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View Full Version : "Public Land" Still Avaiable ???



Johnnie
07-21-2005, 06:29 AM
We get,flyers in the mail all the time about land auctions. I don't remember every requesting any information on these land autions. Anyway they do sound like good deals, But my friend Don, told me several years back to stay away from these land autions and buy directly from the goverment. We all know that many lots and acres of land were snap up in the early 1950s in the high desert especially in and around Barstow, California and the owner of these public lands put up shacks and at the time were refered to as jackrabbit homes and were visible from the Highway 15 on your way to and from Las Vegas. I know of several people that got in on this free land rush, known as "Homesteading" and all the requirements at the time that the owner show some improvements every year much like the free mining claims that were available at the time.

I remember my friend Don, and i went over to B L M office to take advantage of this land give away but was told that that oppertunity was stopped the year before, All good things must come to an end sometime. The Homestead Act that was signed into law May 20, 1862, at the height of the Cilvil War, and was certainly a "good thing" for many people in the mid 1800s and continued clear up into the 1900s.

When the Homestead Act became effective millions of acres of public of the public domain awaited settlement and development by pioneers, famers, stockmen, miners. Each settler could claim up to 160 acres of land. Then if he culivated and improved the tract, or built a home and lived there for five years , he could file a final entry (called a "proof") and recieve a title to the land that was (called a "patent") As time passed, the public lands that the goverment thought were suitable for homesteading were transfered into private owership.

Many people ask: Why is this land up for auction, by private companys at inflated prices and people not buying from the state and county goverments. for pennys on the dollar, are we all to lazy to do the research ourselves. All the information is out there to view. But sould be look at in person if possible, by every buyer, who plans to invest in real estate.

We ourselves have not check into any desert land up for sale for long time but have friends that have desert land for sale in 29 palms that they bought from the goverment for pass due taxes. Maybe someone out there on the bulletin board might know of "free land' still available somewhere in the U. S. like the good old days and tell the rest of us. Or is that just a "50 year old dream" for the rest of us???

Your Fellow ghosttowners
Johnnie & Sheila

old judge
07-21-2005, 10:22 AM
Johnnie: The Homestead Act was repealed in the mid-80s. Many folks here in Oklahoma purchase lands from the County at annual auctions, or, by paying back taxes on real property to become eligible to apply for a Tax Deed. Takes some homework and time, but apparently can be very worthwhile. I expect most states have like laws, particularily where real property ad valorem taxes are most important. After all, land held by the local, state or federal government are not producing taxes for schools, roads, etc. OJ

Bob
07-21-2005, 11:46 AM
The last homestead act was the Desert Entry Act where you had to produce crops for a few years. The amount of such land in the desert is li9mited by the availability of water. OJ, you are correct, patented land in arrears to the state or county doesn't produce taxes and can often be acquirred by paying back taxes at auction. Federal Land is different. The Feds actually have a formnula for payment in lieu of taxes for federal land within a county. Since 87% of Nevada is still controlled by the feds, that does help supplement the tax-rolls of most cow-counties. Several years ago we wrote some legislation here in Southern Nevada to keep the funds from the sale of public land around Vegas in Nevada. It was a success and since then, Sen. Baca from New Mexico passed a bill most of the proceeds from the disposal of public lands (mainly in the west) to remain in the area where the lands were sold. The problem is that when you get away from urban environments, the cost of converting public land to private patented lands often exceed the monies recieved in the sale. Sadly, the only easy way to get title to puiblic land nowadays is to find sufficient mineralization to turn a profit and then using the 1872 Mining Bill (Passed by William Stewart, late great Senator from Nevada), file to patent the land. Those interested in acquiring rural land at a great price should contact thier local county governments. These tax sales are mostly low-key affairs attended by few and minimum bid price is tyhe back taxes. Some great bargains can be had so such legal sale notices are often buried in the back pages of an obscure publication. Call the county where you might be interested in the land, they usually have tax sales yearly. Esmeralda County in Nevada makes a big deal of it (Finally sold the Goldfield Hotel) and are getting some much needed revenue because of it. Also, some of the those nifty old structures are saved from further decay and actually restored, meaning the tax rolls swell and everyone is happy.

Hobo
07-21-2005, 05:23 PM
I was told by a Forest Service employee that there is a moratorium on the 1872 mining law and there are no more land patents being issued. Much of the patented land was granted illegally (or fraudulently) because it was supposed to be mined in exchange for the patent. However if you look at much of it, there has never been a stone turned, and the owners got sweet private property for $4o per acre. The Forest Service and BLM realized this and put an end to patenting land. Or so I've been told.

GaryB
07-21-2005, 06:46 PM
What the BLM has to say:


http://www.blm.gov/nhp/freeland/freeland.htm

Bob
07-21-2005, 07:38 PM
The moratorium doesn't prevent you from staking a claim and if indeed you do find sufficient locatable minerals, whenever they either don't impsoe the moratium (they do it every year) or change Stewarts law (Vaid claims will surely be dealt with but the old its got minerals but it will make a better golf course (Mighty close to fraud) days are over. Last time Homestake want to secure title to a mill site, they traded the patented land in Rhyolite to the BLM to get around the moratorium. I agree, unless you are lucky in a tax auction, you will have to pay a fair market value and only BLM land designated as disposable in a planning process and then typically only with the approval and perhaps request of the local (county) government.

Johnnie
07-22-2005, 03:44 AM
The moratorium doesn't prevent you from staking a claim and if indeed you do find sufficient locatable minerals, whenever they either don't impsoe the moratium (they do it every year) or change Stewarts law (Vaid claims will surely be dealt with but the old its got minerals but it will make a better golf course (Mighty close to fraud) days are over. Last time Homestake want to secure title to a mill site, they traded the patented land in Rhyolite to the BLM to get around the moratorium. I agree, unless you are lucky in a tax auction, you will have to pay a fair market value and only BLM land designated as disposable in a planning process and then typically only with the approval and perhaps request of the local (county) government.Thanks to O. J. BoB, HoBo for the great information and to GaryB for B. L. M. web site. Buying from the state and county goverments is the best way to go and "Not" from the private Auctions houses that get all the people "hyped" up at these live auctions we have all attended a auction at one time or another and it easy to get all keyed up at one of these auctions and then ask yourself later "Did I pay to much for that acreage"

Sheila & Johnnie

GaryB
07-22-2005, 02:55 PM
"Did I pay to much for that acreage"

Sheila & Johnnie

I asked my Uncle about the land sale signs I see around locally for land around Elko, NV and the surrounding area for 5K for 20 acres. He told me he checked into it once and yes you can get the land for that cheap. But you also have to level the mountain top :eek: The average land lot is set up so you can easily build on part of it, but not all of it. But I also wouldn't mind owning my own mountain ;)


The real problem now is that folks are coming in from CA and other higher markets and buying land for cash for obsene amounts which in turn is driving up the rural market. Seems too many of the good places are being filled up :(

Then in some areas like Lamoille, NV (outside Elko) folks went in and built huge houses on big lots with their old house proffits but now can't afford the taxes and up keep because the local job market can't support their McMansions.