How to Buy Land with No Money
How to Buy Land with Little Money Down? How Do You Buy Land with No Money and Bad Credit?
Have you ever thought about buying land, but don’t think you can afford it? It’s not as expensive as you might think! You know it’s a smart investment, but it feels like there’s a lot to consider. If you’re trying to get a clearer picture, start with the quick overview below - it’ll help you understand why people buy land.
Quick Overview - Why Buy Land?
Investing in land and buying land is not a well understood concept. Most people don’t know for sure how land buying works. And even fewer people understand how investing in land is a smart strategic move for diversifying your portfolio. You don’t want to be one of these people.
No one is talking about why land is a great investment. That presents you with a fantastic opportunity.
Here are 3 big reasons why people are buying land:
Land is a finite resource - there’s only so much of it!
Land is a tangible resource, it can’t disappear like stock or shares.
Land is affordable! You can owner finance any of our properties for sale.
If you’re looking for more, here are 9 more reasons why land is such a great investment.
So, now that you’re convinced buying land is a great idea (*wink*), you'll be happy to know that you don’t need a realtor or broker, and there isn’t a mountain of paperwork to go through.
How to Buy Land Without a Realtor
The process of buying land is much easier than when you buy a house. You don’t need a real estate agent or broker, and you don’t need to sign a bunch of headache-inducing mortgage documents.
The downside to buying a property through an agent is that the seller has already agreed to pay a commission for the sale - i.e. you are paying more for the agent’s commission.
The commission makes the asking price of a piece of land anywhere from 3% to 8% higher than if you purchase through a land company or a private owner. Land companies are often ‘mom and pop shops’ so they will be working really hard to get you the best possible price - not something that has a 5% cushion and is more than market value.
Real estate agents and offices definitely won’t be able to offer you low monthly payments. And they will ask you for a credit check and proof of income. Also keep in mind that not all real estate agents and offices have experience buying and selling land.
There are many alternative (and free!) places you can browse to find land for sale across the U.S., and a lot of it with owner financing. You just need to know where to look for the best land for sale.
Where to Find Owner Finance Land for Sale
Finding your dream property isn’t easy. You could easily spend many hours searching online, getting lost in the rabbit hole that is the internet. A simple Google search of ‘land for sale’ will turn up hundreds of pages of results. Then it’s a matter of trying to find a seller that will offer you owner financing. How are you supposed to know where to start?
Thankfully, there are a handful of key sites online you need to look at when beginning your search for land:
Posting a piece of land to Craigslist is free.
You can often find cheap land for sale across the U.S. and a lot of sellers will offer you owner financing.
That being said, you also have a high probability of running into scams and sellers that don’t know what they’re doing. This is a risk for you because when you purchase property for sale by owner, you’re trusting the owner that there are no debts or liens on the lot, and that the title chain is clear.
This goliath owns all the popular land buy and sell sites like Lands of America, Land and Farm, and LandWatch. This site is pay to use for listings, so you will get more serious and committed sellers here.
You will also get a lot of realtors and brokers. In my own experience, it’s very difficult to buy and sell property through a realtor. Their commission on land is so low compared to houses and multi-family buildings, it’s hard for them to prioritize properties. Know that if you contact a realtor through the Lands to inquire about a property, you will likely have to provide proof of income and a credit check.
You will also see a lot of land investing companies, like Compass Land USA, on this site. A lot of these companies don’t require proof of income to owner finance property.
Another free site for sellers to post land on.
There tends to be a focus on cheaper, lower end properties for sale on eBay. This is because in an auction setting, the seller risks not getting their desired values for their property.
Similar to Craigslist, you will have to be wary of scams. Avoid seller profiles that are brand new and have no ratings or reviews. Remember you also have the risk that the seller won’t know what they’re doing, and might not be able to close on the property properly.
It might be tough to find owner finance land here. You can try negotiating with the seller before you place a bid.
There are a ton of sellers offering owner financing on properties through Facebook!
Most people already have a Facebook and Facebook Messenger account, so it will be easy for you to join Buy/Sell groups and look at properties for sale in Facebook Marketplace.
There are some Facebook groups that are specific to land for sale, just try searching ‘land for sale Florida’ and then filter your results to ‘Groups’
There are a ton of properties for sale on this site, and it gets a lot of traction.
You can post as an owner, and don’t need to be a realtor to use it, but many realtors post on this site.
You can narrow down your search criteria to ‘land’ and then further filter down to your price range and the acreage you’re looking for.
Message the seller if you find a property you’re interested in to see if they require a credit check or charge interest.
Very similar to Zillow, works in almost the same way as well.
The big difference here is that at the time of writing, you need to be a real estate agent and be working in an area that Redfin operates in order to post land for sale.
The best place to find cheap land for sale is directly from a company’s website (like my company, Compass Land USA - shameless plug).
This is because you will have everything you need to move forward right there. You’ll have their contact info (a phone number, physical address, and an email address), the property details and pictures, and exactly how much the property will cost.
You can also see Testimonials from previous customers so you’ll know what to expect. Hint: if the reviews are bad, and the company can’t be found on the Better Business Bureau, consider your next move very carefully.
Important: a lot of land companies don’t charge interest, don’t require proof of income or a credit check, and don’t charge prepayment penalties. Win!
Whatever site you decide to purchase through, make sure you’re comfortable with the person or company you’re about to purchasing land from. You should feel like they’re a pro and know exactly what they’re doing. And they should be willing to offer you a great guarantee, so you can feel really great about your land purchase.
3 Tips for Buying Land
Once you’ve found the property you love and want to make yours, it is really easy to buy land. It’s like buying a TV or a t-shirt. You know what you want, you exchange the monetary value for the product, and you gain ownership.
Before you decide how you’re going to pay for the property, there are a few things you should watch out for. Land is easy to buy, but can be complicated to fully understand. There can be a lot of potential problems hiding under the surface (pun intended).
All jokes aside, you want to understand 3 key features of the property before buying it:
Is the property easily found on Google Maps? Can you access the property or is it landlocked? How can you access it - easement, dirt road, paved road? Is there resale value in the future?
County zoning laws describe what you can and can’t do on your property. That’s why you have a next door neighbor and not a Walmart in your backyard. Make sure the zoning lines up with what you wanted to do to the property, like building a house or go hunting. You can easily check this with the County using the property’s parcel number.
What public utilities are available? If you’re looking for a recreational or investment lot, this may not affect you. For everyone else, utilities could make or break your property purchase. If the property doesn’t have access to one or more of the essentials (water, sewage, and electric), it may not be buildable.
These are 3 really important property features to know before you buy. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list that will help you with your property due diligence, ask these 15 questions before you commit to buy land.
How Can You Buy Land?
There are two main ways you can buy land: cash or owner financing. To buy a property with cash means you pay for the value of the property at the time of purchase (like that t-shirt from your favorite store).
To buy a property through owner financing means the property is paid for in monthly instalments over time, and once the property has been paid for in full you gain ownership (like mortgage payments on your house).
You can use owner financing to your advantage by putting almost no money down, and not having to worry about a credit check or proof of income.
I’m going to focus on how to buy land with little money through owner financing. If you’re interested in how to buy land with cash, you can learn how to do that here.
How to Owner Finance Land
To use cash is definitely the easiest way to buy land if you’ve got the money for it. Here’s how owner financing land should work.
First, communicate with the seller, and let them know you’re interested in owner financing their property - be very clear about this. Do not skip this next step! Make sure you ask them if the title chain is clear, and if there are any back taxes or liens owed on the property. You can use the property’s parcel number to double check with the County offices or online database that title is clear and no debts are owed.
That is super important because if the seller doesn’t have the right to transfer ownership of the property (aka they don’t really own it), the County will be able to tell you.
If everything looks good, you can expect the following procedure (though it will vary slightly based on what company or person you’re buying land from):
Expect a Promissory Note, Contract for Deed, and a Land Sale Contract to be sent to you for your review (not all 3 documents are required, depends who the seller is). The contract should detail out the property you’re purchasing with it’s property number, address, and legal description, as well as the agreed upon owner finance plan. It should list you as the Grantee, and the seller as the Grantor. It should also describe the agreed purchase price of the property, and any additional fees.
You and the seller will both sign the documents. Often, this is done through an online service like DocuSign or SignNow. If this service is used, you and the seller will automatically be emailed signed copies.
The seller will likely ask you for your Down payment and Documentation Fee. If you’re paying online with your debit or credit card, ensure that the seller is offering you a secure and safe checkout.
Important: Do not send money unless you have received a signed copy of the Promissory Note, Contract for Deed, and a Land Sale Contract! Otherwise you could risk sending money, and not have any legal backup in case the seller tries to scam you.
The seller should now help you setup automatic monthly payments. There are a couple different payment processors that can be used, like GeekPay, Heartland, Stripe. The first payment is likely due approximately 30 days from signing.
Your property should be deeded to you with a Special Warranty or Warranty Deed within 30 days of property being paid in full. A good seller or company will take care of this for you, as well as the closing costs. Once the payment of the property has been received, the property can be recorded under its new ownership with the County. Most counties will finish recording within 3-5 business days. Once the county files the deed, they will assign it a book and page number, so you will be able to look it up on their online database or in the recorder’s office. Make sure the seller mails you the original deed so you have it for your records!
Your Bottom Line on How to Buy Land with Little Money
Once people understand the benefits of land ownership, there isn’t a barrier to entry - buying land is a really simple process. And you don’t need a lot of money to buy land!
Land companies will often have buyer lists you can join for some seriously sweet discounts (like $50 down).
Make sure you’re buying through a legitimate seller or land company by checking out their reviews from past customers. Of course, there are things you need to watch out for before moving forward with your decision, like the property’s location, zoning and utilities available.
It’s easy to owner finance land. A lot of land companies will let you use the property as soon as the down payment is processed.
I hope this helped you understand how to buy land with owner financing. It’s a great tool at your disposal to help you buy land with little or no money.
If you have any questions about the process of buying land you can leave a comment below. I’d be happy to go over this process with you and address any questions you have. I look forward to hearing from you!
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