Top 3 Things to Review Before Buying Land (LA 1005)

Top 3 Things to Review Before Buying Land (LA 1005)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here. Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m Jill Dewitt. I’ll explain in a second. Broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about the top three things to review before you’re buying land.

Jill DeWit:                            I have… Sorry, I just had to do that, because I feel like I look like I have a lion’s mane going on today, so that’s where that came from. Sorry. Poor Steven’s like, oh no. Now what? She’s either hungry or tired. Let’s see, Jill’s punchy. She’s hungry or tired or too much of the opposite. She got too much sleep, she’s had too much coffee or sugar, something like that.

Steven Butala:                   Maybe just plain entertaining today.

Jill DeWit:                            That could be it also.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Chris C asks: Hey everyone, I’m still new to land investing. Just sent out my first Miller this week, but starting to target my next county for another mailer. Want to keep my pipeline full? Good. I have been using the data center from and Redfin as shown in the training. It appears that those top two sites only have the top 1000 counties ranked by Nielsen. That presents a problem when evaluating smaller counties for rural land. Could anyone share additional websites or resources to find this data used in the red, yellow, green county spreadsheet? Or if some more experienced members have a more simplified method of evaluating target markets besides the red, yellow, green tool. Would appreciate the insight. Thanks in advance.

Steven Butala:                   So Nielsen, if you were born after 1995, Nielsen is a rating agency. So it… You know how we can get analytics on everything now. I just press a few buttons and find out what people… how many likes we got, how many people viewed our stuff. That is a very new invention. Nielsen has been around forever and they originally started to rate television shows-

Jill DeWit:                            Was it even radio before that?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Mine were in radio and then to TV and-

Steven Butala:                   So they would literally come in your house and put a thing on top of your television set. That’s what we used to call it, a television set. And it would monitor what shows you’re watching and how… Look at your face. Like people would manually read it and say, you know… It was like a trophy, if you got chosen as a Nielsen family, that’s what they used to call it.

Jill DeWit:                            I didn’t know it was a trophy. Were you-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. It’s like I got chosen to be a Nielsen family.

Jill DeWit:                            I never knew… Did you know anybody that did that?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah!

Jill DeWit:                            Really?

Steven Butala:                   We never were.

Jill DeWit:                            I never heard anybody-

Steven Butala:                   So anyway, that’s what the Nielsen… Now they’ve since expanded to a rating agency, and he’s right. So Nielsen apparently has chosen for specifically, and this doesn’t shock me with specifically, because it’s real estate agents and a realtor association. So they’re using some tool that was created in 1958 because they’re from 1958. Anyway, if you go to realtor dot data…

Jill DeWit:                            Don’t hold back, Steve. I know you’re holding back-

Steven Butala:                   For some reason there’s a thousand counties or thousand zip codes and it stops there. There’s really like 33,000 zip codes in the country. [crosstalk 00:03:30]

Jill DeWit:                            Why those top one’s made the cut, I don’t know…

Steven Butala:                   Because that’s where everybody lives. [crosstalk 00:03:34] Like 80% of the country lives in those thousand zip codes. And so I don’t blame them for that. Why would they want to track what’s popular in rural Montana? They wouldn’t.

Jill DeWit:                            Got it.

Steven Butala:                   But, Rural Montana real estate happens to be a part of what we buy. So how does it help us? Redfin takes it another step further, in a positive way, and they include a lot more data. Way, way more data than a thousand. I’ve never counted, but it’s thousands and thousands and thousands. That still doesn’t get you there. So, this is what I went and did eight months ago. I hired a bunch of people in the Philippines to finish it all. While that data’s not completely current it’s really up to date, and we haven’t released it for the House Academy crowd, because you need this for House Academy, not Land Academy. The way that we price land is more of a shotgun approach, the way that we price houses is very laser-like rifle approach.

Steven Butala:                   So his question is, what the heck, where do I get this data? And my answer is, I have not been able to find it for free on the internet where it’s updated every month, but we do have a solution and it’s available to members.

Jill DeWit:                            Are you going to tell us what it is? Or is it going to be a secret?

Steven Butala:                   I haven’t released it yet, and that’s a good question by the way. I have not released it-

Jill DeWit:                            I thought it was part of the one that I’m thinking of right now, that starts with a C.

Steven Butala:                   What’s the C… Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s not a part of County-Wise. There’s nothing you can use about a CountyWise-

Steven Butala:                   It will be CountyWise 2.0. The data’s not finished yet, we’re very, very close, we’re filling in population.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Thank you-

Steven Butala:                   It’s really cool. I mean it outlines… It really helps you on making a decision about where to send mail.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. I didn’t mean to do your announcement, by the way.

Steven Butala:                   No, I like that kind of stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, good.

Steven Butala:                   I think you should ask me the hardest questions you can think of. Like seriously, not just about real estate. I think it’d be more entertaining. It’s more entertaining for me to do the show. Like why do men wear the same thing-

Jill DeWit:                            I was going to come up with something like that.

Steven Butala:                   Why do men wear the same thing six days in a row until you tell them to stop? Stuff like that.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Why is it? And why is it so hard to get them to stop? Why do I have to go in the closet and practically throw things away and go, I don’t know where it went.

Steven Butala:                   I don’t know. That’s honestly the truth, but it’s true with every guy you’ve ever talked to, including me.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Yeah, it’s true.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, the top three things to review before you buy a piece of dirt. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s almost like you guys don’t think we’re serious. It’s like, oh you really do mean I stink. Oh, I thought you were just saying-

Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk 00:06:03] stink you think?

Jill DeWit:                            No I don’t. Well, like turn-

Steven Butala:                   Or was it just like, geez, I’m really tired of looking at that.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s both, it can turn into a stinky thing.

Steven Butala:                   What kind of encrypted stuff is that?

Jill DeWit:                            I’ll let you know… But if it does stink, I’ll tell you. And if I say it, that means that… If I actually say this is starting to stink, then you know it to happen a week ago.

Steven Butala:                   And we all know that you guys go in there and just take it out of the closet. We all know that.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, you want us to.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, and just throw it away. There’s a case… It’s like that stuff’s gone.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, like I don’t care.

Steven Butala:                   And you know what? Nine times out of 10… Actually 10 times out of 10 for me, it’s like thanks man. Because I don’t know. You know what, that’s why. Because we don’t care.

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven Butala:                   Because men, after a certain age just really don’t care how they look. As long as it’s like, air quotes, acceptable. Okay. I’m not trying to be good looking. And I think women-

Jill DeWit:                            Well you are.

Steven Butala:                   …never stopped… Thank you. I wasn’t fishing for a compliment at all, I’m really not.

Jill DeWit:                            All right.

Steven Butala:                   I think women are always trying to be attractive.

Jill DeWit:                            We always don’t look our best.

Steven Butala:                   After a while men just give up. It’s just, you know…

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. All right the top three things to review before I’m buying land. You want to go first? You want me to go first?

Steven Butala:                   You go first.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. So now you sent the offers out, now it came back, you were viewing the property, you were doing your due diligence. So, I put three categories instead of just three individual things. I kind of have it as three categories for me. One is, I’m going to review the physical attributes, and that doesn’t take a long time but I want to make sure. Does it have access? Is there a big hill? Is it on the side of a cliff? You know, can we do something with it-

Steven Butala:                   Can you get to it?

Jill DeWit:                            Right. The slope, that kind of thing. So the physical attributes is one. Two, the financial situation, I want to review that. Did I offer the right amount of money? I want to eyeball a couple of properties and make sure I priced this right. Especially if I’m new. I want to make sure… They answered back so fast, I want to make sure I didn’t over offer on this property, so I’m going to check some other… Compare it with some other properties in the area, see how their price… And that will help me too… In their days on market, things like that, as best I can with land.

Jill DeWit:                            And then three, the third thing I want to review, is the seller situation. Which is, are all sellers on the property, on the deed, accounted for and good to go? So those are my three. What are your three?

Steven Butala:                   Those are exactly my three, in that order.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, good.

Steven Butala:                   My ears… I have two additional questions. Well, the thing that you need to do after that is test for a reason. So you got to take a step back from the computer… This is tough for some people. Take a step back from the computer. This is like the sixth sense in this business. It’s one of the reasons that Joe and I and Ned, many of our members specifically the people in our advanced group. This is the difference between all of us and people that have not yet learned how to [inaudible 00:09:06]. All right. Have the knack. Take a couple steps back and test for a reason. Would I want to live there? Whould I take my grandmother there? Could I take my grandmother there, or would it be too much for the trip, you know… Would I shoot a movie there? Does it give me a warm and fuzzy feeling just looking at it on the internet? Like when I twist the thing around on Google Earth, does it look cool, or does it look like the moon? Like some places in Arizona and New Mexico do. Just stuff like that, you know. What can I put in the description? Is there fly fishing close by? Is Las Vegas close by? And on, and on, and on, you know.

Steven Butala:                   What we’re selling here is that man dream of living off the grid, having everything paid for… And that’s in general, for rural vacant land anyway, that’s what we’re selling. Or whoever you sell it to is going to sell that dream. So if it passes that test, now you got you know… I always say this, if you have that thought for a second… Man, this property is so cool, I should keep it. You’re going to do great on that deal.

Jill DeWit:                            I look at it like this whole description that you just went into, this long… This good example. How are you going to sell the property? That’s really all there is for me-

Steven Butala:                   Oh, sure. That’s what that is, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            When you just said, does it appeal to me? What does it look like here? What’s the street view like? You know, is there a dump across the street, or does it look gorgeous across the street, or is there even a beautiful peak with trees? That’s how you’re going to sell the property.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Awesome.

Steven Butala:                   Yup. You know further than that, once she passed us in… I’ll tell you what, it’s like, how can I quickly assess this? We built for this to happen in literally milliseconds. All three of these things. While you’re on the phone with the seller. Right before we started this episode… In-between these episodes that we’re recording, I’m writing the ParcelFact ebook. And I’m convincing myself on how great the site is, because while you’re on the phone you can look up a property that has no physical address, state, county, APN and get all of that information. I mean, in seconds. All the properties around it and so-

Jill DeWit:                            You even get more than this. If you really want to dig deep enough, you can… The zoning’s in there, you dig deep and you can find what they’ve paid for it often. That kind of information-

Steven Butala:                   And what everybody in the surrounding area paid for it. Because the people in the surrounding area are… There’s a 50% chance, literally, they’re going to buy the property from you, if you reach out. That in itself takes out all the stress for me. When all that data is right there in one spot. And you’re talking to a seller and you’re saying, hey seller hold on, I’ll give you an answer in a second. Bang. Bang. Bang. Yes, I’d like to take it to the next level. Let’s schedule a call tomorrow or whatever.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s awesome.

Steven Butala:                   Hey we know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today. Join us next time for the episode called, why Land Academy Member Jermaine Hill uses deal funding.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community, it is free.

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

Steven Butala:                   I didn’t mean for that to be a ParcelFact commercial, but…

Jill DeWit:                            It’s a good point.

Steven Butala:                   It’s just, you know…

Jill DeWit:                            How did we get by before that? It’s not-

Steven Butala:                   I don’t know. I wonder that, it’s like how did we get by before doing that?

Jill DeWit:                            Going to find these properties before ParcelFact was a pain. And it’s been… Has it been even two years since we got ParcelFact? I don’t even know. I don’t think it’s been two years, but it’s just been like, wow… When it’s not working, I’m like, I don’t know what to do. You know? And now it’s all solved, but I mean like when we were just starting out and getting the bugs and working out the kinks and before the latest version, it was like, you know… It’s amazing now.

Steven Butala:                   It’s truly a… I just gave my okay on the 2.0 Beta and it’s like… I spent hours in there looking up my childhood house and stuff, because we didn’t have access. The 1.0 version was not like what it is now. It’s amazing actually.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s so cool. Wherever you are watching, or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there.

Steven & Jill:                       We are Steve and Jill, information, and inspiration to buy undervalued property.


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