It’s unsurprising to all that 2020 and 2021 were intense years, in more ways than one, of course. However, the real estate market globally saw lots of changes as people experienced job shifts and reevaluation of how they wanted to live their lives.
The pandemic led to many millennials and Americans of all age groups getting priced out of the metro areas they called home, and while COVID had a lasting impact on the job market, many first-time buyers have found a workaround to purchasing their first property.
Finding a place in the housing market
Many young renters have pushed a trend of purchasing investment properties or vacation homes that are typically recognized as a “second home” before even buying their first.
Why? The truth is, prices have been skyrocketing long before the pandemic hit, but with COVID came a shift, and first-time buyers are finding ways to continue living in the urban areas they like while also getting their foot into the market. With remote work becoming more common, having a secondary residence in a less competitive area can be more sustainable and attainable — plus, having a place to escape to for regular breaks or vacation doesn’t sound so bad.
Pros of buying a vacation home first
What are some of the benefits of buying a vacation property before a primary residence? You can continue to build equity while primarily living in the city you love, all while making cash on the side from renters.
The Mortgage Reports puts it best, “This strategy is best for buyers located in high–cost housing markets, where buying a primary residence just isn’t feasible. You can build wealth through real estate, without having to bust your budget or move outside the city.”
Considerations to keep in mind
It can be easy to get swept up in this idea because it seems so perfect, but even though it’s not your first home, this is still a huge purchase, and there are many factors you should consider before making any final decisions.
Will renting be a part of your plan? There are tons of things to consider if you will be renting (e.g., what platform will you use, will you allow long-term renters, who will clean and perform upkeep).
Speak to an accountant first about any tax implications
Will you be okay paying to maintain a home you don’t primarily live in?
These may not seem like total deal-breakers, but as you dive into your first major property purchase, these questions and reminders can help you make the best decision for yourself.
With all of this in mind, why not start taking a peek at what types of properties are out there? If you’re not tied to the idea of purchasing a vacation property near where you live, here’s a list of some of the most popular locations for vacation properties in 2022:
Grand Lake, Colorado
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
As you can see, there is potential all over! You just have to sit down and look at what works best for you. We hope these tips help as you get started. Take a look through Land Hub’s current listings to see if any match your ideal home lists!
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Buying a home is oftentimes the biggest purchase many of us will make, and for first-time homebuyers, it can be an overwhelming process as there are tons of unfamiliar terms, big decisions to make, and lots of steps to follow. While you’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way, there are plenty of ways to prepare yourself as best as possible.
Here are some ins and outs of what to expect, some red flags to look out for, and a quick look at basic terms that can help make your first home buying process as smooth as possible.
Make the process less overwhelming
When looking at buying a home, it’s easy to get lost in the probably hundreds of steps there are. We like NerdWallet’s approach of breaking the process down into categories, specifically four:
Preparing to buy
Following this format can help keep you from getting ahead of yourself and not biting off more than you can chew, or what’s even necessary depending on the part of the process you’re at.
Preparing to buy
Even if you are years away from preparing to buy a home, there are things you can do now that will make your life much easier come time to shop for a property. Start saving and look at your credit score and work on strengthening it. Some costs that you may not anticipate when buying a home include:
Start putting money aside for these costs specifically so that you aren’t setback with surprise expenses. There are considerable upfront costs that will arise with any home purchase, and many financial experts recommend having a savings account with around 3-6 months of living expenses saved up.
What’s a mortgage?
You’ve probably heard this term before, but what does it actually entail? Investopedia does a great job of explaining it in-depth but simply put, a mortgage is a loan used to purchase or maintain a home or other types of real estate.
Before looking into qualification for a mortgage, you’ll want to ensure your credit score is healthy. Buyers with lower scores may have to pay a higher interest rate on their mortgage, which can drastically change the total cost of purchasing a home.
Start looking around at mortgage brokers and see if you can get pre-qualified, which will give you an educated guess of what type of mortgage you can qualify for based on your income, debt, and assets.
Start looking for properties
When you’re actually ready to start shopping around for a home, it’s vital that you stay tethered to reality. Remember, this is a huge and important purchase, and you’ll want to set a budget and stick to it. Sit down and write a list of what your dream home would look like. Some questions you can ask yourself to get there:
What kind of neighborhood are you interested in?
Which type of home best meets your needs? (Condominium, townhome, a single-family home)
What are the features your ideal home would have?
Once you have a rough idea of the above, you can find a real estate agent to help guide you through the process. Ask around for recommendations!
Making the big purchase
The time has come – you’ve done all the groundwork, looked at properties, and now you’re ready to buy! It can be easy to want to rush this process after what may feel like an eternity looking, but this is the time to be the most cautious. Some pro-tips to keep in mind as you purchase your first home include getting a home inspection, buying adequate home insurance, keeping cloud-based and physical copies of all documentation and paperwork, and don’t stop saving!
Buying your first home is an exciting step in life! We hope these tips help as you get started. Take a look through Land Hub’s current listings to see if any match your ideal home lists!
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Here’s What to Know About WOTUS
What counts as a federally regulated body of water in the United States? That’s the question that WOTUS, or “waters of the U.S.” seeks to define—and there’s been quite a lot of debate over the years on exactly how to do that.
So, why should you care? If you’re a landowner, developer, or farmer, regulations around WOTUS put restrictions on what you can and cannot do with certain bodies of water on your property. It also gives the federal government the final say in any environmental decisions concerning those bodies. There are certainly positives to this in terms of ecological protections, but it’s important to know what is and isn’t WOTUS and how it will impact your land use.
A timeline of WOTUS
New changes might be coming to WOTUS this year. And to put them into context, it helps to see how—and why—the term has changed over the years.
– The first mention of the term “waters of the U.S” appeared in the federal Clean Water Act of 1972, which tasked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers with the responsibility of overseeing and protecting these federally run bodies of water. At the time, little detail was provided about what actually constituted WOTUS, with the act giving the regulating agencies discrepancy over how to define it.
– Regulatory texts were introduced to help better define WOTUS following three 1985 Supreme Court cases revolving around the issue. Under the texts, WOTUS was better defined to include all interstate and intrastate water used for interstate or foreign commerce and/or industrial purposes, as well as impounded waters, the territorial sea, and a few others. You can see the full scope of the 1986/1988 changes here.
– A 2006 Supreme Court case once again challenged the interpretation of WOTUS, leading to additional changes to the definition by its regulating agencies in 2007 and 2008.
– A new Clean Water Rule expanded the scope of federal regulation over waterways while narrowing down the number of WOTUS bodies subject to case-by-case analyses by the regulating agencies. It also gave state, local, and tribal governing bodies authorization to handle the implementation of certain WOTUS-related EPA programs, such as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program.
– The Clean Water Rule was rescinded, and the regulations set out in the 1986/1988 texts were reinstated, with changes encompassing the subsequent Supreme Court rulings. Known as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), this change served to weaken regulating agencies’ ability to control pollution in certain bodies such as wetlands and streams.
– New rules have been proposed to WOTUS—namely a reversal of the NWPR and reinstatement of the Clean Water Rule.
Why does this all matter?
It may look like just a lot of legal back and forth, but the definition of WOTUS matters a lot if you’re someone who owns land with water that could fall under its scope. How WOTUS is defined—and the rules around it—impacts building projects, draining projects, and any other major alterations. It also gives the government final say on what can be done with those waters.
Have an opinion on the proposed changes? The EPA and Department of the Army are seeking comments and you can learn more by visiting the Realtors Land Institute website.
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Every home has a story, and when you feel like you’ve found the perfect property, it can be hard to rip the rose-colored glasses off and dig a little deeper. Want to be 100% sure that the property you’re about to purchase is a good fit for you? Look into its history!
Whether you’ve heard rumors, have a feeling, or are just the slightest bit curious, doing a search on a property’s history can help set the record straight and give you the little extra confidence you’re looking for to close a deal. Here’s how you can get more than just the basic details of your potential new home or property.
How to Find the History of Your Property Online
You’ll be happy to know that no P.I. skills are necessary here – in fact, you can likely do most of this work from your smartphone while laying on the couch watching a movie.
What are the things you should be looking for? This really depends on your specific situation, but in general, most people who are looking for more background on their home’s history are after environmental information, details of previous sales, names associated with the property, any deaths that have occurred on the property, history of major construction and work, fire or gas leaks reported, and even historic photos.
Now that you understand a bit more about why people would want more insight, here are the simple steps you can take to get more background on your property.
Look at the title:
Your home’s title will give you the age of the home, any remodeling projects, and the types of appliances the home has. Some even give more detailed info, like if the hardwood floors are original in addition to any special historical info about the property.
Check property records:
Use the Public Records Online Directory to check if your city and/or county has public records available online. These records will give more insight into the home, like its square footage or any changes to it, the chain of ownership, tax history, and architectural style.
Contact your town clerk:
Even though most records are digitized now, it will be valuable to get in touch with the town or county clerk. They can help find where property deed records are kept, which can help you trace the line of who has owned the home. Property deeds are sometimes kept in a town hall, a local library, or at a historical society.
Dig into Census records:
Looking through census records can give even more insight into the identity and amount of people who had lived in your home previously. U.S. News notes that for privacy protection reasons, census records are confidential for 72 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, so you’ll be unable to look up Census details for a specific address or individual after 1950 unless it’s about yourself or a direct ancestor of yours.
Ask for help:
If you’ve got an older home on your hands, then chances are the search for documents, deeds, and property records can get a little tricky. Even if you are able to successfully acquire all of the documents you’re after, it may be tough to decipher. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a local historical society or town clerk for help!
We hope this information is helpful whether you’re looking to close a deal or just curious about your own property. This information could also be interesting to include in a listing should you be putting your property on the market. Find more land selling and buying resources from Land Hub.
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You always want to get the best deal possible when buying land. But is the price of land something that you can negotiate—and if so, how should you go about doing it?
Here’s what to know about negotiating on land deals, plus some quick tips for ensuring that you do it right.
Can you negotiate when you’re buying land?
Yes! Land, like all other types of property for sale, doesn’t have a fixed price. Instead, prices are set by the seller, often with the help of a land appraiser.
Sellers want to get the highest price for their land, and will usually list their property at or above market value. Buyers, meanwhile, want to make smart investments and ensure they’re not paying more than a property is worth. Somewhere in the middle lies the ultimate selling price, and it’s by negotiations that you’ll get there.
Keep in mind that savvy sellers expect negotiations and account for them in their initial listing price. While there’s a limit to how low you can go, it’s standard practice to negotiate when buying land and you may go back and forth a couple of times before finally settling on a price that works for both parties.
5 land buying negotiation tips
If you’ve bought land or other types of real estate before, then you may already be familiar with the negotiation process. Beyond the basics though, there are a number of things that you can do to show the seller you’re serious about closing the deal, even as you do your best to arrange a fair price.
Next time you negotiate, follow these five tips to increase your chances of getting an optimal deal.
1. Do your research
Before presenting your first offer, do a bit of research so that you’re not just shooting in the dark when it comes to determining a property’s worth. This includes digging into the highest potential use value of the space, as well as any zoning or other restrictions that may reduce that value.
2. Know what your limit is
Always go into land negotiations with a clear idea of how much you can spend. Just as the seller knows the lowest number they’d be willing to sell it for, the buyer needs to know the highest number they’d be willing to pay.
3. Keep negotiations professional
Present your initial offer in writing and give a brief explanation for it based on your research. Be kind and concise, and if there’s an opportunity to do so, try to build some rapport as well.
4. Don’t low-ball your offer
Obviously buyers want to pay the least amount they can on a land investment. However, offering too little can be offensive, especially if you’re clearly undervaluing the land in pursuit of a steal. Be realistic with your initial offer and make it reasonable to prove to the seller that you’re serious.
5. Be patient
If negotiations come to a standstill, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the running. Wait another 30 to 45 days and if the property is still on the market present your offer again and see if the seller is more willing to discuss.
Work with an experienced real estate agent who will be able to help you navigate the negotiation process. Done well, you should get a great deal with both you and the seller happy at closing day.
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Are you planning to buy land in the United States and sell it afterward but don’t know where to start? If that is the case, then you are in the right place.
In this article, we have enlisted some tips that can you may want to take into consideration seeking land for sale in the US.
Tips on How to Buy and Sell Land in the United States
Locate the land that you want to purchase
This tip is actually simpler than done. In fact, it is not hard to look for a piece of raw land, but the thing is the parcel might not have the resale value. So, if you really want to hold the property as one of your investments, make sure to research what is happening in the surrounding place that may help in increasing the value of your property.
Find out the potential profitability of the land by digging out county records
When buying land and you have plans to sell it afterward you need to determine some important things. For example, what type of access can be constructed to the land, whether there will be the accessibility to waste and water disposal, and utilities, what is the long-term plan of the area, how the land is zoned, and if there is any mineral right or lien to the land?
Choose Price Wisely
Pricing your land twice its original price is not a good idea. Admit it or not, one reason why you choose to price the land too high is to gain high profit. But keep in mind that no one will buy a very expensive possession, considering that there is a lot of options where you can choose from.
Understand the needs of your buyers
Keep in mind that every buyer of land in the United States has its own needs. That is why, before you buy a land and you are planning to sell it, make sure to understand their needs so that you will be able to sell the land with ease.
These are only a few of the many tips that you can follow when it comes to buying and selling land in the United States. But hopefully, this article has helped you a lot in finding land that can give you higher profit without pricing the property too high.