Any tips on finding vacant land to live on? - Posted by RichardWA
Posted by RichardWA on August 06, 2010 at 12:41:12:
Yes, I know it’s not generally recommended that one buy vacant land in most situations.
However, what I am trying to do is buy vacant land in Western Washington State to live on. I live on a fixed income (disability), and want to live cheaply. I own a motorhome and a car, both free and clear, and I’ve saved up nearly $1,000. Not enough to pay cash for land, but enough for a down payment. Been wanting to move out of the city for many years.
The idea is to find an inexpensive parcel (preferably under $10,000–the MLS lists 115 such parcels in Western Washington), with owner financing. $500 down, $200 a month until paid off (which would take 4 years or less). Which means that after 4 years or less, I’d own it free and clear, would only have to pay property taxes ($200 a year or less usually), plus utilities, which would free up a lot of cash for other money-making ventures (no rent or mortgage payments). Would need to have road access, power and phone in street, and would need to be legal for me to move my motorhome there and live in the motorhome on the parcel year-round permanently (many parcels in Washington won’t allow this). Hope to build a small cabin over time while I live in the motorhome, do a 1031 exchange later. Or just live on it for life.
I have of course been combing through the MLS listings and the local craigslist and Penny Saver papers. The MLS lists 115 parcels in my target area and price range. I’ll be contacting the sellers of all 115 to offer terms on the condition that it’s legal and permissible to live in my motorhome permanently on it. “I’ll give you your price if you’ll give me my terms”. Hopefully at least one will accept.
But since it’s MLS, I suspect the prices are at or slightly above FMV. And all such parcels will involve dealing with real estate agents, who in my experience are often more an obstacle than a help (you guys are familiar with this, right?).
So what I’m asking is, I think I could do better if I looked in the “hidden real estate market”–finding parcels for sale that no one else knows about. I’m likely to get better prices, more motivated sellers, fewer hassles.
So are there better ways to locate land like this for sale? What other ways should I use? I’m planning to put an ad in craigslist “vacant land wanted”. What additional things can I do?
Is it a good idea for me to do this? Or am I missing something?