Real estate thread

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member

I think this gives good insight to the direction of The Great Reset, along with their other strategic investments based on insider information and government-propped up losers like green plans.

I can't see something along the lines of a Hunger Games model working. Any scenario with a considerable drop in living standards will create turbulence that could threaten the whole game. In Europe, where there are more political options than Anglosphere countries, the fare of mainstream and particularly left-wing mainstream parties is very low.

That these people are looking to pick up so many assets at elevated-bubble prices signals that they want to keep the economy in stagnation as a minimum. The game is to utterly economically disenfranchise people. This is again seen with the Blackrock move and the fake news articles that have been popping up deriding home ownership.

The game appears to buy keep the economy ticking over, but filter lower skilled workers out on UBI and destroy the home ownership aspirations of higher earners.

I think their ravenous desire to get people onto UBI is one of the biggest cruxes to this. Automation is a lot more complicated than they originally thought, as deciphering reality is particularly difficult. It is possible (usually at great cost) to create computer systems to automate tasks. Be these are like uber-autistic savants. They have incredible power in one very specific area, but if there is a deviation from that area and its programming, it fails and cannot move forward. It's similar to low IQ people. You could train a low IQ person to solve difficult algebra equations. But once an equation deviates from their training, they will never be able to solve it on their own.

I have worked with "AI" companies and the term "AI" is used fraudulently. "AI" consists of extremely complex scripts designed to take a flow of information, run it against databases and make decisions. I don't believe anything close to approaching a system that can improve itself exists; and if it ever does it will be billions of lines of code to handle any outcome.

Then for those that do go onto UBI, there is a burden of the public-private partnership to generate wealth to keep them in UBI for life. This requires automation. I believe this is a feedback loop that will haunt them.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
I'm not sure how I've never heard of this, an AI program buying up houses under the company "Zillow", just lost a ton of money in Phoenix Arizona

Launched in 2017, Zillow's iBuying arm uses a wide array of real-estate data with the goal of quickly and efficiently acquiring properties to flip for a profit. The program has vacuumed up properties across the country to flip, only to be met with fierce competition from services such as Redfin, Offerpad and Opendoor.

Apparently they just got in some bad results.

 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
I find this fascinating.

Zillow (ZG) "instantly" buys homes, doesn't check the roof, the foundation, the plumbing. Open Door Technologies (OPEN) has what appears to be the exact same business model, buyign homes based on data. (see video at 14:00_

ZG is down 30% in the last 5 days.
OPEN is now roughly even over the last 5 days since ZG took the hit.

The video focusses on how the business model of buying houses using technology only, without even viewing them, is just ludicrous. They aren't even making money during the hottest real estate market.

I want to short this but I quit the stonks.

 
Zillow (ZG) "instantly" buys homes, doesn't check the roof,

Over the past two years I've looked at more homes with significant leaks than in the previous ten years in their entirety.

Everyone involved would insist there weren't leaks and the majority of disclosures said zero leaks on property.

The houses were fine but had to be marked down $50k on average to account for this. Some of the conversations I had around this were funny, as people tried, beyond anything reasonable, to tell me everything was fine while we looked at a giant water stain.

"No, no leaks here!"

My inspector also had some good laughs during these visits. I've lost faith in society myself.
 

Gimlet

Kingfisher
I find this fascinating.

Zillow (ZG) "instantly" buys homes, doesn't check the roof, the foundation, the plumbing. Open Door Technologies (OPEN) has what appears to be the exact same business model, buyign homes based on data. (see video at 14:00_

ZG is down 30% in the last 5 days.
OPEN is now roughly even over the last 5 days since ZG took the hit.

The video focusses on how the business model of buying houses using technology only, without even viewing them, is just ludicrous. They aren't even making money during the hottest real estate market.

There are good laughs to be found on Zillow's site.

Here is one, in Atlanta. Bought in 2013 for $50k, sold to Zillow in 2021 for $350k. Anyone with a set of semi-working eyes could see that this house isn't worth $350k; I guess AI isn't as advanced as people think.

Zillow atl.JPG


I am pretty sure the previous owner is still laughing. Click through the pics of the interior rooms. You too will laugh.

ETA: street view not on Zillow site

street.JPG
 
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Dilated

Woodpecker
There are good laughs to be found on Zillow's site.

Here is one, in Atlanta. Bought in 2013 for $50k, sold to Zillow in 2021 for $350k. Anyone with a set of semi-working eyes could see that this house isn't worth $350k; I guess AI isn't as advanced as people think.

View attachment 34625


I am pretty sure the previous owner is still laughing. Click through the pics of the interior rooms. You too will laugh.

ETA: street view not on Zillow site

View attachment 34626

Also, it’s Atlanta…and Atlanta is perfectly disgusting. So, it’s an even worse deal than advertised.
 

oldfaith

Robin
Orthodox
I got into contract on a small cabin on a few usable acres (over 10) in the middle of nowhere....sight unseen, no contingencies (except title).
Afraid to go back to Russia, I've been living in two countries, I guess best to sit here since it all is really hitting the fan there now.
Worse comes to worst, and if Schwab orders everyone eat worms may be I can use the property for a carbon-neutral worm or roach farm or something/sarcasm.

Realtors I talked to said anything that got usable land, within lower price range especially, sells within hours and multiple offers, and that even in "boring" states and way out in the sticks.
That was my own experience with the search pretty much.
Even if there's slowdown in some urban areas, most assuredly it's the opposite in rural places with land.
I guess people are preparing for SHTF as they go after land like crazy.
House with smaller parcel under 1-2 acres is easier to buy.
The only stuff I've seen sitting on a market a bit longer are ones with major roof leaks/mold, heavily smoked in, foundation problems, trashed/ Meth Labs, the stuff one got to be prepared to gut down to the studs.
 
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cosine

Robin
Ive been hearing about prices of houses might come down a little but its effects will not be felt due to increasing construction costs
My money says that any dip in housing prices will be short-term, aka "buy the dip". Absolutely right about construction costs, and that creates a very lagging supply gap.

Even if materials and labor started going down today, it'd be 6-18 months before many new homes are actually built. Meanwhile the population keeps rising, and we have hordes of people coming across the borders.
 

oldfaith

Robin
Orthodox
Here's a good article on West Virginia from Unz.com. The writer gives a balanced description of the area, praising the quality of the people, and downplaying the poverty and drug problems most journalists lead with.


Very enjoyable article about WV. "Country roads, take me home...to the place I belong"

Here's my take on WV (and Eastern Kentucky that was also mentioned):

- $800-1K per acre land prices in WV had been mentioned in this thread: yes, you can get cheapish land but very little usable land.
The only real use is hunting and then have to scale steep slopes. The usable land is mostly in the narrow Hollers and often doubles as a flood zone. It's not easy to find land suitable for homesteading.

- can get some usable land in gentle terrain places like Greenbrier County, but that land isn't cheap now and hardy anything for sale. That more upscale county had mask mandate this fall. Land prices just got jacked up in WV even on "hunting land", it's not really cheap.

- WV land parcels mostly come with Covenants and Restrictions/Deed restrictions/Homeowner Associations - some very restrictive stuff.
Very little unrestricted land. It's not like that in other states.

- some areas got tons of coal mining and fracking. So one can wake up next to mountaintop removal op or fracking pad emitting whatever. Foundations and wells damage by blasting aren't unheard of.

- where land is flatter lots of big (and smelly) chicken farms can wake up next to one easy

- lots of drugs in some areas. There're areas with not much of that too, but those got VA/DC vacation home people there usually and be assured they put Covenants on the land.

- serious chemical pollution around Ohio valley and Western part of the state in general. "Chemical Valley" is there.

- in some areas well drilling can be either "no water" or expensive. Geology is such that water just leaves randomly sometimes. Drying wells are common. Contrast with Kentucky where you're almost guaranteed county water anywhere.

- Internet and cell services can be "good luck"/none in many parts of it. Mountains block signals and most county governments aren't interested in developing internet infrastructure. All they had to do is apply for federal grants with no strings attached, but they didn't.
Contrast that with Kentucky - where you can get fast wired internet almost anywhere.
Mitch McConnell got lots of goodies for Kentucky....

- with steep slopes/small building pads, landslides are potential problem and no home insurance covers that

- Eastern Kentucky is rough. Without going into detail...it's just rough out there. And mountaintop removal too, not good to breath that dust.

Basically, one can get a good place in WV but it's not going to be cheap anymore and a lot of competition for decent properties now.
Might get luckier using online Auctions.
Eastern Kentucky is very competitive too - seen ok land parcels sell within 2 hours.

Most places are more of weekend vacation or hunting cabin type, not good for homestead - can get the view, the mountains.
 
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Hypno

Crow
I just sold a house for about 20-30% higher than it was worth last year, 10% higher than the highest price in my neighborhood in June. A lot of the other houses in my area were updated with granite, new paint, etc. whereas mine was not, but the house sold at 99% of asking price in less than 2 weeks and while they had it inspected he didn't even bother requesting any repairs. I bought an even larger house as an inflation hedge and I'm up 20%-30% on it as well.

There are a lot of different trends at work.

First you had pent up demand post Covid. This was especially true in areas some distance from likely rioters, made possible by telecommuting. People realize you don't need to live so close to jobs if you don't go to your office anymore. They also realize if they work from home they want a nicer larger house and you can get that by moving to the further suburbs.

Limited supply and high demand saw prices rise significant for a year. Rates have ticked up from 2.75% to 3.25%, and supply is even smaller, so home sales have slowed.

I don't see prices falling in my area. Slower sales means price increases may have slowed, but that is very different.

Medium to longer term, the Fed can't allow interest rates to get too high because the Fed itself is a bank and is insolvent. Not sure what is going to happen. In the 70s, when they untied gold from the dollar, rates ballooned over the course of a decade peaking around 20%. This time, the Fed knows how to manipulate rates and the Fed itself is bust before it gets anywhere close to that. But in other ways we are repeating the 70s so one can't know what will happen.

In the medium term, I think rates are more likely to come down or stay the same than go up. That will cause more buying pressure. The supply of homes is less than it was a year ago or even 6 months ago so I think prices are really going to shoot up.

Two other trends I see. One is baby boomers are downsizing and dumping their McMansions. So the price increases are more acute for smaller, entry level houses and townhouses. But these were less profitable to build so there is a tight supply of these in most areas. Second, you are starting to see blended families again. Parents are living longer and people are finishing out basements or second rooms for their elderly parent. So there is still demand for the larger houses. The working from home has also created demand for larger houses. But theses two trends are working in opposite directions and there is more risk owning a larger house than a smaller house, although as I noted I bought a very large house as an inflation hedge.
 

Dilated

Woodpecker
Very enjoyable article about WV. "Country roads, take me home...to the place I belong"

Here's my take on WV (and Eastern Kentucky that was also mentioned):

- $800-1K per acre land prices in WV had been mentioned in this thread: yes, you can get cheapish land but very little usable land.
The only real use is hunting and then have to scale steep slopes. The usable land is mostly in the narrow Hollers and often doubles as a flood zone. It's not easy to find land suitable for homesteading.

- can get some usable land in gentle terrain places like Greenbrier County, but that land isn't cheap now and hardy anything for sale. That more upscale county had mask mandate this fall. Land prices just got jacked up in WV even on "hunting land", it's not really cheap.

- WV land parcels mostly come with Covenants and Restrictions/Deed restrictions/Homeowner Associations - some very restrictive stuff.
Very little unrestricted land. It's not like that in other states.

- some areas got tons of coal mining and fracking. So one can wake up next to mountaintop removal op or fracking pad emitting whatever. Foundations and wells damage by blasting aren't unheard of.

- where land is flatter lots of big (and smelly) chicken farms can wake up next to one easy

- lots of drugs in some areas. There're areas with not much of that too, but those got VA/DC vacation home people there usually and be assured they put Covenants on the land.

- serious chemical pollution around Ohio valley and Western part of the state in general. "Chemical Valley" is there.

- in some areas well drilling can be either "no water" or expensive. Geology is such that water just leaves randomly sometimes. Drying wells are common. Contrast with Kentucky where you're almost guaranteed county water anywhere.

- Internet and cell services can be "good luck"/none in many parts of it. Mountains block signals and most county governments aren't interested in developing internet infrastructure. All they had to do is apply for federal grants with no strings attached, but they didn't.
Contrast that with Kentucky - where you can get fast wired internet almost anywhere.
Mitch McConnell got lots of goodies for Kentucky....

- with steep slopes/small building pads, landslides are potential problem and no home insurance covers that

- Eastern Kentucky is rough. Without going into detail...it's just rough out there. And mountaintop removal too, not good to breath that dust.

Basically, one can get a good place in WV but it's not going to be cheap anymore and a lot of competition for decent properties now.
Might get luckier using online Auctions.
Eastern Kentucky is very competitive too - seen ok land parcels sell within 2 hours.

Most places are more of weekend vacation or hunting cabin type, not good for homestead - can get the view, the mountains.

Would $10,000/acre get you decent land to build a cabin on? I’m targeting WV/OH/VA/MI for land/cabin.
 

oldfaith

Robin
Orthodox
Would $10,000/acre get you decent land to build a cabin on? I’m targeting WV/OH/VA/MI for land/cabin.
10k/acre in these states is too high unless you're looking very close to some city.
Also, it depends on how many acres you're buying.
Land of the same quality can sell for 7K/acre for 1 acre lot, 5K/acre for 10 acres, and 3K/acre for 100 acre lot.
Good land suitable for residential with homesteading potential, with good amount of it cleared, electricity at boundary seems to often get listed for $5.5-7K/acre lately around OH/KY/WV (based on 5-20 acre parcel size) - if located away from cites. You might have to wait for new farm subdivision to come on the market if there's nothing now. I think new round of subdividing farms will come in spring.
In these states, as they're quite populated, the rule of thumb I think is that if land haven't been at least partially cleared by now and stays wooded there's a reason for it.

If you just want land with a small flat patch to clear for a cabin and septic and the rest can be sloping and/or wooded, you can easily get it for 3-5K/acre (woods would be young/far from harvesting)
 
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Dilated

Woodpecker
10k/acre in these states is too high unless you're looking very close to some city.
Also, it depends on how many acres you're buying.
Land of the same quality can sell for 7K/acre for 1 acre lot, 5K/acre for 10 acres, and 3K/acre for 100 acre lot.
Good land suitable for residential with homesteading potential, with good amount of it cleared, electricity at boundary seems to often get listed for $5.5-7K/acre lately around OH/KY/WV (based on 5-20 acre parcel size) - if located away from cites. You might have to wait for new farm subdivision to come on the market if there's nothing now. I think new round of subdividing farms will come in spring.
In these states, as they're quite populated, the rule of thumb I think is that if land haven't been at least partially cleared by now and stays wooded there's a reason for it.

If you just want land with a small flat patch to clear for a cabin and septic and the rest can be sloping and/or wooded, you can easily get it for 3-5K/acre (woods would be young/far from harvesting)

Thanks for the info. The last part is what I’m looking at: 5-10 acres mixed with woods and open spaces for a small cabin (700 sq ft). I’ve got $50k for the land- Looks like that would work.

I’m looking at the mountainous area of WV- Elkins area and parts to the east, NE, and SE.

Is there a part of WV you recommend looking into?

Btw southern Ohio has some smashing deals for land as well. I personally explored the area in September and it was shockingly sparse with people. Just what I’m looking for.
 

oldfaith

Robin
Orthodox
Thanks for the info. The last part is what I’m looking at: 5-10 acres mixed with woods and open spaces for a small cabin (700 sq ft). I’ve got $50k for the land- Looks like that would work.

I’m looking at the mountainous area of WV- Elkins area and parts to the east, NE, and SE.

Is there a part of WV you recommend looking into?

Btw southern Ohio has some smashing deals for land as well. I personally explored the area in September and it was shockingly sparse with people. Just what I’m looking for.
I prefer SE WV (like Monroe, Greenbrier, Summers counties, not coal counties like Wyoming).
These are counties with less drugs, gentler terrain, warmer/shorter winter and no fracking or coal mines mostly.
But 2 SE counties, Mercer and Greenbrier did mask mandates earlier this fall, speaks about mindset.
Some areas have no cell signal and no internet, especially in Monroe county.
In NE WV - cell coverage gets very tough once you're out of populated valleys but a couple of counties are doing fiberoptics projects all over.

Eastern WV is kind of gloomy in winter, that was a big factor for me.
For example, Elkins got 152 sunny days per year. It's about the same all over Eastern WV -
the same as Seattle.
Only gets better in a couple of areas - Martinsburg got 198 days and Peterstown and Lewisburg (SE) got 172-174.
US average is 205.
Elkins got more days with precipitation than days with sun - compare to US average where it's twice more sunny days than precipitation.
I've spent parts of winter/spring in those mountains and lack of sun was getting to me, plus it's cold at elevations - with that high humidity it feels even colder. I just remember freezing a lot and missing sun; I like it South from there more, out of the mountains.

Can be a lot of snow in Eastern WV too, north of Lewisburg. Those narrow windy roads get icy. Those roads can be pretty harrowing even in summer. One time my car almost fell into the precipice - because that's where entire road itself fell earlier. That driving made me a fan of straight roads. Some people drive like snails on those windy roads, takes an hour to cover just few miles and no turnouts or place to pass them, yet others are on drugs and drive like racing in the dark.
In Ohio there's gentler terrain than in Eastern WV, definitely.
 
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Hypno

Crow
Eastern KY to Charleston, the I-64 corridor, is getting popular, because its one of the few large valleys in the state. Amenities like shopping and restaurants are being added, and prices are going up. You have a decent airport in Charleston and in Huntington.

A few years ago, you could get a 40-200 acre parcel for about $2000 an acre; a good portion of that will be a hillside but will still have plenty of buildable land. Not sure how much prices have increased.

regarding hillsides, they are exactly what they sound like. Land that is a hill. Often you have to put in a road, and you might need to carve into or dynamite some rock. My BIL built a house and he spent as much putting in a road as he did on the house.

SE WV is decidedly more rural and basically in the middle of nowhere, which may or may not be what you want. Much steeper terrain, you will get roads closed occassionally due to snow or rockslides. There are some ski resorts there too, which creates an opportunity for seasonal rental income, Air BnB, etc.

Along the I-64 corridor, there are a lot of properties with natural gas wells. Most of them were put in back in the 70s or earlier. The landowner who granted the easement gets a royalty check and free gas. If you buy their land, they are going to keep the mineral rights and the royalty checks but you will likely get free gas.

Also, re-read OldFaith's post about various state specific concerns. I would not buy a property until I walked it and checked the cell signal several times.
 

Dilated

Woodpecker
I prefer SE WV (like Monroe, Greenbrier, Summers counties, not coal counties like Wyoming).
These are counties with less drugs, gentler terrain, warmer/shorter winter and no fracking or coal mines mostly.
But 2 SE counties, Mercer and Greenbrier did mask mandates earlier this fall, speaks about mindset.
Some areas have no cell signal and no internet, especially in Monroe county.
In NE WV - cell coverage gets very tough once you're out of populated valleys but a couple of counties are doing fiberoptics projects all over.

Eastern WV is kind of gloomy in winter, that was a big factor for me.
For example, Elkins got 152 sunny days per year. It's about the same all over Eastern WV -
the same as Seattle.
Only gets better in a couple of areas - Martinsburg got 198 days and Peterstown and Lewisburg (SE) got 172-174.
US average is 205.
Elkins got more days with precipitation than days with sun - compare to US average where it's twice more sunny days than precipitation.
I've spent parts of winter/spring in those mountains and lack of sun was getting to me, plus it's cold at elevations - with that high humidity it feels even colder. I just remember freezing a lot and missing sun; I like it South from there more, out of the mountains.

Can be a lot of snow in Eastern WV too, north of Lewisburg. Those narrow windy roads get icy. Those roads can be pretty harrowing even in summer. One time my car almost fell into the precipice - because that's where entire road itself fell earlier. That driving made me a fan of straight roads. Some people drive like snails on those windy roads, takes an hour to cover just few miles and no turnouts or place to pass them, yet others are on drugs and drive like racing in the dark.
In Ohio there's gentler terrain than in Eastern WV, definitely.

Checked out some photos- the SE does indeed look nice. Thanks for the recommendation. I like the snow so will look north of Lewisburg.
 

oldfaith

Robin
Orthodox
Eastern KY to Charleston, the I-64 corridor, is getting popular, because its one of the few large valleys in the state. Amenities like shopping and restaurants are being added, and prices are going up. You have a decent airport in Charleston and in Huntington.

A few years ago, you could get a 40-200 acre parcel for about $2000 an acre; a good portion of that will be a hillside but will still have plenty of buildable land. Not sure how much prices have increased.

regarding hillsides, they are exactly what they sound like. Land that is a hill. Often you have to put in a road, and you might need to carve into or dynamite some rock. My BIL built a house and he spent as much putting in a road as he did on the house.

SE WV is decidedly more rural and basically in the middle of nowhere, which may or may not be what you want. Much steeper terrain, you will get roads closed occassionally due to snow or rockslides. There are some ski resorts there too, which creates an opportunity for seasonal rental income, Air BnB, etc.

Along the I-64 corridor, there are a lot of properties with natural gas wells. Most of them were put in back in the 70s or earlier. The landowner who granted the easement gets a royalty check and free gas. If you buy their land, they are going to keep the mineral rights and the royalty checks but you will likely get free gas.

Also, re-read OldFaith's post about various state specific concerns. I would not buy a property until I walked it and checked the cell signal several times.

You can still get for 2-3K/acre if you go 40-200 acres, though most of it is going be likely hillside with young woods, with not much of cleared, flattish land. But there're no good parcels sitting on the market.
Anything good gets snapped very quickly, so anything that's still on the market is leftovers - except listed auctions scheduled for later date.
They get listed on MLS.

Hillsides also pose landslide hazard, which is not insurable against. And yes lots of bedrock right under surface. Driveways/access is a whole adventure of it's own, that's for sure... And septics (WV enforces septic rules) - might not be able to put a regular one on sloping parcel - would have to do engineered system at 5-7X costs of a regular septic, it also requires pricey maintenance. I'd personally not want to deal with engineered septic.

NE got tons of "vacation cabins" owned by people from NOVA. 99% of land is heavily deed-restricted.
NE WV also got prices jacked up more than elsewhere in it lately by NOVA buyers.
They sell tiny cabins on non-usable land for $200-$250/sq foot now.
In 2019 these cabins were sitting on the market forever for half that price. I'm talking about 2+ years on the market.
I've spent time in NE WV and didn't feel like it was my cup of tea.

By the way, some of these NE snowy areas that are not next to well-traveled road are going to be a major pain in terms of getting snow cleared and getting out - they're meant to be summer places. And I'd want to be away from well-traveled parts exactly for peace and quiet.

SE is more "pastoral" area (SE part before coal mining counties start). Especially Monroe, Greenbrier valley. More land suitable for pasture, reflects in the culture of the area. More like Virginia rolling land. Winter travel is a piece of cake there. Quite beautiful too, peaceful. Larger parcels, less mobile homes, less vacation cabins and HOA/subdivisions. Well water is easier to get than further North. North of there in the mountains, some live on hauled water because in some places drilling might not even lead to water (still have to pay the driller).

Crime and drugs issues markedly increase as you go West in WV, especially in SW. There're maps showing those stats, by county, by the way.
I've seen a couple of cabin construction projects stripped of copper and everything.

One plus of WV is home insurance is about twice less expensive than in KY or further West.

Even though SE is nice, I concluded for myself, after extensive searches, that due to all the above issues from my other posts too, and lack of usable land on the market I would not want to deal with buying in WV and looked out-of-state.
 
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oldfaith

Robin
Orthodox
Also, re-read OldFaith's post about various state specific concerns. I would not buy a property until I walked it and checked the cell signal several times.

Specifically regarding this. In Eastern WV, most of peaceful places out of the populated valleys and on quiet roads are going to be guaranteed to be dead zones. Mountains block signal well.
One has to count on phone service through Satellite, just like internet.
Or, in the small area that got rural fiberoptics can use phone through that.
Boosters work only if there's at least 1 bar of signal. Can get phone app and measure precise signal to see if a booster would even work there.

In NE part, I'd only buy land after a conversation with the well driller.
Drillers are very backed up now and they are only few and rare, literally only a couple of them.
I'd only buy something with a well drilled already - unless the driller says in that area getting water should be a sure bet, often at 300-400 ft if out of the valley.
Another thing is that WV power company is a large one which is heavily backed up now and unless the pole is on the road by the property line, would not even bother. A nearby pole on neighbors land might need an easement which will not be granted.

Building from scratch these days is a headache as everyone is so backed up, should expect months of delays over promised timeframes.
 
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