About 10 years ago, we decided that our retirement was going to consist of a sailboat on which we would set out to explore the Pacific Ocean (and possibly more remote locations depending on our future level of bravery). When we felt we could no longer sail, we would dock the boat at some cheap marina where we would spend our twilight years sipping martinis and watching sunsets.
We ultimately ended up with a 1976 Morgan Out Island 41 which we have spent the last three years fixing up, as it was a derelict when we found it. (Sailbeforesunset.com)
But about a year ago, I convinced my husband, Tom, that, before we retired to the ocean, we should look into real property so that we would have something stable to return to if the boat should prove challenging to board as we became more decrepit.
For the past year, we have been driving around Southern California, my state of birth, hoping to find an inexpensive piece of land we could buy on which we could set up a mobile home. Ideally, it would consist of 5 acres with a well, electricity, and septic already at the site.
As we traveled around Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties, we came to see the California desert as an interesting place to visit. Most of the acreage we found was remote with nearby residents living in roughshod shelters or rusted trailers. None of the acreage had water, electricity, or septic. Graffiti abounded.
On Aprii 5, 2019, a Friday, we drove out to Wellton, Arizona to look at a property we had seen on Zillow.com. It was listed as a 4 bedroom house for $55,000.00. We thought we could handle that, so we took a drive out to Wellton, which is one of the first small towns you come to after you drive through Yuma on the 8 Interstate.
The house ended up being a problem for the current owner as he was having trouble getting some changes to the house permitted by the county, so we decided to bow out. But rather than turn back to California, we decided to stay for the weekend at the Desert Motel in Wellton and see if there was anything else for sale in the area.
We really liked the farmland that surrounded Wellton. The population of Wellton is about 2900, and there is one stop sign in the middle of town. Being a city girl all of my life, I was excited to be in such a small town where two cars arriving at the stop sign at the same time constituted a traffic jam.
The next morning, we found some coffee at a Starbucks in Yuma and then perused Zillow to see if we could find anything else in the area. We found two lots for sale in an unincorporated area of Yuma County, close to Wellton. As we don’t know a whole lot about the area yet, it appears to us that there was a huge 40-acre lot that was at a higher elevation than the farmland to which it was attached, so it was subdivided into one-acre parcels and sold. Those 40 one-acre parcels are in various stages of being built out.
The first lot we looked at had a mobile home and lots of trees. The second lot was simply one acre but which had septic, water, and electricity already located on the property. When we left Wellton, we called and made an offer for each property. Our offer on the second lot was accepted!