Today, I want to tell you some secrets to buy land and farm acreage like a pro. Much of this will seem like common sense, but step back and think,”Do I ever do this?” The answer is probably yes. Know everything there is to know about your homestead with property tax assessment tools before buying.
Everybody looks for that perfect location based on what they want. What they don’t realize is that they are looking at what exists, and not what CAN exist. When you look at what someone else has done, you are paying for what they have done. If you see something that looks aesthetically horrid, but great infrastructure is there, you found a great thing.
What does your money look like? Buying a homestead does not have to be super expensive. We can find the diamond in the rough. If we found a perfect tract of land that had an old single-wide trailer with washing machines and motors in the front yard, this is actually a benefit instead of a problem. Everyone else sees a horrible run down property, where you see what the land will be in a year, two years, and more. Let’s buy on potential, and let the aesthetics play in our favor. When you buy it, you can just take all of that stuff in the yard to the dump.
Get creative with your purchase, find properties that are free and clear of loans where someone just wants to offload for their own personal reasons. This person may consider owner-financing, which is much better than rent-to-own. But RTO is still an option. Obviously you will purchase for the condition the home is in NOW, not what you see the potential for. Foreclosures are Real Estate owned assets for banks, and that is a bad thing. You can work some deals with a bank that wants to get rid of non-producing assets.
If we find a messy looking property in foreclosure with septic, electricity, and a well, there is a good chance that you can purchase this home from the bank for the price of installing that stuff, so the land could have been free!
I don’t HAVE to buy, but the banks HAVE to sell. Offer low and be willing to walk away. This is the biggest tip right here. Be READY to walk away. So do a deal, and don’t go above budget.
When purchasing our Homestead, we will always have an inspection contingency and title insurance. These as very little to the cost if you are buying something that doesn’t cost much, and although they don’t guarantee that there are no problems with the property, inspections reduce the amount of surprising problems later… you know what you are getting. If the owner has liens against a property that did not get caught in research, Title Insurance will pay those off. This one is self-explanatory.
Almost every state has its own real estate tax assessment site now. This is awesome because you can get a map view of properties, their condition, where their boundaries are. You can even see the past owners and what they bought a property for. This can also help you know what they have invested into the property over the years and much more information. Here is one such example. Tennessee Data (the way you look up properties is a little unfriendly, but as you learn to use it, it will become valuable.) Here is a photo of the aerial view of properties:
Obviously, this was for Tennessee, but you can just Google (Your State) Assessment Data, and you will probably find what you need.
Pay attention to all of the data that is available and think to yourself about pricing and their need to offload this property.
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