Homesteading may be a thing of the past. But, if you're serious about getting your own section of land, looking at surplus federal real estate may just be your path to victory.
The federal government has abundant resources -- and we mean real property that you can stand on and make your own! Finding a tract that you want is only a matter of doing your homework. The United States General Services Administration (GSA) owns and manages more than 9,600 properties that are used by approximately a million government workers. Each year, the agency disposes of excess property by online auction.
Identify What You Want
Notices of available property in a variety of categories are posted online. Whether you are looking for acreage, buildings suitable for commercial use, single-family homes, or unimproved land, begin your search by looking at the GSA section of Derelict.com. It's always interesting to see just what the government is selling off. The list may include anything from missile silos to unimproved acreage.
Although they don't constitute the bulk of the listings, there are also a number of single family homes in good condition. Online auctions are common, but some properties may be slated for live auction. Bidding requirements and sale provisions are well defined, and successful buyers receive clear title to the property at closing. As always, however, it is incumbent upon prospective buyers to do due diligence, and to determine property condition as well as any use limitations. Financing is also the sole responsibility of the purchaser.
If you're looking for unusual property, the GSA listings are definitely worth a visit. How about a decommissioned lighthouse, complete with basement, three floors and two decks? It can be yours! Looking for a more versatile piece of real estate? A two-acre tract adjacent to Barnegat Light State Park in New Jersey boasts two multi-family buildings, a storage shed, picnic tables and a recreational court, as well as paved parking. It is a former Coast Guard facility, located only two blocks from the ocean and a public boat ramp. On a larger scale, there is even a "self-contained small town" on 122 acres in West Virginia. With 80 homes and other living quarters, even its own police station, it could be yours if you submit the winning bid.
The listings change frequently so check back with us often.