Land Academy Described (JJ 671)

Land Academy Described (JJ 671)


Jack Butala:                         Jack and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hi.

Jack Butala:                         Welcome to the Jack Jill show, entertaining real estate investment talk. I’m Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            And I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny southern California.

Jack Butala:                         Today, Jill and I talk about Land Academy Described.

Jill DeWit:                            Are you making fun of my enunciating?

Jack Butala:                         No.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh. I thought you were. I started to slow down and enunciate my name, and you’re like, “Today we talk about” …

Jack Butala:                         This is show 670. I’m on autopilot. Are you?

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I guess you are. Isn’t that funny?

Jack Butala:                         Before we talk about deep thoughts-

Jill DeWit:                            Oh no.

Jack Butala:                         Let’s take a question posted by one of our members-

Jill DeWit:                            Oh no.

Jack Butala:                         From the online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Thank you Jack Handy.

Jack Butala:                         It’s not good when she says “oh no” this early.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, goodness. Okay. So, we have a question and we have one our people started to answer it. So, this is cool.

Milan asks, “Is this a common practice? I’m buying 80 acres from a seller who bought the land on a tax sale. Title company doesn’t want to issue title insurance because of that. Obviously the owner owns the land free and clear and bought it 20 years ago. Would you guys still buy this property if it’s not insurable? That also makes you wonder if that issues goes away if I buy it from him, which means the last transaction is not a tax sale transaction. Thanks for your opinion, land rock stars.”

Jack Butala:                         So, we have another member who piped in and actually answered the question, but before Jill reads that, let me explain it in real simple terms. There’s tax sales all over the country constantly, just like you see on late night TV. They’re not as easy or simple or most of the time prosperous as you see on these infomercials in the middle of the night, but it’s very possible to purchase 80 acres just like this person’s saying on a tax sale, especially out west, for two or three or four or $5,000. People have been doing it for a really long time.

So in this case, this guy is purchasing a property from somebody who bought it at a tax sale a lot of years ago. They issue was called a treasurer’s deed, or depending on the municipality, it’s usually a treasurer’s deed or some version, or tax deed, let’s just call it a tax deed.

Title insurance companies do not want to insure against this. I’m not sure why.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s the funniest thing.

Jack Butala:                         But it is what it is, so he’s asking, what do I do? The plain and simple answer is you quiet title the property, or back east, it’s called adverse possession of the property. You have to go through a bunch of legal proceedings, literally put it in the newspaper, put notice in, and at some point, they’re gonna, somebody, which makes no sense, the taxing authority who issued the deed in the first place, which issue a “marketable title.” That’s the meat of this whole thing.

So, he’s asking, what do I do? How do I get title insurance?

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Jack Butala:                         Just took a little nap.

Jill DeWit:                            No, it’s all good. All right, you-

Jack Butala:                         It’s important to know all this stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            It is. Do you want to keep going, you want to answer that, the title insurance part? At that point, then you can get title insurance.

Jack Butala:                         So, go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. So, this is what one of our members had already replied to, so then we’ll wrap it all up.

BD Jones, BD says-

Jack Butala:                         Jill you crack me up.

Jill DeWit:                            What?

“For what it’s worth, here’s how I approach it. Number one, I’d immediately go back and try to renegotiate the price and get a deep discount due to lack of marketable title. Number two, I don’t remember Rocket Lawyer to have found that service very helpful in questions like this.” Sorry. “I’d use that to ask an attorney when and how I could get marketable title. Number three, if I got a good enough price that I could sell it without a title policy and still make a worthy profit, I’d try a couple of options.”

Jack Butala:                         That’s [crosstalk 00:03:47].

Jill DeWit:                            Right. “Exploring cleaning up title, and if it’s cost effective, do so. I’ve had two experiences so far where I was denied a title policy one place and then given it somewhere else.”

Jack Butala:                         That’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            Yup. “It’s a bit subjective.”

Jack Butala:                         It’s getting better out there.

Jill DeWit:                            Uh-huh. “But tax deed usually are governed by state law. With a Google search, you may find and read the law and see for yourself what needs to happen to clear a title. B, buy it for a good enough price where even without marketable title, I’d still make a profit.”

Jack Butala:                         That’s what we do.

Jill DeWit:                            Same thing, yeah. “Then if I get marketable title, I’d make a killing. My first two deals were title problem properties. I paid $50 and $200, sold for $3,000 and $6,500 respectively with a little effort and very little expense to clean up title. When the price is right, the risk is worth it. Good luck.”

Jack Butala:                         Well said.

Jill DeWit:                            Yup.

Jack Butala:                         I might add that both of these people are not members. They’re just on Land Investors, and they’re doing well.

Jill DeWit:                            Sharing.

Jack Butala:                         Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Jack Butala:                         Exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. They’ve been here just reaping what knowledge they can on their own, just hearing us talk and see what other people are doing. Imagine where they could be if they really dive in-

Jack Butala:                         If they use the tools that we provide.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. And they would save some money on their mail and all that good stuff, too, so. Cool.

Jack Butala:                         Well said, fellas.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         There’s lots of opportunity out there for land. It’s amazing how much bad tax property you can purchase. We don’t focus on that, but it’s a good niche for some people.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Today’s topic, Land Academy Described. I kind of parlayed right from the question. This is the meat of the show. Jill, if I was in an elevator with you, and we had about a 20 floor building, we had about, I don’t know, 60 seconds-

Jill DeWit:                            You want to know the elevator pitch?

Jack Butala:                         Yeah, yeah, the elevator pitch, or how would you describe Land Academy?

Jill DeWit:                            Sharing our business. We’ve been doing it since the ’90s. We successfully buy and sell a lot of land, and now we share with the planet how to do it, and arm them with the tools to be pros like we are.

Jack Butala:                         Ding, and the doors open up.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Then here come the questions. “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.”

Jack Butala:                         Hold the door, hold on a second, what do you mean?

Jill DeWit:                            No, then it usually goes, “Oh, come on, does that work?” I don’t know, here’s, this is … the door opens, and the person says, “I don’t know. That does really, did they say, come on. Does that really work?” Then as I’m walking out, hold on a moment, as I’m exiting the elevator, I said, “I don’t know. It’s only worked 16,000 times for us,” and then the door closes. And then they go, “What?”

Jack Butala:                         Where did she go?

Jill DeWit:                            Then they’re like, hitting the button, get out, wait, wait, wait, come back. Come back.

Jack Butala:                         Like in a movie.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         The girl of my dreams is gone.

Jill DeWit:                            Wait a minute.

Jack Butala:                         Oh, did you get her phone number? Did you look into her eyes?

Jill DeWit:                            Remember, because I did that in the library elevator.

Jack Butala:                         I know.

Jill DeWit:                            Those two, I was like, I sat there, I heard them talking, I’m like, do I say something? No, let it go. Do I say something? No, let it go. Because they were having a conversation, this was a year ago or more, and these guys were discussing how, “Hey, you know, my assistant came up with this whole direct mail idea. I don’t really know if it’s worth it at all, but I let her run with it.” I’m like, I want to go, you need to stop what you’re doing and pour all your money into that direct mail that your assistant just came up with, because that’s the way to do it.

And they both looked at me, I didn’t say that, but I said, “Yeah, that works for us.” “Oh, come on.” “Well, I don’t know, we only did it 15, 16,000 times, but who I am to say?”

I guess those were all one-offs. There’s a podcast title. 16,000 One-Offs.

Jack Butala:                         Yeah. We used to do stuff like that.

Jill DeWit:                            And not to mention, by the way, this is just us. We really should, it’d be really good to talk about our members. Some day I should have our members give us a poll, like, okay guys, I know you keep track of your deals. How many have you completed since joining Land Academy? If we added all that up, I bet the number is just staggering.

Jack Butala:                         If you would like us to celebrate your successes and you’re a Land Academy member, reach out to and just put one or two sentences and say something like this, is there a better email address?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, actually the better one is

Jack Butala:                         Oh, okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, that’s-

Jack Butala:                         So, and share your success, like, “I just sold three properties today. I bought them for X, I sold them for Y.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         So, that would be fantastic. It motivates me.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Even us, it motivates us to hear somebody else’s success, especially if you’re a member.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Here’s how I would describe Land Academy. It’s an environment that we’ve created, Jill and I have created, where people collaborate, all of us collaborate in everything about this topic. Everything about buying and selling land.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         There is no other environment like it anywhere, anywhere in the country or on the internet. There’s the free online community at There’s a way, we own a bulk mail company called Offers Through Owners where you can, we’re all set up to specifically send offers to owners. We don’t send out church mailings or anything like that. It’s very specific towards this.

We own a company called TitleMine where we will actually close the deals for you.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         We are licensed providers of all the data you’ll ever need from the three major data sources. We have data on every single county in the country from [crosstalk 00:09:27]-

Jill DeWit:                            It’s kind of one stop shopping.

Jack Butala:                         It is.

Jill DeWit:                            We’ve really set up, when we started out, it was sharing our business model.

Jack Butala:                         We provide all the education, and it’s true every single tool you need to succeed to buy and sell land.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                         If you get stuck, there’s literally thousands of people on or us individually, you can reach out to one way or the other, to solve the problem. Even if it’s motivation. Even if it’s just, yeah, I know this works, I’m just, I can’t get off the couch.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         Which is way more prevalent than I realized.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                         That’s what I think Land Academy is.

Jill DeWit:                            Love it. Love it. Is there anywhere else you want Land Academy to go? What direction do you see Land Academy ending in, 10 years from now?

Jack Butala:                         As far as an exit strategy, I don’t see us exiting out of that. I just see us applying more tools and keeping it upgraded or current for the times, because there’s constantly new, like DataTree’s a good example. DataTree was relatively recently released compared to RealQeuest, and we use that now for a lot of stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Like [inaudible 00:10:38] is no longer what it used to be, so we created our own, which is We never talk about County Wise.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. It’s never gonna go away. You know what’s so interesting? In today’s environment, climate, whatever term you want to use, I think more and more people are wanting to move out of the big cities, more and more people are wanting to own real land. More and more people want to have something to fall back on, and they really do see land, as they should, as a valuable investment.

Jack Butala:                         When I started, I used to get this question all the time. Who the hell would ever want to live out there?

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                         We don’t just deal with rural, vacant land.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Jack Butala:                         We talk about it a lot on the show because it’s a good way to get your feet wet in the real estate industry and then kind of graduate yourself on the way up, but the big question we got early on was of course it’s inexpensive, it’s all the way out there. Well, the Internet’s kicked in, and if you telecommute at all, you’re a total candidate to do the little house on the prairie thing we talked about yesterday.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         The little shack, get a good satellite internet connection, and have a great life.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.

Jack Butala:                         That’s what we do.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. You know what else, too, is really nice? It’s this, I think what we attract a lot of people with Land Academy is you can do it from anywhere. We really do have members all over the world, and that, I think, is the coolest thing, too.

Jack Butala:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            You don’t have to be a US citizen. This is one the things I think people were like, what? In the beginning, they didn’t know that. I still think that there’s a huge misconception out there that people don’t know that you can be Canadian and own US property. You can be Italian and own US property. I don’t think people know that, and then once you get into that, you’re like, oh. Yes you can. Anybody else. You can be a child and own property. So, there’s no rules.

Jack Butala:                         You have to have a little bit of imagination. That’s it. That’s what I put in most of our land postings. “The use of this property is only limited to your imagination,” and it sounds kind of sappy, but it’s true.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s very true.

Jack Butala:                         We have people, here’s just off the top of my head, stories that have gotten back to me how people have used the land after they purchased it from us. Mushroom farm, cannabis farm, lots of farms, ranching, somebody put an airport in southern California. Bought an 80 acre property and built a municipal airport. Not a municipal airport, but a private airport for whatever. And on, and on, and on. There’s a ton of uses for it.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Tiny house uses all over the place, Airstream VRBO use. Can you think of any?

Jill DeWit:                            No, you’re going, keep going. No, I love it. There are all kinds of different farms and agriculture things that I thought was really interesting, but a lot of it’s just good old fashioned vacation. That’s really it. I want a place to hunt, I want a place to take my friends and go rip it on an RV, not RV, ATV. Rip it up on an RV.

Jack Butala:                         That’d be funny. That’s a niche.

Jill DeWit:                            But you know, the whole Jeep thing, the Jeep climbing the wall community. We love about, “You can’t really build here,” “No, but you could drive a Jeep sideways up it,” and there’s a lot of people that love doing that. Like Moab kind of thing.

Jack Butala:                         Right.

Jill DeWit:                            There’s so much you can do, so I love it.

Jack Butala:                         Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 14 or 15 minutes with us listening to the Jack and Jill Show. Join us tomorrow where we discuss how easy land internet checkout can happen for you, and why it’s so important.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions, should you have one. Post it on our online community found on

Jack Butala:                         You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill DeWit:                            I think we did, you think everybody really got what Land Academy is?

Jack Butala:                         Yeah, I feel compelled to quote Sam Elliot.

Jill DeWit:                            What’s that?

Jack Butala:                         In a movie one time, I was watching a movie and there’s this couple that was living, younger couple with him were having relationship problems, and he said, “You know, it’s like men are from Mars and women are from Venus.” And the woman said, “You read that book?” And he said, “I read the title.”

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Jack Butala:                         Land Academy is what it is.

Jill DeWit:                            Geez. Oh. Okay.

Jack Butala:                         I can’t tell if I disgust you or entertain you.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, you know-

Jack Butala:                         It’s very similar reactions.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s blurry for me, too. We’ll leave it at that. Share the fun by subscribing on iTunes, or wherever you’re listening. While you’re at us, please rate us.

We are Jack and Jill.

Jack Butala:                         We are Jack and Jill. Information-

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration-

Jack Butala:                         To buy undervalued property.


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