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#584 09/10/06 06:35 AM
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PaulR,
We took 4 years of searching to find our project. It included uncountable road trips and walking hundreds of acres, 20 - 50 at a time. We are in the midwest so it wasn't unusual to be trudging thru a foot or two of snow in the woods of Michigan in January. Sounds daunting? I loved it! Yeah, it can start to grind after a while, but the roadtrips are only after determining if the property really has the potential desired. Knowing this is the spark of motivation that fires up the adventurer to explore. Each one is different...and each one is guaranteed to teach you many new things about God's green earth if you let it.
The following From the beginning thread was started by one of your Texas comrades. Within, I posted my basic method of research to determine if a road-trip was warranted. It served me well.
Best of luck to you...and remember...always have bullets in your gun and your finger on the trigger; there's another guy right behind you with the same plan.

#585 09/10/06 11:09 AM
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Paul,

I've bought and sold a few rural pieces of land, but I'm no expert at it. Finding a good realtor really makes a huge difference. I contacted dozens and dozens of them until I found one that thought the way I do. Not to be too negative on realtors, but there is a huge difference in what they know and what they pretend to know. Rural land is't like a house, and most realtors deal with homes.

My priorities had a pond or lake site at the very bottom of my list. Utilities, location and access where what I had to have at a price I could afford. I started my search while living in California and would fly out here to look over diferent parts of the state. Nothing was written in stone, and I was wide open to suggestions on different areas.

In the end, I found a piece of land that was close to what I wanted, but to make it perfect, I needed the adjoining land. It wasn't for sale, but my realtor was able to contact the owner. We talked and agreed to a price.

A good realtor will not only know the area, but will go the extra mile to find you your land. My guy knew what I could afford and what the land was worth. The seller started out at a rediculous number, but after a few months, he changed his mind.

While negotiating with him, I had a six month option on the first piece of land. That cost half a point and was non refundable, but it allowed me to buy the land if I wanted it, but I had six months to decide either way.

I bought more land than I wanted or needed, so when the deal all came together, I subdevided the land I didn't want and sold it off. I made enough off of those parcels to pay off the land I wanted and build a house.

Once all that was done, I started exploring my land with the aid of a topo map. I didn't have any good locations for a lake, but knew it could be done in one area with allot of work. My lake is almost done. I did it myself because I could never afford to have hired it out.

Contact every realtor that you can, ask them specific questions and guage their replies. Know the answere before hand so you know who's knowleldgable and who's full of BS. A good one will know the real value of the land and can tell you the difference between land that is really for sale and land that is listed at a rediculous amount just in case a sucker comes along. There are lots of listings like that.

Good luck and be patient. There is no greater mistake than buying a piece of land that turns out to be a nightmare!!!

Eddie


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#586 09/11/06 09:04 AM
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Paul you can get topo info from this website on just about any property in Texas.

http://terraserver.microsoft.com/default.aspx

There are several other sites as well but this one is easy to use.

Just get an address or general location and you can pan around and usally find the property in question.

I also sent you a private message, if your willing to drive further more like 3 hours from houston I have 20 acres with a 4.7 acre lake for sale.



The road goes on forever and the party nevers end...............................................
#587 09/11/06 09:48 AM
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Thanks again for the input.

Here's another one that got me excited...but lack of surface control is another dealkiller for me.

But it looks like they bought some cheap land and threw a big lake on it. I'd be wary of the construction methods and quality. The stocking plan is pretty suspect as well from what the agent sent to me ()

http://www.landsoftexas.com/texas/index.cfm?Detail=&INV_ID=20289

 Quote:
The 47 acre lake was stocked one year ago with 35 pairs of mature Florida Bass. The males are between 2 and 4 pounds and the females are 5 to 8 pounds. The bass have spawned and there are thousands of juvenile bass in the lake. Shad, bluegill and crawfish were stocked as forage species.
Looks nice, though.

#588 09/11/06 01:14 PM
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PaulR,

My 2 cents (recall advice is what you pay for it). I spent 2 years searching for my place in East Texas.

The most important factor was deciding where you want to buy property. After doing a lot of looking and driving, settle on a specific area/county to buy land.

Spend more time getting to know that local area. Learn the plusses and minuses and what is the going rate for each type of property + what are improvements worth...ect. Bottom line - KNOW what land is selling for and understand exactly how much IMPROVEMENTS are worth. Lakes, fences, storage, electric, water, roads, cabins…all that stuff adds up. For example, my local water coop charges $1500 to install a water meter + another $1500 in water lines for getting the water to my cabin. It all ads up.

Start a relationship with local realtors, letting them know exactly what you are looking for. IE - existing lake or lake-site, size, price…etc. You may be surprised at all the property that is sold before it goes on the market. In a seller market, a GOOD local realtor will have buyers lined up for when properties become available. Additionally, if you know the realtor, there is usually a few weeks time to pre-view properties before everyone else does. By the time it hits the internet, lots of folks has looked at the property. I also learned that some realtors do not list all of their properties on line.

I ended up passing on a property that had a beautiful lake (but had other issues) in favor of my property which has a lake in need of repair. I bought at the low end of the market and the property was never actually listed even through I purchased through a local realtor.

Happy Hunting
Gator


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#589 09/11/06 01:24 PM
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Here's one other suggestion that may or may not be obvious to all.

When you are searching for the "dream" land, you may come accross things that look real good, or maybe even marginal. However, there's usually not a lot of time to make 100% decisions.

In order to buy yourself some time to digest & learn about a specific plot of land, I suggest being prepared to give a few hundred bucks to the seller to take the property off the market for some period of time, like a week to 10 days.

This really is not an Option Agreement that I'm talking about as there may be no final sales price determined.

All it means is an agreement between the seller and you to hold the property for a few days. During that time, no one else can buy the property. If you don't end up taking the property, the seller keeps the money. If you do end up buying the property, the money can go towards the sales price.

Always remember, there's a ton of folks out there looking for the same thing, and when these diamonds or "diamonds in the rough" come available, you have to act quick.

In the memo line of the check, you should write "Hold property until _______." Date the check the same date as when written, although a future dated check is still valid consideration.

Just my two cents.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#590 09/11/06 01:49 PM
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Thanks. I feel that I have been ready. Have already had option contracts on two properties and walked away from both.

I've been working with a realtor that I'm comfortable with, but have been keeping an eye on TXLS for upcoming properties and have been contacting him when something catches my eye. He knows what I'm looking for and is keeping his eyes open as well.

I had started out emailing every realor in the area I was looking at, but didn't get much followup from many. Certainly not enough to develop a relationship with any of them.

I have a general area picked out (Austin, Washington, Lee and the surrounding counties), but am somewhat flexible with my search area. I've been taking the approach that I'll just know the property when I see it.

#591 09/11/06 02:03 PM
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Paulr,

Do you know anyone locally? I ws suprised to find out (after I purchased my property) that several people in my area wanted to sell, but for some reason didnt want to deal with a realtor...go figure. Knowing a local in the area is a big help.

Gator


- Smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#592 09/11/06 02:06 PM
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When I travel, even kinda close, I stop and buy local small town newspapers. I see a lot of interesting land deals.

#593 09/11/06 02:50 PM
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Alligator,

I don't. I can see how that would be beneficial, though.

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