We were this close to buying eight acres of land with a great house on it. Some pictures:
Beautiful oak trees, cleared of the pernicious cedar that hogs the water and out-competes most other vegetation. So why did we decide against it?
1. Huge limestone shelves/bedrock hides just below the soil surface
Some of the land has four or more feet of soil. But most has massive limestone within a few feet. The land is just changing from Edwards Plateau (limestone) to Blackland Prairie.
This means that….
2. Water would be a problem
Because we likely couldn’t dig much of a pond. And any pond we dug would be a big expense, to dig up huge rocks, and then we’d have to seal the bottom with a ton of clay or something to make it hold water.
Also, this property is near the highest elevation within the county, so it is likely to dig a well would have to go deep, maybe 600 or more feet == expensive.
No ponds, no well…only a water utility district where water rationing is already happening.
It was hard to find comparable properties to this one. Our friend and realtor helped us though, and we discovered it was being listed for a premium of perhaps $20,000. And the dear woman selling it, a very nice lady, was not willing to reduce the price much.
4. King Ranch Bluestem
The land is full of this invasive grass. It was planted around Texas by farmers and the highway department in the early 1900s thinking it was valuable for feed and erosion control. It is difficult to eradicate and takes over a field easily.
So, even though we are ready to buy our homestead, we passed on this one. The toughest thing was that the local Catholic parish in the town is relocating and building a big new church just one mile down the country road from this property.
The search continues…