Tips: What to avoid when buying rural land for off grid living

Don’t buy land unseen

One of the fastest ways to losing money is buying land that has not been seen in person. Regardless, if you see it or you pay someone else to view it, you should confirm the land matches what you see on the listing for it. Some people have bought land on zillow that claimed, there are wells and and buildings on the property. Only to arrive at completely bareland or properties that didn’t match the photo at all.

Avoid buying from Facebook or eBay

I’m not saying can’t buy from either of these places, but it should be done with a lot of precaution. Usually the way the sites work is the buyer believes that they have some protection by using paypal, which is true. The part that’s not protected is them charging the doc fee and other service charges out side of eBay/Facebook.

So let’s say you win a bid on land for $2,000. You pay the custom downpayment of $500 through eBay, then they send a custom invoice for the rest outside of eBay. eBay will only be able to retrieve the downpayment amount from the listing, not the $1,500 you sent through the other invoice. For the scammers that aim for quantity of small profits, they will require a doc fee to be paid in order to start the paperwork process. This is less suspicious and more convincing, so most buyers spending thousands of dollars on land will not even think twice about sending it over since the amount is so a low percentage of the cost compared to the actual land price.

Don’t impulsively buy based on hype.

Sometimes sellers or realtors will tell you, that you should buy land immediately, because the area is expected to increase dramatically in price or development will start soon. Sometimes this is only based on rumors and many people have lost out on lots of money, because of this.

Example: I met an uber driver who spent $35,000 on land, based on what he was told was a good deal at the time. Now a few years later, the best offer he gets from people wanting to buy it is $7,000.

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