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Old 08-22-2011, 03:08 AM
 
20 posts, read 77,409 times
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common sense tells me that buying sight unseen is absurdly stupid. but prices have gone down so low now that there are absurdly stupid land prices.

i live overseas and i was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the feasibility of buying sight unseen.

is there such a thing as a buyer's broker or a buyer's rep who can inspect the property and represent the buyer in these situations?

Last edited by francis_key; 08-22-2011 at 03:55 AM..
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:37 AM
 
16,438 posts, read 18,519,594 times
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Good luck. I'm in the same situation. Yes, a good buyer's agent can be a help, but we still haven't had any success as yet.
Everything that is desireable is still overpriced. Every "bargain" turns out to be unsellable junk.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:48 AM
 
20 posts, read 77,409 times
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Default ?

with google maps now you can at least see surrounding areas and get a partial feel for the way the land is laid out.

what do you mean by junk? what exactly turned out to be the case with these?

what i have seen is that bargains are the norm now. there are numerous lots for between 500-750 per acre. it is hard to see how you can go wrong with some of these unless the land is contaminated or sits next to a highway.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:31 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
3,015 posts, read 4,873,000 times
Reputation: 2127
Quote:
Originally Posted by francis_key View Post
common sense tells me that buying sight unseen is absurdly stupid. but prices have gone down so low now that there are absurdly stupid land prices.

i live overseas and i was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the feasibility of buying sight unseen.

is there such a thing as a buyer's broker or a buyer's rep who can inspect the property and represent the buyer in these situations?
Your tiest thought is correct. Don't buy based on someone elses opinion or sight unseen. I've seen it happen a few times and has never ended well. Google street view is nice but is based on old photos. Eastport area was done around October 2007. A lot can happen to a property in that amount of time. Hang onto your money until YOU can physically look at the property. Not everything has to be instant gratification.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,136,966 times
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I know someone who trusted another person with her choice and bought property sight unseen. She ended up with a falling down building infested with raccoons. Local contractors won't touch it. She's not able to retire to Maine and now owns property she pays taxes on. I wouldn't ever do it.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
1,031 posts, read 2,047,784 times
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Prices are pretty low particularly if you contact owners that advertise only with signs on their land and word of mouth. Land sold by realtors is still overpriced. I agree with everyone else; take a little vacation, drive around and find land that you'll be comfortable using.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,815 posts, read 4,269,127 times
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I got a call from a buyer living in Rhode Island in November who had seen a house online and was ready to buy it. They had a pre-approval from a local lender and her husband had lived in the area previously (Deering Center, Portland - which is still a hot area with properly priced homes selling briskly). They hired me as their buyer agent, I did the research, we wrote the offer over the phone on a Thursday night and she brought the signed offer (along with a deposit) when we met on Friday. If the house wasn't as expected, we would have torn up the offer and kept looking. We looked at the home and although it had issues in the basement (which we negotiated successfully), she was ready to go. Had the seller fixed those issues prior to putting the home on the market, it would have sold much sooner, but their loss became my client's gain. I dropped off the offer at the listing broker's office that night and they closed on the house in early January.

Obviously this is very different from the OP's situation, but with improved technology available to buyers, it is happening more frequently. The key is to find somebody you can trust that knows the area to do the legwork for you and be ready to jump when the opportunity is right.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:51 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,695,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francis_key View Post
common sense tells me that buying sight unseen is absurdly stupid. but prices have gone down so low now that there are absurdly stupid land prices.

i live overseas and i was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the feasibility of buying sight unseen.

is there such a thing as a buyer's broker or a buyer's rep who can inspect the property and represent the buyer in these situations?
Just a few things you can't easily learn when looking at property online:

If there's a mill nearby, the air could smell like dirty diapers.

If there's a farm nearby, the air could smell like a sewer when the farmer spreads manure.

You might also have to close your window when the farmer is spraying his field (which might happen without any warning).

Speaking of smells, there was recently in Maine a case I read about where a town built a sewer treatment plant right across from some houses, and the plant was stinking up the neighborhood. Last I heard, the homeowners were suing the town or something, but without much luck.

Is the land infested with fire ants, which can take a lot of the fun out of yard work and gardening--they might even decide to come into your house when you build it. I understand they're aggressive and sting like all heck.

Hostile or rude or criminal neighbors.

How much ledge might have to be blasted to construct a house and septic system on it?

There's also access: would you have to construct and maintain your own road to reach a vacant piece of land? Is electricity available? Is the soil OK for septic and what about well water?

All kinds of stuff you can't tell unless you're there in person.

I suspect the best buys are to be found in-person anyway.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:11 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,825 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDoorNut View Post
Just a few things you can't easily learn when looking at property online:

If there's a mill nearby, the air could smell like dirty diapers.

If there's a farm nearby, the air could smell like a sewer when the farmer spreads manure.

You might also have to close your window when the farmer is spraying his field (which might happen without any warning).

Speaking of smells, there was recently in Maine a case I read about where a town built a sewer treatment plant right across from some houses, and the plant was stinking up the neighborhood. Last I heard, the homeowners were suing the town or something, but without much luck.

Is the land infested with fire ants, which can take a lot of the fun out of yard work and gardening--they might even decide to come into your house when you build it. I understand they're aggressive and sting like all heck.

Hostile or rude or criminal neighbors.

How much ledge might have to be blasted to construct a house and septic system on it?

There's also access: would you have to construct and maintain your own road to reach a vacant piece of land? Is electricity available? Is the soil OK for septic and what about well water?

All kinds of stuff you can't tell unless you're there in person.

I suspect the best buys are to be found in-person anyway.
Too true! I have also been scoping out property online. There has been more than one time where I have stumbled across the fact that the reason a property is such a good deal is the landfill/sewage sewage treatment facility, etc, within sight and/or smelling distance! It is very tempting to dive right in and pick up a 'bargain'. But probably not the safest idea. Best to invest in visiting in person.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
4,866 posts, read 3,522,013 times
Reputation: 3408
One of my favorite stories involves a guy from Mass. who was selling a house we looked at a few years ago. He was a real estate guy, and did flipping on the side. He got a great deal on this big old house in Fairfield, so he bought it without visiting first.
Except..........it was actually in FORT Fairfield. When he drove up to Fairfield and started asking for directions, someone looked at his paperwork and told him he needed to keep driving four hours north. He was a bit surprised! LOL
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