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Hunting your own land #7389086 12/29/18 02:37 AM
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For those of you who hunt your own land was curious how you came about owning it? I know some of you hunt family land that has been in the family for years, Iím more interested in hearing about those who purchased their land. Iíd like to own some of my own one day and will more than likely end up selling my homes (2) to accomplish it once Iíve retired and kiddos have moved on. Thatís still 15 years away at a minimum. Curious how some of you got your start making the dream a reality, trying to see if I can get it accomplished sooner.


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389106 12/29/18 03:22 AM
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I hunted on South Texas leases for the better part of 35+ years, mostly on family type leases my father was fortunate enough to forge. About 10 years ago I decided to focus on land ownership within 2.5 hours west of where I live, the DFW metromess. Early 2008 as it turned out, was a good time to purchase local and with the imminent interest rate distresses. Anyhow, to make a long story shorter, I focused on land size and $$$ budget which would work for me and made the plunge sticking to said budget. That said, land ownership is not cheap and has only gotten much more expensive over the years. Purchasing land is a lot like purchasing a home but only with a shorter term loan note, in my case 10 years vs 20/30 yr notes for home. I will say that 3-5 months of land loan payments in my case equated to what would have been a nice deer lease payment but now I am a landowner "free and clear" which is a nice place to be....Some of the cons of landownership versus leasing IMO opinion are; generally less land acreage to hunt versus leasing a larger size property as well as the lack of mobility if the land you own does not "produce" hunting results. Not as easy to simply finding a new hunting lease. That said, the number of pros to land ownership are to many to list....Good luck to you.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389108 12/29/18 03:25 AM
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Thanks for sharing DQ, and congrats on achieving your dream thatís awesome!


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389110 12/29/18 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Fltmedic
Thanks for sharing DQ, and congrats on achieving your dream thatís awesome!


For a little perspective, I own a little less than 70 acres which is surrounded by roughly 1000 acres to the south and another 800 acres or so to the north, 100 acres or so to the east and another few hundred acres to the west. The properties have mild to moderate hunting pressure. All properties are LF with a moderate level of pasture and natural brush topography. Focusing on your surrounding acreage in addition to what you are actually purchasing is very important as well as the potential for the area to develop nice wildlife.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389120 12/29/18 03:50 AM
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Sounds like you picked the right place to get. Iím hoping for something similar in the Hillcountry.


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389150 12/29/18 04:52 AM
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Try to find a place where folks don"t live nextdoor full time and shoot non-stop. Good friend bought 200 acres around 15 years ago and loves it. Hunting is not #1 priority. I'd say the terrain, neighbors and game are the main components. He is more of a landowner type and loves hosting and tractor work but has great hunting if he wants. I am more of a hunter so lease works for me as it is way cheaper and tons more land. Just depends what you want. You buy 100 acres, if you don't have deer, you just wasted $300,000 if you are a hunter and need to move. Guy we hunted with bought some land that hunting was not good and ended up leasing again as well make land payment. Probably ended up making money on the sale anyway. My hunting partner could afford a lot of land if he wanted to. Just doesn't have the time so lease is best. I send him great places to buy but realize running a company takes priority.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389162 12/29/18 05:51 AM
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X10 to the above.

From the first day of our marriage, my wife and I wanted to be landowners of about 100 acres. Off and on, we'd scour the internet looking for the perfect hill country place. We were mostly window shopping as almost nothing fit our budget.

Through nothing less than divine appointment, my FIL mentioned to us that he was approached by one of his friends asking if he knew anyone wanting to buy some land- 240 acres in the Panhandle. I had many reservations about that but set out to do some research and found out that hunting up there was generally awesome. So we opened our minds and went to look. The owner spent three hours showing us around the place and we made him an offer on the spot, based on what we could afford. The land had been in the owner's family for better than 100 years and none of his children were interested in the property and had moved off to Oklahoma. He wanted to move there too to be with kids and grandkids. He didn't accept our offer at the time but said he would consider it, speak with his wife and pray about it. THREE WEEKS LATER, we hadn't heard from him and we were starting to think that we offended him with our low offer. Then out of the blue he calls and accepts.

It took us a couple months to close, but honestly it was easier buying this land than our last house. It's been almost 10 years and it has brought my family so much joy and many blessings.

Couple things I would mention that isn't widely discussed but a fella should think about prior to purchasing: location, utilities and taxes. Those things can add some significant costs to the overall outlay for the property, especially if you plan to live there like we do. However, an ag exemption can save you a bundle in taxes. But for us, having an open mind on location, at least to a certain extent, was the key for us. We went to where the right property for us was located.

Best of luck to you in your search.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389189 12/29/18 12:01 PM
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I have a deer feeder about 75 yards from my front door. I can see the TV and the feeder at the same time while sitting on the couch. The road I live on is actually called "Whitetail Lane" and there are tons of deer here. We have not had our place long just a few months and we are loving every minute of it. My wife says "I feel like I'm on vacation every time I pull in the gate". My advice is to not wait 15 years, who knows if you or any of us will be here. I'm 33 and I hear people all the time talk about waiting for retirement to do things and I just don't see life that way. I want to enjoy everyday I'm on this earth not just the last few years of it. I love the outdoors and want to enjoy it, not just on the weekends or during hunting season but every day. So to answer you question I got our place because me and the wife knew we did not want to live any other way and made it happen. Living on a culdesac fighting traffic everyday in some city has never even been a consideration for us. Being happy everyday has been. I wish the best of luck to you, do it sooner rather than later, you won't regret it.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389198 12/29/18 01:05 PM
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My advice is the sooner you do it, the better. Of course, this is after all the stars become aligned such as location, size, habitat, access, etc. It also would be tough if your spouse is not onboard.

I bought my first place in 1991. I was on a 5K deer lease in Bee County but was tired of it, a Game Warden friend called me and told me to call a number and lease a 100-acre place, sight unseen, that had become available in Karnes County on the San Antonio River. I leased it immediately. It was such a great place; I became worried about the old gal who owned it passing away, she was in an assisted living place in the Valley, that I wrote her a letter outlining my desire to purchase it. Sure enough, I soon received a call from an attorney telling me she had passed and that I needed to get my stuff off the place, I mentioned the letter and purchase, he knew nothing about that. Well about six weeks later, one of her two daughters called me, said that they had found the letter and asked if I would still be interested in an owner financed sale. We closed in 30 days.

That purchase changed everything in my life. Within three years, I had escaped Houston and now live on the fourth ranch I've bought. Back to "the sooner than later." The longer time goes along, the fewer places there are that will include minerals or similar rights in the sale. The longer that time goes along, the higher the price that will be paid for the place and it will be more than the inflation rate. It won't get cheaper. As an example, I loved that River place, but it was not a place to live on for a lot of reasons. I bought it for $600/acre and sold it for $1800/acre less than a decade later (keeping the minerals). The next two properties got significantly larger but realized the same escalation in sales price over the same period.

After buying the River place, I spent a lot of time in the cab of my truck looking at property, I wasn't interested in "listed" properties. I wanted a place that was loaded with brush, had unkept fences, and a gate that hadn't been driven through in a long time. I spent a lot of time at the County Appraisal Offices looking up properties, but now that has become very easy. In the two counties of my interest and as I drove, I highlighted every road on the County map I went down with a yellow marker. I drove every road in both counties. I ended up buying 540 acres for $300/acre at a time that the going rate for that type of property was 1Ĺ times that plus they gave me all 100% of the minerals. The owners were just tired of the property. The kicker was that because of the low price, the Federal Land Bank (now Capital Farm Credit), financed 100%. It took the appraiser less than a minute to say "oh hell yeah!" I ended up selling it three years later for six times what I paid for it. I did put up six miles of new fence, a drop in the bucket. During all this, I was so interested in "buying and selling" land that I obtained a real estate license just so that I could learn the in's and out's of the ranch land business. I never did practice on the license; it was just for my education.

As I moved through the various places, the "must-haves" I started thinking about were rather simple and might sound stupid, but it took me years and stepping through three other places to find. I wanted a place with:
  • a livable home, something that I could move into immediately,
  • 120 acres with adjoining land that could be leased for hunting,
  • be on a State highway or Farm-To-Market, with the land/highway relationship being such that there was a minimum of road frontage,
  • Within 10 miles of a small City, that had:
    • an active and stable City and County government
    • a hospital,
    • an airport,
    • an HEB,
    • and a Wal-Mart.

Like I said the above might sound stupid, but all that makes living on a place simple. You needn't go anywhere else to get the things you need, and the area is always improving. The last is important given the investment you are considering. In 2004 (almost to the day), I bought the place I live on, and I thought I was crazy to pay $2400/acre, but it met my list of must-haves based on the experience I gained. At the time, the "must-haves" were reflecting about $1400/acre in the price compared to properties further out. This year, a couple of places have sold near me for $5600/acre, and they are not as nice as my place nor do they have a home.

Prices will never be the same as they are now. Forget "Lands of Texas," grab your gal and start spending long weekends in the cab of your truck with a county map. You never know where it is going to lead! Best of luck to all that have the desire to own or live on your own land!


Re: Hunting your own land [Re: SmallTownHunter] #7389203 12/29/18 01:22 PM
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Well said, STH! Why wait! I've had friends pass while talking about their dream, life is full of uncertainties. I had a daughter entering HS at the time and she went with some misgivings, but now says that it was the best thing that ever happened. The sad part of my story is that the gal I was married to, who was so willing to throw it all into the adventure, never saw where it led. She passed away halfway through this journey. I've been fortunate to find another lady that has the same passion as I, and we married. Bottom-line is tomorrow might be too late!


Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Ranch Dog] #7389209 12/29/18 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranch Dog
Well said, STH! Why wait! I've had friends pass while talking about their dream, life is full of uncertainties. I had a daughter entering HS at the time and she went with some misgivings, but now says that it was the best thing that ever happened. The sad part of my story is that the gal I was married to, who was so willing to throw it all into the adventure, never saw where it led. She passed away halfway through this journey. I've been fortunate to find another lady that has the same passion as I, and we married. Bottom-line is tomorrow might be too late!


wow RD some story....thanks for sharing....

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389230 12/29/18 02:36 PM
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Well said all!

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389241 12/29/18 02:54 PM
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Thank you gentlemen, to be honest since the first time I stepped on the first lease in Uvalde I was on I knew I wanted land. My desires are similar to all of yours a place that is target rich, definitely want some exotics. Needs to be within 30 mins of a town with grocery store and hospital. If it had some live water on it or close by it would be awesome and preferably as close to 100 acres as possible. Want larger neighbors and either ag or wildlife exemption on it and utilities.

Only reason I say 15 yrs is because momma doesnít wanna uproot the girls from their current schools and wants them to have something neither of us had growing up a stable circle of friends from early on. They have been attending the same school since they started. I could make something happen sooner if I find my dream property by selling our original home that we currently rent. I told my wife that if something I really wanted came up at a great price Iíd have to make the move to get it. Iíve been working on paying down our bills and have one vehicle payment left and our home mortgages. I need to start putting money away and hope that I can find an owner financed deal. Thanks for those who have shared this far!


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: SmallTownHunter] #7389261 12/29/18 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SmallTownHunter
I have a deer feeder about 75 yards from my front door. I can see the TV and the feeder at the same time while sitting on the couch. The road I live on is actually called "Whitetail Lane" and there are tons of deer here. We have not had our place long just a few months and we are loving every minute of it. My wife says "I feel like I'm on vacation every time I pull in the gate". My advice is to not wait 15 years, who knows if you or any of us will be here. I'm 33 and I hear people all the time talk about waiting for retirement to do things and I just don't see life that way. I want to enjoy everyday I'm on this earth not just the last few years of it. I love the outdoors and want to enjoy it, not just on the weekends or during hunting season but every day. So to answer you question I got our place because me and the wife knew we did not want to live any other way and made it happen. Living on a culdesac fighting traffic everyday in some city has never even been a consideration for us. Being happy everyday has been. I wish the best of luck to you, do it sooner rather than later, you won't regret it.


I know it's impolite for a Texan to ask this, but, since I live on a cul-de-sac (although I'm unclear how that's more hectic than a regular street), how many acres do you own? grin


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389264 12/29/18 03:29 PM
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I purchased my first 45 acres for use as a gun range to practice pistol, rifle, and shotgun drills that gun ranges would not allow me to do. Then the hogs showed up. Now it is also hunting property.


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389270 12/29/18 03:36 PM
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Just freeking do it, and do it now!! I waited until I was 60 to buy my first place, 54 acres. My second place 77 acres. I'm 69 nine now and on my 3rd place, 100 acres.And the extra 46 acres from my first place has all been paid for 100% by the increase in land price when I sold the other two properties. And FYI, I am putting up my place for sale this spring and looking for my 4th and final place. Hopefully, it will be larger and the increase in size will also be paid for by the increase in land prices when I sell. Oh, and don't look for just owner financed land. The land bank normally can be owner rates. However in most cases you will need 20% down.


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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389359 12/29/18 05:42 PM
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Where do you look for owner financed land?

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Ranch Dog] #7389381 12/29/18 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranch Dog
My advice is the sooner you do it, the better. Of course, this is after all the stars become aligned such as location, size, habitat, access, etc. It also would be tough if your spouse is not onboard.

I bought my first place in 1991. I was on a 5K deer lease in Bee County but was tired of it, a Game Warden friend called me and told me to call a number and lease a 100-acre place, sight unseen, that had become available in Karnes County on the San Antonio River. I leased it immediately. It was such a great place; I became worried about the old gal who owned it passing away, she was in an assisted living place in the Valley, that I wrote her a letter outlining my desire to purchase it. Sure enough, I soon received a call from an attorney telling me she had passed and that I needed to get my stuff off the place, I mentioned the letter and purchase, he knew nothing about that. Well about six weeks later, one of her two daughters called me, said that they had found the letter and asked if I would still be interested in an owner financed sale. We closed in 30 days.

That purchase changed everything in my life. Within three years, I had escaped Houston and now live on the fourth ranch I've bought. Back to "the sooner than later." The longer time goes along, the fewer places there are that will include minerals or similar rights in the sale. The longer that time goes along, the higher the price that will be paid for the place and it will be more than the inflation rate. It won't get cheaper. As an example, I loved that River place, but it was not a place to live on for a lot of reasons. I bought it for $600/acre and sold it for $1800/acre less than a decade later (keeping the minerals). The next two properties got significantly larger but realized the same escalation in sales price over the same period.

After buying the River place, I spent a lot of time in the cab of my truck looking at property, I wasn't interested in "listed" properties. I wanted a place that was loaded with brush, had unkept fences, and a gate that hadn't been driven through in a long time. I spent a lot of time at the County Appraisal Offices looking up properties, but now that has become very easy. In the two counties of my interest and as I drove, I highlighted every road on the County map I went down with a yellow marker. I drove every road in both counties. I ended up buying 540 acres for $300/acre at a time that the going rate for that type of property was 1Ĺ times that plus they gave me all 100% of the minerals. The owners were just tired of the property. The kicker was that because of the low price, the Federal Land Bank (now Capital Farm Credit), financed 100%. It took the appraiser less than a minute to say "oh hell yeah!" I ended up selling it three years later for six times what I paid for it. I did put up six miles of new fence, a drop in the bucket. During all this, I was so interested in "buying and selling" land that I obtained a real estate license just so that I could learn the in's and out's of the ranch land business. I never did practice on the license; it was just for my education.

As I moved through the various places, the "must-haves" I started thinking about were rather simple and might sound stupid, but it took me years and stepping through three other places to find. I wanted a place with:
  • a livable home, something that I could move into immediately,
  • 120 acres with adjoining land that could be leased for hunting,
  • be on a State highway or Farm-To-Market, with the land/highway relationship being such that there was a minimum of road frontage,
  • Within 10 miles of a small City, that had:
    • an active and stable City and County government
    • a hospital,
    • an airport,
    • an HEB,
    • and a Wal-Mart.

Like I said the above might sound stupid, but all that makes living on a place simple. You needn't go anywhere else to get the things you need, and the area is always improving. The last is important given the investment you are considering. In 2004 (almost to the day), I bought the place I live on, and I thought I was crazy to pay $2400/acre, but it met my list of must-haves based on the experience I gained. At the time, the "must-haves" were reflecting about $1400/acre in the price compared to properties further out. This year, a couple of places have sold near me for $5600/acre, and they are not as nice as my place nor do they have a home.

Prices will never be the same as they are now. Forget "Lands of Texas," grab your gal and start spending long weekends in the cab of your truck with a county map. You never know where it is going to lead! Best of luck to all that have the desire to own or live on your own land!

Just wanted to add to the rest - this is damned good advice here.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Creekrunner] #7389491 12/29/18 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Creekrunner
Originally Posted by SmallTownHunter
I have a deer feeder about 75 yards from my front door. I can see the TV and the feeder at the same time while sitting on the couch. The road I live on is actually called "Whitetail Lane" and there are tons of deer here. We have not had our place long just a few months and we are loving every minute of it. My wife says "I feel like I'm on vacation every time I pull in the gate". My advice is to not wait 15 years, who knows if you or any of us will be here. I'm 33 and I hear people all the time talk about waiting for retirement to do things and I just don't see life that way. I want to enjoy everyday I'm on this earth not just the last few years of it. I love the outdoors and want to enjoy it, not just on the weekends or during hunting season but every day. So to answer you question I got our place because me and the wife knew we did not want to live any other way and made it happen. Living on a culdesac fighting traffic everyday in some city has never even been a consideration for us. Being happy everyday has been. I wish the best of luck to you, do it sooner rather than later, you won't regret it.


I know it's impolite for a Texan to ask this, but, since I live on a cul-de-sac (although I'm unclear how that's more hectic than a regular street), how many acres do you own? grin


We bought our house (3/2 brick built in 2001) and 8 acres in June, we knew there was 30 acres of raw land next door that the owner was interested in selling also. We went through a mortgage company for the house and 8 acres and owner financed the 30 acres and closed on it in August. My wife and I have been together for 14 years now, this was our 3rd house/land buy. We like others on here had an original goal to own at least 100 acres.

It's not that a culdesac is more "hectic" I just use that as kind of an analogy. I can never imagine living in a place were when I walk out my front door I can see 27 other people walking out of theirs.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: cactusjim] #7389521 12/29/18 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cactusjim
Where do you look for owner financed land?

I ask the seller. The first three places I bought weren't for sale. Those people didn't need the money and owner financing made a lot of sense because you are talking about really improving on the per acre sale price. I financed the river place I sold. Hell, I hoped after a couple years they would walk away from it. I'd sell it again for more money! They ended up paying off the loan early, but it did turn $180K into $240K. When I'm older and it is time to sell again, I will owner finance the heck out of this place as well.


Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389604 12/29/18 10:28 PM
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I'd been out to this land one time, probably 15 years ago. I was hunting buddies with the old timer who owned it. It had been in his family for several generations, kids didnt want any part of it, etc. One dove opener, he mentioned something about selling it in the next couple years, and I said "I'll take it." which, in hindsight, wasn't the wisest negotiation tactic. He hemmed and hawed for a few months, but finally agreed to sell. It helped that we had mutual friends/family who let it be known that there'd be some hard feelings if he sold it to anyone but me. So here we are, it was almost 14 months from that opening day when we finally closed. It's only about 50 acres, but it's mine. And I fully plan to die on it some day, hopefully a long time from now.

As far as how, I paid off everything I own besides my mortgage, my vehicles are older, but they're low miled and in good condition. I refinanced my current house and took some equity out for the down on the land. Found an outstanding bank in Sulphur Springs who looked at my financials and asked when I wanted to close. It was much, much easier to get the note on the land than I had ever thought. The plan is to lease my place and build on the new one, hopefully within the next year.

My advice: do it sooner than later. Every month that goes by costs you money. It's not liable to get any cheaper.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389659 12/29/18 11:43 PM
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My advice is to do as soon as you are able. Land like other things does not go down. It may taper off for a while but in my 72 years it has never gone down. Buy the amount in dollars that you think you can afford . In acreage it will depend on where it is located. My advice for what it is worth is at first buy small. Keep it a few years sell and buy a little larger. It is not as hard as it sounds. Most people don't realize it.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389885 12/30/18 03:28 AM
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Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 753
Avid hunter my whole life. Moved here from North East in 1998. Believed Texas would be the ultimate hunting place. Leases were so expensive and often unproductive, Have a daughter and son in law 3 grand kids in Pueblo CO another daughter son in law and 4 grand kids in Western KS, I live in Corpus. Land way too costly in south Texas . In 2011 2 years before retiring I took a compass and made 3 intersecting circles from the 3 homes that crossed in Dickens county. Land far more reasonable. Looked for 50 to 100 acres with game at lowest cost possible.in Dickens and surrounding counties. Looked at over 15 different properties. All either sold or pulled from market. Finally 80 acres that I really wanted sold out from under me by about 3 hours. However a sister property of 160 acres nearby was referred to my attention by the listing agent. Land was in a trust for several years and on market with no water no fences not appealing. Made a crazy offer and got a great counter. Moved a little bit and got a great final offer. Ended up with my life dream for about 10% more than I was planning on paying for 80 acres. The Good Lord was looking out for me and helped me get a great opportunity. Live 500 miles away but being retired when I go I stay for at least a week. Spent the whole month of October and November deer hunting with my wife of 50 years who is now an avid deer hunter. Do it if you can. Don't rush and seek the the best opportunity.

Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389931 12/30/18 04:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,552
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Nathan at Fork Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
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THF Trophy Hunter
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,552
We lived in a beautiful 3500 sqft 4/4 brick home with inground swimming pool on 5 aces on lake fork. Sold that and moved to a falling down 1150 sqft 2/1 farmhouse. But, it came with 60 acres of great hunting land that borders the keystone ranch. IT was an even swap and Id do it again in a heart beat. Have put in a lot of work to this little falling down house in the last 8 years and still more to do.

Last edited by Nathan at Fork; 12/30/18 04:14 AM.

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Re: Hunting your own land [Re: Fltmedic] #7389973 12/30/18 05:15 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,075
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DH3 Offline
Pro Tracker
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Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,075
I bought my low fence 144 acre ranch in 1999 for $240 an acre. It was financed thru the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Land in the area (Del Rio) is now going for nearly $2000 an acre, so the advice you are seeing to "buy it now" is very GOOD advice.
Del Rio has the requisite HEB, Walmart, Hospital, Airport and Stable Government. I do have to drive 24 miles into town.
I own quite a few rocks, prickly pear, sagebrush, blackbrush and a healthy deer herd that has a buck/doe ratio of about 50/50. I built a cabin that has a loft, flushing toilet, wood stove, A/C, and septic system.
A county road runs down one side of my property for 3/4 of a mile.
They are not likely to make any more land, get the point??


Old age and treachery beats youth and stupid every time!
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