Buying land in cash and putting a small home on it as an investment. [ME]

My goal is to someday own my own home on a fairly large plot of land (more than 5 acres). It seems that plots of land that size are going for pretty high prices in the general geographical area i'm looking in (Southern Maine), however i've noticed that when you up the acreage to around 20 acres or more there's way better options available.

Theoretically, would it be a wise investment to purchase a larger piece of land like that and put a small home on it until you can afford to build a bigger one or maybe eventually subdivide it?

Or would the hassle of surveying and building water/electric lines outweigh the amount you save by purchasing a larger amount of land like that?

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Estimates of a homes value on the market? (US)

My wife and I currently own two homes, one of which is being rented out through a property management company. The current tenants lease is up in a couple of years, and I've been tracking the estimated value / sale value of the home via three different websites.

What I'm noticing, however, is there's a fairly big difference in the estimates. reports an estimate of $54969 reports an estimate of $69300
And gives an estimate of $75275
(All estimates were collected on the same day from the same computer.)

Now, for my purposes of determining if we're close to where we can sell the home without taking a big loss, I've been averaging all three estimates together. My concern is that one or more of those estimates is way out of line and skewing my numbers.

When I look at Zillows' map of recently (12 months) sold homes for the area, the prices all seem to be in-line'ish with the estimate they give.

So, my question would be, how can I, short of actually hiring a realtor, ensure my estimates are somewhere close to what reality will be?

sigh the modbot thinks I didn't put in the location, so: Location: USA

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Advice on buying a house with potential property line dispute.

We made an offer on a house in Iowa, and during the inspection a neighbor came over and complained about a fence between the house we're looking at and ours. She wasn't too friendly about it and claims it was put up over the property line on her property. She then suggested she'd like to dig the fence up and flip it around so it's facing her home. This was all completely new to us, and seems like an obvious red flag. We brought this information to our realtor, and frankly, he's been pretty vague about what we should do. We told him we'd like the sellers to have the property lines surveyed and that we need this resolved if we're going to buy the home. He says they had permits to put up the fence and the neighbor is just making a big deal and we shouldn't worry about it. I'm requesting a copy of the permits and still feeling pretty unsure about the whole thing. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Career change advice from Surgery, to Real Estate… looking for pointers

So here’s my story, in a nutshell… Currently 39yrs old, live in the Washington DC area. Joined the army at 19, worked assisting in surgery for 20 years. Due to the nature of the job (i.e standing for long periods, necessary poor posture, etc) I ruined the disc in my lower back. So ironically enough, working in surgery led to me needing surgery. About 6 weeks ago I had a spinal fusion, plate and screws in my spine, I was told by my surgeon, and friend, that if I went back to working in surgery that I’d need another fusion in 5 years. Sooooo…. I’ve always been interested in real estate. Investing, selling, flipping, etc. The county where I live and surrounding counties are growing rapidly. The mean price of a townhome or condo here is around 400k (ballpark). I’m currently studying for the Virginia Real Estate Exam through Moseley. My questions for all of you already in the profession would be:

1) are there any things I should be more focused on while studying for the exam than others?

2) how did you go about starting your real estate career? I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll be joining an existing Real Estate Company, a reputable one, rather than go solo. I feel like this will give me the resources I need while starting out.

3) what pitfalls have you experienced or mistakes that you wouldn’t make again? So I don’t make them myself.

4) what have you found to be the best way to market yourself? Meaning, what have you spent your own money on, that had the greatest return for your business.

I could probably think of 1000 more questions to ask, but those are a few. I’m open to any and all tips you can give. ESPECIALLY regarding taking and passing the exam (gotta pass the test first right!) I greatly appreciate your time, and there is no stupid feedback, anything you can tell me would be great.

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Waiting for dream house?

Hello! My wife and I have had our eyes on a house on the other side of the country for the past three years. We love the area (CO mountains), the realtor showed it to us when we were on a trip, we were abosolutely in a place financially to purchase it. We've chosen to stay in OH becasue of our jobs and family, but recently decided that it was time to move. Unfortunately, the house sold literally last week.

How unreasonable is it to wait for a few years to see if a house will go for sale again? It was $400k, on a few acres in the mountains, and very geometric and unique. It had been on the market for five years.

We want to tell ourselves that in a few years it might be on the market again, but don't want to get our hopes up. Does anyone have any opinions on how long a buyer would likely keep a house like this? I think the national average is currently around 8 years?

Thanks to anyone who shares any opinions.

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Closing Delayed Twice Now 3 Times?? Help

Hi all, I am in need of some advice. House listed 2/2 and accepted offer 2/3. Location: Indiana, Hot market. My listing agent presented 3 offers the first day, and I chose the best. It just so happened to also be her client. Dual agency, fine whatever if you do a good job. She lives in our neighborhood and has some positive reviews so I was ok with this. Move forward inspection is good, appraisal comes in good, house is vacant and move in ready since day 1. The buyers turned out to be self employed and being another race, there is a language barrier. Realtor claims pre-approval was given from day 1 etc. Underwriting refuse to give CD to close I guess because missing documents from buyers accountant. 3/9 closing was rescheduled to 3/16, then turned into 3/23 and now she wants to reschedule for another week for "one last document needed" It's now day 47 and buyers are breaching the contract. Realtor wants to blame the lending bank and underwriting. She obviously wants the commission so will do anything in her power to save the deal. FEEDBACK PLEASE?

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Hiding Pending or Sale Info

I recently had my eye on a foreclosure property that looked nice but I ultimately am not in a position to pursue.

A few weeks later, I discover a local investor advertising his search for private sale properties, but more interesting is that he seems to have bought the house I was looking at previously. Thing is, when I go searching for it on the MLS/Zillow it doesnt come up as recently sold or even pending. Like all history of it being listed is now gone.

I talked with him and he swears he isnt trying to hide it, and my only guess is that the county hasnt recorded the sale yet.

I was curious if some states allow you to hide pending sales – it would certainly be another tool to use when trying to negotiate after a contract has been signed. I lost a lot of negotiating power on my current residence because the seller had recieved many higher offers after they signed our sale contract. Had we been able to hide the pending sale, we might have been able to avoid those other offers and negotiate better.

Location: Arizona

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[MD] Is this a good idea?

We are looking at houses in a bunch of suburbs and have come across an area that is a bit run down with a iffy past reputation (No real violent crime problem, just occasional theft from cars etc.) but in the last few year, there has been a lot of development. Tons of new housing, a new shopping center with Wegman's, a new public library etc. Would this be a good location? We're hesitant because the schools are OK, not good/great. But kind of hoping that all the new development and new people moving in will make the schools better in another 5-7 years? Are we being naive? We hope to live there for at least 10-12 years. The lower housing cost is attractive but looking to hear some opinions.

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