Sisters Seeking Network

We’re a sister team who have been at this part time almost a year. Five deals in and finding our stride. Mare is based in Colorado and I’m in the Philippines most of the year with summers in Madison, WI. We’d love to team up with a coach or local expert in KY and TN. Slopes and easement knowledge is next for us.

We target 10-100ac properties, title closes, and realtor dispositions. We’ve used only our funds so far but will seek funding if a no-brainer deal comes along.

Goals are to always be learning; keep forward momentum; have fun; and make plenty of money. Long time Seth fan, and happy to join your community.

@landfam I’m not local to either of those states, and am actually international myself right now.

I’ve got funding available for the right deals, shoot me a PM.


Welcome to the board, @landfam. I am also not in those specific markets, but have been working counties in another eastern state with very similar characteristics (varying slopes and access). Please feel free to reach out or post here if you encounter any specific situations or questions.

For example, there have been some good threads here over the past couple of years about securing access to landlocked properties through what’s called easement by necessity. Different states handle this very differently, ranging from having virtually guaranteed legal access to any landlocked property in some states (provided it’s worth paying an attorney to file the necessary documents), to other states where the burden is much higher to get the easement granted. Googling “easement by necessity [STATE]” can provide some initial info to start learning about how this is handled in the subject market. For example, I found this page about TN, which sounds promising for that market (cautiously):

One way for assessing slopes remotely is the elevation profile tool in Google Earth.

Also happy to look at any deals you all might come across that you’re looking for a funding partner on.

@dl7573 Thanks, David!
KY is one of those unique states where that does have easement by necessity (and few variations of that). Excellent news, but our concern is that doesn’t stop the access property owner from letting out his dogs, building a fence, or finding countless other ways to make the throughway difficult and unpleasant.

Ok, so let’s assume we look into getting an easement. How long does that take? How much are the lawyer fees? Then judging at what price point does that make sense. For example the current parcel is 35ac for 16K in a decent market. Juice for the squeeze?

Current course of action is using local realtors for their experience in what will sell and how complicated all this is. Hoping this forum can help us find a non-realtor. Your feedback is helpful and we appreciate your time in replying.

Now for part II, slopes. I love using Google Earth to measure the terrain–finally all that rise and run fun from back in the day has a purpose! How much slope is too much slope is also a regional tolerance and nuance that requires local understanding. The flooding that KY and TN have experienced has buyers viewing steep as safety whereas we didn’t see that as an asset. In KY and TN what are builders willing to entertain? Perhaps I’ll pop up a pic to illustrate what we’re looking at. Worth a thousand words, right, and I think I’ve typed that already.

1 Like

@landfam Regarding slopes, just want to say…slopes are good…and midwestern people like slopes. It’s just a matter of which way and where on the lot the slope is.

Walkout basements require a slope…generally you need the ground to drop 10/12 feet from the front of the foundation to the back to make a walkout. KY/TN builders should be all over this.

The thing you need to watch for is slope at access…Driveways need to remain under 10% generally, and if the slope falls toward the home-site…that’s a challenge. A driveway that slopes down to the house funnels water directly to the house. So it will need to have some cross-grading as well.

Look at these lakefront lots. Notice at the road, there’s a steep drop…there’a “flat” shelf…and then steeper grade? Each of these lots has a falling grade toward the lake, and builders need to be creative with access…see below…these are roughly 1/4 acre lakefront lots in the midwest.

The driveways are cut in such a way that the slope carries down to the house, and the grade continues past the foundation. Also notice the retaining walls/pads at the street level. Great places to park a boat an not have to reverse it down into the garage.

There are standards for designs to connect to state highways for private landowners…these are made public by states departments of transportation, but what I’ve shown is a private community. Their connection rules are much more lax. You can google any states driveway connection standards by just typing “XX DOT driveway standards”. Example below is MO.

There are also townships and municipalities which may have their own rules. Below is an example of a rule-set which is in a town in Missouri. Once again, Google is your friend.

Edit: in the very unlikely event that you’d like to know more about driveways and their technical design criteria, here is a 270+ page .PDF that outlines so much about them that I actually can’t think of a question you could have that wouldn’t be in this document.



@landfam, I definitely couldn’t add any more insight than the excellent info that @Cory provided above regarding slopes :smile:

Regarding the easement issues, for a decent mid-five figure or higher property, it might be worth seeking out a phone call with a local real estate attorney. Hopefully just a free initial conversation: do they handle easement by necessity situations; what’s the typical cost, or cost range, for such things; how long does it generally take in that state and county; what are the risks or factors that could lead to higher costs, or failure to secure the easement, or longer timeframe to get it; is the other landowner legally allowed to block access after the easement is formally granted (they shouldn’t be able to, as far as I know, but I’m not a lawyer), etc.

And if that questionable access represents a major factor impacting value of the property (generally it would), then you might think about establishing an option agreement with that seller, to hold the property under contract for an extended time before closing on your purchase, while you research the issue and, hopefully, secure the easement. That way, if the easement is not granted for some reason, you’d only be out whatever legal costs you budgeted for the legal work, not the cost of the property, too.

Just a thought. I hear you about the juice not being worth the squeeze for every deal. But if the seller recognized the impact that the existing lack of access had on their property value, and you could fix that issue, I can see where that could create some opportunities.

1 Like

@landfam Hi Ann and Mary.
I do have experience in Tennessee but far from an expert. I have some good land agent connections in Eastern TN and just south of Nashville. If you would ever like to connect let me know. Best way to get a hold of me is by email. [email protected].

I have capital available and am always interested in funding opportunities as well.

@bobm said in Sisters Seeking Network:

[email protected]

Thanks, Bob! Emailing now. Good land agents don’t come easy.

Hi Anne and Mare! Nice to connect with a few other ladies in this business! Glad to hear of your progress a year in. I’m in the beginning stages - setting up my business and such pre mail out. Looking forward to getting my hands dirty in land! I have no money to fund deals and no expertise on your new learning topics, but glad to hear your journey and would love to hear more!