We make a lot of sales this way, even though we’re not particularly wild about the concept. Perhaps you’ve noticed that saying you shouldn’t by land this way is one of the very few things that all the anonymous know-it-alls on internet forums seem to agree on. Even more remarkable than that is, in this instance, they have a pretty-good point.
However, that doesn’t stop people from doing it, and the reason we have always made these sales, and will continue to do so, is one that you may have encountered before: there’s money in it.
There’s also plenty of hard feelings in it if the seller does it wrong. Having people ticked-off at you may not matter so much when you’re selling land for cash, but we finance the vast majority of our properties (something like 97%) for a full 15 years, and this doesn’t work too well for us if, when the buyer finally gets around to visit his land, he doesn’t see what he’s expecting.
That presents quite a challenge on this end of the transaction, because we do a national, (occasionally international) business, and what, for example, may be a “good road" to someone from the interior of Alaska may be a lot different than what that phrase would mean to someone from Manhattan.
Now, personally, and in bleak contrast to the advice I’m about to give, I’ve bought land sight-unseen on several occasions when time was of the essence, and so far have never had great reason to regret it. That’s because I do my homework. I avail myself of two principle sources of information:
A. Maps: Some clown actually tried to sell me the side of a mesa in Arizona once. All I needed was a topography map of the land to show that the whole property was just a few degrees off from being straight up and down. I guess you could use it for a billboard, except it was out in a remote section of desert. That was back when you had to order topography maps from the USGS through the mail; nowadays, the internet provides us with all the maps and aerial photography you’d ever need to get a very realistic idea of how any property lays, subject to the date of the image.
Those two things actually cover most of what I need to know; what they don’t protect me from is the seller being a total crook who isn’t telling me that the property was just timbered last week, or that there’s a huge garbage dump in the middle of the property. Since I always have to buy property for cash, I could get hurt pretty badly this way. Luckily (for me) most of the people I buy property from are either neighbors or old clients, and if they don’t fit into either of those categories, I make sure that they don’t get all the cash until I’ve seen the property.
That brings us to why buying land from Ozark Land Company is one of the safest transactions you’ll ever make, and I’ve got 7 reasons why:
“In the event that you should become dissatisfied with this property, for any reason, Ozark Land Company Incorporated hereby grants you the right to trade your equity in this property, (equity being defined as the total amount paid as of that date, less interest) for an equal equity in any other property then offered for sale by Ozark Land Company Incorporated at the value listed on the Ozark Land Company Inc. website: https://www.ozarkland.com
PROVIDED THAT: you are current in the installment payments and other obligations of this contract, that the property is clean and in essentially the same condition as when this contract was made, and that you have not exercised this right in a previous contract with Ozark Land Company Incorporated. Should you choose to trade for a property whose value is less than your equity, you have the option of forfeiting the overage or trading the overage for equity in an additional property or properties. Ozark Land Company Inc. will not refund equity in cash. You may trade equity in one parcel for equity in two, but you may not trade equity in two parcels for equity in one. If you have not personally inspected both your current parcel and the one you wish to trade to, the destination parcel or parcels must have been on the market for at least one week."
That’s pretty fair, don’t you think?
There are probably a few more, but these come from the top of my head just now.
So, okay, almost everything I’ve written above makes it sound as if we really want you to buy property sight-unseen. We very much do not. However, we recognize that some folks have some very real reasons for not being able to see a property right now, however they want to start building up equity as soon as they can. So, if you’re in the service, out of the country, or unable to travel long distances for whatever reason, then we’re happy to sell you property anyway.
Here’s what we’re NOT SO HAPPY WITH:
We’re not happy with people putting down a monthly payment so nobody else can get the parcel, then going out to inspect it whenever they get around to it. That’s not fair to us, or to the people who play by the rules, and if you do this and don’t go through with the deal, we WILL NOT REFUND YOUR MONEY. We put a lot of effort and expense into getting each property ready to sell and advertised on the web, so when people do this, it can cost us quite a lot of time and money, to say nothing of the people who visited the property only to return home and learn that someone else had bought the property while they were out doing due diligence, so please don’t do it.