, AICP, Planning Administrator at the Department of Planning and Development at the City of Washington Municipality Building. I will try to summarize some of the things I learned. The city of Washington creates zoning and planning regulations for itself and a 3 mile radius outside of city limits, but the surrounding counties have NO ZONING which has its own positives and negatives that I will get to in a minute. The only real restrictions to purchasing land in the outside county is if the Health Department will issue a septic tank permit based on the water drainage efficiency of the soil on your property, and secondly if that land is within the flood zone, which means there is a mandatory statute to purchase flood insurance.
Here's a tid bit of information - %75 of the City of Washington is within the flood zone and during Hurricane Floyd the storm surge got to 9 ft 6 inches. A deterrent I keep feeling in my investigations to this region is that the soil is largely made up of sand and clay, no bedrock, and there is a lot of marsh land. I don't like the ramifications of this given the long term environmental crisis seemingly imminent. But this only leads me to consider the suggestion of my good friend Derek to go visit an environmental scientist at UNC, which would be a fun trip anyways, and there would be babes on campus. Another deterrent to this region is that I have noticed an overwhelming absence of babes, but maybe that is because I live in NYC and it is the wintertime here, although today it is 75 degrees and sunny, with a nice breeze off of the water!
Anyways, the interesting thing about the no zoning in the surrounding counties is that you can do whatever the hell you want with your land, run a business, build a tower to the moon, put up any old crazy church which many folks seem to do - the bad part about this is exactly that, your neighbor can do whatever the hell they want too - run a general store, a hog or chicken farm, a auto shop, and many of them do. So you would need to buy sufficient acreage to buffer yourself from your neighbor...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I saw this piece of land yesterday afternoon. It is about 34 acres of former cotton field. In fact there is still alot of cotton plants just sort of wallowing in decrepitude, their little white cotton plumes still in rows running down the plot. It strikes me that in my mind, 34 acres seems like alot, but out here in farm country, where you are surrounded by endless expanses of land, it seems rather underwhelming. In any case this is not it, but I do like that the price per acre is under 3k.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Environmental Awareness

I intend on this being not only a really fun project but a good investment. It is therefore necessary to be mindful of the potential ramifications of rising sea levels not only on potential water front property but also ground water, irrigation, communities, etc. There are some interesting articles on the net if you google 'climate change water level estimates North Carolina'

I plan on attending an auction for this land on Friday , February 20th at 1:00 pm. I don't think this is a desirable option necessarily for our purposes as all of these parcels of land are only about 1.6 acres. However, it will be interesting to go to a local auction, to see what the real market price is that people are willing to pay for water front acreage during these economic slow times. One frustrating thing so far for me is that I feel that listed real estate prices don't yet reflect how slow things are, and how tough the market is going to be for sellers!~
also, these pieces of land are near where I am staying so I will head over there later this afternoon to get a first hand look at the land.