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Old 09-22-2015, 12:30 AM
 
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Looking to purchase around 20-40 acres in Wyoming but I am having a difficult time figuring out where in Wyoming precisely that would meet the majority of my needs.

For starters, my husband travels for work all over the US and I am a writer so finding local jobs is not a problem for us. I am looking for a rural setting with a grocery store, hardware store, etc. and not much more than an hour or two away.

We are aiming to build our own property but we are also open to the idea of a fixer upper, just haven't found anything with the right amount of acreage.

For just the acreage, $20-$30k is manageable and we can take the steps to build our home, well, power, etc. afterwards. For a fixer upper and a good amount of acreage, no more than 100k (that's the hope).

I have avoided driving in snow my whole life so that's my biggest fear... I hope to learn. Please chime in with what area you know of, price of land and the weather, commute. Sorry for the repeat topic but I have heard of a thousand town names already and now they are all boggled in my mind!

The cheaper the land, the better but I don't necessarily want to be in the area with the worst winters in Wyoming. I don't hunt so that's not part of our search. I will be mostly on my own while my husband works, for weeks at a time but I spend a few weeks traveling with him... it is a balancing act. Advice on learning to drive during the winter in your area will be helpful as well. Thanks guys.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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My area $100,000 might get you 25 acres. The 40 acre ranch developments that are cheap per acre , usually just have a road bladed out thru the sage brush, no power, no water , not fenced....if you don't want you neighbors cattle you will need to fence out, a mile of fence material will cost $15,000 to $20,000 then the time and labor to put up.
Cheap land is not cheap, that 40 acres might rise a horse for 3 months, or only one month depending on the grass. Now forty acres of irrigated hay ground might produce 60 to 200 ton of hay depending on water, fertilizer, management but then it going to cost $3000 to $6000/acre.
those $8,000 40 acre plots out by Rawlins, east of Casper , north of Cody, or west of Laramie, are not really great deals, in those area ranches run in ten thousand acres to hundreds of thousand acres to run a few hundred cows.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Secure Bunker
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There are some areas around Cheyenne that are roughly in your price range (for land) that you may find interesting. I know about a place on about 40 acres with a mobile home for $155,000 not far from me. I would check the real estate websites for anything around Cheyenne. Plenty of jobs and shopping. And Fort Collins is only about 30 minutes South.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:40 PM
 
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2 things came my mind immediately, Jody hit the first (the cheap land in WY is cheap because it's undesirable and not really usable)... the second is logistics. If your husband travels all over the US, does he rely on airlines? You only have regional stuff out of Wyoming, and not very much of it at that. Denver and SLC are the 2 airports you might reasonably be able to have a direct flight out of to most points, everywhere else will have layovers and flight transfers. My wife traveled for work and dealing with 8+ hours delays and 30+ hour travel times were on the upper end of normal. There were times I'd make the drive to Denver (7 hours one way) to pick her up because I could get her home faster than the flight.

If he drives, different story.... but it's worth understanding that travel into and out of Wyoming is time consuming.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:13 PM
 
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Thanks for the input guys and no, husband does not rely on airlines. I am not interested in cattle, just want the open space. I have an old mare that I would love to bring with me but as far as large animals that is it, she is fine on my father's property for now. I am aware of the expenses in buying bare land, such as fencing as you said and the million other things that come along with it. That's why I am seeking "cheap land" and willing to do without normal commodities in exchange for it.

Am I right to assume southern WY is more expensive versus Central or Northern?
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:16 PM
 
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Brian those flight times are outrageous! I can't imagine that... husband isn't much of a flyer, prefers to drive no matter how far.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:28 PM
 
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Brian_M makes some very valid observations about WY travel access, service, cost, and timely service. I, too, travel the region extensively as a manufacturer's rep via my Class B RV, cars (AWD Subie's), and my own aircraft. There's many a time when the roads were problematic but I could fly out of here myself, over the snarl of the roads.

Understand that many winter days will present when the roads are "open", but they are a difficult drive when you're looking at hundreds of miles of distance to get places. Look at a road map and get a perspective on the distances between towns and services here. I-80 and I-25 can have you on the road for hours in inclement weather between services.

Additionally, your price points are unrealistic for land or a "fixer-upper" in Wyoming where you'd have the access to the amenities that you want.

Unimproved land in SE WY that would be a decent site is pushing the $3,000/acre price points at the low end of the market.
In HOA subdivisions around here, a 40 acre parcel with roads, utilities in place (power & phone), but without water and sewer (septic) would more likely be in the $5,000/acre range. Closer in with more services can easily exceed $10,000/acre. ... for a bare site.

Locally, a 9.8 acre parcel with a 1970's 3bd/2ba bi-level house and a Cleary 30 x 40 high walled shop sold this month for $113,000. It was a foreclosure distress property deal due to a death in the family. I'd been inside the side entry area of house about 5 years ago; the elderly gentleman that lived there was a pack rat/hoarder. The place was totally trashed out, was stacked floor to ceiling with "stuff", and the walls and floor coverings were destroyed. The exterior had badly weathered and was needing some covering or remediation. The roof was clearly blown apart. The place stank of mold and mildew. In short, it's a tear down rather than a "fixer-upper". But note the price point: still over $100,000 and only 9.8 acres.

We used to see housing in some of the rural towns that would have met your price point but with only a "city lot" and a modest house. Many of those older houses were 4-5 bedroom with 1 bath floor plans from the early 20th century; some well cared for and very serviceable, but terribly dated when it came to structure, systems (plumbing, electrical, heating plant), and such. Most were built in an era without thermal insulation, and single pane windows (not energy efficient, usually very drafty by now). Many with minimal electrical wiring/panels, way less than 100 amp service. Keep in mind that much of this area did not get electrified (electric service) until post WW2.

My place here on the ranch didn't get rural electricity service until the mid 1950's but did have a wind generator DC system and low voltage lighting from before then. The wiring when I bought the place was still cotton/rubber insulated wire and much of the insulation had been eaten by rodents through the years, but the prior owners had used those wires to reach electrical fixtures with 110V service. We had to rewire the entire house upon moving in ... after getting the rodent problem under control. Took a lot of work to rewire ...most rooms had one overhead light fixture and one electrical outlet per room. The kitchen had two electrical outlets and one overhead bare light socket. The living room and dining room had no light fixtures, they depended upon plugging in a floor lamp to one of the electrical sockets.

I've looked at many rural houses throughout WY at the lower price points in the market, and many simply were built by folk as best they could with the materials and cash flow on hand. Additions were done by folk with a vague concept of building codes; they used "rules of thumb" about wall construction, stud spacing, and roof structure. Some did a very good job, others not so good. You have to know what's safe, useable, and insurable. Buying older mobile homes is virtually a loser from the get-go; they're built to a much lower standard and depreciate functionally and financially very quickly. The only virtue to many such properties is the existing power, water, septic, and infrastructure. And you get to pay to dispose of the house.

It appears you have no experience with Wyoming or the realities of living here. In my view, you may find that the winters can be a far more imposing and daunting experience than just a concern about driving in snow. The constant winter winds and gusts can be a very imposing burden on what you can do for recreation/entertainment/access to shopping or medical services, or just surviving the winter storm passages. IMO, you need to come visit this area before making any decision about relocating here. If you have the common disneyized thinking of what is here, you may be setting yourself up for a remarkable disappointment. Please, come visit now while the roads are clear and the access to much of the state is easy. See for yourself what presents, and if you like an area and possible housing and the amenities ... come back in the winter months for a week. See if what you saw in the clear weather is still appealing in inclement weather months; for most of Wyoming, the changes will be very dramatic and have significant challenges which may ... or may not ... be appealing to you.

PS: you wrote: "Am I right to assume southern WY is more expensive versus Central or Northern? No, southern WY is significantly less expensive than Central or Northern. Why? because the climate, soils, water, terrain and topography are far more appealing in those areas than out on the plains. They are tourist areas, with more standing timber, lakes, and readily available/accessible outdoor recreation ... close to or nearby mountains.

I'm wondering if what you've missed about Wyoming is that approx 50% of the state is public lands unavailable for development. As well, there's serious limitations on the economics of developing much of the state; ie, you wouldn't build a manufacturing center relying upon bringing in raw goods and shipping out finished products when there isn't a very accessible transportation system. Many portions of the state that are tourist oriented shut down to a great extent in the winter months, such as the "black hills" of NE Wyoming (a beautiful area, but not very accessible to the outdoor recreation in the winter months). You'll discover other tourist areas that see motels/hotels/restaurants and retail businesses shut down for the winter. And roads that shut down for the winter, for example, you can't get to YNP from Cody during the winter months. That entry portal to YNP is shut down and the road West is closed for the winter. Or places like the mountain roads past Encampment to the valley of Saratoga ... sorry, closed for the winter. You'll also find a number of country roads where the "road maintenance" (ie, snow plowing) isn't done during the winter months; typically, you'll see signage to the effect that "county road maintenance ends here" or "not maintained during these dates". Many parks, which are tourist attractions at lakes, campgrounds, and similar facilities (which also draw locals) are "shut down", closed for the winter months ... which takes away the economy for that time.

May I suggest that you check out such sites as YouTube for topics such as "driving on Wyoming roads in the winter"? there's a lot of such videos posted, and it may give you a better idea of what presents in this area for at least several months of the year. It's not trivial to travel on the roads here, even the interstates. And yes, there's road closures where it doesn't matter how great your vehicle and equipment is, the road is Closed. Can be for a hour or two, could be for a day, could be for several days. Had friends get stuck 4 miles from home out here on the plains at a truck stop one Thanksgiving for 3 days a few years ago. We frequently see I-80 closed in SE Wyoming a lot of times during an average winter. The truckers pile up at the truckstops and wait it out. Tip: when traveling in these wintry conditions, best to keep a close eye on the frontal passages and weather forecasts. If inclement conditions are forming, best to stop at the first opportunity to get a motel and snug down for awhile rather than pressing on. If the roads get real bad, that town ahead that takes an hour or two to reach may be "sold out" of motel rooms by the time you get there. Not fun sleeping in your car and you can bet the truckstop cafe's are already jam packed with people.

Last edited by sunsprit; 09-22-2015 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
3,130 posts, read 4,959,662 times
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North west most expensive, north and west expensive. now here are the cheap 40s, but you better go look Buy Wyoming Ranch Land | Wyoming Land For Sale
Wyoming : 40 acres Jawbone Ranch

Last edited by jody_wy; 09-22-2015 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
3,130 posts, read 4,959,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jody_wy View Post
North west most expensive, north and west expensive. now here cheap but you better go look Buy Wyoming Ranch Land | Wyoming Land For Sale
Wyoming : 40 acres Jawbone Ranch
most of theses9(40s) you will need hay for that horse, nine to ten months of the year....
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:20 PM
 
11,376 posts, read 47,181,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jody_wy View Post
North west most expensive, north and west expensive. now here cheap but you better go look Buy Wyoming Ranch Land | Wyoming Land For Sale
Wyoming : 40 acres Jawbone Ranch
C'mon, Jody ...

it's not "nice" to tell people about these come-on phony representations that are sold on "contract to deed" sales by the sellers.

these are some of the worst parcels/properties in the state.

Most folk read the glamorous brochures and the sly misrepresentations about these place and the "dream" takes over the reality of what they've bought.

Do read the "fine print" on these properties where the most minimal disclosures of importance are buried.

Little details like "winter access not guaranteed. You may need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get into your place some months of the year". What they don't tell you and most folk don't ask is when and how the interior road access will be maintained from the county roads. Nor much mention that "utilities aren't supplied to the properties. You may need to provide your own power sources, develop your own water source, install your own septic". By the way, you may find that these places don't have a fire department service and your home insurer isn't going to write a policy on the house you built. You may find that getting trades services to the property is a bit problematic.

I get a laugh every time I'm headed to the Casper area and see their signage for their "ranches" just outside of town there. It's more suitable for wind power generation and gophers than any other use. Anybody building a house there better be liking living in a wind tunnel most of the year. Pointing your car into the wind and hanging onto the door is a necessity when you park.

Same thing with the parcels near Cheyenne. Simply some of the worst land around, but cheap to buy until you come visit what you've bought and try to develop the property.

And some of their other parcels have beautiful marketing brochures with gorgeous views of the lake that's not too far distant and might have water in it some years. Looks great, but it's not what you're buying. Kinda' like buying an "ocean front property" that's only a few miles away from the ocean and blocked by all the condo's and motels and commercial district that's between you and the sparkly sandy beach with the bar and restaurant within arm's reach from your beach blanket and lounge chair. But it's near there, right? the difference in Wyoming is "near there" might be quite some miles away and you have limited access and use of the feature ... and it's most certainly not on your property.

I've no doubt that a lot of bankers here get to ask folk how they're going to get homeowner's coverage for their house once the construction loan ends and a CO is issued. It's those "little things" that count.

I wonder how many times these folks have resold properties that the buyers let go into default on the payments when they found out what they'd bought? That's what happens on a contract to deed ... you quit making payments and they still own the property, no foreclosure needed. It's theirs until you pay it off, and if you don't ... it's theirs. Your forfeit everything you've paid for the place, too. Resale? miniscule chance by the buyer to resell one of these.

Mrs. Sun mentioned tonight that she'd seen properties for sale in the Lysite area for $1,000/acre. She also mentioned that it took 750' deep wells to possibly reach potable water. That's another issue around the state with many properties: potable, safe water. We've had a number of friends buy places that had various mineral contamination that made it a health risk to use the water, so they have to truck water into their places to fill their cisterns. It's an expensive proposition to do and water supply in the winter months can be challenging.

Last edited by sunsprit; 09-22-2015 at 09:50 PM..
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