Land Investment Opportunity County by County (LA757)

Land Investment Opportunity County by County (LA757)

Transcript:
Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWit:                            Hello. 
Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I'm Steven Jack Butala.
Jill DeWit:                            I'm Jill DeWit, broadcasting from beautiful San Francisco, California.
Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about Land Investment Opportunity County By County. Yesterday we talked about it state by state. All week this week, it's land investment by the numbers, let's say. 
                                                Before get in to the topic, let's take a question posted by one of our members on the LandAcademy.com online community. It's free.
Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Cathleen asks, "I'm about to post my listings on Land Watch. I have them posted everywhere else including my website. Looking at Land Watch, I came across a very similar parcel in the same county listed by Land Century. Okay. No problem. As I was reading the description, it all seemed very familiar. Apparently, whomever at Land Century that wrote the description for their parcel actually copied word-for-word my description for my parcel from my website and Craigslist listings with all the taglines and descriptive phrases. The only thing they changed was the legal description. Literally everything copied word-for-word. Granted, our written descriptions [inaudible 00:01:17] protected. Or, are they? If the content was developed by me and published on my website with no usage rights indicated, do I actually own it? 
                                                Other than being pretty irked by this, I feel like I need to rewrite my description before advertising on Land Watch. However, I have the parcel advertised all over the place and really don't want to go back and change all the listing because Land Century decided to lift my descriptions." Thoughts?
Steven Butala:                   Yeah, here's my thoughts. You have enough to do. 
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Here's how I see this-
Steven Butala:                   And, I think you were there first, so it's their bad, not yours. Can you go after them? Probably not.
Jill DeWit:                            Here's how I see this. Copying that, it really is sincerely the best form of flattery.
Steven Butala:                   Yeah.
Jill DeWit:                            They really did. I would not go change it. 
Steven Butala:                   No.
Jill DeWit:                            I wouldn't even care.
Steven Butala:                   Me, either.
Jill DeWit:                            You know what's great? It's like, obviously, they can't write their own descriptions. You're obviously killing it. We know that one. Who's to say, by the way, every buyer that comes along, hopefully they're reading yours first. I'm going to trust that. You know what? If you have the exact same size property and everything like that, undercut them by 50 bucks. 
Steven Butala:                   Yeah, for sure.
Jill DeWit:                            Just do that.
Steven Butala:                   Yeah, I would spend more time adjusting the price than anything else.
Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. It'll sing to them.
Steven Butala:                   You ever notice that recently, in the last few years, you hear all these bands remaking old songs? What happened was the trademark laws changed that you don't have to get permission. This person didn't break the law. What they're supposed to do is pay royalties, so that's why bands can just go copy another person's song. They don't even need permission, but they do have to pay them a percentage. There's a very-
Jill DeWit:                            How do you know this stuff?
Steven Butala:                   I don't know. Isn't that sad?
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, it kind of is.
Steven Butala:                   I need to get a life, don't I?
Jill DeWit:                            Could you imagine if I was walking around and talking about ... I don't ... I'm sorry. What would be the Jill version?
Steven Butala:                   I thought it makes me more attractive to you that I know stuff. You know boys think that? And, they don't. It couldn't be farther from the truth. Women don't care what you know.
Jill DeWit:                            About royalties and trademarks.
Steven Butala:                   They don't even really care what you look like. All women care about-
Jill DeWit:                            Is tell them, "You look good."
Steven Butala:                   ... in their man is the compliments.
Jill DeWit:                            Yes.
Steven Butala:                   And, "Pay attention to me. I'm a woman. I'm your woman."
Jill DeWit:                            Maybe take me out. Tell me I look great. Buy me something nice now and then. 
Steven Butala:                   Don't talk ... Under no circumstances talk about copyrighting. 
Jill DeWit:                            You don't need to teach me about trademarks or copyrighting or music laws. That's great, sweetheart.
Steven Butala:                   We were just having breakfast next to some people that ... I don't know how this guy even doesn't get kicked out of his own house. He's just sitting there talking, and talking, and talking about like some stuff. Woodworking or something. His wife is just sitting there looking at him. 
Jill DeWit:                            I've seen some of those recently, too. We've been traveling a lot, like we're here in San Francisco today. I have looked at these people going ... Yeah, you're right. That couple, in particular, with the woman just sits there. She's the one that ... He's talked her out. She's got nothing left. 
Steven Butala:                   Yep.
Jill DeWit:                            She can't even nod.
Steven Butala:                   She's been beaten down-
Jill DeWit:                            She's just sitting there.
Steven Butala:                   ... figuratively, for 25 years.
Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Let's not let that happen to us. I love you.
Steven Butala:                   That's why I have this show. I say all the stupid stuff on the show.
Jill DeWit:                            Thank you, Steven. All this trademark and copyrights and the music thing that you know, that's great, sweetheart. You can save that for yourself.
Steven Butala:                   Today's topic Land Investment Opportunity County By County. This is the meat of the show. We talked yesterday about state by state. Let's break it down by county. In the country ... Oh, this is just tapping into the stuff I said we shouldn't even do a is a couple.
Jill DeWit:                            What?
Steven Butala:                   Talk about boring stuff like this.
Jill DeWit:                            I know. Here we go. 3144. 
Steven Butala:                   No, go ahead. Tell us ... we'll stay at 3144. Go ahead. I want to hear it. Jill, how many counties and parishes are there in the country?
Jill DeWit:                            3144.
Steven Butala:                   How many counties are in Texas?
Jill DeWit:                            Oh, gosh. 
Steven Butala:                   254.
Jill DeWit:                            Okay, thank you.
Steven Butala:                   It's the state with the most counties. What's the state with the least amount of counties? See, I do know this stuff.
Jill DeWit:                            This is great.
Steven Butala:                   It's Arizona.
Jill DeWit:                            Is it, really?
Steven Butala:                   13, yeah.
Jill DeWit:                            Wow. Well, that's pretty darn cool.
Steven Butala:                   One actually seceded I think there was originally 11, and two of them like ... A long time ago during the railroad boom ... they seceded. Yeah.
Jill DeWit:                            Interesting.
Steven Butala:                   Yeah. It's really that interesting.
Jill DeWit:                            It is.
Steven Butala:                   What is interesting about this is that-
Jill DeWit:                            Well, why is it important?
Steven Butala:                   ... they all have different laws.
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.
Steven Butala:                   Here's why. They all have different laws and rules about how they divest property that goes back for back taxes. What the hell does that mean, Steve? Every single time you record a show, you talk about how back tax property is not what you should concentrate on. So, why do you constantly talk about back tax property, then?
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, quit bringing it up.
Steven Butala:                   Here's why. I talk about this in our education program. When there's a lot of back tax property in any given county in the ... That's who manages back tax property. That's why counties are so important. That's also who records the property. The county seat is where they make all the decisions about whether you can rezone it or zone it. If you're real urban area, the city's involved, too. But, the vast majority of rural vacant land is just all driven by the county. It's county property. It's important to understand what goes on at these counties if you're going to make some money buying and selling property. That's why.
Jill DeWit:                            It's true.
Steven Butala:                   Some counties have a real negative attitude toward the state government, so even though the rules are written by the state, the county has to implement what they ... and, they don't like that sometimes. So, you can look at one county, let's say in Arizona, and how they handle property that's no longer on the tax roll, and go to the next county over. And, although they're supposed to do it the exact same way, they handle it differently.
Jill DeWit:                            I know.
Steven Butala:                   It's important.
Jill DeWit:                            It's like companies within a company. It's like run by a little company, basically, almost, and they run them [inaudible 00:07:26] little business, they run them all very, very differently. You are exactly right. Some of them, you think that, "Okay, this county's online. They're on the ball. Maybe this whole state is on the ball." No, it's not.
Steven Butala:                   Exactly.
Jill DeWit:                            That county may not even be online. They're still dealing with paper transactions and putting them in books, like literally still putting them in books. It's so interesting.
Steven Butala:                   When first started, I just assumed ... I don't know how I got it in my head that all this back tax property, the county's going to be happy to get rid of all this property. Get it back on the tax rolls, because you're going to make more money, right?
Jill DeWit:                            Correct.
Steven Butala:                   Well, that's logical. That's not case. How most of them see it is, "Man, it's just a lot of extra work I have to do."
Jill DeWit:                            "I got to do more work." Isn't that funny? That's so true.
Steven Butala:                   They collect millions and millions, and tens of millions of dollars at these back tax auctions or online. It's just amazing how much money they collect, and they still are just like, "This isn't ..." That's not why they're there.
Jill DeWit:                            Isn't that funny. You know what I think, too? Imagine some of the counties ... Some of the counties, when you're doing a deed, you would think that they want to make it easier. Let's do as many properties as we can on one deed and just record it once. Update everything. That's it. No. They limit them, and they charge more, and all this good stuff. Yeah. Then the next county over, it's a whole different thing.
Steven Butala:                   Yep.
Jill DeWit:                            It is hilarious.
Steven Butala:                   For example, I use Arizona, obviously, a lot. We do a lot of buying and selling in Arizona. Arizona has a tax lean law. First, you can buy the lean. When the lean gets old enough, it goes to a deed. Then the county divests it that way through their OTC program, over the counter. Just about every county in Arizona has an over the counter program that no one knows about. Jill and I buy property there all the time. Almost every month we buy property all over the state with almost no competition. 
                                                My whole point to this week, land investment by the numbers, is look at it as if you were scrolling into Google Earth. First you start with the country. Then you start with states. We're down to county by county. I can't, obviously, discuss every county. It would be crazy. There's just not enough time, and it would bore Jill to tears more than she is right now.
Jill DeWit:                            What would you just say ... Can I interrupt you?
Steven Butala:                   Yeah.
Jill DeWit:                            What would you say, for someone picking a county ... We've picked a state. Based on what we talked about yesterday, with the access, they picked a good state that has a lot of access. Maybe they picked Oklahoma or Arkansas, or something like that, right?
Steven Butala:                   Yeah.
Jill DeWit:                            Now they're drilling down to the counties. What would be a trigger for you? Like for me, one is how communicative, whatever, is the county? Can I get the on the phone if I have questions? Number one. Are they online?
Steven Butala:                   That's a good one.
Jill DeWit:                            Can I pull deeds as I need them? Can I double check the taxes and everything really easily? Make sure they're online. Can I see their GIS if I want to use that? Mapping system-
Steven Butala:                   Yeah, do they have a [inaudible 00:10:24] GIS system?
Jill DeWit:                            Those are some of the things that I think about. What are other indications for someone now that they're picking a county? What else should they look at?
Steven Butala:                   I mean, it's very indicative of the roles that we have in this company.
Jill DeWit:                            I know.
Steven Butala:                   Because those things, I don't even look at them.
Jill DeWit:                            I know. I know. That's exactly why I brought that up. For me, when I'm going to do the transaction, I go, "Oh, shucks. I can't find whatever."
Steven Butala:                   Very first thing I do is I look at a census map and a population density map. We have all 50 states and all the counties are on CountyWise.com and open to the public. Again, if you use Texas, you're going to see where it's real dark green, those are the most rural counties. Am I saying absolutely mail those counties? No. But, that is one single indicator. If you look at Arizona, the most rural county there is is Coconino, which is where the Grand Canyon is. It's also one of the lowest numbered properties, okay? There's just not a lot of property there. There's a ton of property there, but not compared to some of the other counties in Arizona. I don't necessarily mail Coconino too often at all, if ever, for that reason. It's also extremely expensive, because of the Grand Canyon. Because, everybody knows and loves the Grand Canyon. 
                                                Then I look at how many back tax properties there are. Again, on CountyWise, there's a reference there. So, for some reason, Coconino again doesn't have a lot of back tax property. I personally know people in Flagstaff who run the back tax department, and I know why. Because, they're darn good at it. There's other counties, like Mojave, for example ... And, am I saying mail Mojave? Not at all ... who, for whatever reason, are not as effective at divesting their back tax property as Coconino is. This is nice as I can put it. 
Jill DeWit:                            That's good. That's good.
Steven Butala:                   Everybody's got a way of doing stuff. All these things kind of factor into it. When there's a lot of back tax property, there's something going on. There's usually money to be made in these places. 
Jill DeWit:                            That's true.
Steven Butala:                   The exception is places like Wayne County in Michigan, which is where Detroit is. 
Jill DeWit:                            Right.
Steven Butala:                   Where there's always tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of properties there off the tax roll, because it's just a nasty place to be. I can say that, because I'm from there. I would never pick on any place if I have personal experience there. This is my show and I can say that.
Jill DeWit:                            Well, you know what's interesting, too? You would think that you want, "Oh, I want a buyer's market. There's a lot of properties. Because, then I could pick up a [inaudible 00:12:51] cheap." Well, hold on a moment. In five minutes, you're going to be trying to sell it, so you're trying to find that sweet spot in there. You want to have enough property, right, is what you're saying, Steven, available? But, not too many property, because you're going to be rolling yours into the mix.
Steven Butala:                   Right.
Jill DeWit:                            You don't want a lot ... I get excited. One of the things I was thinking about, too, when you're looking into county and you're looking at an area, I like to go see what's available out there. If I can't find very many, oh, that's good.
Steven Butala:                   Absolutely.
Jill DeWit:                            I love that.
Steven Butala:                   In our education program, we ... The name of this show is not How To Pick A County To Send Mail. That's not what the topic is, and it's kind of going toward that, and that's okay. Jill and I just spent time in two northern California counties on this little trip we're on right now.
Jill DeWit:                            Many. A few.
Steven Butala:                   I'll tell you what. I've never visited these counties. We've done deals in all of them, actually. Many deals.
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, like Shasta County. I'd never been there.
Steven Butala:                   Shasta, Modoc, Lassen. I've done deals in all these counties, and man, oh, man. It's gorgeous up there.
Jill DeWit:                            Right.
Steven Butala:                   It's absolutely gorgeous. Now, because the property is so compelling when you see it, now I'm going to downplay the pot potential, population density situation, maybe the GIS issue. I'm going to start to overlook those things, because the property itself is so beautiful. And, I'll tell you, it's going to mentally change how much I offer for it. 
Jill DeWit:                            That's true.
Steven Butala:                   I'm not going to scrape the bottom so much.
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. There's some beautiful stuff. Talk about water.
Steven Butala:                   How many times did we stop the car? I hate stopping the car.
Jill DeWit:                            I know.
Steven Butala:                   I'm a typical guy.
Jill DeWit:                            I know you are.
Steven Butala:                   I willingly stopped the car for Jill probably 20 or 30 times-
Jill DeWit:                            Take a picture.
Steven Butala:                   ... because, it's so beautiful, you know?
Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.
Steven Butala:                   I love land. That's how we got into this mess. I know you do, too.
Jill DeWit:                            Get us out of this mess. That's another show.
Steven Butala:                   The next show is called ... I'm going to save a lot of my comments about infill lots and urban land for tomorrow's show, which is Land Investment Opportunity Zip Code By Zip Code. 
                                                Well, you've done it again. You've spent another 15 or so minutes with us listening to the Land Academy show. I just told you tomorrow' interesting episode is Land Investment Opportunity Zip Code By Zip Code.
Jill DeWit:                            And, we answer your questions posted on LandInvestors.com. It's free.
Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. You're cracking me up, Jill.
Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.
Steven Butala:                   Jill makes me change little things in the script before we record. I don't know why, because you sound like 10 times better than me. Your worse day on the air is twice as good as my best day. I'm not the one who says this stuff. People email me this kind of thing all the time.
Jill DeWit:                            Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Hey, I shouldn't be checking my cell phone, but I have to share. I've got this seller reaching out to me saying-
Steven Butala:                   Tell us. Tell us. This is good stuff.
Jill DeWit:                            She just said, "I'm out of cell range." Because, I texted her a message saying, "Hey, I need that updated purchase agreement for this property we're buying for you, because the escrow agent needs it." She's like, "No problem. I'm out of cell range. Sorry I missed your call. I'll call you in an hour when I'm in range again."
Steven Butala:                   This deal.
Jill DeWit:                            It's awesome.
Steven Butala:                   I'm going to talk all about it tomorrow, but I'm going to tease the listener for a second. We sent out a bunch of mailers in an urban area for houses, specifically to make 25 to 50,000 bucks on a wholesale flip. We do this all the time. This property's on ... It happens to be ... had no idea ... on an acre.
Jill DeWit:                            Two acres.
Steven Butala:                   It's on an acre.
Jill DeWit:                            I thought it was two.
Steven Butala:                   No, it's one.
Jill DeWit:                            Okay, one. Okay.
Steven Butala:                   We can, without even changing the zoning, just filling out some paperwork ... Well, I'll talk about it tomorrow.
Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Share the fun by subscribing at iTunes or wherever you are listening. While you're at it, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information-
Jill DeWit:                            ... and inspiration.
Steven Butala:                   ... to buy undervalued property. 
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