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cheap land Archives - Page 6 of 7 - Frontier Properties USA

Web site Optimized for Mobile Phones

By: Mark Podolsky | March 23, 2011

I just found this cool new wordpress plug-in which gives you the option (must scroll all the way to the bottom of the home screen) to see the Web site as mobile theme On or Off.  It's pretty cool.  I'm endlessly bewildered and amazed by technology and the advances.  Anyways, check it out on your mobile phone and let me know what you think.  

Due Diligence Part 2

By: Mark Podolsky | March 21, 2011

 

In my last post, I discussed the importance of due diligence as it
relates to legal access, clean & marketable title, planning & zoning
regulations, & property topography.  Today lets look at water rights,
easements, soil, vegetation and drainage.
If you are looking at investing in undeveloped land, you must
determine its suitability for a water supply system.  I like to
start at the US Geological Survey Earth Science Information Center
at this website– http://water.usgs.gov/
Here you can spend hours looking at collected data of ground water,
water quality, surface water and other issues related to water.
For my purposes, I want to determine that I can drill a well at an
affordable price or otherwise have public access to water.  I
recommend that you never buy land in an area of scarce water unless
you have your own water source of your own free from
interference by others.  Of course, I know of some areas where a holding tank will suffice…
The next topic to discuss is easements. Before buying land I always
want a deeded easement for ingress and egress. That is, the legal
right to cross the private land between the county road and my
property.  If you are shown a piece of land with no direct access
to a public road, the first thing you should do is determine if
there are deeded easements to it.  If not, then you don’t have legal
access to the land and what good is that?  In most cases, the Seller
already has a proper easement, but never take this for granted.
You also need to be aware of utility line easements, pipeline
easements, and easements in gross.  A utility line easement is
important in undeveloped areas if you want to bring in power. Plus,
a future buyer might want the easement to specifically include
utilities.
A pipeline easement is the right to take water off your land to
transport water. If you are receiving water rights from another
parcel, you will need an easement for “laying and maintaining a
pipeline” from the water source to your property.
An easement in gross is one that does not serve a specific parcel
of land but is a generalized easement for crossing a parcel.  If
you are hunting, an easement in gross may grant to others the ability
to hunt on the same property as well.  If the easement is in gross,
the deed will normally state that.
Let’s discuss the final issues of land due diligence.  Soil,
vegetation and drainage. First, let’s delve into topsoil and soil
texture.
Topsoil is the loose upper layer of the soil. It is usually richer
and darker than subsoil because it contains decayed vegetable matter
or hummus.  Good land should have at least 10 to 14 inches of loose
topsoil.  Ground that is rocky and hard lacks topsoil.  If the earth
is soft enough to poke a stick into it easily, it has some topsoil.
Also, look at the vegetation.  Land with too much vegetation is
better than land that is lacking any vegetation.
The texture of the soil is important for healthy plants, good
drainage and building construction.  There are four basic soil
textures: gravel, sand, loam and clay.  The best way to determine
the texture of the soil is to rub some in your hands and fingers. If
it feels loose and gritty it’s sand, clay is compact and heavy when
dry and sticky and doughy when wet.  Clay is usually gray or yellow.
Loam will crumble in your hand and is black.  Try to dig some holes.
If you dig for several feet and still find good loam and loose
earth that is not too sandy, you have fine soil.  If the whole area
is rocky and hard, you will have problems down the road.
Drainage refers to the amount of water that can be absorbed by the
soil before it becomes saturated.  At the saturation point, the
water collects on the surface or runs off into the nearest creek or
drainage ditch.  Most plants will not grow where drainage is poor
because their roots cannot tolerate being in more water than they
can absorb.  At this point, you want to do a percolation test. A
perc test determines how quickly and effectively water drains
through a porous substance.  Click here to see how to properly
perfom a perc test–
Another great soil resource for soil tests is the U.S. Forest
Service at www.fs.fed.us
Basically, with a little work some common sense and a healthy dose
of skepticism you should be able to complete your due diligence for
any parcel of land with a few days to a few weeks depending upon
the size of the property being acquired.  As always, buyer beware.
If you need help call us and we can do some consulting for you as well.

Due Diligence Part 1

By: Mark Podolsky | March 10, 2011

 

 
What is Due Diligence in buying land you ask?  Just a fancy way of saying investigate the property.  There is a lot to investigate with land so I'll just do the quick and dirty and call it part 1. 
 
First, you want to make sure the property has ingress and egress. 
That is, you can legally get to the parcel and out of the parcel. 
How do you know?  First, call your local surveyor.  They have maps
they can quickly access to let you know if there are public roads
you can access to your parcel and if there aren't what your options
are.  If while driving out to the parcel you notice you are driving
over other people's property than this is a red flag and you should
probably pass on the investment.
 
Second, how do you know if you are getting clean and marketable 
title from the County or City?  Simple, call your local title 
company.  Most title companies will insure a deed from the local
County or City as the tax sale legally wipes away any liens or
encumbrances from the title.  However, there are some states, like
Texas, where the property owner even after losing their property can
get it back after a certain period of time.  Title companies won't
insure the title in this situation.  The fee for a title search 
shouldn't be much.  Always negotiate. 
 
Third, contact the County or City Planning & Zoning office and ask 
them about any restrictions regarding the parcel.  What is the 
parcel zoned?  Any known issues with building there?  If the parcel
can't be built on then your value has greatly decreased and unless
you are a genius marketer I would pass on any parcel that is not
buildable. 
 
Finally, when driving out to the property, look at the topography. 
Is the parcel flat to rolling?  Is it steep, and if so can it be 
graded?  If you wouldn't want to live on a side of a cliff neither
will any of your buyers. Never buy property for investment that if 
you couldn't sell, you wouldn't be proud to own yourself.  
 
Next time I'll talk more about some other nitty gritty issues like drainage, vegetation, soil, easements and other issues.  
 
I love finding cool links on the web since I'm a tech geek at heart.   As a result, I like to share the cool stuff I find even if it's not really land or real estate related… Anyways, check out this useful link—-  Renting out your car when you do not need it can be a great way to earn extra money. If you are thinking about renting out your car, then one of the easiest ways to do so is through GetAround, a brilliant website that is currently in beta. It lets people rent out their cars and lets other rent these cars…  Getaround.com

 

Deed Vesting

By: Mark Podolsky | March 10, 2011

The following is not legal advice but simply a description of some of the different methods that title can be held in real estate.  If you need assistance simply contact me directly at sales@frontierpropertiesusa.com

Sole ownership is the first way to hold title. Basically, this means that one man or one women owns 100% of the property less the value of any property liens. However, it is not quite as simple as it sounds. Sole ownership can be held several ways. If you you are unmarried, you can hold sole title as an unmarried man, or unmarried woman, or a single man or single woman. Per the dictionary definition single man seems the same as unmarried man. However, some title company personnel insist that unmarried means now single but previously married, while single means single and never married. I have not found any documentation to support this, but have run into it on several occasions.

A person may also be married but hold sole and separate property in their name only. Laws vary between states, some of which are community property states, and some of which are not. However, generally, a person may hold sole and separate title to property even if married if the property was owned prior to marriage, purchased from separately owned money, or inherited as sole ans separate property. A prenuptial agreement can also identify separate property. Even if property in marriage begins as sole and separate, it can become community or joint property if separate assets are mingled. For example, if the mortgage on a separate property is paid with community money, or if separate bank accounts are merged, the property can become community. If single, no further research may be necessary. However, if you are married and trying to keep title separate, you should consult an attorney with expertise on state laws for the state you reside in.

marriage

Another form of title vesting is community property, used only in community property states, many of which developed their laws with some Spanish influence, mostly in sun belt states.  Community property is a form of joint ownership for marital assets in community property states.  Any property acquired during marriage using marital assets is generally considered community property in these states.  Community assets are owned 50% each.  As mentioned above, property owned separately, prior to marriage, can also be converted to community property using a quitclaim deed.  They can also be mingled, in some cases unintentionally, resulting in all or part of the formerly separate property to become community property.  Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are community property states.

Some people use joint tenancy for title vesting in order to ensure more than one party has an undivided ownership stake in real estate title.  As with other forms of title vesting, a quitclaim deed can be used to create a joint tenancy when a property is acquired or to add an owner after, either due to marriage or some other reason.  Joint tenancy is used for marital assets in states not using community property, and can be used in community property states as well.  Joint tenants are not limited to married couples.  Any 2 or more parties can become joint tenants in a single property.  Joint tenancy often includes right of survivorship.  This means that if one joint tenant dies, their interest reverts to the other joint tenants.  This can be identified on the quitclaim deed,for example as joint tenants with rights of survivorship to eliminate any uncertainly as to the intent of the parties.  Laws vary on joint tenancy and rights of survivorship by state, so additional local research should be done for your state to determine if this is the right form of title for your needs.

Next, tenants in common is another way to hold title.  This is also an undivided interest in property among 2 or more parties, and parties can be added or removed using a quitclaim deed.  The biggest difference between tenants in common and joint tenants is generally that there are no rights of survivorship.  In other words, if one tenant in common dies, their interest passes on to their heirs, either by will, trust, or intestate (without a will).  This form of title vesting is often useful for non-married investment partners in real estate.  Also, unlike community property or joint tenancy, each tenant in common’s interest in the property need not be equal.

Another form of title vesting is tenancy by the entirety.  This is similar to joint tenancy between husband and wife, but each spouse owns the entire property rather than half.  No one spouse can sell any portion of the property without the consent of the other.  A benefit of this form of title vesting is that if a creditor is owned money by one of the owners, the creditor cannot collect against the property unless the spouse dies who does not owe the creditor.  The surviving spouse owns the entire property with no probate required.  However, if one spouse becomes unavailable or incompetent, it can be difficult for the other spouse to sell the property under this form of title vesting.

Where are all the good books on buying Land?

By: Mark Podolsky | March 8, 2011

 

If you browse your local library or bookstore (are bookstores still in business or is Amazon taking over everything?) you will notice there are a plethora of "how to" books on buying and selling real estate.  Learn how to make a fortune flipping homes!  Create a cash flow empire buying and selling secondary mortgages!  Everything from residential real estate to mobile homes there is a land guru out there ready to teach you how to make your fortune in real estate.  Well, thankfully there are no such "land gurus" out there in the mainstream.  John Beck's infomercial about buying land pennies on the dollar didn't really take.  In fact, he was on 20 / 20 in an expose and his reputation has crashed harder than Charlie Sheen's, Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus combined.  Clearly there is a land guru out there ready to step in and fill the void right?  Well, if there is I haven't found a legitimate one yet.  We know how to buy and sell raw land in our little niche, but we certainly aren't going to charge you for the information.  Just read our blog!  Anyways, I digress. I have found one little book that teaches you how to buy land and build your rural home in the Country.  The book is a classic.  It's titled "Finding & Buying your Place in the Country" by Les & Carol Scher.  It's a fantastic tome where you learn about drainage, soil, vegetation and easements.  They talk about dealing with land brokers, land contracts and water rights.  In fact, it's so detailed that if you are serious about acquiring land and building your home on it it's a must have reference book.  I often go back to it and learn a little something new each time.  They even have useful websites referenced even though they may be a bit outdated today.  So ignore all the other "Land Guru" noise you may come across online and pick up this one book. You'll be glad you did.

Buying a piece of property from us comes with a first-name-basis relationship with Mark.

By: Mark Podolsky | March 7, 2011

Personal Relationships & Real Estate have never really gone hand in hand.

No one really knows the person on the other end of the mortgage on their house.  If you have a question, you call an 800 number that’s routed to a different country.  The person on the other end of the call (and she has 25 people on hold behind you), looks into her computer screen and tries to find an answer for you.  It’s usually not there.

Same goes with renting.

You may know your superintendent or your landlord’s manager, but chances are you don’t know the person who owns the building who can really help you when you need them.

Your rent or mortgage payment is the largest check you write each month and we think it should come with a little “customer support.”

We know about this concept and have built a company around solving this phenomenon.

When you call our number, one of the owners answer the phone or return the call/email/text.

We put a ton of effort in buying the right property and putting it in the hands of a buyer who is right for that particular piece of dirt.  It only makes sense to finish the job with the right personal relationship to make sure you are satisfied.

We have sold more than 10,000 properties over the past 11 years in the US and Canada.

Please test us.

The land business in the digital age is wonderful

By: Mark Podolsky | March 4, 2011

I love working in the digital age.  It's an absolute pleasure compared to what we had to do just 3 years ago before the days of Google Earth and ubiquitous broadband.  In the "old days" we'd have to stomp on each and every property to confirm the topography, make sure people weren't dumping on it and meeting with the County officials to research each parcel in their office.  In short, it was a lot of time, work and money compared to today.  

Now, we inspect a property on Google earth with satellite images.  Go to the Superfund site to insure there are no environmental issues and then surf on over the County Web site to confirm ownership, assessed value etc.  In short, we can do an acquisition from anywhere in the world as long as we have a computer and Internet access.  It's amazing! 

To market the land we bought, we can create maps galore all from using online plat maps, google earth satellite maps, online topography maps to the point that our prospective investors can see the whole story of the parcel just short of walking it.  Then they save time and money!  Plus, advertising the property is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse and keyboard as opposed to radio or television advertising which was ridiculously expensive and inefficient. We are living in a digital renaissance age and probably don't even appreciate it.  I love this YouTube video below that really captures the essence of how everything is so wonderful today technologically speaking and yet people still complain… 

 

Our Best Customer Jack. He makes money.

By: Mark Podolsky | March 3, 2011

 

Jack is my hero.  He buys one or two properties from us every month in different areas and all different sizes.  He provides the down payment and lists the properties on the internet (he won’t tell us where), and sells them for more.

Here’s a couple of examples: 

He buys a 40 acre property for $249 down and the price is $19,900 which makes him the owner.  He then sells the property for $36,000, pays us the 20K and keeps the $16,000 for himself.  Not bad for a few days work, especially since we have done all of the electronic maps, and descriptions.

Jack buys a 5 acre property in a really nice area for $99.00 down and $7,900.00 from us.  He sells it on the internet for $199.00 a month.  He makes $100.00 a month for the term of the loan for doing very little work.

Email my partner Mark.  He loves Jack, too.  We need more Jacks.  SB..

What Will Your Legacy Be?

By: Mark Podolsky | March 3, 2011

What are you going to leave as your legacy when you leave this world?  Some people want their legacy to be their children and the values they instill in them.  Values are wonderful, but most people want to leave a legacy that is tangible and permanent. Maybe a piece of jewelry or art? However, as wonderful and valuable as jewelry or art may be to your loved ones eventually they won't last.  

The only thing that lasts is land.  That's it. Not even styrofoam has a longer shelf life… Seriously, think about it.  What else will outlive all of us and last generation after generation?  Only land.  They have not only a valuable asset that is appreciating in value, but they have a getaway.  They could have a recreational oasis.  Perhaps a home or God-forbid everything goes to hell in a hand basket in this country a lifesaving bunker.  Only your imagination and your loved ones imaginations are limited by the uses of the property.

To me, is there is no finer legacy than a piece of the earth to leave your family or loved ones when we leave this earth.

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