Because The Vacant Land Guys Company purchases properties in very large volume – we receive reduced rates, the savings for which we are then able to pass on to our buyers at deeply discounted or “wholesale” prices.
While The Vacant Land Guys Company values both our sellers and buyers equally, we rarely, if ever meet any of the people we do business with. The entire process is done remotely using email, phone, mail and fax. The efficiency of this business model allows us to pass the savings on to you, the buyer.
The information provided on each property’s listing page includes the APN Number and Legal Description. Typically when you’re speaking about rural, vacant and undeveloped land you will use one of these to denote the property or its general location.
Because The Vacant Land Guys Company records the new deed for our buyers (and hence, eliminates the extra expense and hassle of recording) this means that the deed must first be mailed to the County Clerk or Recorder’s Office. Once it has been recorded it is then forwarded on to the buyer by a representative of that county’s office. From start to finish this process usually takes about three weeks though it’s not uncommon for the Clerk’s office to mail it back to us by mistake. In this circumstance we will immediately forward it on to our buyers after notifying them by e-mail of the mix up.
While The Vacant Land Guys Company would never discourage anyone from seeking proper legal counsel, we have gone through great effort to simplify the buying process with straightforward, easy-to-read contracts. Furthermore, land acquisition and resale is not typically a heady or paperwork intensive process and rarely does it involve more than a notary. In fact in our experience, the participation of an agent or attorney is the exception and not the rule when it comes to legally conveying rural vacant land from one party to another. This is yet another reason why our prices are so low.
All this being said, if a buyer feels more comfortable having a professional review the contracts under which they purchase one of our properties, we would never object.
Typically The Vacant Land Guys Company does not send representatives from our offices to show property. As we are headquartered in Vancouver, Washington and we purchase land throughout the American west, we rarely, if ever, see the property we are buying. This is one of the reasons why we’re able to keep our prices so low. Potential buyers are more than welcome to visit any of the properties they wish to purchase without the supervision or presence of a representative of our Company.
The Vacant Land Guys Company purchases real property for the sole purpose of re-selling it. In the interest of transparency, everything we know about each parcel is disclosed in the listing and nothing is withheld.
No. We do not pay for your title insurance, your survey, your perc test, your septic inspection, your well installation, your fence construction or any other costs which would reasonably be viewed as the buyer’s responsibility.
No. The properties we sell have been discounted way below market value to comfortably accommodate these additional costs for the buyer. Any survey required of the land is the buyer’s responsibility.
No. We pay for title insurance when we are the Buyer and we expect the same of the people we sell to.
If you’re a cash buyer with no lender involved it should not take more than two weeks, particularly if we have already closed on the property through the same title company in the last three months. That being said, title companies are notoriously “deliberate” and it’s always safe to budget four weeks total to accommodate their methodical nature.
For any potential buyers skeptical of the legitimacy of this operation, we’d encourage you to close through a title/escrow company. This will allow a third party intermediary to handle both the drawing up and recording of the deed as well as your money. We should mention, however, that this will incur additional costs and those costs will be the responsibility of you, the buyer. Similarly, in order to enter escrow there must be a signed Sale/Purchase agreement between Buyer (you) and Seller (us).
In some situations, such as when we have recently listed a property, we may not yet have the recorded deed back from the county. Because this process normally takes about two weeks, and because we list our properties as soon as we buy them, there are small windows of time in the life of any of our listings in which we simply will not have this document back from the county. Typically, however, we are in possession of that document within a 7 to 10 days of listing.
There are other circumstances, such as when we close through a title company, when we do not receive the recorded deed back until it’s sent to us along with the Owner’s Policy. This could take upwards of a month. In these situations we gladly encourage any skeptical buyers to call the title company through which we purchased the property and inquire with them. In addition, if need be, we can also provide Settlement Statements or whatever documentation was provided to us at closing.
The deed is the legal document that proves ownership. The recorded deed is the one that has been recognized by the county. This means it will have a sticker or stamp with county identification on it indicating the Book, Page or Document Number of where this deed can be found in the county’s files.
In any given county government there is a clerk, an assessor and a treasurer and often times it takes a while for all three to update their files accordingly when a property has changed hands and a new person has been recorded as the owner. Typically, because we buy these pieces of land and sell them within ninety days time, it’s not uncommon for our company’s name to never show up in online files. Similarly, many counties only update their records when it’s time to send out the tax statement, which in some cases may be ten months after we’ve acquired the land. While questions about ownership are reasonable and expected, we encourage any interested and/or skeptical buyers to reach out to us for confirmation of ownership. The Vacant Land Guys Company prides itself on our transparency and will provide copies of the recorded deed for any of our listed properties.
The property taxes are typically current unless otherwise stated and will vary from parcel to parcel. Please see the tax information section in each individual listing or, for further information, contact the Treasurer’s office in the county in which the parcel is located.
No there are not. One of the guarantees that we make to our buyers is that there are no back taxes or liens associated with the land you’re purchasing and at the time of conveyance all taxes are current.
While Vacant Land Guys Company does a great deal of research on the properties we buy and sell, our research is typically limited to making sure we can convey clear title and that there are no back taxes or liens associated with the land. Because we can not anticipate every question we may receive, nor can we know all of the zoning ordinances in any given county (much less multiple counties), we always encourage our buyers to go directly to the source and speak to the people who work in either the Planning & Zoning Office or the Assessor’s Office of that specific county. Those offices’ websites and contact information are provided on each of our listing pages and will be a far more authoritative source of information about what the county does and does not allow then we ever could be.
Once again, we encourage you to call the county directly and ask them. In most counties an RV can be parked on but not lived in and is only allowed as a temporary living quarters if the land owner is in the process of building a permanent structure. This, however, usually requires the land owner to apply for a Building Permit. It should be noted, however, that many counties grant very lengthy building permits and allow you to renew them for equal periods of time even if you haven’t built anything. Put another way, sometimes a Building Permit is an effective way to permanently park an otherwise unlawful vehicle on the land for indefinite periods of time.
Yes, just contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (971) 225-7024 to make your payment. You will need the APN number of the land you are buying and the credit or debit card information to make the payment. Let us know how much you want to put on the card and then do it again for each card until you have paid for the property.
You can click on the link below to download a Credit Card Authorization form. Download, fill out and send the form back to us for each card you would like to use, entering the payment amount and APN for the property on each form.
When purchasing land, it’s important to know which rights come with the property.
There are two types of rights to be aware of: mineral and surface.
Surface rights are exactly like they sound – they are your rights to own and use the surface of the land. Depending on what type of property you own, owning the surface rights means you can develop the land as you see fit or as it is zoned.
Mineral rights apply to anything that exists underneath the surface. This includes coal, natural gas, oil or any other commodity that can be mined. If you don’t own these rights, you have no say in what happens to these natural resources.
A Brief History Of Mineral Rights
Just because you own the surface rights to a property, doesn’t necessarily mean you own the mineral rights. The U.S. has what is called “split estates,” which means surface rights and mineral rights are two separate entities, and people can own and sell one or both of these rights together, or apart from each other.
The U.S. is different from other countries around the world, because individuals and corporations have the opportunity to own mineral rights, as opposed to these rights belonging strictly to the government. This began in the 19th century with homestead and development acts, along with the General Mining Law of 1872, as a way of encouraging settlers to move out west. The General Mining Law is still the rule that governs mineral rights today.
If you live in an area with a lot of energy sources, and you’re looking to invest in land and potentially mine those energy sources, it’s important to know whether the property you are purchasing includes the mineral rights with the sale.
Of course, not every area is going to be rich with all types of minerals, but certain areas will have a plethora of one or the other.
Below is a list of minerals and where they exist in abundance.
- Oil — Alaska, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Texas and Wyoming
- Natural gas — Appalachian Basin, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming
- Coal — mainly found in the Midwest, the Appalachian region, the Gulf Coast region and the West
- Gold — Alaska and California
- Silver — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington
- Copper — Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Nevada
- Iron — Michigan, Minnesota and Utah
- Uranium — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming
How Can You Profit?
If you own the mineral rights to your land, you can either sell them or lease them to an interested party. Both options have their pros and cons, and you can make money by either collecting royalty interest or working interest. It will be up to you to decide which one you prefer.
In either case, keep in mind that to maximize your mineral rights, whether you are leasing or selling them, you need to get them in front of a large number of potential buyers. Doing so will ensure you are getting the best deal. It’s a good idea to have a professional assist and advise you through this process.
It’s also important to retain a lawyer throughout your investment to periodically review whether it makes sense to continue with the agreement. An agreement with the likes of Exxon Mobil can be nearly impossible, as a now 110-year old lease proves. I can’t overemphasize the importance of carefully considering the terms of your lease.
If You Don’t Own the Mineral Rights, How Can This Affect You/Your Land Investment?
Not owning the mineral rights to a parcel of land doesn’t mean your property is worthless. If someone else owns the mineral rights and they sell those rights to an individual or corporation, you can still make a profit as the surface rights owner. You have the rights of ingress and egress. These rights can vary from state to state, but you may be entitled to compensation from the company that comes onto your land to extract the minerals.
It is possible that your land may potentially be damaged by the mining operations, and as such, you are entitled to compensation for those damages. You may also be able to charge the company for entering and exiting your land. To find out exactly what your rights are as a surface rights owner, speak with a lawyer or someone who is familiar with mineral and surface rights in your area.
Do You Own The Mineral Rights?
(A special note from Seth)
If you plan to use, sell or lease the mineral rights to your property at any point in the future, you’ll need to determine whether you own them in the first place. Ideally, you should be doing this research BEFORE you purchase the property – because after the purchase, you are stuck with what you have.
In some cases, this determination of ownership can be made while doing a title search, however in most cases, a specific Mineral Rights Search would be best. By looking through the historical land ownership records of a property, you can ascertain whether the mineral rights have ever been reserved or leased by one of the previous owners.
If you aren’t well-versed in the intricacies of doing a title or mineral rights search, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a title company, independent abstractor, or even an oil and gas search company to conduct this research for you prior to closing on the purchase.
Once the historical deeds and land records have been gathered from the county office, a well-trained eye will need to review them to see how the mineral rights have been transferred through time.
The tricky thing about this is – in many cases, every deed in the chain of title will NOT include a statement about who currently owns the mineral rights. Unless it specifically states that the mineral rights have been excluded from the sale, they are generally assumed to be included with the transfer of the property from one owner to another.
To add another wrinkle to the process – even if a deed does state that the mineral rights are included with the sale, it may very well be incorrect.
If any ONE of the previous land owners (going back to the original land grant) held back the transfer of the property’s mineral rights, then it’s safe to assume those mineral rights are not being included with the transfer to you – regardless of what is stated on the most recent deed.
In order to be certain that the mineral rights are available to be transferred, the historical deeds and records need to be carefully reviewed and scrutinized to verify that these rights haven’t been detached from the surface rights during a prior conveyance.
If the mineral rights were withheld by one of the previous owners or transferred to a separate party at any point in the past, it will take more research to track down the current owner of these rights and find out whether they are still available to be sold separately.
Leasing Mineral Rights
In some states, one common alternative for conveying mineral rights is for a property owner to lease out the mineral rights to a third party (usually an exploration company).
Unfortunately, this method is not always as easy to track down. These types of leases generally remain in effect for as long as production takes place – so, a two-year lease can extend any range of years beyond that term if the minerals are still actively being excavated.
Furthermore, if the holder of the lease does not release or discharge the lease after expiration, the lease may very well remain on the record, and it can be difficult to verify if/when the lease has expired. If this is the case, the holder of the lease would need to be contacted and they should provide a discharge of the lease in order to confirm that the lease term is complete.
Legal Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be interpreted as legal advice. It’s important to recognize that reading through old land records and understanding the legalese that goes into property conveyances requires special attention to detail, and a working knowledge of how title transfers work (among other things). It can be a very confusing and overwhelming task to search line-by-line through dozens of documents dating decades or even centuries into the past – especially for someone with an untrained eye. To be absolutely sure of what rights you do or don’t own in a property, a local title agent, abstractor, oil and gas searcher and/or real estate attorney would be best equipped to help you review and verify this.
And while you’re thinking through this issue, another question to carefully consider is…
Do the mineral rights even matter in you purchasing decision?
Unless the subsurface is being accessed by drilling/fracking by a neighboring parcel (which could impact the surface use of the subject parcel), in the vast majority of cases, the surface of the land will be just as useful with the mineral rights as without them. If an owner has no intention of drilling or mining the land themselves, then the ownership of mineral rights may very well be immaterial to their decision.
Owning a piece of property in an energy-rich area does not automatically mean you own both the surface rights AND the mineral rights — though you potentially could. Luckily, whether you own one or both of these rights, there’s still a chance you can make a profit on the property.
For the past 7 or 8 years I have been a big proponent of gold and silver investing. I am a big opponent of paper money and our fiat currency. Plus, the ever increasing national and global debts doesn’t make me optimistic about where things are headed and does not comfort me at night.
Regardless, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my collection. It really isn’t a collection, but an investment. However, it doesn’t do anything. It just sits there. I can pet it and coo to it all I want but it doesn’t produce anything. Point blank, it isn’t a “productive” asset. It doesn’t produce anything each week, quarter, or year. It just gathers dust in my safety deposit box.
Now shift gears and consider land. Land in 1900 was about $45/acre and now it is worth about $9,000/acre. At the same time gold was about $20/ounce and now it is $1052/ounce. However, here is the big kicker. Land over the same period has produced a 115 years of crops (aka a productive asset) that generates income for a farmer or corporation. Gold or silver hasn’t produced anything. It just sat there.
Here are my thoughts on why land is such a better asset to invest in for the long term instead of gold or silver.
- A productive asset will always outperforms an unproductive asset (over the long term) – What is a productive asset? It is an asset the produces a regular income or subset of assets. Take for instances the stock market. It continues to produce dividends year over year despite all the fluctuations. Gold and silver on the other hand aren’t a productive asset. They just sit there and gather dust. You can pet your gold and rock it to bed at night, but it won’t do anything for you. It doesn’t give you anything year over year for owning it. It is merely a “hedge” against inflation and fiat currencies.
- Land will adjust with inflation – Land, just like gold and silver, is a great hedge against inflation. As the rate of inflation grows, then so will the goods and services that are produced from the land. Just like metals, land will help you, as an investor, fend off the affects of inflation.
- Land prices are hard to manipulate vs gold/silver – Land prices are affected by a number of factors. They include,
prices of goods that can be produced from it, quantity of goods produced from it, domestic and foreign trade (tariffs), dollar value, supply and demand, and what bidders are willing to pay for it (basic supply & demand). Land isn’t a type of investment that can be manipulated like a currency or ETF fund. It has a number of different impacting factors that I mentioned above and some of which aren’t able to be easily modified. This fact makes land even more attractive than most of your traditional investments.
- Gold has very few uses compared to land – Gold is one of the best metal conductors of electricity and for use in jewelry. At the same time it is an extremely expensive product to use in electrical wiring and jewelry. Land, on the other hand, has a lot of capabilities. To name a few: producing crops (corn, beans, wheat, etc), raising livestock on, subdividing into smaller suburban lots, building a factory on, building a windmill on to produce electricity, or even leasing out land to a cell phone company to build a cell tower on. Vacant land can be used for any number of uses, which opens up a lot of possibilities in increased return on investment and/or passive income streams.
Previously I’ve written about how gold and silver were such a good investment, and I’ve slowly changed my tune. I’ve realized how gold and silver are so unproductive. They aren’t working for me. I want my investments to work for me month over month. However, this doesn’t go without saying that I still believe that gold and silver do have a small part in a persons portfolio. Ideally, most investment advisers recommend 5-10% of your portfolio, and especially if we want to hedge against all the fiat currencies.
I’d love to hear from some of our readers on your thoughts on what investments you make that are a “productive asset”? What are your thoughts on gold? What are your thoughts on land?
No, I know title companies usually do but I don’t. Lots of taxes on these vacant lands are pretty low and I end up trying to split pennies. I pay the outstanding taxes and any new taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Yes, APN stands for Assessor’s Parcel Number or more commonly referred to as the parcel number.
The uses are only limited by your imagination and the local regulations.
Check this earthship build out on Youtube. The guy builds a really nice looking, very functional house out of basic supplies and walks you through it step by step.
This guy is fun to watch. He builds a small house with a passion and shares lots of how to with you.
This guy builds small houses, cabins and other weird structures you could live in. He likes to use a lot of recycled and or free materials. He also takes you on tours of lots of other DIY homes that might inspire you.
This guy is in New Zealand and takes you on tours of creative homes built on tight budgets.
This Alaskan lady builds all kinds of stuff. They just built a small house that is inspiring to me.
Please tell me about your YouTube channel I would love to watch then feature it here too.
Learn how to grow all your own vegetables
There are all kinds of ways to own a property.
Yes please do, hopefully you can sell them for a lot more and come back to do it again. Let me know if you need help with the paperwork.
Please go watch the YouTube video on the property where I try to present everything I know about the property. My YouTube channel is here.
Yes, one of the nice things about transferring land in the US is that the buyer does not have to sign. The seller signs as the grantor granting the property to the Grantee or receiver of the grant. A child not of age to sign legally binding contracts does not need to sign to receive or take ownership of land. They might have a hard time selling it until they are of age.
Sure, if you pay for it. To me their numbers make me feel like I am being robbed. In WA they pay out something like $0.03 for every $1.00 they charge. That is a 97% profit margin. There are super high barriers to getting into the title insurance business. I think they must pay the real estate agents and everyone else in real estate huge kickbacks to keep that sales pitch going. Most deeds are digitized now so most anybody can go research the chain of title. It is not like they are going to the recorders office and digging through files to price their insurance. When you buy land with out a mortgage you don’t have to be taken to the cleaners by the title insurance companies. Read the article by Forbes here.
Sure, if you pay for it. Signing over a deed is really easy so I have a hard time paying someone else to do something I know how to do and have done many times.
Sometimes. We try to visit new properties when we get a chance and when we cant I hire someone to go take pictures but I started noticing that someone often buys the land before I get the pictures from the person I hired to go get them. If you are touring my properties please take pictures. I will compensate you for good pictures. Try to get the road or lack there of. The view in all directions and anything you think is noteworthy good or bad.
No, I’m not a real estate agent trying to pry a commission out of you to pay for a financed car to drive you around in. Use your cell phone to look up the GPS coordinates to the property. Download a free app that shows you the actual coordinates. Drive out there or better yet ride your bike. It is healthier and with all the money you save you can buy more land.
You realize there is a recycle value to those cans in CA right? It might be cheaper to try that in New Mexico or elsewhere. When you build it please send me some pictures. Better yet make lots of YouTube videos along the way. If you make good videos I might sponsor you.
Hopefully so because those are cheap and efficient if you are willing to put in the labour. Check the zoning and get creative. Read between the lines.
There are all kinds of local guidelines that are different from one side of the street to the other in some cases. Check the local rules. Maybe you can add some wheels that may get around the zoning, lots of tiny home people on YouTube seem to be doing that. Get creative with it. The zoning guys tell you what you can’t do and you have to figure what you can do from there
Hopefully, but you really need to ask the local zoning.
Not sure on most of these. Please go on YouTube and search for how to perc test land. There are lots of off grid build types making very informative videos on this subject. They teach you how to dig a hole about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. Then pour water in the hole and time how long it takes to soak in. Depending on local codes the depth of the hole and the diameter of the hole are dictated. The volume of water is dictated too. Then there is a local guideline about if it takes longer than the allotted time to drain then the land does not perk. These land deals are very do it yourself. You can go perc test any of my land before you buy it. Watch the YouTube videos on how to do it. Then you can feel a lot more comfortable about installing a septic system before buying land.
Sure, I like places to stay that would be entertaining for my wife and youngster. We have well used passports. Earth moving equipment, skidsteer, tractors, ATV’S, dirtbike, classic cars, camper. Picture takers of my vacant land. Small home builders or other vacant land improvement trades. YouTube creators building on vacant land might get big discounts or maybe even free land from me with the right sales pitch and audience. My wife likes camping and is always looking to upgrade her truck and pull behind camper. Gold, Silver and other precious metals as well as gemstones are fun too. Other land is always a good thing to barter with as well.
Not likely unless we are advertising it on a particular property. Rural Vacant Land is perfect for an off the grid lifestyle. There have been some great advances in telecommunications, sanitation, energy and water systems so you don’t have to rely on centralized utility companies or their taxes any more.
Probably but each property has its own local restrictions. You should check local zoning first.
Unless stated all of our properties are free, clear and current when we transfer them to you.
If you are interested in the property and believe you can make payments then you qualify. You don’t need credit or even have to be American, if your circumstances change along the way please let us know so we can work with you. We want you to use the property and enjoy it, show and tell your friends how you got your land from us so they can too.
Sometimes, please let me know your circumstances and I will try to come up with a win win solution.
The recent taxes should be included in each property listing.
Yes absolutely, please do. Some land you can drive right up to and others need some tenacity and ingenuity. With GPS coordinates and a modern phone or some research on the internet ahead of time you should be able to go look and see the land for yourself. You don’t need to ask me, just go. Lots of buyers call me from the land and buy it during their tour. You can visit this land anytime without an appointment. Simply enter any of the GPS Coordinates (Provided in all of our listings) in your favorite maps software to find it. I recently found a good app called “Easy GPS” it allows you to drop pins and see your exact coordinates so you can walk the property lines.
No, but they sure do a lot of marketing to make you think so. Real estate agents tend to market land for what it might be worth if the right buyer comes along some day. We market land for a quick sale excluding their fees to get the end user the best price.
Yes, American land can be bought by anyone who is not subject to American trade restrictions like citizens of Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar, and a few other countries.
Every property has GPS coordinates posted in the listing. Simply copy and paste them into a google maps and it will show you to the property.
No, The reason is, I can’t keep track of them. You have to use my online system and pay via debit or credit card.