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bnsa 06-27-2014 09:24 AM

Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Hi everyone, my fiancee and I are wanting to buy some land and eventually build a yurt on it (after we save some money) but almost everywhere we look here in Washington State, people are not willing to finance land only. Of course when mentioning we later want to build a Yurt, they aren't as warm to the idea. Living really close to Portland, Oregon (In Vancouver, WA) one would think the banks would embrace buying Yurts, etc. because supposedly this is a "green" minded state.

So my question is - Does anyone know of any Realtors or credit unions that are open minded about people like us who want to go the Yurt route in the Vancouver, WA (or Portland, OR)... We want land but aren't sure when we'll get a yurt on it, or even how we can word it so we can get the ball rolling. We're tired of paying skyrocketing rent and want to be independent. If you're living the dream in Washington or Oregon, please point us in the right direction. Thanks a million!

Please help! Thanks!
Steven & Lucia

ineffableone 06-27-2014 05:37 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Pacific Yurts in Cottage Grove, OR and/or Rainier Yurts in Tukwila, WA could be companies that could help you with suggestions. Being both have worked in the area they likely have some knowledge that could be passed on to you.

mimzy 06-27-2014 06:27 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
You might also want to look into land contracts. Those are designed for empty land. Basically the seller will finance your purchase and you pay off them like you would a bank. You'll likely still want a realtor or someone familiar with real estate law to write up the agreement for you, but with a land contract you take occupancy of the land while the seller holds the title. You pay them just like you would a bank (with interest and all) and at the end of the contract the seller signs over the title. That said, the terms are typically a lot shorter for a land contract and can involve a balloon payment on the end but those are all things that you arrange when the contract is being written.

Just something to think and perhaps ask about since you'll largely be cutting the bank out of the proceedings. My parents have bought vacant land via a land contract (they had no intent to build at the time and so also couldn't get a bank loan) and it worked out quite well.

bnsa 06-27-2014 06:49 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Thank you! I didn't know about land contracts.

Fingers crossed we can find someone to work with us either by land contract or through these guys (who sound legit) but you never know these days online.

Steven & Lucia

Bob Rowlands 06-27-2014 07:12 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
As a rule, money people are into money. Anything that doesn't say 'this'll make me money' they aren't into. Anything that says 'hippie' 'alternative lifestyle' 'weird tastes' gets a fast "No.".

It's like real estate people with 'location location location'. They take one look at a potential spot and make a financial decision go-no go. It all revolves around money. The more successful they are, the less likely they are to even being to mess with anything that isn't north of the tracks and, and screaming satchelful of cash. That's the ways these folks think.

Jake 06-29-2014 02:06 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Bob is right on, dont mention Yurt. If you talk to a bank or similar. Say you want bare land for an investment. And stay with that. Later if you build a yurt on it and area asked just say its a temporay camping site. I'd go the land contract way.

bnsa 07-01-2014 12:53 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Thank you all for the information and insight. Land is so expensive in our area...not to mention that the city of Portland probably isn't going to want us to put up a Yurt smack-dab in the middle of neighborhood. I am a member of a couple local credit unions. Think we will start there in terms of land--and there will be no mention of our yurt plans.

I was really hoping that with Portland/Vancouver area being no stranger to "alternative" housing we wouldn't have a lot of the zoing/finacing issues. Sadly, Bob is right. Money people are into things that make them money and getting around that may take a bit of quick talkin.

Anyway, love this forum and thanks to all of you for your 2 cents.

Lucia and Steven

zschwarzmiller 11-03-2014 08:23 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Lucia and Steven,

I have just started looking for a property to either buy with a Yurt and/or land to build a Yurt. I have been looking just over the river from Oregon near The Dalles / Columbia Gorge. I work in real estate brokerage, investment and development so I approached it a little different. I have lined up some creative financing, and/or will be looking for owner financing. I've bought a house before on owner-financing and it worked out quite well for both of us this far. It's harder to find, but if you can go out a bit and find say a property owned by an estate, you might be able to strike a deal. The estate I bought the house from was owned and managed by a dysfunctional family who couldn't agree. In a way I solved their issues and they solved mine - I put a little cash in all of their pockets and now they have reoccurring revenues for the next 5 years and don't really have to come to an "agreement" about everything as I just bought it off-market (so I got a better deal). No bank would finance me, so it's really a win-win. You could also strike a lease-to-own deal or something.

I don't know any bank who would lend to me to build a Yurt (even if I was fanciable) and to top it off as I am self-employed, I am not fanciable regardless (in most scenario's) so it makes a lot more sense to start looking at more creative financing options. There are a lot of people out there with cash sitting in a bank account making less than 2% interest - with a well implemented plan, they are potential lenders.

Hope your able to make some progress on this front and get your Yurt going!!

My friend I am looking to buy land and Yurts with is down in Vancouver, he runs a gourmet hot dog cart called "The Nomad". He got sick of corporate, quit his job at Amazon and started the cart. If your still around that area go talk with him sometime, were on a similar journey and he's a neat dude.

Freedom Yurt Cabins 11-14-2014 10:57 PM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
Lucia and Steven,

Having spent a few years in banking, I will try and provide a little insight.

Raw land lending from a bank or credit union is rare, especially after the crash a few years ago. Financial institutions will always consider it investment and high risk. The price is very volatile since there is not a permanent structure (yurts can easily be moved).

If you are able to secure land, I recommend looking at peer-to-peer lending as a possibility to finance a yurt. Rates aren't the best, but they can be better than other types of lending.

I hope this helps.


Randall Bowers

Bob Rowlands 11-15-2014 10:48 AM

Re: Tricky Wording For Buying Land To Build A Yurt (In Washington State)
If building a yurt on raw land proves impossible to finance through a bank -and a bank is absolutely the way I'd go over a personal loan from friend, family, or aquainteance-, consider building a small economical rectangular ranch house of about 1000 sq. ft. with 1 car attached garage. Probably a million of these were built nationwide in the post WWII boom. I'll bet alot of older folks on this site grew up in one. Now that plan WILL get you a loan.

Every pro tradesman can build a simple structure like that fast, with minimal labor. Minimal materials + minimal labor = more affordable.

If you just can't secure financing, I suggest the small home option. You'll have plenty of opportunity to build your yurt at a later date.

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