Need Land Advice ASAP

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TailorMadeHell, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Okay, here's the deal.

    I am trying to buy a piece of land. The details are:

    It is 5.4 acres. Not zoned. Outside city limits. Foreclosure. Bank owned. Has power pole, septic tank and well water. No quality assurance on anything. Has mobile home that is in disrepair, unlivable. Price was $15,900. Now price has been dropped to $13,600. There is Right Of Way. Right of Redemption is a year and that year has passed. I've been told that I can send a personal check for $500 and the realtor will hold it for me.

    I don't have a personal check to send. My checking account is brand new and won't be able to pick up checks unless I'm at a bank branch. Middle of Iraq, no branches. Haha.

    So, can I send money to someone that I trust and have them draw a cashier's check in my name to give to the realtor?

    Also, the realtor won't or can't tell me how much closing costs, tax, title, surveyor, etc are. So how much do I offer? Should I offer to pay 10 grand and then pay for the extras? What would you do? Please advise rapidly.

    Don't want to lose the chance for a retirement spot. Thanks.

  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    From the perspective of a grizzly old retired E-7 (sorry Navy - you I understand where you are coming from, but also think you were woefully unprepared for a deployment on a personal basis back home. Enough for the chastisement .... on to the problem. I am sure you don't like going into a potential hostile situation without proper intel, so to speak. Too many possible pitfalls and things that could go wrong with terrible results. You need eyes on the ground acting in your best interests. I searched for 6 months relentlessly, looking at each piece of property myself before coming off my tight wallet and beginning negotiations to purchase the 20 acres I sit on this very moment. Without eyes on the ground to protect you, you would be wise to keep your money held tight and safe. Where, what State and City withing 50 miles or so is this land? Maybe a "survival monkey" would agree to check it out for you. Are you in Afghanistan or Iraq? .......... duh, an answer just came to me. Look you have internet access. Does your bank have online banking? If not go back to my "chastisement". Someone in your unit knows about online banking. Preferably from my view point a senior E-5 or above. Talk to them and see if they can give some advice in working thru this problem. It may be neccessary to change banks, but most have some sort of online banking now days and could do your check from online instructions. I still think you should hold your money where it is safe until you can get eyes on the target and act safely. Good Luck. I can give you links for online banking with excellent services if you can't find anything. BY THE WAY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THE COUNTRY. COME HOME SAFE![flag] May God Bless and hold you safe
  3. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Have you seen it with your own eyes? What I'd near it? If it has been foreclosed for over a year and no buyers there must be a big problem of some sort
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    This ex USN E-6 says Tacmot and Clyde have it right. Eyes are the only thing you can depend on when it comes to real estate, and pix won't do it. RE agents are what they are; I"ve dealt with a couple really good ones, and a (rather famously) scumball. Forget this one until you can see it yourself. In the meantime and dreamtime, prowl
  5. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Thanks for the replies. Part of me says grab it now, because it's the cheapest land that I have found in the area thus far. It is in Mobile County, AL. If someone is close and interested in being a scout, let me know. Thanks.
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I started a new thread to try and garner more direct input to your problem. I hope you don't mind. I will delete it if you say so.

    it reads as follows;

    "Tailormadehell" needs eyes on the ground on or near Mobile County Alabama. See Survival Monkey, "General Discussion Forum" thread "need land advice ASAP" dated 13 June 2009. He is deployed overseas and is considering a land purchase there. Some things about this purchase seem a bit off to lead one to think he may be about to get screwed out of his hard earned money. In example; the land itself and the realtor. "Contact Tailormadehell" via private message if you think you may be able to help.
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    One other thing I did not bring up with regard to my land purchase and my 6 month hunt to find it. I lost track of the tracts of land that all were more expensive. They all had good write ups. Some had impressive pictures. This was rural Florida circa 1985. Per acre price varied from $1495 per acre to $3000 per acre. All of those tracts irregardless of the advertising and pictures, had more wrong with them than right. And while the pictures shown were true pictures of the property, what they didn't show was criminal. The final property I chose and inspected before hand was a simple listing. 10 acres, nice trees, deeded access, remote $11,000 cash. This was part of an 80 acre tract. One 10 acre parcel was already sold. The owner had cash flow problems and needed $10,000 quick to be well with his financial world. After inspection and roaming all 70 acres for hours. I wrote a $1000 check and an offer for 20 acres, subject to a clean title search and verification of the deeded access. We did not agree immediately, but I ended up getting my 20 acres for $1250 per acre. Its worth a whole lot more now. Be Patient, this economy isn't going to turn around over night. There will be many many more foreclosures and parcels for sale. JMHO
  8. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I can't see the hurt in having eyes on. I am smart. How smart am I? Smart enough to know that those who have been there/done that may have wisdom to share.

    I would rather keep my money than find something wrong with it after I have paid for it. Thanks for your help.

  9. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I agree with the above, having bought and sold several properties, I would never buy one sight unseen because you have no idea what you are getting. There could be a stack of old cars and tires on the property that would cost more to clean up than what the property was worth. Having been vacant for a while, you can bet it has become a dumping ground. It sounds very cheap, but I wouldn't put a dime down until I at least had someone I trust thoroughly examine the property in person. Wish I was closer bud!
  10. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I would never advise another to buy property sight unseen.

    If that same offer was around here I wouldn't have a problem buying it sight unseen. I would check into it to make sure it wasn't a environmental superfund site. It wouldn't bother me if it had 20 cars and a thousand tires stacked up to get rid of.

    However, around here you couldn't buy one acre for $13K let alone a piece of property with utilities already in place. Heck you couldn't even have the utilities installed for $13K. I guess it's all a matter of perspective and since property values are different around the country, I'm comparing apples to oranges.

    I'm not understanding the part where the property isn't zoned. Does this mean you can do whatever you want with the property? Maybe things are different in the south because around here to the best of my knowledge all properties have some sort of zoning whether it's commercial, industrial, residential or agricultural.
  11. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I'm sorry I'm way too far away to help you out Tailor, but I think those that have posted already have some good advice. Be very careful about this stuff, there will always be another good deal to be had, you just have to keep your eyes open.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I think you haven't bought land or housing before, just from the feel I get. Time for a checklist. This is similar to how I was thinking when I set out last January to find this place, but not all inclusive. Others will add items, I should think.

    -Well - Tested for bugs, and contaminants? (Make that a condition of sale.) Flow rates? (Five gpm at roughly 50 psi average is good.) Pressure tank size? (Bigger is better.) How deep? How old is the pump and tank? (15 years is a good run, more than that is problematic.) You want a submersible pump, not a jet type.
    -Water heater - Fuel? How big? How old? (15 years is an excellent run.) (N/A for the described site, but it seems like you'll be looking elsewhere.)
    -Septic tank - How big? Last pumped? Passed sanitary inspection? (If not yet inspected, make the offer contingent on passing. You don't want the expense of a new leach field or sand mound and lift station.)
    -How near to medical facilities or EMT services? Fire company? Cops?
    -How near to a town with grocery stores and other shopping? (And, if applicable, low-lifes.)
    -Clear safe area to shoot? (If not, how far to a proper range.)
    -Cable? Phone and DSL? Cell tower? Satellite?
    -Bugs? (Thinking roaches just this minute, but buzzing biters should be accounted for, if any.)
    -KNOW WHAT EASEMENTS AND LEASES ARE ALREADY ON THE LAND!!! With luck, the county recorder will have that data.
    -Case extant, make it a condition that the trailer and all associated trash is removed. Walk the land, see if there isn't a trash pile in the woods with paint cans, tires, and other junk hiding out. Trash removal is another expense you don't want, and could be imposed by the EPA if they find it later. Watch for hazardous waste like from a leaky oil tank or dumped from oil changes in the yard.
    -What is the rated power at the meter? You want at LEAST a 200 amp, 220 volt service. Electric rates stable, and how much?
    -Flooding possible? The Mobile area is pretty low, IIRC. Even if not normally flooded, make sure the drainage goes where you want it to; away from the well and leach field, and not under the house.
    -Is the nearest landfill upstream or downstream, hydrologically?
    -Are there tracks on the property indicating that folks use trails thru the land?
    -Walls and ceiling have to be insulated or your heating and cooling costs will have you busted flat in a month. 4" min (and 6" is better) in the walls, and 8 or 10 in the ceilings.
    -In Alabama, chances are that you won't need heat, but a reversible heat pump for A/C will be a pretty good choice if the power service will stand the load and a couple chilly nights want relief. However, if you look farther north, ask about fuels. Generally, electric heat is a poor choice unless the alternative is propane. Prop is pricey, over the top, but if it is all you can get, then Ah, Well, it's only money.

    If you wind up with bare land, you'll need to know if the area has been perked for a septic tank and leach field. If not, make that a condition of sale or be ready to part with a few month's pay to get new put in. The guy across the street had his redone a couple years ago when his leach field failed, ran to 20K. (We got rock up here. Lotsa rock. Not likely in Alabama, but high water tables will force sand mounds, too.)

    Things you pay for; I can't believe the RE agent couldn't ball park them for you. Find another one.
    Customarily, you pay for inspections. You pay for title search. You pay for survey. (And get the corners flagged, so there is no doubt in your mind where your authority ends.) That said, these can all be negotiated beforehand; however, if they pay, you don't get to pick the outfit doing the work. You are better off paying for it, that way the outfit owes you the duty.
  13. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Thanks for the list ghirit. Every bit of information is helpful. This would be my first time buying. The most expensive thing I have ever owned was my F150. I do want it done right the first time, so I don't have to do it again or have major recurring pay outs.
  14. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    TMH, I am in Mobile and connected; be glad to look into it for you.
  15. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Thanks Sea. Will send PM.
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