Photo Taken in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ozarks Mountain Living

Ozarks Mountain Living is a real estate website devoted to the Ozarks. They also print a real estate catalog and will happily mail one out for you. It's become one of my favorite websites and it should be commended for its lovely design and ease of use.

Ozarks Mountain Living

It's the only website of its kind. Feel free to pay them a visit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Nice Ozarks Map

I was just looking at my favorite map of the Ozarks and it occurred to me that it would be nice to have it here for you folks to see.

Many people associate the Ozark Mountains with Arkansas, but clearly two-thirds of the region is in Missouri.  Also, a lot of people aren't aware that a fairly large chunk of the Ozarks can be found in Oklahoma.  There's just a tiny portion in Kansas, the state which has been home to both sides of my family since emigrating from Ireland and Germany in the 1800s.  I wasn't even aware that there's portions in Illinois until I did some research.  I learned that they are referred to as the Illinois Ozarks and aren't considered as part of the Ozarks, although they share the name.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Log Cabin Dream

After posting the acreage near Vichy, I had to come back and post pictures of the log cabin I would love to build on land like that.

This log cabin is actually one of several you can stay in and I recommend that you do.  It is Tall Pines Inn in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  It is the coziest and most comfortable place I've ever been in.  I felt totally at home.  And it lives up to its name as there are tall pines everywhere.

I could actually make this a complete home.  You can't see it in the picture, but there's room in one corner for a small kitchen.  Small house living or tiny houses are becoming increasingly popular.  I never expected to become part of the movement, but truth is, I'd be very comfortable in a space this small.  I'd love the savings in utilities!

Another thing I wanted to point out about the Maries County land is that the open space and open hill remind me of the dairy farms I love driving by in the Ozarks.  When I lived there full-time, I really took to seeing the cows in the open pastureland with a few trees randomly about and then framed by the thick forests all around.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love This Land

I found this 3.1 acre parcel in Maries County near Vichy, Missouri for only $8,000 and it's got electricity.  Get this, taxes are $1.87 a year.  Vichy is just 10 miles from Rolla.  I've always really liked Rolla.  When I used to get turned around near Springfield and get on Interstate 44, better known as Route 66, instead of Highway 60, I'd hit Rolla and realize my mistake and start heading south through the hills.  The roads in the Ozarks are so curvy and wonderful.  It is so much fun to drive there, so it was a welcome mistake.  I discovered I really liked Rolla and how pretty it is around there.

Here's some photos of the acreage.

It is about 70% open and 30% wooded.  I would really like to own this, but I've got to buy a house before I buy land.  If it's still available in a couple of years, I may buy it.  Here's the realtor:  Weidinger Real Estate.  You may just get it before I do.  If so, invite me by!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Run on Houses in Ava

There's a run on cute small houses in Ava, Missouri, the county seat of Douglas.  My acreage was in the eastern part of the county and Ava is in the western part.  These houses remind me of the one I had in Argentine in Kansas City, Kansas.  I loved that house.

Ava is a nice town and one of my favorites, especially with the way you come into it from the west.

Just imagine that you're headed east and you'll see this infamous diner pictured below, the Highway House Cafe, an Ava landmark since 1963.

This photo is from one of the best articles I've read. It can be found in Missouri Life magazine. Click on the photo to read the article, titled, "Towers and Tales Along the Trails" by John Robinson.

Now you'll run right into the cafe if you don't make the sharp right and continue along Highway 14--a scenic route that connects Springfield, a major city in Missouri and the urban hub for the Ozarks, to West Plains, the only town of any actual size in the middle of the Ozarks--to go up a steep incline into the town square.

This is what makes this town so unique is that the town square is perched up on a hill and all of a sudden you are going around three sides of the square while technically still on the highway!

You'll come out of the square still headed east, amazingly enough, after all this turning around, and before you know it, you'll find your way into the most amazing scenery to be found in this world.  Welcome to the Ozark Mountains.

There are so many houses, but I've just included a house in town and a house outside of town.  Click on either photo and you'll be taken to the realtor's site.

In Ava.

2 BR/1 BA
720 approx. sqft
Built in 1930
Taxes $97
Lot is 50x19
Gas Heat/Central Air
City/Rural Water

Outside of Ava.

3 BR/1 BA
950 approx. sqft
Built in 1930
Taxes $70
.6 acres
Propane Heat
Well Water

If you'd like to see others, please visit Missouri Real Estate Multi-List.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2002 Volkswagen New Beetle Sport

After saving for the full purchase price and searching from spring to summer, I finally found the ideal car for me.  It is a 2002 Volkswagen New Beetle Sport.  It is a Limited Edition model that is black with these one-of-a-kind red rims and a cream leather interior complete with moonroof and heated seats.  It is in superb condition with low mileage.  I couldn't be happier.

I worked with two of the nicest men you'd ever meet at Gladstone Auto Sales.  It's a small car lot that's north of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  I've always liked the area and I once lived just to the west in the quaint arts & crafts town of Parkville.

Jim is the owner and has been in business for nearly 38 years.  He's so old-fashioned, he's not set up for credit cards and kindly takes checks.  It took a trip to the bank to process my debit card!  John is a friend of Jim's who drives a dump truck on large construction sites and helps Jim out on the car lot in between trucking jobs.  No pressure, no hassle and none of the negative associations folks have of car sales.

I sent John and Jim a thank you card with a gift certificate to a local restaurant to offer them my gratefulness.  Now that's the way to do business.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Old Blakely Candy Kitchen

A historic property is for sale in my favorite Missouri Ozarks town of Mountain Grove in Wright County.  The Old Blakely Candy Kitchen is up for sale and it's a steal at $10,900.

Many years ago the Blakely family made candy in this building and the large marble slab used in the candy-making process is still inside.  It has been used as a workshop and as storage for many years.  The candy company sign is still posted on the building.

The building is 70 x 20, and taxes are notoriously low at only $71.42, like you'll always find in the Ozarks.  Interested buyers should contact Ozarks Country Living Real Estate in Mountain Grove.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ozarks Resort for the Winter

I will be spending November through February or four glorious months in the Natural State at the Bayou Resort at Eagles Rest on Lake Norfork in Gamaliel, Arkansas.  I am so excited.  I need a break and I'm tired of the stress and worry of having my dog be outdoors for the winter.  She's always been indoors, except for the past two years.  I figure she's done her time outdoors.  She seemed to be fine about it, but I don't think it's ideal.  I figure if I spend the next two or three winters away and summers too starting next summer, then work here without any living costs for the other five months, I'll have enough money within that timeframe to buy my own place.  So it works out in all ways.

This is a one room cabin, which is what I will have, except with one bed and a loveseat.  Perfect.  The kitchen comes completely stocked, except for food, of course.  The bathrooms have been newly remodeled and they look nice.  There's satellite TV with HBO and Cinemax and WiFi, so I will be sticking with my regular routine of working online and watching TV.  I love working at home.  The beauty of not being tied to an office is that I can take it on the road.  Not many jobs you can say that about.  The owners gave me an unbeatable monthly rate and their emails were so nice and sweet.  You won't find many innkeepers like that.  I'm not sure why most innkeepers have such an aversion to doing business via email.

This will be my view.

Here's some interesting information taken from Bayou Resort's web page:

"When out on the lake you'll see there are no homes or buildings on the water's edge.  With the exception of one small area, all buildings are on ridgetops well back from the shoreline.  This is because it is illegal to build on the "Corps Strip," a federally owned band of land all around the lake.

"Without the Corps Strip, Norfork Lake would not be the pristine, natural experience it is known for.  Instead of buildings, you see hardwood forests, limestone bluffs, and cedar glades, all diverse eco-land types well populated with wildlife and wildflowers.  This natural beauty comes at the small price of having buildings set back an average of a quarter to a half-mile from the water's edge."

Here's an aerial view of Fout Boat Dock, which is right next to Bayou Resort.  It's my understanding that what makes a resort in the Ozark Mountains is access to boating, fishing and water sports, such as scuba diving, water skiing and swimming.

And here's the swimming pool.  I'm not so sure I'll be taking advantage of this though, unless there's some warm winter days and they keep it open.  Ozark winters are mild, but there is snow.

It will be nice to have life with just myself and my Saint Bernard again.  I'm certainly looking forward to it.  Peace and quiet.

UPDATE:  I've actually cancelled my reservation.  I'm pretty surprised myself.  Call me superstitious, but my oldest friend called me up out of the blue and whenever that happens, it's always a sign that my future travel plans are out of sync with what's good for me, hence the change in plans.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Land with Mobile Home

This one-acre parcel has the most gorgeous trees.  I just love it.  The mobile home is very nice too.  It's got a kitchen just like my mobile home did in Hays, Kansas, and I loved that kitchen.  And it's only $19,500.  Can't beat that.  But it will still be a couple years before I have my house money saved up.  Car first, which is happening in just a few months!  Exciting, for sure.  I feel like this blog is turning into my search for the perfect home, which is fine.  I suppose after I find it, then I can devote my entries to photography, sightseeing and life.

This land and 1986 mobile home is near Houston, Missouri in Texas County, which puts it in the Ozarks region I like the most, south-central Missouri.  It is 980 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath.  It's on rural water and electric, so I've got all the amenities of home, but with all the beauty of the countryside.  It's on a dead end road.  Yearly taxes are only $54.57.  Can't beat that either.  Here's a photo.  Click on the link to be taken to the realtor.

The property above is my favorite because those trees are just incredible, but the location is not ideal for me.  A little too far north for my tastes.  I prefer being further south.  But you couldn't ask for a better setting.

I found another one closer to Mountain Grove, my preferred go-to town, as I call it, so that makes it extremely desirable.  It is also a two-bedroom, which is all I need, and a newer one being a 1995.  It's on two acres, so more land, plus there's a fireplace in the living room.  Here's a photo of it and clicking the photo will take you to the realtor.

It's also in my favorite Missouri Ozarks county of Douglas and close to my favorite swimming hole, Bryant Creek.  It's in a real pretty area.  It is selling for $24,000.  It has a well, so some utility savings there.  I don't know the taxes on this one, but property taxes in the Ozarks are very low.

And one final one even further south in beautiful Ozark County near the very tiny town of Theodosia.  Ozark County is right on the Arkansas stateline and is one of the most heavily forested and gorgeous counties in the Ozark Mountains.  Also, two bedrooms, a 1973, but it's on two lots, so not as much land.  It's priced at only $16,900 and is 1,260 square feet.  It's got a nice deck.  Here's what it looks like and the photo takes you to the realtor.

This one has the advantage of joining the government lake line, so it is protected forest, which makes up for that lack of acreage.  And it is a mere three minutes to Theodosia Marina and Bull Shoals Lake.  It is on rural water and sewer, and comes with furniture, all appliances, and a stand-alone wood burner. Taxes are $90 a year.  All three mobile homes have CA/CH.

Something like one of these is what I'd like to find down the road when I've got my home money saved up.  Good price, a little bit of land, all utilities and a nice mobile home.  If I can find a cabin or a small house that is not in town, that would be great too, but cabins tend to run more money and houses tend to be in town.  I don't want to spend a ton of money to live well because I'm not into being in debt for anything, so I will be buying a place outright.

Another option is that I could find land and buy it.  Then find a mobile home and buy it and move it onto the land.  I found a nice mobile home for only $5,500 in the area, so moving costs would be low.  It'd sure be nice to have it already set up; less expensive, I'm sure, and much less of a hassle too.  Otherwise, I'll have to be on rural water and electric, or pay to have a well drilled, a septic system put in and electric ran to the property.  That can add up.

UPDATE:  The first one with the idyllic setting has dropped from $19,500 to $17,500.  The second one in Douglas County near Bryant Creek has dropped from $24,000 to only $16,000.  Wow!  That's quite a price drop.  The third one is the same price and still on the market as of November 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cheap Acreage in Wayne County, Missouri

I've found some of the least expensive land I've ever seen at Missouri Real Estate Multi-List.  It is my absolute favorite real estate site because it includes the entire state.  It keeps a blog that shows the properties that have been added for that day.  This makes it really nice because you don't have to do a new search all the time and hope that you've found everything that's recently been added.  It's easy to keep up with new listings.  This is the link to the Missouri blog and this is the link to the Arkansas blog.

The land below is through United Country which has a reputation for listing cheap acreage.  It's nice there's a realtor that is doing this.  I've read a few times on various forums of others singing United Country's praises for having inexpensive land listings.

It's four acres for $4,000.  $1,000 an acre is not a price you see much more these days.  Here are some pictures.

This picture below is nearby and shows a different season. 

The land is on Highway TT near McGee, Missouri.  It's a very short north-south highway on the far right of the map.  Wayne County's got a nice big chunk of Mark Twain National Forest, so you know it's breathtakingly beautiful like all of the Ozark Mountains.