Sunday, March 25, 2012

# 235 - Govt. Services for Your Land

Having raw acreage to prepare for construction and a homestead can be quite a daunting undertaking. Years ago, one of our first hurdles to confront with owning acreage was to get to the post office to file for our "911 Address" which gave us our street address and a mailing address for us to be a part of the outside world in typical postal fashion.

On a pizza delivery note...if a pizza place ever opened close enough to our land, we'd at least have a physical home address to provide for delivery. Sadly, as it stands, I believe we are too far from town to get deliveries. Besides, I suppose we'd have to stand among the forested road to wait for the delivery because the house will be constructed a good distance from the entrance to our property. I think moving to our acreage will mean the end of pizza's okay, we'll adapt, take-out will rule the day.

Another exciting angle we've taken with our acreage is to work with the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS). We completed a "SCIMS" form which then required a copy of our deed and survey for the NRCS to conduct a soil sample of our area. Turns out, National Resources Conservation Services has been conducting nationwide soil testing and is compiling a national data system which is quite complicated.

The National Cooperative Soil Survey produces information about soil data through the Web Soil Survey (WSS); all ran through the National Resources Conservation Services. To date, there are soil maps and soil data available online for more than 95% of the nation's counties. It is very interesting. You can even do an online search for your area.

For our land, we will be working closely with this office because we have natural springs and creeks on our property which contribute to soil erosion.

Part of our land is susceptible to being extra-squishy.
Deputy Dave's truck had been stuck in this area, but he's an
expert at becoming unstuck.
If you are interested in soil studies for your particular area, go to and you will see a series of selections. If you go to the one about soil, you can get started. The process looks a bit complicated and it appears that you need your legal address, not your 911/street address to access data. As I stated, we're going the hard-copy route via the SCIMS form. If your land has not been soil surveyed, you might be able to get them to include it in the study by submitting the proper paperwork.

Since we have completed all of the necessary paperwork, we are allowed to pick up a "Soils Book" from the NRCS office in Livingston. However, since we're not able to find the time to make the two hour trip (one-way) to Livingston, we are having them FED EX the book to us at our home in the Greater Houston area. The shipping method is left to the discretion of the NRCS office personnel. The book should arrive next week. If we had been able to pick up the book, there would have been no cost involved to obtain the Soils Book, but the shipping costs required to send to the book to us will be on our dime.

The next task for us to complete is to keep working with another agency, the Farm Service Agency. This agency is literally next door to the National Resources Conservation Services office. The Farm Service Agency is working in conjunction with the NRCS and will use the paperwork we've already sent to assign us our Farm and Tract No.

Deputy Dave
I guess we'll see what happens as we mosey along with all of these processes.

For those of your who have been reading, Stefie is well enough to drive back to college this afternoon. She's still stiff and in pain, but is doing much better. Physical therapy is helping, especially the aqua-therapy to take the pressure off the disc bulge and compression that is causing her so much pain.

Once she leaves to go back to school, this old gal will be whipping the house back into shape for more showings this coming week. We'll be employing an OLD marketing technique called..."lowering the price."  ------- I am cracking up.

Anyway, I hope the reduced house price will attract a new segment of buyers who cannot qualify for the $5,000 difference that had perhaps held them back from qualifying. Every $5,000 opens up the potential for a new cluster of buyers. I guess we'll see what happens. I have until Wednesday to get the house back into tip-top shape because that will be the day that our price reduction will be effective. It's good to make changes to your marketing on Wednesday because potential buyers and agents will likely be in heavier property-search mode by Thursday morning for the next few days of showing appointments.

I believe the good weather, the reduced price and the almost-April-time-of-year will work to our advantage. It's kind of the time-frame I had planned. I wanted to sell the house around the end of April. Since it took us longer to get the house on the market, I need to allot for an adjusted sell date. Probably mid-May is when we will close. And, that's my positive mind-set at work folks!

We've always sold our houses very fast. This economy is surely reflecting the hesitancy of buyers and lenders to move the housing industry in anything but a snail's pace. The good thing is...the difficulty with purchasing a home means that you have less people crossing your threshold who aren't qualified buyers. I don't allow anyone to make an appointment to see our house unless they have a letter of qualification from their lender on hand. When you are selling your home, you don't feel like entertaining bands of sight-seers.

Keeping the sight-seers down to a minimum is also the soaring gas prices. Gone are the days when people would pile into the car to roll around town to leisurely drive down street after street in an attempt to catch a real estate sign in desired locations. These days, we stroll on the Internet first, it's a gas-saver.

I guess we'll see how this next week will go...hopefully I won't have anything but a boring good old time!


Charade said...

Thanks for the NRCS info. Glad Stefie is at least well enough to get back to school. And here's hoping your marketing strategy will work.

LindaG said...

Really glad to hear about Stefie.

We don't have any forest, so I'm not sure how this NRCS thing would apply to us, but I have a feeling it will be great for you.
Good luck with that and good luck with the sale of your house.

Hubby is thinking of renting ours and I don't want anything to do with that. :o/

Hope you all have a great day!

Mike said...

Is it just me or is the Deputy starting to resemble Howdy's ass? Sorry. ;)

Rae said...

I've been horribly mia lately! Just wanted to pop in and say I'm glad that Stefie is doing better!!! :)