Episode-1778- Finding a Remote Property (BOL) — 9 Comments

  1. When I was in the military, I was assigned instructor duty north of Memphis, TN. One of the other instructors had a place up in Missouri. He went up every weekend. Never missed a weekend up there. One Monday, he came in all quiet and kept to himself. Very much not like him. The story finally came out. Between weekends, someone had gone in and logged his whole property. As I remember, it was 25 to 30 acres. None of the neighbors had seen or heard a thing. He was “an outsider”. Whoever it was that had done it was a friend, relative, or just one of the local boys (or group, more likely). Nothing was ever found out. But they knew his weekend routine and took advantage of it.

  2. Jack, when you say you need to have someone on the ground searching for a property, what’s a good resource to learn how to do that for yourself when possible?

  3. Jack,

    Thanks for the business directory mention today! I appreciate that very much.
    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. My contact information can be found at
    Darin (aka AG2 on the forum)

  4. Timely show for me Jack, as I am in the process of buying a new primary homestead and most of the same rules apply.

    I have found a hugely valuable tool to be the GIS system for the county where I am looking. At least here in NC each county has their GIS and mapping system online, and you can look up any parcel and get a wealth of information.

    I can pull up the GIS system here and get the:

    Owners name and address
    Appraised tax value and tax amount
    Date of last sale
    Map of the property lines
    Size of any structures
    Year the home was built
    Sometimes the tax card will show the amount paid for it.

    Plus much more. It has aerial imagery from several points in time over the past decade that is much more detailed than what Google has, and I can overlay 20ft or 5ft topo data, stream data and much more. Being able to overlay the topo data is a HUGE tool to let me quickly see if I can use the land as I want as there is a lot of property here so steep farming it, while not impossible, is way more effort than you will get in return.

    I can do a pretty detailed site survey right on my screen and weed out a lot of potential properties because the slope is too steep, or the roads leading to the home or its driveway are too steep to have reliable access in the winter, or the elevation is too high for me (above 3500 or so here and you lose 1-2 months of growing season and deal with a lot more snow and ice.)

    If everything looks acceptable on that I move on to the next step with it- seeing who the neighbors are. The GIS system has the owners data and I can see if they live on the property, are vacation homes or are rentals, I can see of they have larger plats of land in farmland preservation meaning they are farming and can’t easily develop it, and I can see their names and do a rudimentary background check on it. I just wrote off a parcel last week because it looked ok, but the adjacent land on 2 sides was owned by a couple both with a long string of arrests for DUI, larceny, assault and so on with recent charges still pending. Too much security risk there.

    Another good idea is to ask the local law enforcement about a particular area and neighborhood- they will know areas you want to avoid.

  5. “You what we should do Margret? we should get in the Chrysler, and drive our ass back to that cabin we rented out in the woods…”

    I’m still laughing.

    • Given it was going on youtube I wanted to head off the “big mistake” argument dead in its tracks.

  6. Thanks for the timely show Jack. Can you expand on the ways around primary residency regarding VA loans?

    • Well you can only have one VA Loan at a time so assuming your primary is not funded under VA, just say it is going to be your new primary residence. Then change your mind later.

  7. Texas has an organization called Capitol Farm Credit. It works like a co-op. Their function is to provide land/farm loans. I’ve used them twice when banks and mortgage companies weren’t very interested in the deals.