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Tagged with "cheap land Archives - Page 6 of 8 - Frontier Properties USA"

Second Home? Really? Why?

Mar 31, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

This is the headline from CNN Real Estate– Been dreaming of a vacation home? Somewhere warm to get away? Or maybe a cabin in the woods? Prices are right if you can afford it.

The median price of a vacation home was $150,000 in 2010, down 11.2% from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. In contrast, the national median for primary residences fell only 4.5% in 2010, according to NAR.

Great so I buy a second home and at a great price.  Fantastic right?  I don't think so.  Now you have a second mortgage, a second property tax bill, second maintenance bills, second utilities bill and the gnawing guilt of going somewhere else besides the place where your second home resides.  I'd rather have raw land with no maintenance fees and total freedom thank you. 

I never get used to paying property taxes

Mar 31, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Why is it that every time I get a tax bill from XYZ County do I cringe?   Even if the taxes are super cheap I just loathe the entire process of having to write a check, write my account number on the check and then mail the check.  Some County's are setup to take payment by e-check or credit card, but then they charge a hefty convenience fee for the privilege of taking your tax dollars.  

Anyways, I thought after 10 years of doing this I'd get used to it, but I never do… Well, the optimist in me likes that I'm rarely paying the same amounts on raw land that people are paying on other property types.  So I guess in that respect, I shouldn't feel so badly every time I have to write that check or click on the link.  Ah, now I feel better.  See how taking pleasure in other people's property tax pain can make me feel better?  

Thinking of Homesteading?

Mar 29, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog, See it to believe it  //  No Comments

 

 
 

Many of my customers purchase rural land as an investment–a hedge
against inflation. (After all, they're not making any more land.)
 
But some people buy land to enjoy, not just to own. 
 
And all the rural land we offer is perfect for living a


sustainable, green lifestyle. Ask about our parcels zoned for agriculture,
recreation and mining, so you can easily set up your own homestead
with a mobile or modular home.
 
And when you buy rural land from Frontier Properties, you get…
 
A low down payment 
No bank qualifying–you're pre-approved
Ownership from Day One after closing
A money-back satisfaction guarantee
 
If you're ready to enjoy a simpler life, away from the stresses of
the city, why not browse our inventory of rural property? You can
see photos and read descriptions in our gallery
 
 

Kicked off PayPal After 6 years without one Chargeback

Mar 29, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 

 

Woke up this morning and received this email from PayPal–

 





A review ofyour PayPal Account has determinedthat you are in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy as it pertains to the sale of real property.  It is prohibited to use PayPal for the sale of real property, which includes the direct sale of property, timeshares, or variations on this model such as raffles/lotteries and reverse auctions.  Because we realize it takes time to find another payment processor, you can continue operating with PayPal for the next 90 days.   After 90 days(Friday, June 24, 2011) your account will be closed.


 

This is not a decision we make lightly, and we deeply regret any inconvenience or frustration this matter may cause you.  This matter has been reviewed at length, and this decision is final.

 

I know of several other land sellers that received the same message.  Something must have happened that triggered this, but what a way to start the day… 

 

We do accept other forms of payment like credit cards and checks etc., but so many people have PayPal accounts and are comfortable using it that it just irks me to have my business affected so quickly and without any warning.

Beware of Negative Amortization on Land Notes

Mar 25, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog, Researching Land  //  2 Comments

I just had a recent investor of mine contact me about a land note he was paying on.  He was paying $300 month with 11% interest on a note with a principal balance of $39,000.  Well, the seller never informed him that he was in a negative amortization situation on his note.  That is, with each payment he was only paying towards interest and the principal amount never changed.  If you look at an amortization chart for this loan he should have been paying $371 / month over  a 30 year period and then by the end of the term he would be fully amortized and the note completely paid off.  

What bothers me about this (besides being illegal as it violates the truth and lending law), is the fact that the seller knew the situation and easily could have simply changed his note by either lowering the interest rate or the principal amount so his $300 payment would fully amortize.  

The crazy part of this story is my investor had been a fabulous customer and had paid in over $8,000 towards his note and then receives a statement his principal balance is $39,200!!!   I hope he gets that money back, but the lesson learned here is before you enter into any land contract with owner financing click on the link below to double check the seller's note and insure you are being fully amortized.  

Amortization Calculator

This is off subject, but if you have kids or grandkids you want to take to Disneyland  or Disneyworld I found an amazing program that will save you hours of standing in line and competely schedule and map out your day.  The program is ridemax.com and you simply choose the rides you want to go on (they give a detailed description of each ride and rate it) and then it tells you exactly what to do and where to go and when.  It wasn't free, it was $14.95, but it was worth every penny and more. 

Web site Optimized for Mobile Phones

Mar 23, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog  //  No Comments

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

Mar 21, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog, Researching Land  //  No Comments

 

 
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

Mar 10, 2011   //   by Mark Podolsky   //   Blog, Researching Land  //  No Comments

 

 
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