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View Full Version : What can I do with an acre of land?


ArnoldIsNumeroUno
03-09-2006, 07:15 PM
I inherited an acre of land. it is like an hour from me, I already own a house and this land is in the sticks so I don't want to live there. But I don't want to sell it either...what are some ideas for things I could use it for?

Balthisar
03-09-2006, 07:23 PM
I inherited an acre of land. it is like an hour from me, I already own a house and this land is in the sticks so I don't want to live there. But I don't want to sell it either...what are some ideas for things I could use it for?
Campground for the weekends. Too small for crops, and you'd have to be out there all the time. You could lease it to a neighbor. Build a house and rent it. Screw the house you already own and move to the new land. Build a secret room to hide kidnap victims under the ground. Store junk Camaros-on-blocks there.

Zoe
03-09-2006, 07:26 PM
I know what I would do with it!

(Notice what I use for my "location." It is taken from this poem which I often escape to in my mind and would in reality if I could:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree (http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/775) by W. B. Yeats

Sal Ammoniac
03-09-2006, 07:31 PM
If it were me, I'd plant it over in valuable hardwoods. The thing is, most valuable hardwoods start out as weeds, so you can get going for nothing. The wait may be a little long, but what the heck. If there are trees there already, thin out the ones that aren't standing straight, or are deformed. Sell those for firewood. There you, silviculture 101.

A.R. Cane
03-09-2006, 07:44 PM
I inherited about an acre around 25 years ago. It was a kind of camping time share kind of deal. Well, not really a time share, but an association deal. It was on a small lake. You could camp and/or build a summer cabin. Problem was you had to pay association dues, plus taxes. By the time I got it both fees were several years behind. I just let them take it back for what was owed.
You can easily check these things out, but most unincorporated areas require a minimum 3 to 5 acres for a septic tank and/or water well. Raw land is an alligator, it just costs you money in taxes and maintenance. Some places require that you keep the weeds and brush cleared for fire safety. Unless you have some specific plans for the, not to distant, future, or there's a good chance it will dramatically rise in value, I'd sell it. The adjacent landowners will be your best bet.

garygnu
03-09-2006, 08:02 PM
You could build an airport with a giant treadmill for a runway.

Balthisar
03-09-2006, 08:53 PM
You could build an airport with a giant treadmill for a runway.
I needed a good laugh. :p

spingears
03-09-2006, 10:35 PM
I inherited an acre of land. it is like an hour from me, I already own a house and this land is in the sticks so I don't want to live there. But I don't want to sell it either...what are some ideas for things I could use it for?I rented mine out to the adjoining property owner for pasture. At the time it was transferred to me the neighbor asked to buy it but I kept it for sentimental reasons. I did promise him the right of first refusal. When the time came a real estate firm gave me an opinion of the value IF it weren't surrounded by the adjacent owners land.
I offered it at that price and he was glad to accept it at that price. Came out in good shape except for having to pay income tax to the state the land was on as will as FIT. I never asked for an increase in the rent but he paid the going rate anyway.
Gentlemens' agreements and only legal paperwork was the deed transfer stuff.

My suggestion is to do much the same. At some time you will have no use/need for it and then is the time to sell it to someone who can use it or wants it.

SmellMyWort
03-10-2006, 01:36 PM
Use it as your own personal campground. When you aren't using it, let friends and family use it. Let local Boy/Girl Scout troops know about it and let them use it for their outdoor activities.

Lemur866
03-10-2006, 01:50 PM
Remember people, an acre is a pretty small area of land, about the size of 2 or 3 suburban lots. You could pitch a tent on a one acre lot, but unless the adjacent lots are all woodland you'll be right on top of the neighbors, not much different than camping in the backyard.

Kalhoun
03-10-2006, 01:54 PM
What kind of neighborhood is it? That has everything to do with it.

Cityfolk like to tend a garden in the sticks sometimes. You could break it out into 1/8 acre spots and let folks plant on it for a fee (fresh veggies being the fee).

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
03-10-2006, 01:55 PM
Fruit trees?

Kimstu
03-10-2006, 02:00 PM
Build a log cabin and plant beans. Write an American classic on solitude and simplicity. (http://eserver.org/thoreau/walden00.html)

Helps if you have a lake nearby, though.

Regallag_The_Axe
03-10-2006, 02:10 PM
Remember people, an acre is a pretty small area of land, about the size of 2 or 3 suburban lots. You could pitch a tent on a one acre lot, but unless the adjacent lots are all woodland you'll be right on top of the neighbors, not much different than camping in the backyard.
Yeah, like he said.

It would help to know a little bit more. What sort of terrain is this land comprised of? Forest, waterrfront, desert, what? What sort of land is around it? Would any local ordinance restrict what kind of buildings you could put up?

If it was me, the land was a quiet piece of woods, and I had the financial resources, I would build a nice little cabin (with a nice big whine cellar).

Tristan
03-10-2006, 02:15 PM
Contact local Airsofters and see if they want to use it to shoot in (BB's, harmless for the most part).

Or paintballers, but be aware of the potential splatter of water soluble paint.

Build a pagan temple.

Put up a 10' wall around the entire property, seal the gate, and don't open it again for 10 years. See what happens.

Build the largest model railroad line ever.

or the smallest Maze garden.

Cervaise
03-10-2006, 02:31 PM
You could build an airport with a giant treadmill for a runway.Gold.

Regallag_The_Axe
03-10-2006, 02:42 PM
Build a pagan temple.
I like the way you think. Perhaps he could put up some kind of mini gothic cathedral made of black stone and iron, with spikes and gargoyls jutting out everywhere. And then he could put a ten foot up wall around the place, and only go in at night, and play a big pipe organ with the sound of women screaming in the background. And, maybe, have some kind of big, crazy dogs that attack people who try to sneak in... Oh, oh, and there'd have to be some kind of automated system that whenever it sensed movement on the property would make a lound scary voice boom out (from hidden speakers) "BE GONE FROM HERE, PATHETIC MORTAL CREATURES!"

Yeah, that would be awesome.

postcards
03-10-2006, 02:46 PM
Yeah, like he said.
If it was me, the land was a quiet piece of woods, and I had the financial resources, I would build a nice little cabin (with a nice big whine cellar).
Where you could sit and complain that no one comes to visit you...

blondebear
03-10-2006, 03:00 PM
Depending on the shape of the lot, you could make your own personal football field. But you might have to skimp on the endzones a bit, as you'll be 360 square feet short.

arrosen
03-10-2006, 03:08 PM
Build a brothel

Finagle
03-10-2006, 03:18 PM
You could build an airport with a giant treadmill for a runway.

That idea will never get off the ground.






An acre, from the standpoint of a suburban house lot, is a fairly decent piece of land. From the standpoint of agriculture or leisure activities , it's mighty small. Slightly better than 200 feet on a side. Not enough to buy you the kind of isolation from the neighbors you'd need for paintball or camping.

I'd say that the hardwood farm is one decent approach. The distance away sort of precludes anything maintenance intensive like xmas trees, an orchard, or an actual garden. I suppose you could plow it over and plant sunflowers.

Of course, it sort of depends on where it is. An acre of land in New England, if left to its own, is going to become woods fairly quickly.

light strand
03-10-2006, 03:22 PM
Rent it to NIST who can then use it as the standard measurement for an acre.

CBCD
03-10-2006, 03:25 PM
Am I really the first wise-ass to answer that what you can do with an acre of land is plow it behind one ox in one day?

How did I get to be so lucky!

See Wikipedia entry:Acre:History (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acre)

Gorsnak
03-10-2006, 03:39 PM
Am I really the first wise-ass to answer that what you can do with an acre of land is plow it behind one ox in one day?
Yes. And I'll be the first wise-ass to ask: Is it between the salt water and the sea strand?

Tastes of Chocolate
03-10-2006, 03:46 PM
Plant several conifer trees a year, and have a personal Christmas tree "U-cut it" lot for you and some friends.

StarvingButStrong
03-10-2006, 04:02 PM
I inherited an acre of land. it is like an hour from me, I already own a house and this land is in the sticks so I don't want to live there. But I don't want to sell it either...what are some ideas for things I could use it for?


We really need to understand the situation better. You say 'sticks' but does that mean outer suburbs or farmland?

Is the idea to make some money off the land OR would you be happy just not having to pay out for taxes and such?

astro
03-10-2006, 04:58 PM
An acre is 43,560 sq ft or approx 208 x 208 feet (if square)

Call the applicable municipal authority and confirm on the zoing. DO NOT use the tax listing data to confirm zoning, it's often wrong or misleading . Once you know zoning that will determine the allowable range of uses.

kunilou
03-10-2006, 05:10 PM
You could donate to a land trust (http://www.lta.org/aboutlt/) to keep it from being developed.

garygnu
03-10-2006, 07:30 PM
Plant several conifer trees a year, and have a personal Christmas tree "U-cut it" lot for you and some friends.
In Oregon, people do this for a "farm" tax-writeoff.

Shagnasty
03-10-2006, 07:54 PM
Put a fence around it. Build a cabin and stockpile food and other necessities. Collect guns and explosives for defense and boobytrap the perimeter. Declare it a sovereign nation, fly a flag of your own design, and dare the law to screw with you lest you make defensive strike to protect the homeland. Believe me, they will be too scared to mess with you.

Ignatz
03-12-2006, 01:05 PM
But seriously, what you can legally do on it depends in large part on the local zoning regulations. Check with the planning department for the area's governmental entity.

drachillix
03-12-2006, 02:00 PM
But seriously, what you can legally do on it depends in large part on the local zoning regulations. Check with the planning department for the area's governmental entity.

This is what I am going through right now, found a .9 acre lot for a great price, the zoning for intended use is kinda fuzzy but planning is saying OK, I am putting in a request for that in writing so I don't buy it and then have them tell me no. In my case its my wife and I along with my sister and her husband, carving out a little "Drach estate" between the 4 of us. Lots of room for some fruit trees, deck areas, area for the kids to explore and have many an adventure without ever leaving the property. Looking forward to the joy of trenching for sewer and water lines.

To the OP something like a small impromptu farm might be viable, just plant a bunch of assorted fruit and nut trees and leave it alone after a few years you should be able to buzz by and pick up enough fruit and nuts in an hour to make several happy neighbors and or free fruits for canning, jellymaking, or homebrewing if you are into that.

Yeah
03-12-2006, 08:35 PM
just plant a bunch of assorted fruit and nut trees and leave it alone after a few years

I don't know about Michigan, but I think that in most of the U.S. there are very few desirable fruit or nut trees that do not require a lot of care (regular skillful pruning, weeding, proper fertilization, fungicides, insecticides, antibiotics, netting to protect fruits and nuts from squirrels, birds, etc.). I like the "valuable hardwood" idea or, if you are up for more of a challenge, you could cultivate mushrooms.

HMS Irruncible
03-12-2006, 09:15 PM
I inherited an acre of land. it is like an hour from me, I already own a house and this land is in the sticks so I don't want to live there. But I don't want to sell it either...what are some ideas for things I could use it for?
Being dead serious, I would cultivate truffles. Put a stand of hazelnut trees on it, inoculate them with truffle fungus about 5 years in. About 5 years after that, just rent a pig, and presto, truffles at $200 a pound or whatever they go for. If I ever get an extra acre of land that's what I'm doing.

Guinastasia
03-12-2006, 10:05 PM
Is it between the salt water and the sea sand? Then you'd better reap it with a sickle of leather.

Rysdad
03-12-2006, 10:09 PM
Build a small trebuchet (http://www.trebuchet.com/) and fling things around.

You could build an airport with a giant treadmill for a runway.

Priceless.

drachillix
03-13-2006, 06:53 PM
I don't know about Michigan, but I think that in most of the U.S. there are very few desirable fruit or nut trees that do not require a lot of care (regular skillful pruning, weeding, proper fertilization, fungicides, insecticides, antibiotics, netting to protect fruits and nuts from squirrels, birds, etc.). I like the "valuable hardwood" idea or, if you are up for more of a challenge, you could cultivate mushrooms.

Well im also not talking about any kind of optimal yeild situation, its not like you are making a living on these plants. Sure you are going to loose alot to squirrels and such but in some ways I would think it would almost add to the experience having all the little critters around. Many other types of melons, fruits, berries whatever could be tossed around as well. just let them run wild, some will die out, some will thrive. If someone picks some...oh well. My only worry in a very rural area would be a bear moving in or something like a bobcat preying on all the little critters.

samclem
03-13-2006, 08:05 PM
No General Question here.

Let's try IMHO.

samclem

Hello Lady
03-13-2006, 10:51 PM
I'd build a cabin with a nice, wide deck and use it at a retreat. Family and friends could make use of it when they wanted to as well.

I'd also fence off an area for grazing and hire it out. There are plenty of blocks in our area where people do this.

Fruit trees, vegetables sound fine, but not if you can't easily tend to them. Something that grows well without much attention would be better.

StarvingButStrong
03-14-2006, 01:01 AM
Just had a thought: are there close-by neighbors? How big a bastard can you be?

Because you could plow the acre and sow it in dandelion, crab grass, bamboo, chinese lanterns, bittersweet, and every other noxious and/or invasive plant you could think of. And, as a bonus, there would be no need to maintain those plants in any way. They're all ridiculously hardy, let them fight it out among themselves...at the same time they try their damnedest to take over the surroundings.

After a couple of years of never ending battles against your invading horde, the neighbors would probably be ready to band together and off you a sizeable increase over the fair market value just to be able to nuke your 'nature preserve.'

;)

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
03-14-2006, 08:22 AM
How far is it to the nearest river/lake?stream/ocean?

Think: Fishing Cabin.
Even if you don't fish.
Because they can be rented out.

Translucent Daydream
03-14-2006, 10:09 AM
I really wanted to have a bubblegum factory when I was a kid.

FordPrefect
03-14-2006, 10:58 AM
I don't know about Michigan, but I think that in most of the U.S. there are very few desirable fruit or nut trees that do not require a lot of care (regular skillful pruning, weeding, proper fertilization, fungicides, insecticides, antibiotics, netting to protect fruits and nuts from squirrels, birds, etc.). I like the "valuable hardwood" idea or, if you are up for more of a challenge, you could cultivate mushrooms.
Well, depending on the definition of valuable, okay, my def: Walnut and Cherry are both valuable hardwoods and nut and fruit trees. Two birds with one gorgeously figured stone.

Viridiana
03-16-2006, 07:01 PM
Have you seen The Cell? :D

elfkin477
03-16-2006, 09:25 PM
But seriously, what you can legally do on it depends in large part on the local zoning regulations. Check with the planning department for the area's governmental entity.

Good advice. Were this acre located in my town, building a house would not be allowed. You need to have at least 2 acres to build a house here according to town ordinances.

If its on a nice fairly open area without a great many towering trees, you might be able to rent it to a cell phone company for placement of a cell phone tower. One of my friends at work gets asked permission for that every year or so. I think they offered him 300-400/mo.

yBeayf
03-16-2006, 09:58 PM
According to this site (http://www.irishclans.com/articles/greatfamine.html), you can grow enough potatoes to feed an average Irish peasant family for one year.

Sunspace
03-16-2006, 10:01 PM
Things you could do with it...

You could build a garden monorail (http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/Niles.html) or UFO landing pad (http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-69-725-4396/life_society/ufos/clip2).

If it's in a watercourse downhill from agricultural land, you could put in a swale and some marsh plants and perform tertiary wastewater remediation.

What's the land like? What are the neighbours and their land like?Were this acre located in my town, building a house would not be allowed. You need to have at least 2 acres to build a house here according to town ordinances. :eek: That's... mind-boggling. My friends live on 1.78 acres and their house is quite large, to say nothing of the surroundings. The front yard is vast, the back yard is a bit smaller, but then there's a fence, and [/i]an entire additional pasture[/i] that also belongs to them. You could quite comfortably raise livestock there. Which is part of the reason they bought it.

Cat Whisperer
03-16-2006, 10:47 PM
Good advice. Were this acre located in my town, building a house would not be allowed. You need to have at least 2 acres to build a house here according to town ordinances.
In Calgary, you need about 30'x50'. I wish I were kidding.

If its on a nice fairly open area without a great many towering trees, you might be able to rent it to a cell phone company for placement of a cell phone tower. One of my friends at work gets asked permission for that every year or so. I think they offered him 300-400/mo.
You know, we've already got a honking big electrical pole plus guywires in our back yard; we should totally find out if we can get a cell tower, too. At least *that* would be worth the inconvenience.

I like the tree farm ideas. You could also grow pot or ginseng.

tiltypig
03-17-2006, 03:27 PM
If I were you, I'd build a little straw bale house and plant a permaculture food forest (http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1094)? The basic principle is that they are sustainable and are supposed to require very little work.

That way you'll have someplace to retreat to after we run out of oil and the economy collapses :)

Scissorjack
03-18-2006, 12:43 AM
Build an opulent lodge and an enclosure fenced with 12' razor-wire. Invite some homeless people over on the pretext of a free meal, splitting firewood, crack, whatever. Give bored millionaires crossbows, intone sonorusly "Der hunt begins", and have a bum safari. Charge indecently for the privilege.

{This can also double as a corporate team-building exercise or the venue for a Republican Party convention - just don't let Dick Cheney in}

Lynn Bodoni
03-18-2006, 01:32 AM
If it were me, I'd plant it over in valuable hardwoods. The thing is, most valuable hardwoods start out as weeds, so you can get going for nothing. The wait may be a little long, but what the heck. If there are trees there already, thin out the ones that aren't standing straight, or are deformed. Sell those for firewood. There you, silviculture 101. My husband has a little over 44 acres of scrubland. He's planting half a dozen hardwoods each year. His first planting was 100 trees that he got from the county extension service, things like osage oranges...basically, they bear fruit, but it's not fruit that people want to eat. However, they're easy to grow, and wildlife love them. So he's planting some trees for the wildlife, and to keep erosion down, and then he plants hardwoods, so that when our daughter inherits it, she'll be able to sell off the mature trees. I keep bugging him to plant pecan and walnut trees...I love nuts.

My husband uses this land mostly as a retreat and hunting area. More trouble than it's worth, if you ask me, but it gives him something to do on weekends, and he's always wanted a little farm of his own. I just want him to look at the long term, and plant a few good trees each year.

Cat Whisperer
03-18-2006, 04:26 PM
That's a great idea, Lynn. If you're planning for the long term anyway, make it a good end result.