A different way
We didn’t look for property the same way others did. As usual, we forged our own path. According to Google maps the area was just south and west of the Mark Twain National Forest. According to DarkSiteFinder.com, it was in a very dark place. So, we were hopeful.
In early October of 2016, we arrived in the new area around 4 p.m. and promptly napped. Remember, I hadn’t even contacted the Real Estate agent yet. We needed to see the property a few hours after the sun went down first. We were blessed with a clear night and so we set out. If you look at the area on Google maps, you see the approach from the nearest town, Thayer, MO is filled with hair pin turns. What you don’t see are the hills and valleys. Driving this road for the first time at the posted speed limit – at night – was scary! But the fear subsided when we found the place. It was replaced with sheer joy. I posted some of the photos Bryan took of the night sky. Those images were made with only a camera & a tripod. The exposures were a bit less than 30 secs as the star movement gets too great without a motor drive.
The next day, we drove the property on an ATV, we fell more and more in love. It had the hills and valleys we loved as well as the trees. It was in a climate that had more of a chance to see a real winter and not so long of a summer. Of course, all this remains to be seen, but the historical data bears out our assumptions. (Let’s not get into a debate on Climate change – we realize all bets may be off… but we’ll see!)
Of course, we went back and forth with the agent because, apparently, there are no surveys to be done in the area (one would cost $5K.) No codes either. I researched the historical data on the land Platt books out of the University of MO to find the actual meets and bounds documents. The real estate ad said “61 acres +-“. We measured on Google Earth, around 57 acres. They have a “Fence law” in MO. Nearly the entire state follows it. Its says that if the fence is in place for 10 years it you own the property. So, who knows really. I even asked the real estate agent about it, he said,”… this is the way we do things up here. Don’t bring your big city ways up here.” After we completed the purchase, we found the east fence and the south fence, but there is no fence on the west boundary. We went to the county tax office to see if they could shed more light. But no, they couldn’t. They have that platt marked in the tax records as 57 acres. So, what we found out is that we bought the parcel of land, not an acreage. We know the existing drive way is on our property, and we know that boundary runs north and south. But the exact placement is still up in the air. I will be working on remedying that once we are there.
So, after we saw it, loved it and purchased it, we interviewed builders in the area. We talked to a few, but none were as friendly or as seemingly capable as our new friend, Jim Pace. This guy is a mason and self-taught contractor. He and his wife, Sarah, build the houses they take on, one at a time. Each aspect is carefully executed. We inspected 3 or 4 properties he built as well as a block foundation he was in the process of building. The properties were all beautiful, and his price was right.
As of Dec 1, 2016, we were the proud owners of RR3, Myrtle, Mo. (Of course, this is not going to be our address, that post is upcoming. So many lessons to be learned …)
Our next decision was what sort of house would we build?