REtipster Club – Office Hours 11.20.17 – Land Investing Q&A with Seth Williams



See this blog post for the full list of questions.

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0:00 – Is this pretty well a speed round of asking you questions?

1:20 – I just got though all the modules. Wanted to ask how you set up/structured the buying and selling arms of your land business. Also, did you set up a business credit card to get your business up and running?

4:40 – As expected, I’m finding coming up with comps is one of the biggest challenges of land investing. I’m able to go to various sites and see similarly-sized parcels of land in the same COUNTY, but very few in at all close proximity to subject property. Wouldn’t that make most comps apples-to-oranges comparisons? Obviously, this makes it very different from houses where you’re looking for comps on the same block or at least neighborhood.

8:45 – Do you ever sell vacant land that has not been cleared of trees? If so, how do you market this type of land?

10:45 – So you use the assumed name for the buying activities and the LLC name for the selling. Have you ever run into one side see the activities of the other?

12:10 – Do you have a blind offer template on the REtipster Club website? I am looking to send out my first round of blind offers in time for the recipients to receive them before Christmas. I am thinking of sending 1000-1200 depending on which counties I settle on. Do you pretty well stick to 10-15% of your estimated market value for the offers?

16:10 – When posting your terms in your ads, do you include the ENTIRE monthly amount with all applicable fees included, or just the P&I amount?

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19:28 – Had a few situations in which I’ve gotten responses from mailers for properties that are outside of the financial range that I can afford. Can you talk thru some tips/strategies to getting these properties on contract for someone else to purchase without bearing the financial risk?

23:40 – For your rental properties, do you use property management, and if so, how do you go about selecting the property management?

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26:30 – What would be the best strategy for buying lots sight unseen for newbie land investors. I know there are many pitfalls with lots including wetlands potentially polluted lots etc. What are some ways to cut down on risks with purchasing lots without visiting the lot?

29:05 – What are the various ways to finance the procurement of land? Bank loans, notes, can you crowdsource investments?

31:40 – When talking to sellers, do you ever find yourself having to explain WHY you need such a big discount? How do you explain to them as gracefully as possible that you can’t pay close to full value because you intend not to use the land, but to resell it for a profit? I ask because a seller I spoke to last week countered my $500 offer with $3000, saying that that’s still substantially under its value. And she might be right, but still not even close the kind of discount we need according to this business model.

36:20 – What other fees would be in addition to the P&I on a seller financing deal? Do the online credit card/ach companies charge additional fees?

38:45 – How many residential vacant land parcels do you mail out from each county list?

40:55 – I reread your Truth About Land Investing lesson about things that could kill a land deal, and one thing you mention is availabilities of utilities such as water (which you just referred to a few minutes ago). It does seem like lack of water would make a piece of land unbuildable and therefore worthless, but then it seems like that would make just about all desert land worthless, which doesn’t make sense as that’s what so many land investors focus on (for those buying land in lake areas such as those in your state of Michigan, this obviously doesn’t apply). So, how does one deal with lack of water when buying land in desert terrain?

44:25 – Have you been able to have your land used for solar or wind energy and receive revenue from that? I have approached Alcen Renewable Energy about using land I have in Colorado, they say the land could be used for solar and are doing research. It seems that it will take years for this to come to fruition. Any experience with that?

48:50 – What has been your experience with land locked land?

50:28 – When you have an initial call with a seller when gathering their property info, do you give the offer immediately on the phone or do you e-mail them an offer later?

52:08 – Do you adjust the terms payments annually if the taxes change year over year?

53:00 – #1 – When narrowing down the list from the counties, I usually get down to about 50 parcels that are actual residential vacant land (that are decent size without an old building or barn on it). Am I in the wrong market? #2 – There are many farm lots. Do you ever buy agricultural farm land?

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