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Geographical perksGeographical warning signsPaying for your propertyTemporary housingBuilding your own shelterOnce you’ve read through these topics and developed a realistic budget, you should be able to start your search.Geographical PerksAs you look for your property, you can also look for extra geographical perks that give you more for your money.Many of these perks will make life for you and your family much easier.Did you know there is land all across the United States that has private natural gas wells that have been in use for decades?These wells have been used to not only supply heat and cooking fuel, but they also can be leased to natural gas companies and earn an income for the property owner.A microclimate is the climate of a section different from the surrounding sections.It may be warmer or colder, wetter or drier, or more or less susceptible to frosts.But you also need to be aware that you can have even smaller patches of microclimates in different parts of your property.For example, a protected spot on the south side of your house may actually be a zone warmer than an exposed spot on the north side.Talk to your Extension agent to learn more about the microclimates in your area.San Francisco is a city with microclimates and submicroclimates.An artesian aquifer is an aquifer, or underground river, that is confined between layers of rock.Because it is confined, the water is under pressure, which causes the groundwater to flow upward through a well without the need for pumping.If the pressure is high enough, the water may even reach the ground surface, and then it’s called a flowing artesian well.Mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes can be wonderful fences to secure the edges of your property.Not only do natural boundaries protect your real estate investment and ensure you will not have encroaching neighbors, they also provide a natural secure periphery to your property.Geographical Warning SignsAs you decide on your property location, the general feel of the land and condition of the house and outbuildings are not the only things about which you should be concerned.You should look at any geographical threats in your area.Just because your piece of property hasn’t experienced a flood in the past doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.Unfortunately, many of our wetlands have disappeared due to urban spread.Because those places the water used to naturally flow into are gone, the water is forced to seek other outlets further upstream.Mudslides start out as shallow landslides, but gain momentum and debris as they race downhill.Unfortunately, it is common for mudslides to pick up rocks, boulders, trees, and even cars.Avalanches develop or build up on slopes between 25 and 55 degrees and start on slopes that have reached between 35 and 45 degrees.Avalanches generally occur after a significant snowfall covers a steeply inclined mountain that already has a considerable snowpack.If the new layer of snow does not bond to the original layer, there is a danger of an avalanche.Landslides can vary in size.They can be as small as the movement of a single boulder in a minor rockfall or as big as thousands of tons of earth and debris that fall to the bottom of a slope or a cliff.One of the best ways to determine whether your property has the potential for any of these geographical hazards is to look for an alluvial fan.Sometimes these fans are so large, it’s hard to see them from the ground, and so you should use something like Google Earth to view your prospective piece of property.Alluvial fans are geographical markers indicating that a landslide, mudslide, or avalanche has occurred in that area, and, if the conditions are repeated, can occur again.Paying for Your PropertyNow that you’ve located your property of choice, how do you plan on buying it?If you are looking at a piece of land and are planning to build, you need to understand that in today’s financial climate, getting a loan for a piece of land is often much harder than getting a loan for a home.CashThe best way to purchase land is to have cash.If you pay with cash, you will not have a loan payment or additional interest added to the cost of the property.Seller FinancingQuite often, when a seller is offering a piece of land, unlike a home, he has some financial options in the sale.Often sellers are willing to finance your purchase.Although seller financing might seem like a nice, friendly transaction, both you and the seller should be sure that expectations and terms are very clear and in writing.You need to have a lawyer help you with the purchase documents to ensure, for example, that you hold title to the land, but the owner holds a lien on your property.You need to have in writing who is responsible for any property taxes and what happens to the property should you default, or if either seller or buyer should die.Seller financing can offer you some interesting and beneficial options, but be sure to protect yourself and your investment.Bank FinancingIf you are going to approach a bank about financing land, you will need to have detailed information about your plans for the land.You will need to have information about zoning, soil samples, easements, and your building plans.A local bank is going to be your best chance at financing land.Local banks invest in their communities and can be more open to the needs of their customers.However, if you plan to finance your land, you will need a fairly substantial down payment.Many banks will require anywhere from 20 to 50 percent down.You will also be subject to higher interest rates than you would with a mortgage because land financing is riskier.Once you build your home, you can approach the bank about refinancing the loan as part of a traditional mortgage.Traditional Mortgages