Being an investor who purchases properties in multiple counites and in multiple states,I have had the experience of buying homes and vacant land in rural communities. I will absolutely share with you that this is a science in and of itself. There are many different parameters to buying in rural areas.
Firstly, if you are buying vacant land, many times it will not have a street address, making it more difficult to locate. One advantage to buying in rural areas is that generally speaking the folks at the court house and the property appraiser’s or assessors office are usually easier to work with. If you plan on buying vacant land, I would suggest getting a plat map book which shows the subdivisions and the properties in lot and block. The easiest way I found to do this is to go to the court house and ask if they have a copy you can buy. If this is not possible, find out if you can make a copy of the one they have. Sometimes they will let you borrow it, or copy it on the premises. This will make it a whole lot easier to locate the properties you are trying to buy.
The other thing you will also need is a street map of the community. Usually these street maps will also show subdivision locations. This also makes it easier to find properties.
If you are looking to buy properties in rural areas there are three main ways to find motivated sellers. One of those is to work with a local realtor. Usually, they are much easier to work with than those in larger cities. They are usually willing to share information for example on why a seller needs to sell. If the first realtor you talk to won’t help, find another. The second way to find motivated sellers is to simply use signage. Usually in a smaller community, the sign ordinances are not nearly as strict as they are in a larger city. The third way to find motivated sellers is to do direct mail campaigns to non-homestead exempt or absentee owners. The program I use to do this is Real Quest and my contact for this company is David Kirk at 813-909-4043. If you go to my web site at marketingmagiclady.com, you will find a lot more information on this company. This program can provide plat maps, sales information, property information, comps, and more. I personally use this program to find motivated sellers in the community I like to buy in.
There is absolutely money to be made in small communities and people sell for a variety of reasons. I find the main ones to be probate and estate and pre-foreclosure. Both of these situations create wonderful opportunities for buying properties well under their value.
You will also need to set yourself up with a title company who understands your business, even if you have to train them yourself. I know that the first couple of deals I purchased into land trusts I had to explain to the title company. I even provided them with the deed that included the duties of the trustee.
Buying properties in a rural area is a real learning experience, but I will tell you that if you take the time and the energy to do it, there is a lot of money to be made. For more information on finding motivated sellers, visit my web site at marketingmagiclady.com