Episode-1149- William Golightly on Buying Rural Land — 19 Comments

  1. Very interesting! I wish I could find an agent like William in WV/KY. This is exactly the kind of property I’m looking for as well. Of course, cash is king but the king doesn’t live here. I do what I can. Thanks Jack and William for a very informative podcast. OK, back to clinking my silver Sentinels together. J/K! They are safely ensconced in their plastic protectors.

  2. Great Show! Interesting stuff on titles and title insurance. Have you ever heard of a Land Patent? Is it worthwhile to have the work done to prove title to your and through patent in preventing possible eminent domain? Does a land patent in fact give you the highest title to your land?

    Sorry to ask questions here, but I thought Billy might know.

    • Possibly. Depending on your state rules and regulations in particular, but here in FL a “Quiet Title” action performed and filed by an attorney can potentially do that. The caveat being, basically no one has to dispute your quieting of title. In active subdivisions and HOAs, this probably will not happen. What we see a lot of now a days though are large tracts of land that were broken up in 2-5acre lots, sell 3-4 lots, and then never had a single house built in them because of the market crash. Then the developer (That retains control of the HOA until a certain # of lots are sold out typically) goes bankrupt or belly up, and it gets to be a question of “Who is going to assess HOA dues to my property, and what are they going to cost me?” that particular scenario is a great candidate for a quieting title action to remove them.

  3. Hey BarnGeek, a “Land Patent” would be something a bit new for me, haven’t heard of that one. I’m not a lawyer, but based on what your describing for use against eminent domain, I don’t think you really have any defense accept litigation (and your only going to prolong it with that IMO). As I mentioned in the beginning of the show, my dad owned acreage in the Florida Everglades that he bought back in the late 1950s. At the time, the National Park Service was not that big of a deal, and a lot of private individuals owned land out there. As time went on, Eminent domain was used quite frequently under the guise of “Public good” for conservation. Dad got down to the final 5 acres he owned that was grand fathered in, and finally sold out in 1994 and the family moved here. Camps out in the ‘glades were a very common thing, and the park service gobbled up hundreds of them over the years. There are not very many privately owned pieces of land down there anymore at all. And the ones that are, are so heavily regulated its not worth the effort of living there, hence the final sale of our place and moving here.

    Back on target with your question a bit more, we talked about deed restrictions in the show. Hypothetically, you could write deed restrictions in on a piece of property, or even better incorporate your own HOA that governs the deed restrictions. HOAs are one of the few “superior” liens in the state of FL. The others being local county tax liens, and finally federal IRS tax liens. Every other type of lien is basically subordinate to those. Thats why you hear these cases of an HOA “foreclosing” on a property if its not meeting the requirements. Another thing you can do is not pay your own property taxes when the bill comes every year, and instead purchase the tax certificate for the property at the yearly sale, and you thereby are in a position to hold a supieror lien on your own property. I’ve actually worked around some properties where crafty attorneys have set things like this up to clear off old secondary liens from judgements people have had (didn’t pay a credit card off, boats, etc) or even the actual mortgage on the property itself(!).

    • Thanks for the answer William,

      As I have reasearched Land Patents, my understanding is that it is a package of proof showing the chain of custody all the way back to the original Land Grant from the Fedral Government. Those original titles contain specific launguage granting “supreme title” to the land on the same level that Fuedel lords where given in the old world. This title can only be userped by the Federal government so it would actually be a higher form of ownership than even a property tax lien.

      Rather than rehash all of the details here are some links that go into detail.

      And here is one that is very interesting and hopefull if true. I was hoping to get third party verification of the statements in this article.

      My grandfathers farm, our family farm was taken under eminent domain back in 1978 by the township for use as a sewer pond. It is still a scar on our family and whenever we talk about the farm it is as though we are discussing a death in the family. I want to prevent that from ever happening to the land I own now. I don’t want my children to have to give up their rights because folks that live nearby decided to overpopulate an area and needed a place to get rid of their poop.

  4. Buyer beware in CA. Tax office sells land that never can be used. (You can’t camp in RV here.; no living on your own land long term in an RV. ) People figure it out. Don’t pay the land taxes. Guess who gets stuck with unusable land that the tax office sells again? Furthermore, in No. California, wells are deep and water hard to find. You can get really burned buying without a strong well. To keep a bad well going, people pour water back in. Sometimes it’s contaminated with bacteria, check amount of flow and test cleanliness of well water before considering property. If you all tell me to leave this over-regulated state, I understand your thinking , we got elderly we are watching over here. Not going to leave ’em.

  5. BarnGeek: Not sure if you live in Florida like I do but here is Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s legal opinion on land patents and Allodial Title. This is a very interesting read letting you know what we would be up against if you ever tried this. As you can see from reading the link below, other people are trying the same thing. The whole Allodial Title movement is in its very early stages but it’s growing. Check this out:

    I think the real way to go about this is through a Florida constitutional amendment:

    In the whole scheme of things in Florida getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot seems relatively simple. I think we could get some wording from this in New Hampshire here:
    Keep the constitutional amendment very short and simple. Something like this:

    “All homesteaded property in the state of Florida shall be determined to be titled allodial property or property held in allodium upon evidence of contract, recorded by the register of deeds.”

    To start it off we could just have it apply to homesteaded property. Non homesteaded property would still be held under fee simple ownership. I think an eloquent argument could be made to the public that your homesteaded property should never be taken from you. Florida already has the strongest homestead laws in the country as best as I can tell. This amendment would simply be strengthening it.

    • Bondi looks like she did a pretty good job of shooting holes in that theory basically saying once it was first conveyed to private ownership its no longer eligible, if I interpreted it correctly. I am not familiar enough with the entire process to really comment on it very much, but it rings a few similar bells, this in particular: which was a scam for all intent and purposes going around that just caught up to them.

      I’m all for thinking outside the box, but some of the ideas and methods people try and use are so wild that the establishment will never let them fly, regardless of how technically correct they might be unfortunately.

    • I’m in Michigan, but It appears that this is on a federal level so it usurps the power of the state, and goes back to the Treaty in which the lands were originally obtained by the United States, and back to the agreement between the states and the Fedral Government (except Texas) when they entered the Union.

      Acording to this website quoted below.

      “It seems that most of the people in our nation today either have no idea what a Land Patent is, or they think it’s a good way to swindle, or otherwise avoid paying, a bank or tax collector some amount of funds. The simple truth is, a land patent does not eliminate your ability to otherwise contract and secure the property that sits upon the land to others as collateral against your promise to pay. People also think they own their land because they paid for it and they have a Warranty Deed—However, often that is not enough.

      Though it is true, “Land, protected by Land Patent, can’t lawfully be seized for debt or taxes”, you must understand what ‘Land’ is before you will understand this rule of law correctly. Accordingly, in law, no forced mortgage or tax liability can stand against a Land Patent; but, by the same token, the land patent does not eliminate your private ability to contract. Further, knowingly entering into an agreement with the intent of not fulfilling said agreement constitutes fraud; not to mention, the honor bound moral responsibility that limits people from hiding from their agreements or obligations by any means. An honorable person simply will not do it.”

      It looks like the Florida Attorney General was addressing the issue of the right to tax the properties. I am not trying to get out of paying property tax, I am just trying to avoid my property being taken under eminent domain.

  6. so how much would about 5 acres of cheap but usable land cost in north central Florida? I tried to find an answer on your website, but couldnt.


    • horatio, It depends on a lot of different variables (Location, access, topography, cleared or wooded, any improvements such as well, septic, old dwelling, etc) but in general anywhere between 15-$30K. The higher range, you can normally find something that has some improvements on it already existing, but they will be sold as-is. Below $15K is possible but in most cases it’ll either have deed restrictions or some other undesirable feature.

      You might be able to buy something from the tax office for 60% of those #s, but your assuming a greater risk with it as well.

  7. I really enjoyed this episode. It was cool to hear Billy talk about where I own land. I am 15 minutes from I75 & I10

    We have two big timber tracks near us where they are currently getting pine straw so it is very real.

  8. jack, loved this show especially since I’m moving to Jacksonville area next month. I’ll definitely be looking for some rural property to acquire.

    btw: whats up with the new popups on your site for the e-mail list? not cool.

    • They are not new, it was always there, the site cookies you so it knows you were here so it only happens once but you either have a different machine or you cleared your cookies.

      It is VERY cool as I would say about 75% of those that subscribe do it via that form.

      Again it only happens one time per machine unless you clear your cookies.

  9. ah i did just clean out my cache so that makes sense, im ok with a one time pop up 🙂

  10. Interesting interview on land patents.

    It can be so hard to find a good person to work with. I found that if they keep telling me this place is perfect for you it has granite counter tops and laminate flooring Oops wrong answer. Advertise a barn but don’t show a pic of it instead show the back of a tv or the under ware and bath products in the bathroom. The biggest one indicator that an agent not a good match. Is when they say decade old fruit trees gardens have no value but there is a carpet allowance. Move along to next agent. I say the perfect place would be fenced southern exposer a house 800sq ft. on at least 5 ac. The only thing they send me is 3000 sq ft house on 2 ac all mowed lawn. UGH makes me want to bang my head on the wall. So glad to hear there is at least one person out there who gets it.