Closing A Land Purchase Real Estate Deal

You've dreamed of making the purchase, here are some tips to help you seal the deal

I dreamed for 20 years of owning a little place in the country. But my dreams always seemed a long way away.

I was like a kid on the high dive wanting to jump, but afraid I was going to do a belly flop instead of a dive.

I knew I could do it. I had seen other people do it. But I just couldn't overcome the uncertainty that came with having never done it before. I was afraid I was going to make a mistake.

Most people will never make good on the dream. Most people will just continue to dream, occasionally getting serious about buying a place. As quickly as they get motivated, they get frustrated and give up or postpone the dream. They want to figure out how to find it; or how to pay for it. Or they can't determine if they are getting a good deal, or whatever it is they don't know that is holding them back.

But just like the high dive, once you actually do it, you realize that it wasn't that bad. In my case, it turned out to be easier than I thought. And most people, me included, can't believe that they let fear or uncertainty keep them from doing something so enjoyable.

I kicked myself for years, because I allowed fear and uncertainty to keep me waiting so long to buy my little place in the country. In fact, I'm convinced that fear and lack of knowledge are without a doubt the two biggest obstacles to land ownership. At least they were for me.

In my part of the country, we have a chain of country style restaurants that are quite popular. To help pass the time while you wait for your food to come, they have these small "mind teaser" puzzles for on every table. The puzzles are pretty simple looking — a small triangle shaped piece of wood with holes drilled in them and golf tees in the holes.

The objective is to jump the golf tees, and remove the jumped tees until you have only one left.

People who pick the puzzle up generally fall into two categories.

1) Those who want to know how solve the puzzle, and

2) Those who are determined to figure out, completely on their own, how to solve the puzzle. While I know there is some personal satisfaction to the mental aspect of "solving" the puzzle, most people never get there. Their food comes and they lose attention.

But, if you really want to know how to solve the puzzle, there is an easier way: Ask someone who already knows how.

I am amazed at how many people who dream of land ownership are very much like the puzzle people who are determined to figure it out on their own, especially since there are so many people who know how to solve the puzzle and are eager to share the secret.

Which one are you?

Do you want to figure it out on your own, or do you just want to solve the puzzle? If you want to figure it out on your own, I'd suggest you put on a helmet. You're going to be bumping your head.

For those who just want the answer, ask someone who's done it before.

Talk to your buddies, local farmers, investors, anyone who owns land. Pick their brains. Ask about the process of buying land. Find out what went right and what went wrong. Get their opinion on the challenges they faced, the successes they enjoyed, and what they would do differently next time.

You will find landowners are very easy to find, easy to talk to, and easy to understand. They speak your language. They remember what it was like when they had their toes hanging off the high dive.

They know how good it feels to finally summon the courage to jump in.

Don Webb is the author of "Maximizing The Land Ownership Experience" and president of Greenwood Land Company, which provides land acquisition and consulting services. Contact him at (706) 575-4178 or go online to

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