31 votes

2.5 acres in South Texas, I'm considering a break from city life. What would you do if this was your land?

What if someone gave you 2.5 acres in South Texas? Would you leave your city life?

We've all thought and dreamed about buying a piece of land somewhere and starting our own little homesteads, or just breaking free from the daily grind and trying something new. Well, I don't know how I've never thought about this, but my father owns 2.5 acres in South Texas that is just sitting there rusting away.

My father has tried once to sign over the property to my brother and I several years ago, but we balked at the extra responsibility of keeping up the property, as we were too young and irresponsible at the time, living hours away in the city...a clear opportunity missed.

I recently resigned my corporate America marketing job to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams, and I've been doing a lot of thinking about changing my lifestyle completely. I mean, could I really leave the city and move out to a small town, population around 5000, almost zero opportunity other than agriculture, government, or Wal-Mart...yep, there's a Wal-Mart.

I have so many ideas of how I might be able to use the property for business while also making a small homestead...and I wouldn't have to pay any rent or a mortgage! Of course, it would take some starter money to get going where I'd at least feel safe and comfortable.

Another really cool thing is, my brother and I have a 30 acre hunting lease no more than 2 miles away that we snagged up for only $600/year!

Let me tell you more about the properties, and a few ideas I have. Then I'd love to brainstorm on other ideas you might have of what I could do with it!

What would you do is someone gave you this?!

PROPERTIES

2.5 Acres

The 2.5 acres is actually two separate lots. The shop is my dad's 100' x 96' old hot rod shop, and it's full of old cars, old parts, and all sorts of junk. It would need a lot of cleaning up and some work securing the place, as the nearby neighbor hood is pretty bad. There is a decently refurbished trailer home that is liveable. The property is split by the city limit, though my father says there are talks of annexation. The trailer is currently being rented out, but my lease here in San Antonio doesn't end until October. They will be gone by then. It's city water and sewage I believe.

30 Acre Lease

The 30 acre hunting lease is something we kind of just randomly came across. We got a good deal, so we snagged it up. It's a small plot, but it's got tons of game running through. We're not big-time hunters, but we got the fever just after deer season ended this year. We've scouted the property, and it's got some outstanding brush, creeks, game trails, water and food sources near the property. We set up two small blinds, and we're trying to get ready for next season. We've seen whitetail deer, hogs, javaline, bobcats, dove, and rabbits. There's even an adjacent property that we're eyeballing that we're going to try to also lease out from the neighbors.

IDEAS

  1. Most definitely, I would love to do something like this!


    http://youtu.be/pwhRWpZVpos

  2. There are thousands of federal reserve notes worth of classic car and hot rod stuff in the shop. I want to photograph and inventory everything, and start an online business buying, selling, and trading old cars. My dad welds and vice grips them all together how the hotrod could look, and the people buy projects to fix up themselves. It's called Streetrod Projects. He's been doing this on and off for like 25 years. I just don't think it needs to take the entire footprint of the property, and he hasn't really being doing this for the past several years, and stuffs just sitting there, rusting away.
  3. Using sales from all the old car stuff, I'd like to set up some type of perpetual income for my dad's retirement, and with any extra from this business and my other businesses, fix up the property and maybe build something like this:

    Or something smaller and more mobile:

  4. I've written about the idea of an industrial incubator before, so I'll defer to the video in that post to describe the concept, but in the shop, I'd have a space to do just that. I could add in some office space.
  5. My bro has a small business doing automatic custom gates in San Antonio. He's always had a demo set up there at the shop that has people stopping asking questions, but we've never made a serious attempt to sell automatic gates and entry systems to all the ranches in the area. There's a market for this kind of stuff with all the big ranches. I could set up a nice display for the oncoming traffic and work straight commission for my bro.
  6. Fishy's commented reminded me of another idea: community outreach. It could be like a libertarian experiment in how to help a poor and desperate, rural community. The schools are terrible, and the neighboring town had to close their school and consolidate with surrounding districts. There would likely be a demand for a quality education, and also, how to start a business online...I'm sure people would enjoy a community garden too!

Those were just a few of the ideas I had...keeping with my dad's advice, "You don't have to make a lot of money from one place. You can make a little bit of money from a lot of places."

I'd still be selling Revolution Car Badges through the internet and at liberty events. I would still be doing design and marketing work through my new business Non-Network Creative. I just imagine a place with no rent, where I could build or grow what ever I wanted, a place where I could invite others to come develop their business ideas, a sort creative space for start-ups:


http://youtu.be/ldWzZlMj5w0

PROS & CONS

There are some obvious benefits and negatives associated with a major move like this. I'll start with all the cons:

Cons:

  1. I'm not so sure I could leave the city permanently, although, I might be able to do it for a few years to see if I like it.
  2. The town is very small, there's not much opportunity, and it's predominantly Democrat!
  3. I don't have a lot of money saved up at the moment.
  4. It's right on the highway
  5. The property needs a lot of work and cleaning up
  6. I don't know very much about what it really means to have a homestead, but I'd like one!
  7. The property is in a bad part of town.
  8. There's been break-ins in the past.
  9. Half the property is in the city limits.
  10. My dad is having hesitations of my plans!
  11. Did I mention it's a very small down, and it's extremely boring!

Benefits:

  1. I would own it, free and clear, well half of it. No rent.
  2. I would get to spend time with my dad and grandma.
  3. I could grow a super garden!
  4. I'm verifying this, but I think I could dig a well on the county side of the property, though it's pretty expensive.
  5. I could get a few animals! We used to have goats. Some chickens.
  6. I think there's money to made with the property...somehow.
  7. Being right on a major highway, there's millions of cars passing a year.
  8. There's already a home to move in to.
  9. We rent to a billboard company and a fireworks stand on small areas of the frontage.
  10. I could still run my other businesses via the internet.
  11. It might be fun to start a blog and document this escapade, perhaps start a YouTube channel!
  12. I could still come back to the city, and actually, I'd be closer to the beach and the town where I grew up!

I'm sure there's plenty more pros and cons. Help me find them. What would you do?

___

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make sure you have water rights

you may want to be able to dig your own well

Money Is the Key From My Perspective

You might have a lot of plans on how you will start a business but there are no guarantees of business success.

Most people do not like to think about it, but what would you do if you ran out of money? Could you commute to the rural location or find a job closer so that you can work the new homestead on weekends? Could you get a job at the Post Office or local candy store?

It would be great to keep a spreadsheet of what is costs you to live in your current job compared to what you would need to live in the new location.

You might not be able to address all of the issues in advance but, at least, you would have a better idea of what you are getting into if you brainstorm a series of "What if's".

Gene Louis
http://www.survivaloftheslickest.com/
Supporting a Needed Tool for Government Feedback:
A Citizen-Operated Legal System.

Land/mineral patent

find out who owns the land patent and try to buy it. That way you actually own the land.

Truth is treason in an empire of lies

seems to me

you have a job, and should be getting paid, to clean up the property, refurbish, demolish and research whether you want to remain corporated with the city.

Seems moving your brother's business there is a natural and I suggest you straw bale garden,, make and sell garden art.. hot tubs.. somthing that complements your brother's business.. I don't know if you have enough water to have a small nursey.. specialize in I don't know.. boston ferns.. air plants... ipen up a hobby shop

GOOD LUCK whatever you decide to do Rob!

GO.

The Universe is giving you a second chance, don't blow it again.
How do you want to LIVE? Chasing FRNs? Or feeding yourself and your family, being a part of your community? You say it is a "bad neighborhood." Offer to teach about gardening, give a 1/4 acre to a "community garden." see what you think of your neighbors after a couple weeks working together toward the benefit of all.
Sounds like you have a dream, run with it. The only thing I would suggest is an aquaponics system - in desert climates, the water conservation is critical. For outdoor gardens, learn about permaculture water conservation methods, especially Hugelkulture.
Good luck!

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Community outreach was another idea I had...

It could be like a libertarian experiment in how to help a poor and desperate, rural community. The schools are terrible, and the neighboring town had to close their school and consolidate with surrounding districts.

There would likely be a demand for a quality education, and also, how to start a business online...I'm sure people would enjoy a community garden.

I was definitely thinking about hugelkulture in that area.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

There's a place near my house

called Whippoorwill Farm and they have a pretty neat set up. They teach organic farming and have a program where if you volunteer at the farm (mostly pulling weeds and picking) they "pay" you in food. Their website's not coming up for me for some reason but here's a tube of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABoJUoY3SNQ

http://whippoorwillhollowfarm.com/
not coming up for me for some reason

I think you should go for it, you'll never regret trying. Good luck and keep us updated!

Unless you live in North San

Unless you live in North San Antonio, most of Bexar county is a welfare extension of Mexico and central planners (Castro, sa2020.org) heaven.

My only concern is rain, which doesn't fall very often West of I-35.
SA is already tapping the aquifer because they want to expand indefinitely just like Austin and have no concept of the law of conservation of mass, so the water well may be short lived.

Southern Agrarian

From the looks of things you'll be far from bored

I'd say the key to your plan here is whether or not you could put n a well, and irrigate your homestead. If you are on a major road frontage you can probably make some good money selling produce. As for start up cash, is there a scrapyard around? Looks liek you've got 2.5 acres of bits of steel and other scrap. You probably have a couple thousand dollars worth of scrap metal that needs to be cleaned up anyway. The key here is gonna be water and water rights though.

Josh Brueggen
Engineer
Entrepreneur
Gardener
Jack of all Trades
Precinct Commiteeman Precinct 5 Rock Island Co Illinois

I'm not positive, but...

...I asked my dad about mineral rights, and we don't own those, but we can probably put a well in on the county side of the property. Obviously I would need to find this out, and also, realize how expensive that would be!

When I was little, we lived on a 50 acre ranch further out of town. We grew watermelons and hay and we had a well. I could probably look into repurchasing that property which we sold to my uncle several years ago.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

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"it is good for the establishment to adopt liberty ideology, but it is not good for those who have already adopted liberty to fall to the feet of the establishment." ~ Annica2

bigmikedude's picture

I know one thing Rob

Having been in plenty of buildings with just metal roofs in the summer time, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be in a solid steel box in South TX when the power is out and you have no A/C.

You may as well try to relax in a microwave.

I was thinking the same thing!

That would definitely not be cool! But was considering using some type of cool roof coating that was UV and heat resistant paint finish...the kind used for metal roofing. I worked in the roofing industry for 6 years, and the stuff is pretty awesome!

It would still be really hot. I'm not dead-set on converting a shipping container, but I've always liked the idea.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

It sounds like you may be heading in all

directions at once, that's great in the planning stages, but to make a money making venture work, it may be better to find your specialization and concentrate on that. The property has so many possibilities it's a great opportunity, I would definitely go for it.

Rural ain't so bad. I live

Rural ain't so bad. I live on 5 acres in a town of 400, closest other town is 75 miles. 220 miles to a Lowes or Home Depot. 140 miles to a Walmart.

I'd check building codes, zoning, everything. Because it might be a mess to get anything done, or it could be like here where there is no regulations at all.

Blah.

I like your ideas. One thing

I like your ideas. One thing I would think about is a well. You can have one drilled which gives you access to the water table. Also, that 30 acre lease can make you a few dollars if you lease it out a week at a time during the various hunting seasons. Whatever you do DON'T put a trailer on that land.

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

I know it sounds tempting but

I know it sounds tempting but you'd probably be miserable without all your friends and acquaintances. Plus city life has its charms. You'll find the attitude of people in the country a lot different than you're used to.

If you really really want to do it of course then nothing anyone says will stop you. If that is the case I wish you luck.

Looks like the "pro's" stack up pretty well..

Security sounds like an issue, but if you can get that sorted then
you should be able to generate enough income from car parts
and your existing business to allow you to do labor intensive things
to improve the property in ways that will make it nicer and generate
income and/or make yourself more self-sufficient.

If you're short of labor, maybe you could get some
trustafarian interns from Austin or somewhere to help
out ;-) Mixing mud bricks or tending the aquaponics
will do 'em good (valuable experience, that).

BTW - container structures are interesting, but in that country
adobe/straw bale/rammed earth/earth sheltered construction
offer a lot of possibilities - all that mass will tend to minimize
heating and cooling requirements, among other advantages..

Good luck!

thats what i was thinking...

rammed earth....id build a couple of earthships... full solar (off grid)... fully self sustainable with some chicken coops/goats/gardens....

Think for yourself......Question authority...

yeah, build a couple earthships

Not for yourself, but to suckers from the city looking to try the "off grid experience" for a week or two at a time. You can do like the mountian man guy, and charge people to do all the work for you. Some would say that is a scam, but those people are getting exactly what they pay for.......

Josh Brueggen
Engineer
Entrepreneur
Gardener
Jack of all Trades
Precinct Commiteeman Precinct 5 Rock Island Co Illinois

just do whatever you want to

just do whatever you want to do... not everyone gets opportunity like that to pursue....

Think for yourself......Question authority...