Need advice on puchasing buillding lot from owner - Posted by John LeFebvre

Posted by Tim on March 02, 2003 at 07:31:54:

You didn’t mention the appraised value, so I don’t know if I would pursue this deal. Assessed value doesn’t always relate to market value. If it was me I’d write up a contract for $xxxx, contingent on the liens being less than $xxx. Then I would pay out of my own pocket the $100 that is charged in my area for a title search. I would then make my decision based on that search & how the owner responds to clearing up any liens.

Before I did any of that I would go talk to the codes department about the lot. What are the setbacks, & how is the lot zoned? Will there be sewer/water impact fees? Do I have the right license to be able to build? In my area you have to have a general contractors license to build, although sometimes you can bribe a buddy to pull the permit for you. If sewer is not available talk to the health dept about septic tanks. These are all things that could turn a good deal into a worthless chunk of land. Good Luck.

Need advice on puchasing buillding lot from owner - Posted by John LeFebvre

Posted by John LeFebvre on March 01, 2003 at 19:36:13:

I have the opportunity to buy a building lot directly from the owner. I am considering building a small house to live in or as a rental property on the lot as I am in the contracting business. I am totally new to real estate. I would buy the property outright for cash.
Here are the details:

It is a cleared vacant property about 3/4 of an acre, dug well, no buildings.

The owner/seller told me that the lot was assessed at @ $5,000.00. He and his wife bought the property with a house on it in the early seventies. They lived together there for several years and then divorced. She retained the property. She continued to live at the property and passed away @ 7 years ago. He got the deed to the property back after she died. The house was very run down and he had it torn down and the lot completely cleared.
She had some bills and there is at least one lein of about $300.00 on the property, that I am aware of.

The owner doesn’t feel like he wants to get a lawyer. He feels that he should not be responsible for debts incurred by his ex-wife, that is now deceased. I told him that leins are attached to the property and not directly to him, and that if I am to purchase the land, I want it free and clear. He seems to understand this.

He also seems motivated to sell, as it is tax time and he owes about $120.00 in taxes. He says he just wants to get rid of the property. I believe he would sell the property for @ $2,000 to $3,000. I think I can hire a lawyer and/or a title search company, and find out what needs to be done to free up the property from any leins or judgements, and I may be able to deduct this from the purchase price.

Now, I was told I should write up an agreement with him, stating that he will sell me the property when the title is free and clear, that I will pay for the lawyer and freeing up the property of leins, etc. This way, I will be assured that the money I spend on lawyer will not be wasted. We will both sign and date the document.

Can anyone give me any advice on this whole thing, or on anything I may be missing here?
Is there something I should include in the document I may be overlooking? Are there any free online documents that I can download that may contain the information I need?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to email me.
Thanks and Best Regards,
John LeFebvre

Re: Need advice on puchasing buillding lot - Posted by Don Dion

Posted by Don Dion on March 02, 2003 at 13:49:33:

I am also a builder of Custom Homes. Forget the lawyer at least on his side. Why bring in a lawyer to represent his interests. Just get a contract for sale at Office Depot and put in there you agree to pay the $300 outstanding lein and a purchase price of XXX $$$.
When the title company runs the title anything else will come up that is owed. Once you close the title company is insuring that no additonal leins will pop up to get you.