Imagine being a land trust landlord in rural areas, an individual or group buying land and building an apartment building using a CHURCH.
Churches don’t pay property tax, which makes this a big plus.
Also, no worries about probate or someone’s ownership interest in an LLC because the church would own everything.
The residents would control the church.
Sometimes when a business is denied permission to do certain things due to zoning, churches often get permission, which is another plus.
Churches also can do just about any kind of business.
As long as it relates to their mission, which could be broadly defined.
You might want to have the function of running the church and be independent of whether tenants live there or not.
Therefore, people can move out and still help run the church.
Or, people can live there, but not run the church.
Have a church trust own the land and lease the apartments to tenants.
You will want to maintain a certain level of control in case you get a resident who turns out to be a real nuisance.
But, you also want to be fair.
I am guessing a pretty standard lease would work in most cases.
What residents would lack in equity, they would make up for in cheap rent.
By not not allowing tenants to build any equity, or even appear to, you avoid squabbles over ownership or equitable interest—should it not work out with one of your residents.
It is best to get rural land that does not have a lot of building codes or zoning.
As a result, you can build whatever type of apartments you want (duplex, qua-duplex, etc).
Of course, not substandard ones.
The idea is to build creatively and cost efficiently.
If land trust landlords can find a rural property with electricity, water and sewer at the street, and fiber optic for Internet, then you would be in hog heaven.
Maybe in the future, broadband satellite Internet will become more accessible in rural areas.
By building in a rural area, you could make do with wells, cisterns and septic.
Imagine the savings of having ONE phone/Internet bill for all!
The residents could use Skype for their phones or just cell phones.
However, they would still have Internet without having to pay for a home phone.
If you were going to do that, then I would recommend setting up a proxy server.
It’s more economical bandwidth wise; and you get to keep residents from abusing the Internet connection for illegal things.
Perhaps, the sharing of Internet would justify the expense of the broadband satellite connection if it were necessary.
If you get enough residents in one place, then the phone savings could help pay for the land.
Of course, you would have to do some checking with the local and county authorities before buying land and starting a church.
With the church, I think you would need to have services once a week open to the public.
Moreover, you would need to have at least one person who isn’t afraid of public speaking to be the pastor.
And, you would need to have some sort of consistent belief system.
Try to pick one that won’t scare the neighbors!
For example, Islamic prayers blasting from a loud speaker may not go over well—even on 100 acres.
Also, I am thinking that if you don’t want to build, this could be done by the church buying an existing apartment building or barn and convert it into apartments.
Also, you could use owner financing.
As a land trust landlord, you can get a big piece of land, buy used trailers for $3,000 apiece cash, and rent them while the houses are being built.
Afterward, sell the trailers for $6,000 to outsiders when the houses are ready, and charge interest on top of that.
Find a friendly trailer park owner and become partners.
Sell the trailers on his pads.
In addition, one of your missions as a church could be to provide cheap housing for the rural poor.
In fact, you don’t need to actually own a church building to have services.
As a land trust landlord in rural areas, start your new congregation by having meetings in someone’s house/living room.
When there are enough congregants, the church can rent a space until it can afford to pay cash for a church building.
The church can offer self-improvement classes, life coaching, in addition to religious teaching.
The church can also have a few different buildings on the campus where people take the classes.
I can see a church ultimately doing that plus providing housing.
Envision a church compound with retreat facilities and a community garden where the residents can grow and offer produce for a suggested donation to the general public, other church groups, etc.
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About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com bringing you the best of my knowledge, skills, abilities, tips and resources. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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