So yesterday I went land scouting and learned quite a bit about lots, sizes, locations, financing, etc.
Here are the main takeaways.
For this to work the way that I dream about it, the land would have to be:
- flat or at least somewhat flat
- have large open spaces
- road access
- access to water (well), electricity, internet (DSL lines), and at least be tested for septic
- within close proximity to San Francisco and other outdoor activities
While I realize that this is a tall bill, I came to find that many pieces of land are too residential or offer a lot of acreage, but the acreage is largely unusable. So the learning is that no two pieces of land are created equal.
And finally – I learned that there is not much land like this left in California that will sell at any kind of reasonable rate. I found a few pieces that are gorgeous, but even those pieces sold for $450K at the height of the market (not telling you what they are now
Oh and finally, plus – plus -plus, I gleaned some knowledge about owner financing. It seems that there are mixed reviews on whether or not banks are still lending on land, but a lot of sellers seem to be willing to carry the loan on the land themselves for 5 years, amortized over 30 years with a balloon payment at the end. My understanding is that this is to help people get a structure built so that there is more traditional home value for the banks to associate with the property and carry out the duration of the loan.
My next adventure is to learn about tiny house financing. It seems like there is not currently a lot of it… There’s a new website, tinyhouseloans.com but it’s nothing more than an email list capture with no word of when/how something more than that will crop up. I will keep looking – please let me know if you see anything more substantial or know people who have financed their homes.