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Old 07-31-2014, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
28 posts, read 60,560 times
Reputation: 69

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Brief intro. Researching areas to move to with my family. We're from all over the place, would take too long to explain, but the summary of it is that we're a married couple with a 6 year old that would like to jump off the rat race and move to a place closer to nature, and work in what ever industries/odd jobs are available, if any, or start our own business of some sort. We're multi-talented and flexible. What we don't have are savings. We do make a lot of money currently, but just enough to live month to month in a ridiculously expensive economy. We both expect to take a considerable compensation decrease from our Silicon Valley engineering salaries, and had hoped to find properties that match a decreased level, topping out @ $150k or so.

But, after two days on Zillow (for what its worth) roaming around small cities all around WY, all $150k appears to be getting us is a prefab home in an arid plains area. For a non-fixer in decent shape I'm not seeing much under $300-400 and. I'm trying to figure out what industries people work in that generate, what, $60-90k salaries to being able to comfortably handle $400 mortgages and heating costs? Appreciate any input. Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
3,070 posts, read 4,843,421 times
Reputation: 2164
Wyoming’s Land: 42% of Wyoming’s land is privately owned.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:55 AM
 
11,283 posts, read 46,201,163 times
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Much of wyoming's privately owned land is held for recreational or tourist purposes. Put this in perspective of the comparable properties in CA when it comes to land valuation.

I grew up on Point Loma, with years near or next to the water. Our family houses there were in the mid to high six figures (in years since, seven figures). When my Dad's employment took him out of the area for awhile, he sold our last waterside house. Upon return to San Diego, he bought another house ... Larger, nicer, better laid out, better landscaping, covered 1,500sq ft patio, trees in the backyard ... But no view and 5 miles from Shelter Island's yacht basin and marinas. $60,000.

I spent a lot of time sailing out of Malibu Yacht Club. Back then, nothing but a parking lot and beach sand to launch catamarans from. The adjacent houses were pricey. What has that land value become relative to the earnings of working class people? Why is it so expensive?

Same thing with many other places in CA .... Agoura, Encino, Mandeville Canyon ... Where I had a lot of friends. We're not even looking at Beverly Hills ... But a lot of entertainment industry folk lived in these areas drove prices up wildly over the years. I saw a $53,000 house in a subdivision in Agoura turn into an almost $1mil place in 20 years. What income does it take to buy such a place? I spent several nights as a house guest in an Encino house that was previously owned by Tony Curtis ... I slept in the pool house building, it was bigger than my house at the time. What do you think the provenance of that property added to it's value?

Much of the land value inflation in Wyoming today seems from folk here on fishing expeditions. Not uncommon for folk from an inflated real estate market like CA who have cashed out with money to burn to come here and pay that asked price. Jackson is a prime example of such a marketplace, but even locales like Dubois were affected by the out of state money'ed set since the late 1880's.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-31-2014 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
28 posts, read 60,560 times
Reputation: 69
Hmm, interesting. The private ownership would also explain how some properties have been listed for years without changing price. Thanks for the perspective.

I guess we're going to have to adjust accordingly. One thought was to buy something now and rent it out for a while to get started, but mortgages on the asking doesn't even cover the rent in the current market as I understand it. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to negotiate
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:09 PM
 
11,283 posts, read 46,201,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by befr33 View Post
Hmm, interesting. The private ownership would also explain how some properties have been listed for years without changing price. (snip)
I guess I'm going to have to learn how to negotiate
Another reason why folk here can get by on their market fishing expeditions is that Wyoming is a "non-reporting" state. The means that the prices paid are privileged information. The county assessor gets the reports, but it's confidential information and they cannot disclose prices paid, only FMV's on a detail basis, such as construction PSF, or cost per fixture, or so much for each dishwasher, heating source, HVAC system, etc. The parties to the transaction know the price paid; real estate agents may have personal knowledge of comparable properties transactions or as in-house knowledge in their agency.

So a buyer from out of the area can come in and based upon relative property values "back home", can think that a parcel or house in Wyoming they're looking at is a bargain. Especially if they have the resources in cash from selling their place back home and it's now burning a hole in their pocket.

The only way you as a knowledgeable buyer can get a FMV is to hire a pro real estate appraiser on your own behalf. Their knowledge is worth something and they will be sure to get paid for it, especially for commercial real estate (farm, ranch, etc). The reluctance of folk not doing their due diligence in the Wyoming real estate marketplace to hire an appraiser works against their interests, especially in rural properties. As a real estate investor here, I can't tell you how many times in the last decade I've looked at bank repo file properties because somebody came here and paid way too much for a place and couldn't make the payments between working the property and working a "real" job offsite to help pay for the place.

Unfortunately, many times asked/listed prices are not disclosed prior to your site visit that a full price offer would still have to be accepted by the lender for the short sale ... and I've seen a whole bunch at the asked price that were still way overvalued, sure to catch a lender's attention as to just how "short" that sale was going to be. I've put offers in on properties and waited months for a rejection, no counter offer situation. Only to then see the property sold to another at a yet lower price point than my offer when the lender really needed to get the property out of their repo file.

Or, as has happened to me a few times ... somebody at the lender wants the property for themself and makes sure that any other offer coming through is denied until the property is really stale in their file. Only to have the lender finally accept their low-ball offer. Yes, this is unethical behavior. Yes, it isn't unusual here in Wyoming. The good 'ol boy network in some areas is very entrenched.

You can negotiate all you want, even with a pro appraisal giving you a FMV reference point. The non-motivated sellers asking outrageous prices have no reason to sell at FMV price points. If you can meet their asked price, you've got a deal. Otherwise, they're happy to sit on what they've got.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:00 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,381 times
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This is invaluable info. Working on a relocated from central WA to Gillette in the coming year. Hubby has secured a retail mamagement position. The kids and i will stay back for another school year so our oldest can graduate where he started and so we can offload our property here.
I was suggesting to the hubby to list our $165k appraised property in the $180's and he couldnt believe anyone would consider so far off assessment value. Then we start looking and see all the $300k prkperties that seem quite inflated ... i think/hope he has a different perspective now.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,729 posts, read 18,522,190 times
Reputation: 14663
Hubby is probably right unless you have an unusual property. Most people finance homes, and banks lend based on appraisals. If they can't get a loan for the property, they can't buy it.

And here's an early welcome to Gillette. I moved here when I was 25. That was 43 years ago.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:28 PM
 
11,283 posts, read 46,201,163 times
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While it's correct that "banks lend based on appraisals", the loan amount is not necessarily the driving force for many out-of-state buyers in the inflated real estate market; ie, many folk bring in enough money in hand for a down payment that the bank loan is well within their lending guidelines.

Keep in mind that there's two sides to the lending equation:

1) the value of the property securing the loan, and
2) the income of the buyer to support the loan payments in accordance with the lender's guidelines for income/payment ratio.

A buyer with a large enough down payment ... and a need to put that equity in hand back into another primary residential property or pay capital gains taxes if they don't within 24 months of the sale of their residence is a motivated buyer to "shelter" that money in another residential property. You can only use the couple's $500K exemption once every so many years (IIRC, it's 5 years with a requirement that the residence be a primary residence for 3 out of the 5 years of ownership). Folk moving here from high inflated real estate markets may easily have 6 figures or more of ready cash-out from a residence. At that point, a place in Wyoming that is highly inflated is simply shuffling numbers around on a piece of paper, and paying too much is only academic. What counts is that they can buy a place, put their equity into the place, and have a loan with payments they can afford with their work and income stream (at least on paper).

IMO, the tax code and the ready cash generated from other markets is what facilitates the sales of overpriced properties here in Wyoming. It becomes a self-sustaining marketplace; ie, sell one property for way over it's FMV and it raises the marketplace for comparable properties. Sell several properties at that price point overage, and you've created a defensible set of real prices paid in the market for an appraiser or assessor. Look no further than the price/acre for some of the essentially worthless 40 acre properties sold to the gullible on the premise of a "piece of the Wyoming dream lifestyle) in the middle of nowhere with nothing; there's a reason why most of these are sold on a contract to deed sale by the developer; no legitimate lender would justify the price points.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:45 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,166 posts, read 43,924,389 times
Reputation: 29670
There have been times in WY past and in the future where property values in certain regions dip significantly (i.e. Energy bust). Now is not that time. (low rates, and people adding to RE portfolios and an energy / employment boom).

Today's market is also driven by more folks with more free time and more money. Prime properties may never again see a big slump as in the past.

Know what you are looking for, and be prepared to buy fast and accurately. (know your values) WY can also be a very difficult market to sell. (as you have mentioned)
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Idaho
5,337 posts, read 5,320,887 times
Reputation: 10959
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
...The only way you as a knowledgeable buyer can get a FMV is to hire a pro real estate appraiser on your own behalf. Their knowledge is worth something...As a real estate investor here, I can't tell you how many times in the last decade...
Can I hire you to help me purchase my retirement home when I bail from the working world in a couple more years?
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