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  #1  
Old 06-24-2019, 04:58 PM
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Default Has anybody ever used real estate listings to find hunting ground?

Every day I get local real estate listings sent to my email. I have for a couple of years now. It just recently dawned on me that itís a great tool for finding potential places to hunt. You can find out how many acres and how old the property is. My question is how would you approach such a place?
I found a 4 acre farm house built in 1735. Any metal detectors dream!!! My thoughts are if they are selling anyway maybe they wonít mind but I am a bit nervous about approaching them. Should I just be bold and knock on their door? I was thinking I could say something like ďIím really into history and Iíve admired your home for a long time. I thought maybe since you are selling I could get your permission to metal detect. If not the whole yard maybe just back in the farm field?Ē
Iíve never asked a complete stranger and to be honest after today I am very nervous about asking anybody. I asked a woman I know (not a friend but somebody I have known for years who was a customer at a store I once worked at. We were friendly though and she let me go fishing on her property) anyway I remembered she once told me she and her sister had a big piece of property in a nearby town so I called her today and asked for permission. She freaked out. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! NO WAY!! WHY? WHAT FOR? Turns out she was having a bad day to start and I asked her to tell me about it hoping it would calm her down. She vented and told me all the bad things going on and I listened intently. But Iím not getting permission and the experience has put me off a bit.
Should I go for it? People in my area are a bit surprised when a complete stranger comes knocking. I am a woman though so maybe Iíll seem less threatening. I could also maybe get a letter from the chief of police. Heís known me a long time and I think a letter from him letting people know Iím not some weirdo might help.
What to do?? Itís hard to pass up a 1735 farm house.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:17 PM
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If the house isn't inhabited, then .... consider this true story :

My father in-law was considering investing in some real estate to buy. He was eyeballing a certain home that dated to perhaps the 1920s. He made a visit with the realtor. But at a certain point, a few days later, he wanted to study the boundaries and property lines. (This was in the era before modern GPS and 'puters did all this for you). He called the realtor and asked if he could go back over again. Explaining that he wanted to find the corner peg markers, to confirm some data for possible purchase info. The realtor said "go ahead , have a ball". My father in law even explained he'd be taking his son in law, with detector, to aid in finding the property stakes. "No problem" , says the realtor.

I found the 4 markers in 20 minutes. And ... after that, proceeded to hit the entire yard. Heck, who knows, might be a 5th marker after all, eh ?
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2019, 05:18 PM
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I do..i look up real estate for sale in my town, and the ones that say bank forclosure on the ad I hit up,, only on the weekends tho to make sure no one's there.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
If the house isn't inhabited, then .... consider this true story :

My father in-law was considering investing in some real estate to buy. He was eyeballing a certain home that dated to perhaps the 1920s. He made a visit with the realtor. But at a certain point, a few days later, he wanted to study the boundaries and property lines. (This was in the era before modern GPS and 'puters did all this for you). He called the realtor and asked if he could go back over again. Explaining that he wanted to find the corner peg markers, to confirm some data for possible purchase info. The realtor said "go ahead , have a ball". My father in law even explained he'd be taking his son in law, with detector, to aid in finding the property stakes. "No problem" , says the realtor.

I found the 4 markers in 20 minutes. And ... after that, proceeded to hit the entire yard. Heck, who knows, might be a 5th marker after all, eh ?
Nice story but unfortunately for me the owners do live there.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2019, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Newblue View post
Every day I get local real estate listings sent to my email. I have for a couple of years now. It just recently dawned on me that itís a great tool for finding potential places to hunt. You can find out how many acres and how old the property is. My question is how would you approach such a place?
I found a 4 acre farm house built in 1735. Any metal detectors dream!!! My thoughts are if they are selling anyway maybe they wonít mind but I am a bit nervous about approaching them. Should I just be bold and knock on their door? I was thinking I could say something like ďIím really into history and Iíve admired your home for a long time. I thought maybe since you are selling I could get your permission to metal detect. If not the whole yard maybe just back in the farm field?Ē
Iíve never asked a complete stranger and to be honest after today I am very nervous about asking anybody. I asked a woman I know (not a friend but somebody I have known for years who was a customer at a store I once worked at. We were friendly though and she let me go fishing on her property) anyway I remembered she once told me she and her sister had a big piece of property in a nearby town so I called her today and asked for permission. She freaked out. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! NO WAY!! WHY? WHAT FOR? Turns out she was having a bad day to start and I asked her to tell me about it hoping it would calm her down. She vented and told me all the bad things going on and I listened intently. But Iím not getting permission and the experience has put me off a bit.
Should I go for it? People in my area are a bit surprised when a complete stranger comes knocking. I am a woman though so maybe Iíll seem less threatening. I could also maybe get a letter from the chief of police. Heís known me a long time and I think a letter from him letting people know Iím not some weirdo might help.
What to do?? Itís hard to pass up a 1735 farm house.
WORSE thing that can happen is that they say No.. then you hit up the NEW owners.. just go up there confidant and unassuming and you never know..

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  #6  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:42 PM
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I hate door knocking too, but alot of the best finds still left to be found are in fact, on private property. So I just stick to my woods and parks. What part of MA are you from ? Hardwick here, travel to Worcester daily for work, and that's where I do most of my park hunting. Some of the houses here in Hardwick close to the center of town date late 16, early 1700's, but most are well kept beautiful colonial lawns, I cant see anyone being okay with digging in those. But there is certainly potential, my buddy danny door knocks frequently, and found our best site ever by doing so (rev war era and earlier, capped busts, reales, state coppers, hammered silvers, pistareens, you name it) you really never know. Good luck if you do end up getting the green light at that spot, definitely sounds sweet!

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  #7  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cellrdwellr View post
I hate door knocking too, but alot of the best finds still left to be found are in fact, on private property. So I just stick to my woods and parks. What part of MA are you from ? Hardwick here, travel to Worcester daily for work, and that's where I do most of my park hunting. Some of the houses here in Hardwick close to the center of town date late 16, early 1700's, but most are well kept beautiful colonial lawns, I cant see anyone being okay with digging in those. But there is certainly potential, my buddy danny door knocks frequently, and found our best site ever by doing so (rev war era and earlier, capped busts, reales, state coppers, hammered silvers, pistareens, you name it) you really never know. Good luck if you do end up getting the green light at that spot, definitely sounds sweet!
I live in Littleton, a good ride from Hardwick. Itís a nice small town, some good history, no metal detecting laws but you canít dig on conservation land, any digging. Problem is all of the fields and woods here are conservation land. So basically without private property there is nowhere to legally go. Iíve spent all of my time MDing in the surrounding towns. Iím still trying to work up the nerve to door knock this farmhouse. If I do it needs to be soon because Iím sure it will sell fast.
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2019, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Newblue View post
.... but you canít dig on conservation land....
I don't doubt that this is true . Ie.: that, yes: You can find verbiage to that effect. But wouldn't the same be true for any park across the entire USA ?

It/they might not use the word "dig". It might use the words "alter", "deface", etc.... ? In which case: Does that make md'ing a no-no ? I suppose that you can deduce that if you leave no trace of your presence, then you didn't violate the alterED or defacED statutes. Right?
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2019, 03:58 PM
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So I saw the owner outside today. He had a little farm stand open so I stopped. We talked a good while about his farm, the vegetables, the history. When I finally asked he said he would have to think about it. Heís been getting into metal detecting also. Yes the house is for sale and will probably sell soon but he also owns a lot of property surrounding the house that he is not selling. I bought some vegetables and he offered me a business card to be added to his email updates. I thanked him and left. When I got home I emailed him asking to be added to his farm updates and also mentioned if he changes his mind or would like some company metal detecting to let me know. So I guess weíll see. You know Iíll be stopping by his farm stand more frequently.
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Newblue View post
So I saw the owner outside today. He had a little farm stand open so I stopped. We talked a good while about his farm, the vegetables, the history. When I finally asked he said he would have to think about it. Heís been getting into metal detecting also. Yes the house is for sale and will probably sell soon but he also owns a lot of property surrounding the house that he is not selling. I bought some vegetables and he offered me a business card to be added to his email updates. I thanked him and left. When I got home I emailed him asking to be added to his farm updates and also mentioned if he changes his mind or would like some company metal detecting to let me know. So I guess weíll see. You know Iíll be stopping by his farm stand more frequently.
That was a PERFECT introduction for you .. I expect he will allow you to !

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Old 06-26-2019, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SoOregonMd View post
That was a PERFECT introduction for you .. I expect he will allow you to !

Ditto. It's always the best tactic to "catch them on their front porch", so-to-speak. Like if they're having a garage sale, or mowing their yard, etc.... You be "just passing by", pay them a compliment, buy some trinket at their garage sale, and strike up conversation about a "history article you are writing", etc....
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2019, 04:42 PM
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I certainly hope so. Iíll be keeping my fingers crossed and stopping by his farm stand now and then (but not too often, I donít want to annoy him.)
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:47 PM
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I always get permission first. I call the realty office and have been given okís to hunt.

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Old 06-27-2019, 06:24 AM
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I contact certain realtors who specialize in the areas I want to hunt and meet with them. I volunteer my services free to look for lost items for the owners before they sell the property. I present it as a ďValue addedĒ service that they supply which makes them appear more exclusive.

They love it

I also contact land clearers, house movers, etc. I stay busy.

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Old 06-29-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
I don't doubt that this is true . Ie.: that, yes: You can find verbiage to that effect. But wouldn't the same be true for any park across the entire USA ?

It/they might not use the word "dig". It might use the words "alter", "deface", etc.... ? In which case: Does that make md'ing a no-no ? I suppose that you can deduce that if you leave no trace of your presence, then you didn't violate the alterED or defacED statutes. Right?
Here in my neck of the woods conservation areas specifically prohibit metal detecting.

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Old 06-29-2019, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Newblue View post
Every day I get local real estate listings sent to my email. I have for a couple of years now. It just recently dawned on me that itís a great tool for finding potential places to hunt. You can find out how many acres and how old the property is. My question is how would you approach such a place?
I found a 4 acre farm house built in 1735. Any metal detectors dream!!! My thoughts are if they are selling anyway maybe they wonít mind but I am a bit nervous about approaching them. ÖÖ
Some homeowners might be more open to metal detecting when they go to sell the home. Others might be less inclined because they are busy preparing for the move or they don't want some weirdo digging in their yard while potential buyers drive by. You could make similar arguments about people who just bought a home. They might be excited to learn about the history of their home, and they might even be planning to tear the yard up for a deck, pool, or landscaping project. On the other hand, maybe they plan to take up metal detecting when they retire so they're saving their property for themselves.

My point is that you could imagine scenarios all day long trying to figure out some angle, or just a good reason to knock or not, and every now and then you might find a good angle that works. But, in the end, it's a numbers game just like metal detecting itself. Knock on enough doors and you'll get some permissions. Be respectful and enthusiastic, and those permissions will multiply into others.

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  #17  
Old 06-29-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pryan67 View post
Here in my neck of the woods conservation areas specifically prohibit metal detecting.
Perhaps so And I'll bet I know exactly how such-a-things originated from
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