If you’ve every perused the Real Estate section of Ebay, you will have noticed a Land section which is full of listings for raw or vacant land. Raw land is exactly what it sounds like, it has not been developed at all. It has no home, usually no well, no septic, etc and on eBay some of these listings appear to have land for a very affordable price. It is possible to get good deal on a plot of land from eBay but it is important to do your research first or you may end up regretting your purchase.
My first and only experience buying land on eBay came in December 2010. For years I had been browsing eBay’s land listing, more out of curiosity than anything but as my search for local land became unrealistic due to high land prices, I turned to eBay for something more affordable. My intent to buy land on eBay has been solely for retirement. I currently live on a one acre lot and I would like to retire on a much larger lot. I thought that if I made my payments to own the land by the time i retire, then I would be able to build a home with savings or from selling my current house and live there rent and mortgage free. I had my plan, now I just needed to find a suitable tract of land.
For anyone looking to buy land, whether it’s on eBay or from a realtor, it’s important to look for a few things. First thing to look for is accessibility. Where is the land? Is it on a main paved road? Is that road maintained year round? Or is it a seasonal dirt road that is only maintained during the warm months and snowed over during the colder months? Making access to and from your property very difficult. Is it near amenities like stores, supermarkets, post office, etc. When you are looking for land do you want to maintain the convenience of life of where you are or are you really looking to rough it and be truly self-sufficient. There is also the issue of easements, some plot of land may be “land-locked” This means they have no direct access to a road. This also usually means that you will have to cross through someone else’s land to get to a road. This can be a touchy situation. Imagine someone buying land adjacent to yours and having or needing an easement to cross your land to get to the road. This can sometimes lead to tension between neighbors. I recommend avoid an plot of land that requires an easement to get to and from your property.
Another important thing to consider is access to clean water. Many land lots on eBay are far from utilities, not all but a good bit, in these cases you will need to drill a well for water. This is easier in the east than in the west. Many of the cheap plots of land in states like Arizona or Colorado, may not even have water since they are so dry. So water would have to be trucked onto your site and stored for your use. It is important to ask the seller if the water table is high enough for a well to be drilled. There are a lot of things you can live without but it’s really hard to live without water, for yourself but especially if you plan on raising animals.
Access to energy is another thing to look for. Sometimes buying land is a good opportunity to go off grid. When choosing you plot of land, explore which types of renewable energy would be feasible. Almost all lots are great for solar or wind as long as there is not too much tree cover. Many lots have electric at the street or nearby. You will also want a source of heat so it is best to choose what that source of heat will be before you buy your land. Will it be firewood you grow or buy, or propane, or solar? These are all things to consider when shopping for land.
What do you want to build on this lot of land? Some lots, even though they are in the middle of nowhere, will have certain requirements on what you can and can’t build. This was one of my mistakes when shopping for land. I forgot to ask about these requirements. I was hoping I could build small efficient cabin-type home on the land I bought but when I finally received all my information, I came to find that the township requires a home of at least 1500 square feet. There go my tiny cabin plans. Many townships and counties will have similar require to please research that beforehand.
Taxes, you will pay taxes wherever you go. The more services the local government supplies the more you will pay in taxes. ! acre of land with taxes of $100 a year will probably consist of a plot of land near a seasonal dirt road, the same acre at $2000 a year will probably be on a paved year-round road with utilities, street lights, etc. We know that taxes always go up and they increase with the development of the land itself as well as the surrounding area so keep this in my when shopping.
There is also the fact that it is eBay and you have to protect yourself from scammers. If you can make a trip to see the lot, that is the best thing you can do because it will be your own fault if you buy something without actually seeing it. I have to admit, I bought my plot of land without actually seeing it first, in fact as of this post, I still have not visited it. My only view of it has been on Google Streetview and so far that has given me enough peace of mind to continue to make those payments but I also have a few other things that make me feel secure about my purchase. My land transaction came with a contract, as all land transactions should. Make sure both you and the seller sign this contract, that is notarized or has witnesses, and that both parties have a copy. This will help to protect you legally in case something goes wrong and there is a question as to who truly owns the land.
I bought a 28 acre of a land near Caribou, ME from a seller on eBay who went by the username lotaland. The land is most flat farmland, with trees in the back of the property, it borders a brook. It is 20 minutes from all sorts of shopping and amenities. I have a notarized contract for the land and I received tax maps and a permit to put a driveway. It is owner-financed for 20 years and after 3 years I will receive a warranty deed. I am able to build on the property at anytime. This is just my experience with one land seller on ebay but so far I do not regret my decision. I feel as though I did enough research on this particular plot and buying land in general that makes me confident in my decision. If you do the proper research, you can also find good quality tract of land for a good price.
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