Author Topic: Potentially buying land from the state.. any tips/advice?  (Read 1418 times)


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 367
  • Age: 33
Potentially buying land from the state.. any tips/advice?
« on: April 04, 2014, 05:28:29 PM »
I know itís a shot in the dark that someone on here has done something similar but my DH and I are about to start looking into purchasing some land from the state DOT. 

We have a property on a lake that has an egress driveway that goes over state DOT land bordering the two lane highway.  We didnít really care about this when we bought the property last year because the DOT land is mostly steep/hilly forest that isnít useable to us and the dirt road suited us just fine.  Based on the survey map we have from the previous owners there is a shed and part of some big retaining walls on the DOT property that the past owners obviously thought was part of their property.  Still not a big deal except now those retaining walls, which our properties share and which hold up the parking/driveway area, are failing.  They were old wood railway tie walls and have completely rotted.  I got in contact with the DOT because half of the walls are on their land.  Per them,  they canít help us pay for fixing or replacing them because they are not something they built (or authorized) or need.  A helpful guy at DOT was able to tell me that if we just repair the part on the DOT side that no one would care.  However, if we wanted to replace them we would need permits, insurance, etc.. since we would be doing work on state land.  Ach the headaches.  He mentioned that the area was weird however because the state only owns  50í inward of land along the highway except for this weird 200í inward plot of land that runs along our property border.   He thought it might be worth it to look into buying some of the land so we can do whatever we damn well please with the walls.  We think the idea is worth looking into. 

The DOT guy is going to email me a POC to talk to about purchasing land on Monday but I was also able to find this:
I believe the property would meet numbers 5 and/or 6.  We should be able to buy the land if the DOT determines they wonít need it in the future.  I canít imagine they could, at least for the part we are interested in.  There is quite a steep grade that wouldnít be useful for staging equipment. 

I believe the state has to own 50í along the highway based on the areas up and down the road and speaking the DOT guy.  We would only really want the 300í line bordering our property line.   So that brings the land area to 45,000 sq ft (300í x (200í-50í)) at most.  That might cost a pretty penny depending on what they consider the zoning (I canít imagine trying to build anything useful on it but that doesnít mean anything).  I think the smallest land we would be able to buy is if we went 50í from our property line to encompass the shed and the rest of the retaining wall.  That would be 15,000 sq ft or only 0.34 acres.  BUT the weird extra land the DOT has, that it usually doesnít, also extends 100í behind our property line and I am not sure if they would force us to buy it as a whole plot.   So if they want us to take all the extra property off their hands or they wonít sell then we are looking at (400í x (200í-50í)) = 60,000 sq ft (1.3 acres). 

Obviously, I donít know how flexible they are going to be on this.  Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated.  I would love to figure out a way to sell it to them that it is to their advantage to sell at least some of the land to us (I think it is but I am biased). 

*All numbers approximate.   PM me if you think you can/want to help but need more detail.  Sorry this was so long :(


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4543
  • Location: Texas
Re: Potentially buying land from the state.. any tips/advice?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 05:47:39 AM »
If the State doesn't need the land, they should dispose of it and use the proceeds for useful purposes. They are the stewards of (your) taxpayer money and should be using it appropriately, not letting it sit idle in an otherwise useless piece of land.

Check the zoning.

Make sure they know that the potential buyers are very limited because [not zoned for whatever, no good access, too steep to build, etc] then make an offer.