Buying and Selling Land for Investments

People have never cared for the clock-punching daily grind. It is not shameful to admit that the daily routine can wear thin after a few years. Many people have chosen to invest their earnings in an attempt to minimize the time spent in the daily grind. Due to the current recession, most investments are not as secure as they once were. One investment that is a sure bet if properly done is to own land. Owning land is safe because the value is tangible, and making this investment profitable lies solely in the hands of the owner. So how do we begin? First, we need to find land for sale.

There are many different ways to find land for sale. This is where that mecca of research known as the internet comes in handy. Typing in ‘Land for Sale’ in your search window will lead to a variety of people trying to unload land. However, like all forms of investing if you do not know what you are doing, you will not succeed. It is best to find cheap land for sale or land with payments for your initial investment.

The truth is that an investment is not worth the effort if it means compromising your finances in order to acquire it. The best method is to buy cheap land for sale preferably not far from a metropolitan area. Everyone knows that cities expand. The key is to hold on to that parcel that you purchased until people start migrating towards your land. Then developers will ‘discover’ you and will make you a substantial offer for your land.

Before you realize it that cheap land for sale made you a lot of money. However, the word cheap is subjective. While certain pieces of land may be listed as cheap. They may be too much to purchase right out. In this case it is better to look for land with payments. Payment plans are structured with your budget in mind, so even if it takes 20 years to pay off that land, you will not go broke in the process. If a developer does want to buy your land, that payment can be used to pay off the remaining balance and leave you with some cushion. The next step should be obvious: sell your land.

In order to successfully sell your land you must advertise your land. There are different ways to do this. Advertising online is perhaps the best way since you will reach the most people. It is best look for websites that specialize in land sales. These sites will give you the tools to sell your land and reap the rewards from that sale. Another way to advertise your land is by using social networking sites. There will not be a service fee and people might be more willing to buy from a friend (even if it’s just an online friend).

Raw Land Income Ideas

There are so many different ways to make money if you own land. If you own even a small piece of land you might be surprised just how creative you can get if your goal is to create income using an existing asset.

Pasturing animals

If your land includes fields and/or some wooded areas, you might want to take look through the on-line and paper classifieds in your area. More than likely you will be able to identify horse or cow owners who are looking for space to graze their animals. What a fantastic way to make money and if your land includes large pasture areas, the animals will keep the grass down so you can even save money!

Hunting rights

If you own land suitable for hunting, you can rent your land out to hunters. This is one of the best ways to make extra money. If you have big deer in your area, there’s a good chance you can charge a premium price for rights to your land during hunting season. Best of all, you can charge by the person or charge a flat fee. You are in control with this one, making it one of the best ways to make extra money, while maintaining full use of your land during the off-season. If you have wildlife on your land, I recommend that you explore this income-generating possibility.


Have you noticed how many mini-storage rentals there are? If you have a building on site, this is also a potentially lucrative way to make extra money. These days, no-one seems to have enough room to store their stuff, making storage space a realistic way to earn some extra income. It may even be a wise investment to have a building put up if one does not exist. Those with an old barn could store four wheeler or boats during the off-season, making it one of the easiest ways to make extra money using your land (or trailers, campers, snowmobiles, classic cars -just about anything you can think of).


If you have level, open land that would be suitable for erecting tends, you should look into the logistics of starting a basic campground. Depending on the current condition of your property, it is possible to start up a campground with little start-up money. Usually to get started you only need stakes to make the sites, some campfire rings and a port-a-potty. There are so many free and inexpensive ways to advertise these days such as Craig’s List and that you can at least place an ad and see what kind of interest it generates. If there is interest in your area, you have a pretty simple way to generate passive income without having to make a large upfront investment or doing expensive upkeep.


If your property includes wooded areas, it would be smart to get a few quotes from different logging companies to see how much you could earn from the timber. In order to preserve the value of the land, as well as for environmental reasons, I do not recommend that you clear-cut the land. However, you may be able to log part of it and preserve some of the wooded areas. You might want to look into logging companies that cut sustainably by selectively harvesting only certain kinds of trees. This protects the value of the land as well as lessens the negative impact on the environment. Just do a Google search on “sustainable logging companies” in your state.

Flea markets

If your land is in a high traffic area, I suggest that you look into renting it out as a flea market. Do you know how many small tables you can fit on an acre of land? Even if you charge just $15/day for each vendor and you have 20 vendors for the first year, you are already generating an additional $300/day which comes to more than $2,000/week. This is a very low-cost way to make use of your land while helping out local vendors and consumers alike. As usual, do some research on the logistics before diving in.


Depending on the kinds of farming that exists in your area, there may be individuals or larger companies looking to lease land short-term or long-term for farming purposes. If you have tillable land, it would be worth your while to place an advertisement in the local papers as well as places like Craig’s List and to see if you get any hits.

Power leases

In this day of alternative energy, it is possible to make money leasing rural land to wind generating companies or others within the alternative power industry. However, the details about this are too complex to cover in this article.

3 Factors To Consider When Buying Land

Land is very important in real estate. When buying land to construct a house you need to consider a number of factors. Some of these factors include:

Zoning Requirements

Here you need to check with the local authorities and determine the zoning ordinances. You should also find out if you are allowed to construct the type of house that you have in mind. The future is very important; therefore, you should ask whether there are plans to improve the infrastructure in the area. For example, you should enquire whether there are plans of constructing airports and shopping centers.

Natural Hazards

You should contact the authority in the area and obtain a natural hazard disclosure. The disclosure will tell if the land is ideal for building. As rule of thumb you should stay away from a land that is prone to natural hazards.

When determining the natural hazards in the area you should also find the elevation of the land. If the land is located near a hill you should determine the chances of the land moving. Remember that the slab of your house can easily crack if the land is unstable.

If the land is good, but near water bodies you should consider constructing your building using a raised foundation. You should also ensure that you get flood insurance.


For you to live a comfortable life you need to have utilities in your home. One of the most important utilities you should have is water. Remember that you can’t dig wells in some areas. To be on the safe side you should determine the depth of your water table and find out how difficult it is to dig a well.

Electricity is also very important. If the area doesn’t have power you should determine how expensive it will be to bring it to your home.

You should also consider the sanitation in the area. If you can’t hook up to a sewer you should do your calculations and find out how costly it will be to install a septic system.


These are some of the factors that you should consider when buying land to construct a house. When making the purchase you shouldn’t be turned off by the restrictive covenants that might be on the area. Remember that these restrictions are meant at ensuring that the houses constructed in the area conform to given standards. Always go through the restrictions and understand what is allowed and what isn’t.

How To Sell A House And Lot

There are times you think you are incompetent doing some things that are not your field or expertise. On this venture you come to prove something to yourself. Selling a property is crucial but if done with proper documentation, legitimacy, good faith and consent of both parties buyer and seller, transaction will complete in due time.

In my own venture, it took around ten months more or less to sell a house and lot of the transfer of property from parents to heirs of a clean title. You can seek the assistance of a broker, a lawyer, or a realty firm, among others, to help you with the processing of papers. Each office takes two, three or a month to stamp approval or release.

In the process of documentation, you need a set of photocopies of applications, receipts, affidavits, claim stubs, and other certificates. Label them in safe folders and keep in a bag so any time an office requires a copy, you have one available. Should a file be lost, certified true copies could be sought from the proper government offices.

Here are three steps from Attorney Glicerio Alarkon Jr. (San Beda College of Law), of whom I sought help for my papers.

“1 Settle the estate tax where the property of the decedent is located at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

2 Secure a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds or Land Registration Authority.

Before securing a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds, you have to pay the transfer tax at the City Hall.

3 After all these steps, the property is now ready for sale!”

So after the lawyer’s advise, here is how the papers got processed selling a property. To save on brokers fees, I worked on my own selling a house and lot.

Initially, before step one, real property taxes must be paid every year, but if taxes have accrued and the interest charges are onerous, owners can claim and wait for a tax amnesty or pay in installment. Keep real property tax receipts.

In step one, once the estate tax have been paid, the Bureau of Internal Revenue will issue a certificate authorizing registration. From here, you can go step two.

Other documents you may need are publishers affidavit, an extrajudicial settlement of estate, tax account numbers, government identification cards, valid identification cards, and a special power of attorney from the Consulate General of the country where the other heirs reside if the heirs are living abroad. For example, our extrajudicial is from the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco, California, USA. Also, death certificates of parents, and sometimes, birth certificates of heirs from the National Statistics Office have to be prepared. Save some money for notary fees and transportation, among others.

The last step is the Deed of Sale. With this, the seller should pay the capital gains tax. Payment of the property can be made in cash or check. However, verification from the bank is necessary, if payment is in check. You will need a lawyer to help you during this transaction. Also, you will need the bank’s assistance for safety. Should the money be of material amount seek the help of a police officer. Truly, the help of good workers!

A Guide To Understanding Adverse Possession In Real Estate

Adverse Possession is the method of acquiring valid ownership over a piece of land, which is originally owned by someone else. There are a specific set of conditions that need to fall in place for the transfer of ownership to take place. Most of the people are not familiar with the legalities that govern such a transfer of ownership, and that leads many disputes between the original owner and the adverse possessor. Here is what you, as a landowner, need to know about this real estate term:

Legal Requirements For Adverse Possession

Some people are of the opinion that mere possession of the land over a fixed period of time is enough to qualify for this type of possession. This is absolutely untrue. There are other conditions that must be fulfilled, such as uninterrupted and exclusive possession, and open and notorious actual occupancy. The party applying for adverse possession, needs to clearly prove that it has fulfilled all such requirements in the court. Only then will they get a valid title for the land.

Span Of Possession

While the period of possession is not the only criteria for acquiring adverse possession, it is an extremely essential one. In most countries, the minimum number of years of possession is 20 years. If this tenure isn’t met, you cannot claim a stake over the ownership.

Intent Of Hostile Possession

Another essential requirement for this type of possession is the intent behind the possession. The court deems that it will consider the transfer of ownership valid, only when the adverse possessor has a hostile intention to take over the land. However, hostile intent does not require deliberate, willful, unfriendly animosity. In fact, hostile intent does not depend on the mindset of the possessor at all. Rather, an act is considered hostile when it is inconsistent with the rights of the record owner and not subordinate to those rights.

Original Owner’s Acquiescence

The law states that this kind of possession is valid before 20 years of possession, provided that the original owner of the land willingly gives the title to the current owner. This can save both the parties a lot of hassle, but is usually extremely rare as no one wants to give away their property for free.

Adverse possession occurs frequently, and can occur in any real estate related context. There are a lot of technicalities involved in its process. A comprehensive knowledge on the available legal remedies can make the process reasonably easy.

Apartment or House?

Apartment is defined as, a set of rooms which have all the facilities like a house. The major types of apartment are studio apartment, bedroom apartment, duplex, lofts, garden apartment. If I was asked where I would I prefer to live in a traditional house or in a modern apartment building, I think, I would hesitate to answer. This question, from my point of view, is a controversial one. In the following paragraphs I will analyze both these options and present my view.

It’s everyone’s dream to have a comfortable place to live. As the majority of people say, I want to get an attractive house someday, but unluckily it is not so easy to get because it is very costly. But there are several differences between owning a house and renting an apartment. The first difference is the noise. If you are renting an apartment and you are a noisy person, it is very painful for the rest of the people who live with you. For example if you are always playing melodic instruments, listening to loud music and cleaning the house with noisy machines you are really troubling the other people and I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to be in their place. But also, in a lot of cases the noise depends on if the owner permits it or not. In contrast, owning a house is more comfortable if you are a noisy person because you are the owner and responsible for all the things of your house and you don’t have to care of disturbing someone. For example, if you are the owner of the house you are free to even have a noisy party or whatever you want because it is your house. The second and most important difference for me is about the policy. When you live in an apartment, you have to comply with the owner’s policy. For example, you have to ask for him or her if you are free to have visitors, pets, parties, etc. On the other hand, when you rent an apartment, you are not as free as you are when you are the owner of a house to do whatever you want. In contrast, owning a house permits you to be free without caring that someone is dissatisfied with your ideas and decisions about your house. In this case you can paint your house, buy a big tape recorder or do all the things that you want. In conclusion, I prefer owning a house that is better than renting an apartment because I can be free to do whatever I want, without policy and it gives me more sovereignty and relieve.

From the one side, living in a modern apartment building brings many paybacks. First of all, it is cheaper than living in a traditional house and paying different kinds of fees I am not familiar with. For instance, my buddy, who recently bought a new house for his family, told me that it is much easier to live in an apartment and I tend to believe him when I see his bills. So, living in an apartment will definitely help me to save some money. Second of all, since I live alone, I do not need a big house with many rooms. I just need a bedroom and a living room where I can take my guests and have my work place. Another important benefit of living in an apartment is that I will not have to buy much weighty furniture in order to furnish all rooms.

Six Characteristics of a Good Note

The six critical factors to be aware of when buying or creating a real estate-backed note include the buyer/borrower, the collateral, the down payment, the terms of the note itself, seasoning and the associated paperwork. We’ll go through these one at a time.

The most important of these is the person buying the property and getting a loan from the seller. Most seller-financed loans are created for people with a credit score of 600 or greater, although most banks have a 620 minimum. Just like with banks, the better your score, the better the interest rate you can get.

If you are creating a note you can protect yourself from an applicant with poor credit by getting a larger down payment and charging a higher interest rate. These are things a note buyer will look for when considering the purchase of a loan.

The second thing to analyze is the property being offered as collateral. A pretty 3-bedroom home in a nice suburb would be worth more than a single-wide on 35 acres, 20 miles from the nearest grocery store. A well-built apartment building would be worth more than 50 acres of dirt.

When buying a note you must affirm that the property is correctly valued. If you get that number wrong, the whole deal starts off on shaky ground. While you may want to check a home’s value on Zillow, or Trulia, or, your most accurate number will come in a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) created by a local realtor who has actually driven out to see the property. Sold comps and listing comps will be more accurate than anything produced by a software package like Zillow.

The third factor to consider is the down payment. Consider two people who each by a house worth $50,000. One puts down $800 and the other puts down $5,000 (10%). The note that has the great down payment will be worth more than the other if everything else is equivalent. If a buyer has enough “skin in the game” they will be more likely to make paying their mortgage a top priority since they have more to lose if they default.

The fourth thing to look at are the terms of the loan. What is the interest rate? Currently, a rate between 8 and 10% is pretty common in the seller-financed world. Much above that will make it difficult to pay. A note with a rate of 5 or 6% may pay too little to make it attractive to an investor who will be forced to deeply discount their offer to get their required yield.

The payback period can also affect the perceived value of a note. Generally, a short amortization period is more attractive because an investor will get her money back quicker.

If a note has a provision to collect escrows for taxes and insurance, that should bring a better price when sold than one that doesn’t. In the latter case the lender is counting on the buyer to set aside funds to take care of these payments, but that’s asking for a lot of self-discipline from someone who has shown via their credit score that they may not have much.

If the buyer can’t make the insurance payments, you as the investor may have to attach forced-place insurance, an expensive option to keep yourself covered.

Property taxes will be collected eventually and generally have a lien position ahead of the first mortgage. Non-payment over a period of years can lead to the loss of the property at a tax sale.

The last thing to look at on the note itself is the overall payment. An investor making an offer to buy a loan will want to feel comfortable that the buyer can afford to make the payments and still have enough left over for all their remaining living expenses. Also, if local rental rates are higher than their mortgage payment, that’s another incentive for the buyer to keep up their obligation to pay on time.

The fifth factor is called seasoning. That’s simply the amount of time the borrower has been making payments. A note buyer will offer more for a note with three years of seasoning than one where the new owner has only made three payments. A good track record gives an investor confidence that payments will continue being made on time and can even offset the negative affect of a low credit score.

Sixth and last, all the ancillary paperwork contributes to the overall value of a note. Here’s a list of documents to ask for from the note seller: title policy, tax certificate, mortgage or deed of trust, the allonge (showing the transfers of the loan), the mortgage transfers, credit report, payment history and original application including the social security number of the borrower. If you are creating a seller-financed note, having all these documents will keep the value of your note as high as possible.

So whether you’re buying a note or creating one, the same six pieces of the puzzle will be responsible for the size of the discount offered when a note is sold.

Building A Home: 6 Things Your Builder Will Not Tell You

Buying a newly constructed home should be an enjoyable experience. Sadly, for most consumers, it’s a nightmare that will stay with them the rest of their life. A common statement made by many new homebuyers is that they will never have another home built for them.

Here’s 6 things your builder will probably never tell you.

“We market that our company only uses the finest craftsmen to build our homes when in reality, we use the cheapest trades we can find, which means that many are not skilled and are day laborers.”

Custom and spec homebuilders bid out the work on your home to the lowest bidder. Kinda like the U.S. Government. There is few Custom builders left who do their own work and have their own crews.

“I have a binding contract that will prevent you from suing me should you have major defects in your home after you move in. And better yet, there is little you can do to get me to fix it!”

Read the fine print on your contract. Better yet, have a real estate attorney read it for you and explain to you what legal recourse you have should there be problems after you close. I bet you’ll come out of the attorney’s office amazed at how little rights you have if you sign the builders contract.

“If you’re really smart, you’ll hire your own third party, code certified, home inspector because the public inspectors and even my own inspectors aren’t here with your best interest at heart!”

Builders today search out third party inspectors to perform “Quality Assurance” inspections. Problem is, this is just more marketing hype than anything. In most states, these third party inspectors do not have to be licensed to perform “Construction Inspections”. My inspectors and I find a long list of items that these inspectors either miss or ignore on every new home we inspect. Not once have we found a home that the builders inspector found a majority of the defects.

City and county inspectors are generally about the same as the builders inspector or worse. Many of these inspectors are so piled up with work that they can only spend 15 to 20 minutes in a home. Besides, it is not the City or County’s inspectors job to look for workmanship issues, they are only there looking for health and safety issues and protecting the City and County’s interest. Just like the builders inspectors are there protecting the builders interest, not yours!

If you don’t know a good code certified home inspector ask around or check out the American Society of Home Inspectors at

“My sales people and I can tell you anything we want because we’re not regulated by the State”

In many states, you’ll find that the sales people for builders are not licensed with the real estate commission like Real Estate Agents are. This lets them tell you whatever they need to so you’ll buy a home from them. I’ve heard just about sales people promising homebuyers just about anything you can imagine they’d buy from their builder. Buyer beware and get them to put it in writing before you sign the contract!

“Your home is built over a landfill or swamp… maybe both.”

As prime land is filling up with new homes, real estate developers and builders are turning to sub prime land. Here in my market, we have subdivisions sitting on landfills, swamps and former rice patties. None are prime areas for building a home on.

“If you back out of the contract for any reason, we’ll keep your earnest money an upgrade money”

Many people are surprised to find this is true. In Texas most builders will, check with the Attorney General in your state to see if this is legal. Again, the builder or sales people may tell you different, but most contracts have a clause that says you’ll forfeit your earnest money or upgrade money if you back out of the home. Get it in writing what happens if you back out and the steps you must take to get your money back. Don’t think it won’t happen to you because I see it happen all the time.

As each state, county and city is different, you should check with a knowledgeable inspector in your area plus your real estate attorney before purchasing a newly constructed home. Also, GET EVERYTHING FROM THE BUILDER IN WRITING! If he promises you he’ll throw in a few extra outlets in the garage, get him to put it in the contract.

This article may be reprinted, copied and distributed as you see fit as long as it is not altered and the article remains intact, including the resource box below.

Building a home or remodeling one is a huge undertaking, especially if you live in the Tulsa area. If you’re doing it yourself, you’re going to need top notch advice or need to have work inspected that your contractors performed, give Donald at Tulsa Home Inspectors a call. I know he’ll be more than happy to talk with you.

How To Saving Money Building Custom Homes

Designing a new house is exciting as endless creative ideas can be transformed into a reality, however being mindful of a budget can save unnecessary expenses and much heartache down the line. Constructing houses from the ground up involves experienced architects, designers and knowledge of building regulations to produce functional and appealing results. A beautifully developed and affordable home can be achieved when mindful of savings.

Significant expenditure goes into the creation of customized homes from the impact of economic markets to the costs for design teams, labor and materials. Without strict planning and cutting back where necessary, a budget can soon become out of control leaving many people out of pocket before project completion. Adhering to a few cost saving strategies may assist in saving and minimizing exorbitant finances.

The first step is to think about what you will need in a house. Large and extravagant properties involve complex design processes, lengthier project completion and a higher price tag. Opting for quaint, comfortable homes that are easier to maintain without losing on a sophisticated and modern appeal are more cost effective and improve the odds of obtaining funding from a bank.

Calculate the cost per square foot to provide an idea of the total finances involved in the size of a custom house. Assess present living requirements and whether a property plan offers flexible design for future expansion. A smaller house will prove more affordable in comparison to a significantly larger plot.

Costs for wooden features and structures can be reduced by purchasing reclaimed wood. Recycled materials suitable for use in construction can cut expenses for particular developments without compromising on quality. It is a popular means of supporting an environmentally friendly or green approach to building.

The selection of flooring or stairwells includes an assessment of upfront costs and long term investment potential. Always determine the value that a particular installation can deliver over time including maintenance so you will not have to replace modifications and hike expenses. Consultation with a professional design team can determine construction solutions that are affordable and valuable.

Custom home design must include a detailed plan of house style, size and budget requirements. Reliance on a building professional and modern technology can produce cost effective solutions in the development of a dream home. Working with experienced and knowledgeable architects and doing your homework can contribute to significant financial savings without losing on desired form and function for the new property.

Tips To Build A Custom Home

Building a house from its foundation requires a fair amount of research and planning from the budget to the selection of materials and design features. Choosing a reliable, experienced and modern contractor can ease the process and produce quality results for all clients. Construction of small modest houses to larger grand condos can benefit with attention to detail and a professional guide.

Decorative features you wish to include in the newly constructed property should not be built on-site. Providing contractors with clear instruction and dimensions for rooms and garden can assist in manufacturing cupboards and features at the respective workshop that will cost less than having it created on the property. The number of hours worked on site will contribute to the total bill and must be assessed before providing the go ahead for the contract.

The new home should incorporate form and function to ensure that residents and potential future buyers are satisfied with the layout. Design must prove aesthetic and modern, but provide practicality for current living needs and future requirements. Unique structures and plans may meet with trends and prove appealing, but may not be suitable for others should the house be placed on the market for future resale.

Create a budget and plan for emergencies and unexpected fixtures along the way. Constructing a customized home is not a simple task, but a major and time consuming undertaking that requires additional planning for breakage, insufficient materials, and building delays. It is not advised to remain within a fixed cost that could prove detrimental to finances should a surprise circumstance occur.

Assess the value of modern features that are incorporated as part of the building plan and total expense. It is exciting to add modern appeal with building extras, but these features may not contribute to the investment over the long term. Include construction that will deliver the most appealing results and assist in improving the resale value of the property.

Install high quality flooring with functional design elements including underfloor heating and ease of maintenance. There are many different materials available for custom floors including tiles, hardwood and concrete each offering its own set of benefits and potential limitations. Flooring must contribute to resale value while providing affordable and aesthetic to best serve the practical function and theme of the house.

The success in tailored home design lies in the details of the floor plan created by competent builders offering sound advice and guidance. The transformation of an idea into real construction requires the knowledge and expertise of a certified contractor to support and streamline the development. Research into the plan and the cost for property size are important factors to ensure realistic outcomes.

Custom home design undertaken by licensed and reputable builders offers flexible solutions for the modern property owner. Quality contractors incorporate the latest 3D technology in the development of detailed floor plans including consultation, cost assessments and the submission of council documents. Trusting construction to an expert in the industry can produce modern yet functional results that meet within a specified budget.