Why Land is a Good Place to Start REI Career (LA 994)

Why Land is a Good Place to Start REI Career (LA 994)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Good day.

Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

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

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about why land is a good place to start your REI career, real estate investment career.

Jill DeWit:                            It really is, when you think about it. Some people look at these transactions, I think, because some of them, we self-close, and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but it’s so important to learn that process. I guess it’s like driving a stick. You need to learn how to do it one way, because it’ll really help you with all kinds of other things.

Steven Butala:                   We’ve all been exposed, afar, from real estate deals.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   You watched your parents buy a house or something like that, some version of an example of a deal. You’ve decided you want to do this yourself. Land is a great place to start, because there’s no real lenders. There’s no real estate agents. There doesn’t have to be an escrow agent if you don’t want there to be one. There’s just you, the buyer, and the seller.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And Microsoft Word.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it, though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members in the LandInvestors.com online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Jeff-

Steven Butala:                   And-

Jill DeWit:                            Go ahead.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s long. And it’s good, though. It’s good.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Jeff asks, “Hi, everyone. I have six offers accepted and I am awaiting my final decision, but I can’t even locate some of them. They are all in Presidio County, Texas. Some of them have a legal description that makes it possible to find the parcel, but not the actual location of the land. For example, number 8238 has a legal description of one, DNP Section 143. Yes, that description leads to a 640 acre parcel, however, this one is only 20 acres. So which 20 acres is it?” This is… Beauty of Texas.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            “If you have some system for finding these, please let me know. I have several others with similar problems. Thanks, Jeff.” And then Kevin wrote in-

Steven Butala:                   Kevin Ferrell, our site moderator, who’s also a very successful member answers and he says this, “Jeff, that looks like a difficult county to get data from. I can pull it up on ParcelFacts.com, but the parcel shown on the map may be 600 plus acres. The county has a pretty good GIS system, but when I pull up that account and click on the map, it shows a different APN of that same 600 plus acres and no real explanation given about the 20 acre lot that lies within that parcel.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   It goes on to say, “Next step: Call the county and talk to the GIS department. Maybe they can explain. Crack the code, though, and you’ll be able to do these deals.” And another member, Matt Peterson, also clocked in and said, “There will be plat map for all of these properties, section by section by section.” And then they kind of go on, so my point in including not only the original question and then a couple of answers from members and the site moderator is this, you can get just about anything answered in Land Investors-

Jill DeWit:                            Land Investors.

Steven Butala:                   So I’m going to list right now, for the listeners, the very difficult places that it is to find land. All of west Texas, for whatever reason, in fact, Texas in general. It separated itself during railroad times from the rest of the country.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   So it’s a very unique challenge to find some property in west Texas, because it’s so rural. I would argue maybe the most sparsely populated area in the country, or at least the top five, let’s say. But once you crack it, once you can find out how to find properties, you’re in a whole situation all by yourself. So I know Matt Peterson who chimed in here, I think he’s in Texas, and he has made part of this his career.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   If I’m thinking of the right person. So this is not a bad thing. I’ll also tell you Taos County, New Mexico is a real tough place to locate property. But those two and southern North Dakota, the southern counties in North Dakota are tough to find. And there’s a few places in Arkansas, but outside of that, I don’t want people listening to this to say, “Oh, man, it’s hard to find property.” It’s not. It’s just hard to do it in west Texas and southern North Dakota.

Jill DeWit:                            Some of them are and Matt went on to say something true, which I have done before. I have asked the seller, “What information do you have on this property?” And it’s really cool what they have sent back to me. I have had some people have owned property for 20 years and they sent me the original plat and they even sent me some of the original marketing when they bought the property. Some cool clippings out of the newspaper where they found the property. It’s actually cool stuff like I was going to frame it and put on the office… Remember that? But I haven’t done it yet. But I have some neat stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            So you’d be surprised when you ask these sellers, too, what they have. Because you know what? Let’s all remember, they had to find it when they bought it. So what do they have in their hands to help you? And then the other thing is, we have talked about this in past shows and I think in our program, there are other sites, like EarthPoint.US that set up to help you back in to finding Texas properties. I don’t want to go into it here, because this is not really the place for it, because I’ve got to show you it. But there’s tools out there.

Steven Butala:                   There’s been very, very few cases in my whole career, where, in the end, if I was really motivated, I found the property.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Right. Right.

Steven Butala:                   There’s also been just a handful of cases where the county got it wrong.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, that’s true, too.

Steven Butala:                   It’s like, man, I can’t see it. I don’t get it. You know what, you don’t want that property anyway.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Steven Butala:                   Just buy the next one.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. And that’s a good thing. If I’m going to spend eight hours trying to find this dumb thing when I’ve got six other offers staring at me, I might just move it to the bottom. And then you may come back around to it, you might not, because tomorrow there’s a whole new set of sellers that come your way in the mail.

Steven Butala:                   You open the mail box tomorrow-

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   … there’s going to be more deals in there.

Jill DeWit:                            Voicemails.

Steven Butala:                   What Jill always says, there’s always another real estate deal next week.

Jill DeWit:                            And everything you think you have a home run, you’re like, oh, that’s never going to happen again. Guess what? So don’t worry about it.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic. Why land is a great place to start your real estate investment career. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:                            I’ve got to ask. That was kind of a tough question, leading in why this a great place to start. Why did you pick that question, Steven?

Steven Butala:                   Because this is a helpful show.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   You know why? I’ll answer you, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m like I’m really curious. That’s an interesting question to put right before this topic.

Steven Butala:                   Jill and I are, so this is The Land Academy Show. In early June, we are launching… June 7th, to be specific, The House Academy Show. We’re going to talk all about our-

Jill DeWit:                            Actually, June 12th.

Steven Butala:                   Okay, June 12th.

Jill DeWit:                            I’ll help you.

Steven Butala:                   June 12th, I think.

Jill DeWit:                            But thanks for playing.

Steven Butala:                   And eventually, not too shortly after that, we’re going to launch The Steve and Jill Show.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   So this is a very, very… I am progressively making this-

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, the program. I’m sorry. The show.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, sorry. I meant the program. Sorry.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, no. The show’s launching on the 7th.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, there we go. I thought he meant the program. Okay. Never mind.

Steven Butala:                   More and more and more, these shows are going to be actually how they’re titled. This is very much about land. The next show, House Academy Show, very much about houses.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And then The Steve And Jill Show, all to me, is about motivation and inspiration-

Jill DeWit:                            Very much about none of the above.

Steven Butala:                   It’s about inspiration and information and staying motivated and stuff that has to go on that is at the nucleus of being an entrepreneur, that’s not necessarily being about the thing that you’re doing to be an entrepreneur. You might be writing code-

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   You might own a convenience store chain. I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            A bakery. Who cares? [crosstalk 00:08:17] You’ve got to get that part out of the way to get there.

Steven Butala:                   Exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            So why did you include this question?

Steven Butala:                   I included it because it’s very seriously specific about land.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   And this is The Land Academy Show.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Well-

Steven Butala:                   And it’s long and Jill doesn’t like that. Let me read between the lines. Here’s what she’s asking me-

Jill DeWit:                            Why not pick an easier question?

Steven Butala:                   Why is the question so long? Why-

Jill DeWit:                            Why not pick an easier question to go with an easier topic.

Steven Butala:                   Because it’s important.

Jill DeWit:                            I understand that.

Steven Butala:                   To find the property you’re going to buy.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, for me, it says something about why land is a good place to start your career, right? Because that’s one of the little things that’s important to know that finding property sometimes is tricky, but if you can stay with it and learn it, now you got it. And so, even with land, once you can… That’s why we talked about doing this topic today. Why land is a good place to start your REI career. Well, like that question, just about finding property, if you can learn land in doing these transactions, it opens up all kinds of other things that you can do.

Steven Butala:                   Absolutely.

Jill DeWit:                            It is a great place to get your feet wet, because like Steven alluded to earlier, you don’t have as many people involved. Traditionally, the way we do it, you can buy land without a big, huge cost barrier of entry, if you will. You have a couple thousand dollars, you can buy a parcel for a couple thousand dollars and learn how this goes. And if you can buy it for a couple thousand dollars, if you have the cash, you just removed the lender. Congratulations. What else? We taught-

Steven Butala:                   Keep going. I love where this is going.

Jill DeWit:                            You like this? We’re teaching you and telling you right now how to do direct mail to find these sellers. Congratulations. Just removed the agents. Some of these deals, you can really do your own title research and they may only be used for hunting grounds or camping grounds, where no one’s going to build on them. Guess what? Congratulations. You just removed the need for a title report and the cost of that, at that time. You could always get it later, but if you’re buying a property for a couple thousand dollars, you know the person’s only going to camp on it, not build on it, they may or may not care about title insurance. And you know how to do your own due diligence to make sure the chain of title is correct. What else am I missing?

Steven Butala:                   I started my career, buying and selling longterm care facilities and it takes a year to do a deal. It takes a year to buy and sell a nursing home. Or just buy it. Whichever one you’re involved in.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   So that really stayed with me and still with me to this day, is the most difficult type of real estate transaction you can do. There’s all kinds of approvals and stuff you have to get.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   I went from that to really diving into this and saying what’s the easiest deal to do? And just kind of dreaming it up. Well, what if I just went down to the county, pulled the tax records, see who owns all that property over there, because it doesn’t look like they want to own it anymore, and then I contact them and I say, “Do you want to sell your property for a couple thousand bucks?” And they say yes. So I type up the deed on the computer, they sign it. Somebody else notarizes it. I walk down to the county. Hand it to the county clerk. Boom. I own it. So it can be so simple.

Jill DeWit:                            Very simple.

Steven Butala:                   And then Jill and I built this 10s of millions of dollars company around doing incredibly simple real estate deals like that. And it turns out, just like anything simple, there’s a massive demand for it, on both sides. People, sellers love talking to the owner, and not talking to real estate agents. Buyers, same thing. Buyers like to talk to like kind people that are, “Yeah, I’d love to buy 40 acres for $12,000 in northern Arizona.” Or whatever it ends up being.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   To answer the question at the title, this is the simplest form of real estate deal that you can dream up.

Jill DeWit:                            And once you know what’s involved, then you know what it should be going forward. I look at it like all the other transactions that I do. Any time I have any issues, like with a title company and they’re not recording. I know what’s involved to get it recorded. I know, literally, we could do it online right now today everybody. Or somebody could be taking it down there right now. It doesn’t have to be a big process. So, again, it’s like learning to drive a stick. Imagine if you didn’t know how to drive a stick and you’re thrown in that situation. I don’t know if that’s a good example, but [inaudible 00:12:53].

Steven Butala:                   I wasn’t really following it. It makes sense to somebody, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Thanks a lot.

Steven Butala:                   You know what? As long as it makes sense to you.

Jill DeWit:                            Thanks. Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Hey, we know your time’s valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today.

Jill DeWit:                            Join us next time for the episode called What Is Title Insurance? And we answer your questions posted on our online community, LandInvestors.com. It is free.

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

Jill DeWit:                            I love it. Hey, I have a good little announcement I’m going to get in here real quick.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Because it’s Monday and it’s the beginning of the month this week, we have a monthly, awesome newsletter that we put out. And it’s all land-centric. So if you’re not on our email list, get on the email list and you will get the newsletter. It’s free and it’s awesome. It’s packed with all kinds of great information and great articles and great tips and great things to help you in your land career. So how do you get it? Go to LandAcademy.com and click on get our ebook. If you haven’t already got our free ebook, get the free ebook, and you’re in the system. And wherever you’re watching, wherever you’re listening, by the way, please subscribe and rate us there.

Steve and Jill:                     We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.

Jill DeWit:                            I have like that Demi Moore voice kind of today. Can you tell?

Steven Butala:                   So do I.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Both of us.


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