Flipping Land in Canada or Mexico or Australia (CFFL 0046)
Jack Butala: Flipping Land in Canada or Mexico or Australia. Why We Can Afford to Give Land Away Every Month. Every single month we give away a property for free. It’s super simple to qualify. Two simple steps. Leave us your feedback for this podcast on iTunes and number two, get the free ebook at landacademy.com, you don’t even have to read it. Thanks for listening.
Jack Butala: Hey, this is Jack Butala for Land Academy. Welcome to our “Cash Flow from Land” show. In this episode, Jill and I talk about buying land in other countries. Is it a good idea or is it a bad one? I’ve done it both ways, and I’ll share some stories and give you some advice. Jill, are you surviving this chilly, cold, crazy Scottsdale weather OK? I know you’re from southern California, and it’s hard on you.
Jill DeWit: It is.
Jack Butala: Forty degrees is tough.
Jill DeWit: I’m wearing a sweatshirt and a turtleneck today, and yep. It’s funny you say that. I was watching the news this morning and I was noticing New York was commenting how they’re having the opposite. They’re pushing seventy, and everybody’s melting and not happy about it. I thought it was funny that New York is actually warmer than Scottsdale, Arizona, today, if you could imagine that. By twenty degrees, too. It’s really funny.
Jack Butala: It’s December.
Jill DeWit: It’s crazy.
Jack Butala: Do you have any desire to own real estate in Mexico?
Jill DeWit: Oh, my goodness. No. I saw that question and I thought, “All right, I don’t even want to talk about it with you ahead of time. I want this just to happen like it’s happening right now.”
Jack Butala: Why just “No”? Why?
Jill DeWit: Oh, my goodness. No. It’s new.
Jack Butala: How about Canada?
Jill DeWit: Sure. I would in Canada.
Jack Butala: How about Australia?
Jill DeWit: I don’t know much about that, so I’m going to make educated guesses based on facts, not my heart. Would I love to live long-term in Mexico? Absolutely. Do I want to own where I live? No way. From the legalities, and when you get into these other countries, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and I’d just rather not mess with it.
Jack Butala: Here’s the issue that I have with it. I purchased lots of property in Canada, actually. I spent a month in Costa Rica researching and figuring out how to buy property there. In the end, what I came up with is this. There’s no real recourse if something goes wrong. The very few times that some stuff’s gone wrong in the career that I’ve had here flipping land and other types of real estate, the very few times I could call my attorney and say, “This guy’s just not complying,” or “Let’s go through the legal procedures to make sure that we can get what we want out of this thing, because it’s going sideways,” I can’t imagine doing that in Mexico.
Jill DeWit: Right. Exactly. You’re not a citizen. You’re not going to get the same attention, too, I think, as a local person there.
Jack Butala: Yeah. I’ve never really looked into it that far because of what I’m saying here, but even if you are local, I just wonder … You just don’t …
Jill DeWit: Have you ever met a Mexican attorney?
Jack Butala: No.
Jill DeWit: See?
Jack Butala: Well, I haven’t.
Jill DeWit: I haven’t either. I would never … Isn’t that interesting? Driving around, it’s not like you see a lot of legal … There’s not a Lerner and Rowe in … I don’t know.
Jack Butala: Right. I took a class specifically all about buying property in Mexico. This was several years ago.
Jill DeWit: I would love to hear about this.
Jack Butala: It said the thing that … You always take one thing away. There’s no financing at all. There’s just no banks.
Jill DeWit: It’s cash. That’s good. I’m happy about that.
Jack Butala: Yeah, so it fits our business model. There’s no real financing, but as far as houses and stuff goes, there’s a lot of seller financing.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: It’s just a story of the haves and the have-nots. If little guys like us go in there and buy 40 acres and it just doesn’t work, or someone doesn’t like it there, we have no recourse. There’s nothing we can do.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. I don’t mean to pick on Mexico, it’s just because it’s so close to us here.
Jack Butala: Yeah. It’s all of that. All of South America.
Jill DeWit: It’s just scary, yeah. The thought of not only owning it in some areas that aren’t as … I don’t want to say advanced, but technologically savvy or whatever. Could you imagine making payments to …
Jack Butala: No. You have to give an envelope of cash.
Jill DeWit: I have a Mexican mortgage. I have a whatever mortgage, a Jamaican mortgage, I don’t know. It’d just be interesting. I would only do it as cash.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: I would do it … I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I would only do it thinking that I didn’t want to plump down a lot, because if it all goes sideways I’d need be able to just walk away.
Jack Butala: Yeah, so you’d make a payment and you’d get a receipt, a piece of paper. Handwritten receipt like it’s 1954.
Jill DeWit: Ripped out of a booklet.
Jack Butala: A coupon booklet, yeah. Anyway, exactly, Jill. I’m glad you said that. We’re not picking on Mexico or South America or anything. There’s different ways everybody does stuff, and it’s fine. I researched one time, because I was looking at buying some property in Italy. The way that their …
Jill DeWit: That’s all cash, too, right?
Jack Butala: It’s all just culturally different. No, you can get a mortgage, but mortgages are … A typical mortgage in Italy is fifty percent down. Where it was when I researched it, anyway. To answer the question, can you flip land in Canada or Mexico or Australia or anywhere else for that matter? The answer’s absolutely yes, if you know what you’re doing and you’re local.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Jack Butala: In Canada, I had a great experience. I bought several properties. I still look there. Actually, we teach it in part of the program. You have to be careful there. What I found that was real interesting in Canada, and it caught me by surprise, is that there are fees and taxes that are associated with the transaction itself, so when you go through escrow, you got to pay.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: You have to pay. I’m not sure if that was because I’m not Canadian. All I’m saying is there’s different stuff.
Jill DeWit: Do you think they do stuff to deter us from doing that?
Jack Butala: No. No, not at all.
Jill DeWit: No? OK.
Jack Butala: I just think that’s local customs and culture, and that’s just the way they do business.
Jill DeWit: Got it. I’m really happy buying and flipping land here in the US. Seriously. Here’s what’s so interesting. The flip side is, it’s very easy for people in other countries to buy and sell land here.
Jack Butala: Thank you. That was one of my points.
Jill DeWit: It’s easier for them. We have a number of international members in our Land Academy program.
Jack Butala: Many.
Jill DeWit: I’m trying to think. Belgium, we have Italy.
Jack Butala: Belgium, Italy, Japan. I thought about this before I turned the mikes on.
Jill DeWit: I know, I’m trying to think where else. Then we have some others, and I can’t think of them right now.
Jack Butala: Australia.
Jill DeWit: Oh, Canada.
Jack Butala: Canada.
Jill DeWit: Super easy for them here to buy and flip land. Not as easy for us in other countries.
Jack Butala: I got a call one time. This was really, really early in my career. I still had my real job. I got a call from a guy from Israel, and he said, “I saw your stuff on the internet and I want to make you an offer for every single property that’s in your inventory,” and I took it.
Jill DeWit: That’s great.
Jack Butala: We did it.
Jill DeWit: I think we talked about this on old shows. Maybe on the old show. All the time, I have people reaching out to us, buying off eBay or just off our web site, on the LandStay, on our regular company side.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: I have tons of international buyers. Not people just learning to flip land, but just buying land and investing in land here. You normally handle it any differently, other than I often record the deed for them, because it’s a pain to be sending the deed over to Ireland, and then they’re sending it back here to be recorded. I usually take care of it for them. It’s the only difference.
Jack Butala: Yeah. I guess what really the ultimate point is, why? There’s so much opportunity here, and it’s so laid out for us in such an organized fashion. It’s what I think. Nothing’s risk-free, but it’s so easy.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Why wouldn’t you?
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: I think there’s, what? Thirty-five hundred counties in this country? Thirty-four hundred?
Jill DeWit: How many of those are just in Texas alone, right?
Jack Butala: Two hundred and seventy or fifty or something.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Anyway, it’s just … I don’t … Can you do it? Yeah. It’s a lot of work.
Jill DeWit: Right. That’s why I come back to … All right, do I want to invest a lot of time and energy in that? I could, but I’m just happy making a lot of money right here in my back yard.
Jack Butala: Right. By the way, I share your Mexico … Let’s go live in Mexico for a while, if you can. You could do this here. You could do this program from Mexico, or anywhere, really.
Jill DeWit: You’re right. That’s a whole other point.
Jack Butala: I think I would rent something there, though.
Jill DeWit: Oh, yeah. I’d VRBO something for six months at a time. Seriously.
Jack Butala: I’m just going to share some fun stuff that I know socially about all these other countries. Mexico … I love Mexico, by the way.
Jill DeWit: Me too.
Jack Butala: I love going there. I know you do. Their rents compared to our rent is one-tenth, literally. You can get a place on the beach for two or three hundred dollars a month.
Jill DeWit: That’s awesome.
Jack Butala: Their electricity is a lot more expensive than ours. Isn’t that interesting?
Jill DeWit: That is very interesting.
Jack Butala: I know that Canada is … I know a few Canadians that live in Arizona or they come down here and go back. They said that real estate prices are skyrocketing there.
Jill DeWit: Yes.
Jack Butala: They never really had a recession like we did, a real-estate recession, in the late 2000s.
Jill DeWit: That makes sense. That’s why they’re all buying up southern Arizona.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: It’s warm and it’s nice.
Jack Butala: I spent a month in Costa Rica once trying to figure this out, because you can subdivide property there just by rewriting the descriptions. In the end, I came back and said, “You know what? It takes six to eight months to get a deed recorded there.”
Jill DeWit: What? Why?
Jack Butala: Just because like I said earlier, it’s their custom and their culture, and that’s just how it gets done there. It’s not good or bad, it’s just the way it is.
Jill DeWit: Do you get to … If you’re buying a house and you want to move in, in our world you close on whatever date and you get to move in. Do you have to wait?
Jack Butala: I don’t know.
Jill DeWit: Does it take six months to move?
Jack Butala: I didn’t get that far, because I said, “There’s just no way.”
Jill DeWit: That’s amazing. That’s funny.
Jack Butala: Yes. They also have this squatter rule.
Jill DeWit: What?
Jack Butala: I forgot about this. Yeah. You know how our old …
Jill DeWit: Now it’s funny.
Jack Butala: … Our old homestead laws are … You can’t … It’s not this way anymore, but if you fence a piece of property for X amount of years, and there’s other …
Jill DeWit: You’re paying the taxes or something, and nobody …
Jack Butala: Yeah. I don’t know if you have to live there or you have to work the land. The law’s changed over time. I think ultimately it ended in 1976, I think. They have a rule there that if someone owns property and they don’t live on it at all, and somebody moves into it and lives there for a certain amount of years … I think it’s eight years, and no one contests it, they own the property.
Jill DeWit: That’s not cool.
Jack Butala: I know. It’s cool or not, I don’t know. It’s just … I guess my whole point in all this is there’s just a lot of stuff you have to deal with when you could just buy property in the state that you live in and sell it to somebody on Craigslist or LandWatch or whatever.
Jill DeWit: Right. I’m just curious. Our show is about squatters? Where is this going?
Jack Butala: Some of these technical shows, we have to try to make them interesting.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Aren’t we interesting?
Jack Butala: You are.
Jill DeWit: Oh, thank you. That’s hilarious.
Jack Butala: You are all bundled up. Are you cold right now?
Jill DeWit: I am bundled up. No, I’m very comfortable today. I really like this. I was looking around last night and I pulled up our Periscope link and I haven’t touched it in months, I think. I thought, “Oh, look, all these people found us on Periscope.” I thought that might be fun sometime to turn it on while we’re recording, because we joke about having a camera here in the studio.
Jack Butala: I’d have to put makeup on and stuff.
Jill DeWit: You would?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: No, you wouldn’t. You’re so silly. No, I just thought … I was thinking about that yesterday. I thought we might turn on a little Periscope thing, because that would be cool.
Jack Butala: That’d be fun. Every once in a while people ask us to do that. Just shoot some video, even if it’s just still shots, to see what it looks like. I don’t do it because everyone’s just going to end up disappointed.
Jill DeWit: That’s not true. They could see you with your Mountain Dew here, which you developed a new whatever for, a new love for.
Jack Butala: It keeps me awake, it’s not that I like to taste it or anything.
Jill DeWit: That’s funny. I’m over here in my sweatshirt and my water.
Jack Butala: All right, so if flipping land in Canada or Mexico or Australia or anywhere else, for that matter, is not worth the effort, and the research effort, and the stuff that you … All the unknowns … Then where do you flip land if you’re just starting out pretty quickly? This is all ad-lib.
Jill DeWit: This is really good. Wait, you’re talking international? Oh, you’re talking domestic.
Jack Butala: Yeah. Let’s say you live in Arizona. Let’s say you live in Massachusetts.
Jill DeWit: Where would I flip land?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Where I’d get my best bang for my buck?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Oh, I’m going to tell everybody right now. Just kidding.
Jack Butala: No, seriously.
Jill DeWit: No, I’m just saying … I’m sorry, I go back to your standard answer is, “There’s a lot of places. What’s best for you?” You need to do a little homework on what’s good for you.
Jack Butala: If somebody held a gun to my head and said, “Choose right now. You have to choose places to buy property.” The first thing I would do is I would go to LandWatch, which we have no affiliation with in any way, and I would do a bunch of research and find out where prices are … This type of product type is. Which is what we do anyway, that’s what we teach in the program.
Jill DeWit: I concur.
Jack Butala: I can tell you you can’t go wrong in California, northern Michigan, northern New York.
Jill DeWit: There’s some great New Mexico.
Jack Butala: Out in Florida. Yeah, in New Mexico.
Jill DeWit: Our people are doing some great numbers in Colorado. Who doesn’t love Colorado?
Jack Butala: Yeah. I’ve never seen the program not really work.
Jill DeWit: Oklahoma.
Jack Butala: Yeah, Oklahoma rocks. Our stuff … We just bought some property in Oklahoma, and it’s just on fire.
Jill DeWit: It’s blowing up.
Jack Butala: I don’t know. Sometimes you just can’t predict stuff.
Jill DeWit: You can’t. It’s so interesting. You never … It’s funny, because I stopped trying to guess a long time ago on what properties people are going to love and what property they’re not going to love. I’m always surprised.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: It’s very interesting. Again, as long as it’s priced right, which we always do.
Jack Butala: Right. Join us in another episode, where Jill and I discuss all your important success in land and …
Jill DeWit: What?
Jack Butala: Join us in another episode, where Jill and I discuss your all-important success in land investment and in life. You’re not alone in your real estate ambition.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steve@LandAcademy.com.
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