I remember the first piece of vacant land that I bought. It was 30 years ago and the price was $21,000 (a lot in those days) and we asked the seller to finance it for us with a Deed of Trust. Back then, interest rates were hovering around 15% and I think we got a “killer deal” at 12%….
I’ll never forget the feeling I got when all the papers were signed and I realized I owned a piece of property that I could go to for a picnic, work party or whatever I wanted to do. It’s an amazing feeling to own trees, dirt and wildflowers and maybe even a view. I’ve always seen buying land for myself as a forced savings account and I’ve bought a number of properties since then, and when the financial crisis of 2008 hit, I was sure glad I had them. I don’t know how I would’ve made it without having properties to sell.
So how do you finance vacant land? Right now, many sellers are offering financing with 20-25% down payment and interest rates around 6%. This could be a possible scenario for your purchase:
PURCHASE PRICE: $59,500
DOWN PAYMENT: $15,000
MONTHLY PAYMENT: $494 (principal balance amortized for 10 years at 6%)
Another option is conventional financing. Islanders Bank is offering a couple different loan options for vacant land. In most cases, you are going to be looking at an adjustable rate mortgage with a 20 year term. This can be a good option if you are wanting smaller monthly payments. If the property has utilities, you will need a 25% down payment or 50% down payment for a parcel without utilities. If a seller is insisting on an “all cash” offer, this could be a way you could still buy it. They also have land loans that can convert to construction loans when you’re ready to start building.
If you would love to own a piece of property, give me a call and let me help you brainstorm the best way for you to do it….you’ll be glad you did!
In case you haven't been watching the market or noticing the rising of "pending sales" in your community, let me tell you….the real estate market is improving! Last month our office had 21 properties go pending in 21 days, which is so much better than it's been for the past 3 years. From my 25 years of experience, I know that just getting through this presidential election helps a lot. I realize it's part of the political process, but it's pretty challenging on the consumer to have confidence when the candidates keep talking about how the country is "going to hell in a handbasket" and they are the one to fix it…..yeesh!
New home starts are also increasing, which is great and impacts all areas of our community. It's wonderful seeing new projects again and knowing that the worst is behind us. I have access to all kinds of graphs and statistics if you want data for your specific area. Let me know….I love hearing from you!
If you're thinking of buying a home, you might not want to wait until spring to do it….inventory is dropping rapidly and rates have never been better….it's a great time to be a Buyer!
Doesn't everybody yearn for a 2nd home?…. A beautiful place to go and do nothing but relax and spend time with friends and family…drinking nice wine, eating yummy food and reading those books you've always wanted to have time to read.
Unfortunately, it's often hard to justify the expense of a 2nd home when the upkeep of the primary residence sometimes seems overwhelming.
As someone who traded in my primary residence to live in my "2nd" home on a full-time basis, I understand this dilemma all too well, but did you know there are some awesome tax benefits to having a second home? For one thing, interest is deductible for your first 1.1 million in debt. (you can buy a darn nice home for 1.1 million) Also, if you rent it out for less than 14 days/year, you don't have to pay taxes on that rental income….cool! If you yourself use it for less than 14 days/year, the vacation home is considered a business and up to $25,000 in losses can be deducted each year. So you ask…."why have a vacation home that I can only use 14 days a year?" Well, here's the loophole…Days spent "maintaining" the home, aren't considered personal use days. Hmmm….maybe that's why I see so much window washing and deck sweeping going on.. I'm not making this stuff up. There's a great article on Kiplinger.com that tells all about it.
I may not be able to do your taxes, but I can sure show you some wonderful San Juan Island properties that will tempt you to live your "dream".
As we start into the new year, after all the excitement of the holiday, some of us have resolutions in hand for 2012 and others are just trying to finish up the last of the sugar cookies so they can quit feeling guilty on a daily basis. As for me, I started walking. I go out every day and try to let go of all the questions about the economy, presidential elections, obscure Facebook posts and wonderings about how I can spend so much time on the computer, and not accomplish much; vanish for a little while.
This morning, I had a wonderful treat. I think spring is going to come early this year because the eagles are out in their full glory, and today I got the chance to watch a couple at play right on the trail ahead of me. They were swooping and calling until the female flew off and left her majestic suitor sitting in the tree above me. He was incredible! He looked down on me with what seemed to be total disdain and called to her to rejoin him. She didn’t and I moved on, grateful for a brief moment in nature to remind me of why I live in this beautiful place.
I don’t know what 2012 will bring so I’m going to just take each day as it comes and cherish the moments of glory and try to endure the moments of challenge. That’s really all we can do anyway, isn’t it? As my step father used to say, “It’s a great life, if you just don’t weaken”. He lived each day fully until he died at 76. His last words to my mother were, “I want to tell you all about my wonderful day, but I’m just too tired so I’m going to go to bed.” I hope my last words are the same.
Sometimes, we have to take a moment…and re-discover our world. I find that if I’m not careful, my day-to-day cares take over and I lose site of this beautiful place where I live. The water is just a passing view as I travel through the house carrying the laundry, the beaches are for someone else to walk and the sun shining through the windows becomes just an annoying glare on my computer screen. Although I appreciate where I live, I find I have to make a deliberate effort to enjoy my environment.
Yesterday, my daughter asked me to go on a kayaking picnic with her to the south end of Decatur Island. My first response was, “no, I’ve got too much to do today…I can’t do it.” But as most young 20 year olds, her response was to not take “no” for an answer and she kept persevering. Finally, I gave in and made up a picnic and gathered paddles and life jackets for the trip. What a trip it was!….Beautiful glassy water, a warm pebble beach, eating lunch and visiting with my daughter and even a nap in the sun. Suddenly, I wasn’t just a woman checking off items on a “to do” list, it was like I was someone kayaking the San Juan Islands and appreciating the awesomeness of this place for the very first time…the smell of the seaweed, the calls of the various birds and the unsurpassed beauty everywhere. I came home with a pocket full of rocks and sea glass and a full set of charged batteries….ready to attack my first item on my “to do” list….write a blog.
Wherever you live, take a minute and plan a day being a tourist in your own town….visit the museum, have lunch in the park and better yet, spend the day with someone who means the world to you. You’ll be glad you did.