2.5 acres in South Texas, I'm considering a break from city life. What would you do if this was your land?Submitted by RobHino on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 20:41
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?!
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.
- Most definitely, I would love to do something like this!
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
PROS & CONS
There are some obvious benefits and negatives associated with a major move like this. I'll start with all the cons:
- 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.
- The town is very small, there's not much opportunity, and it's predominantly Democrat!
- I don't have a lot of money saved up at the moment.
- It's right on the highway
- The property needs a lot of work and cleaning up
- I don't know very much about what it really means to have a homestead, but I'd like one!
- The property is in a bad part of town.
- There's been break-ins in the past.
- Half the property is in the city limits.
- My dad is having hesitations of my plans!
- Did I mention it's a very small down, and it's extremely boring!
- I would own it, free and clear, well half of it. No rent.
- I would get to spend time with my dad and grandma.
- I could grow a super garden!
- I'm verifying this, but I think I could dig a well on the county side of the property, though it's pretty expensive.
- I could get a few animals! We used to have goats. Some chickens.
- I think there's money to made with the property...somehow.
- Being right on a major highway, there's millions of cars passing a year.
- There's already a home to move in to.
- We rent to a billboard company and a fireworks stand on small areas of the frontage.
- I could still run my other businesses via the internet.
- It might be fun to start a blog and document this escapade, perhaps start a YouTube channel!
- 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?