Lure of land gives way to frustration

Full story: El Paso Times 97
Weathered skin hanging over her petite frame, June Ellingson says she is happy with the desert home that leaves her perched precariously close to death nearly every day. Read more
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Carl Starr Lives there

Cleburne, TX

#1 Aug 12, 2008
"The Texas Attorney General's office has filed a lawsuit against one landowner who sold smaller lots without utilities in Hudspeth County, but Pridgeon says there are many more."

If fellow resident Carl Starr were a real lawyer he could make a fortune out there with in his tent and typewriter.
LOL

El Paso, TX

#2 Aug 12, 2008
It's not for me but I've got to admire the folks who have the grit and hardiness to live in such an inhospitable environment. Yes, you'd have peace and quiet but no A/C or running water would be tough to take.
American Way

Las Cruces, NM

#3 Aug 12, 2008
Selling the desert to suckers is the American way. Long live uncontrolled capitalism! Plus, these stories will make for some great movies.

“Proud Skeptic!”

Since: Feb 08

El Paso

#4 Aug 12, 2008
In the age of E-Bay and Craig's list this type of thing does not surprise me. If you buy land (or any major purchase) sight unseen then you are a fool to begin with. If something seems to good to be true it probably is. If you are greedy or are trying to get something for nothing then you deserve your plot of desert in the middle of nowhere.
Secret

El Paso, TX

#5 Aug 12, 2008
LOL wrote:
It's not for me but I've got to admire the folks who have the grit and hardiness to live in such an inhospitable environment. Yes, you'd have peace and quiet but no A/C or running water would be tough to take.
I agree. Without my refrigerated air and utilities, forget it! This was all fine and well when the early pioneers first came to this country. They were already in top physical and mental condition. I buy my tomatoe plants from Walmart.
Carl Starr

Edmond, OK

#6 Aug 12, 2008
I am not living there now but I could relate to the story, water and walking, it is very quite and peaceful. Right now I am on vacation in Tulsa. I live in El Paso now so I can do El Paso taxpayer lawsuits and keep city council and county commissioners court on their toes re civil rights.

I think I knew the person Hudspeth County Attorney and AG sued over selling under 5 acres, thousands do so every year in Texas and only a few are made a example of.

The story was well written and it is like that out there.
LAWMAN

El Paso, TX

#7 Aug 12, 2008
Many years ago, i was on I-10 when i saw a speeding vehicle heading into El Paso.

I pulled the vehicle over, and a man jumped out,ran back
toward me yelling.

I thought i was going to have a fight on my hands,but
as he came up to me, he was almost ready to have a stroke.

He told me he had come to see land his sister had bought
with her savings,and been shown nothing but desert.

This was not in Hudspeth County, but El Paso county.
The land situation was the same though.

May the good Lord save us from these speculators.
Alm

Austin, TX

#8 Aug 12, 2008
If you buy land not knowing that El Paso and Hudspeth counties are in the desert or if you don't do your homework prior to the sale you may want to get your head examined. Buyer Beware!
Oh Yeah

El Paso, TX

#9 Aug 12, 2008
The late John Wayne gave us a great axiom to live by, "Stupidity should be painful."

“Stop listening to hate radio”

Since: Apr 08

Alta, Iowa

#10 Aug 12, 2008
That lady needs a samich or two!
Oh Yeah

El Paso, TX

#11 Aug 12, 2008
viktims wrote:
That lady needs a samich or two!
Couldn't she just walk into Fabens and get the plate of the guy that the sheriff's deputies arrested? He had to have left some beans or something. I'm just sayin'.
east

United States

#12 Aug 12, 2008
Where can I buy!
Boris

Hemphill, TX

#14 Aug 13, 2008
east wrote:
Where can I buy!
Why bother to buy? Just squat out there somewhere and no one will notice--and by Texas law, if they don't evict you in 5 years, you can claim the land under squatters' rights.
Crazy Capitalist

El Paso, TX

#15 Aug 13, 2008
American Way wrote:
Selling the desert to suckers is the American way. Long live uncontrolled capitalism! Plus, these stories will make for some great movies.
There is nothing wrong with capitalism. As a matter of fact, capitalism did exactly what it was suppose to do in this case.

If these people didn't educate themselves about what they were getting themselves into, then why is it now my responsiblity to have them living off the doll that is funded by my federal income tax and my state sales tax?

What do you expect??? The lady had 2 teeth!!!

I own a good chunk of land out in Hudspeth County with a clean title. There are no utilities, no water, no nothing but brush and desert with some nice vistas. I go out there every now and then for a camping trip. My real intention is to engage in long term speculation.

Have you seen how far east El Paso has grown? Joe Battle and Montana is it's own little city. I'm not that far from the county line and when the growth crosses the county line, I will waiting in Hudspeth County for the developers to come knocking on my door.

At that point, I'll be walking away with a price that I demand for the land and Carl Marx Starr's of the world can go to hell!!!!!!!!!!
land grabber

El Paso, TX

#16 Aug 13, 2008
I too have a nice chunk of land that I'm holding on to in Hudspeth County. Last year my property taxes were $50 bucks and I resent County Judge Rebecca Dean Walker not using county resources properly. I expect better for my tax dollar.
Instead of hiring staff to deal with the 53,000 tax notices, why doesn't she go to an outsourcing firm and have those notices processed in India?
It would be cheaper and the whole project would be completed in a ½ a day.
Land

El Paso, TX

#17 Aug 13, 2008
I wouldn't buy land out there........If you guys are writing back to the IDIOTS FROM DALLAS,AND PALO FROM WASHINGTON D.C.THEY ARE ,prison people awaiting their time and losers that contradict anything you will say anyway,just because their life su.ks,than you are losers like them.Think these people have nothing to say,they just get high on puting you down,because nothing else exists in their lives.Than look at the server they have and where it is.Just don't answer them
Rocketeer

El Paso, TX

#19 Aug 14, 2008
If my memory serves me correctly, Jeff Bezos bought around 170,000 acres just north of Van Horn for that spaceport that his company Blue Origin now owns.

That land is off to the right of Hwy 54 headed towards Guadalupe Pass which is more in the middle of nowhere than where Sunset Ranches are currently located.

I'm sure if the story was written about Mr. Bezos, the action line would be:

"Actions called into question of CEO of a BIG CORPORATION strong arming local real estate company for cheap land"

You guys and gals in the media have your agenda and your anti-capitalist side shows.
ECOS

Houston, TX

#21 Aug 20, 2008
CAN THE MEDIA EVER BE POSITIVE? The property is a long-term investment. Besides the water issue in Hudspeth County, what is the difference in Hudspeth County and some settlements in Nevada and Arizona which is also desert? Some of these settlements have prospered. Somebody have to make the sacrifices. Yes, I agree that the Ellingsons have it tough? What did the people in the 1800's and early 1900's do when they moved into and across the desert? The answer is that most of them stuck it out and survived.

With our nation’s economy being in the condition it is in, maybe more of us should go back to basic living by living a rural area. Most people standard of living has gotten worse instead of better. I believe that there will be many people will FLOCK TO WEST TEXAS within the next five years simply because of the lower cost of living,(they can use solar, wind turbines etc.) to escape high energy costs. They can raise some crops, and farm if they choose to do this. Of course, a few but not many will contend with this lifestyle. For me, it beats the big city, rat race and stress.

I do think that is unfortunate for the Ellingsons because they were unaware of what they were getting into. On the other hand, I was. Throughout the history of the United States, migration has always moved westward. I've had my land for 3.5 years now. I know that someday my patience and investment will pay off.
Ray

El Paso, TX

#22 Aug 21, 2008
Hollywood can make a horror flick from this story!
Debbi

Houston, TX

#23 Nov 2, 2008
I'm new to Sierra Blanca but the properties I own (along with my sister and brother) are the result of a land scam that goes all the way back to 1930 when my great Aunt and Uncle bought 4 lots. My parents (now deceased) handed these 4 lots down to us and so now we are to pay the less than $20/year in taxes. I would like to know if anyone knows what is going on in Sierra Blanca, if anything. My parents made a trip to SB back in 1980 or so to see "the land" and of course found virtually nothing but scrub grass and lots of desert.
Thanks for all the information but I would like to know if anyone knows what's going on there now.

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