In Modoc County, near the Oregon border, there are several small gold mines that overlap into Oregon’s Lake County, near Fairport, California. You might try the surrounding streams for placer deposits and Modoc County Gold.
A great diversity of plants is found there—native trees include Garry Oak, Washoe Pine, Jeffrey Pine, and Ponderosa Pine. County residents count abundant wildlife, open spaces, wilderness areas, the Modoc National Forest and the Warner Mountains (where a gold-mining rush occurred in 1912) among the county’s most valuable assets. Surprise Valley offers opportunities for hiking, birding, stalking antelope (with cameras), camping and fishing. A large portion of Modoc County is federal land. Several federal agencies operate in the area and are a significant part of the economy and services in this rural region.
Real Estate in Its Purest Form
by Jeffrey R. Kosnett
by Kiplinger's Personal Finance
A few weeks ago I drove from Maryland to Florida and back. On long trips, I usually turn onto some two-lane state and county highways. This time, I had a mission: to watch for land on the market and get a sense of whether pure unimproved real estate is a plausible investment.
A few people who invest directly in real estate own all or part of neighborhood retail strips that house beauty salons, pizza parlors and the like. Most direct investors buy condominiums or houses. With houses or apartments the risk is big that you'll constantly be searching for tenants to keep the units filled and spend more time on the property than you want, unless you hire a property-management company for around 8% of the rent. Moreover, although some distressed investors may be trying to unload their properties, prices, based on current rents as a percentage of the gross cash flow, are still high in many places.
But none of this necessarily means that the timing is wrong for all real estate. One of the best-performing types of investment property lately has been land, specifically farmland or rural land that can be used for recreational activities or can be subdivided into parcels for homes with panoramic views.
The lure of land isn't a temporary phenomenon. Land has long been a desirable holding among long-term buy-and-holders who don't need current income or tax losses and can buy for cash or pay bank-loan installments from current income.
Or consider the case of a Kiplinger's reader from northern California who just sought our opinion on a plan to take $125,000 from certificates of deposit and buy additional acreage adjacent to his six-acre country home. The beauty of the reader's plan is that it would combine the intangible value of having the acquired property serve as a buffer against unwanted development with a plan to hold the land for 10 to 20 years and sell it, perhaps in pieces, as a retirement investment.