How long has Pacific-Realtors.net been in business?
The firm started doing business in 1987. The owner, Michael Chulak, became licensed as a real estate broker in 1971.
What does Pacific-Realtors.net do when someone wants to list a lot or parcel of land for sale with your firm?
The first thing we do is evaluate and determine the land's highest and best use and approximate value, so we know who to target as potential buyers. Factors that are important include the zoning of the land, its configuration, its precise location, general demand in the area, and what is being planned in the area. The information helps us determine who we will contact from our database of land developers, home builders, land bankers, franchise companies, chain stores, investors, and other land brokers. We also erect a sign on the property and contact adjacent and nearby property owners. Finally, we receive inquiries from our website.
Is it possible to sell a partial interest in my land holdings?
Yes. You can sell a partial interest in your land utilizing a tenancy in common agreement, a limited in partnership agreement, an LLC, or an LLP. Since every person's situation varies, you should consult a real estate attorney to determine what makes sense for you.
How much is the standard real estate commission on land sales in California? I have been told it's 10%.
Commissions are always negotiable between landowners and brokers. There is no such thing as a standard commission. Pacific-Realtors.net and most other real estate brokers will quote a commission rate after we have received basic information about the land to be sold. The size of the transaction and the relative level of difficulty in selling the property are the two most significant factors. See: I want to Sell Land. Upon receipt of the requested information, we will promptly provide you with a competitive quote.
I have been advised that some of the people offering land for sale do not actually have title to it. Is that possible?
Absolutely. Many "sellers" have only a land contract that promises they will receive title upon full payment of the land which is often years into the future. If they don't meet all conditions, including full payment, the contract will be canceled, and they receive nothing. These so-called sellers can only offer you what they have, which is a contract that requires conditions to be met, including full payment. Our advice is to demand that anyone wanting to sell you land prove ownership by providing you with a copy of their deed. Always insist on a grant deed, a note and deed of trust if seller financing is involved, an independent escrow company, and a policy of title insurance.
What happens if I miss a payment on a land contract?
It depends on the terms of the contract. In most cases, the seller can declare that a default has taken place justifying a forfeiture. This results in the buyer losing all rights to the property and giving up all funds previously paid. There are no statutory protections requiring the seller to commence a foreclosure action which can be cured by the buyer and takes months to complete. Many sellers who utilize land contracts make their money by declaring technical defaults. Buying a property utilizing a land sales contract is extremely dangerous.
I have seen many ads for the sale of land in various desert areas including California City. The terms are usually $1.00 down with payments stretched over ten to twenty years including interest on the unpaid balance owing. How is this possible?
First, if you check carefully, you may find that you are not receiving a deed to the property unless and until the property is paid in full. You may be given only a contract that promises the delivery of a deed subject to several conditions. The fact is that most, if not all, of these "sellers" do not have title to the land they are promising to convey to you in the future. Most, if not all, have only a contract that promises them that they will receive title if they meet certain conditions. We strongly recommend that you always verify that the seller actually owns the land by requesting a copy of their grant deed, utilize the services of an independent escrow company, and insist on a policy of title insurance. If seller financing is included, you should insist on a deed of trust, not a land sales contract. See: Land Sale Contracts and Avoiding Land Fraud.
Why would someone offering to sell land insist on using an unrecorded land sales contract instead of a recorded grant deed and why would they insist on no escrow or title insurance? They usually say it saves both the buyer and seller money.
We cannot speak for all the people who are offering land contracts. While most may be honest and well intentioned, some are not and may be involved in fraudulent transactions. While it is illegal to do so, the owner of a land contract can convey multiple land contracts to others that cannot be traced by each buyer due to the lack of a recorded document and title insurance. These people collect monthly payments from numerous so-called buyers for 10 to 20 years and then vanish because they are unable to convey title to the property since they don't have title. Always insist on using an independent escrow company, receiving a recorded grant deed to the property and a policy of title insurance. Otherwise, you are at risk.
Is it possible for someone to sell property utilizing a land sales contract where the property is encumbered by a mortgage and/or liens?
Yes. This is not uncommon. The seller is not required to convey the title to the property unless and until the buyer has fully paid for the property. This may be ten years or more after the contract is signed.
When evaluating a potential listing for the sale of vacant land, why does Pacific-Realtors.net request a copy of the grant deed?
We want to verify that the person offering the land for sale has title to the property and not simply a land contract that promises to provide them with title at some time in the future subject to conditions such as payment. Asking for a copy of the deed is a screening process that does not negate the requirement for a policy of title insurance.
I am intending on acquiring several small lots in several rural areas for long-term investment. These are not high-priced properties. Many of the owners who want to sell want to save money by not using an escrow or title company. Can this be done safely?
No. Buyers of properties including vacant land or lots, should always insist on using an independent escrow company and obtaining a title insurance policy. You should also insist on receiving a recorded grant deed instead of a land contract. See: Avoiding Land Fraud.
Does your firm have any clients that buy land contracts?
No. Our firm would not recommend that our clients invest their funds in land contracts because of the exceedingly high risks. See: Avoiding Land Fraud and Land Sales Contracts.
If I sell my land through your firm and carry back financing, is it possible to sell the note and deed of trust to an investor?
Yes. Promissory notes secured by deeds of trust on land can be sold to investors. There are many investors who invest in notes secured by deeds of trust because they are seeking a reliable source of income. Many of these investors are funding their retirement plans with notes secured by deeds of trust. The price paid by investors will vary depending on many factors including: (1) the loan to value ratio, (2) the note rate, (3) whether the note is interest only or amortized, (4) the due date, (5) the credit strength of the borrower, (6) the location of the property securing the note, (7) whether the local real estate market is improving or declining, (8) how long the borrower has been paying on the note, and (9) whether the borrower has been making timely payments.
If I want to sell a seller carry back note and deed of trust secured by land, will your firm help me find a buyer?
Does your firm have buyers who will acquire unbuildable residential lots? We would like to stop paying taxes and insurance on the lots we own.
Pacific-Realtors.net has investors who will acquire residential lots considered unbuildable and landlocked parcels in Southern California. These investors are long term speculators and land bankers who expect the sellers to carry long term financing. See: Unbuildable Residential Lots.
If I want to sell a land contract, will your company help us sell it?
No. We do not deal in land contracts due to the high risks. See: Land Sales Contracts and Avoiding Land Fraud.
What is a land installment contract?
A land installment contract is another name for a land contract or land sales contract. Sometimes they are also referred to as a contract for deed or an agreement for deed. If you receive a land installment contract, you don't receive title to the property until it is paid in full and you have satisfied all conditions of the contract.
I am intending to purchase some rural land in California. Given that high quality satellite maps are available on the internet, is it really important to make a physical inspection of the property?
Yes. It is not only important, it is necessary that you make a physical inspection in order to avoid land that is not suitable for your future plans. While satellite images are very good, they cannot adequately provide you with the details of the terrain. For example, only an in-person inspection is likely to reveal if the intended site for your future home is located within a wash. If a seller or land broker discourages you from inspecting a property, you should run from them.
I am interested in buying land in California City. It seems to be a nice and growing community, and the prices of land are very reasonable. However, I have seen a lot of negative publicity dealing with the history of the development. Should I avoid California City or take advantage of its beauty and the attractive prices of land?
You are correct that back in the 1960s and 1970s there were false advertising and fraud claims made by numerous buyers of lots that resulted in a legal settlement. After that time, the city has grown and continues to grow. Today, there are many land bargains available to buyers. The principals of our firm continue to be interested in possibly joint venturing the acquisition of land in California City.
Why are people moving to California City?
People are moving to California City from places like Los Angeles for many reasons. An examination of the statistics will show that a high percentage of these people are retired and seeking a nice quiet retirement community. Most people selling a house in Los Angeles can purchase a much nicer home in California City for far less money, allowing them to own a home free and clear of any mortgage debt. Also, unlike many houses in Los Angeles, most homes in California City come with large lots where retirees can enjoy growing fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers. The air is clean, and the weather is excellent most of the year.
Generally, where can I find the least expensive land in California?
There are many desert areas in California where land is very inexpensive. Areas that have long-term potential where land is inexpensive include California City in the northern Antelope Valley. most of the small communities in the Mojave Desert Region, and most of Imperial County.
Why are so many long-term investors selling gold and silver and buying California land?
While gold, silver, and California land are all acquired by long-term investors as hedges against runaway inflation, gold and silver production increases every year, while the supply of land is fixed forever. In addition, land has intrinsic value. Gold and silver have very limited intrinsic value. See: Inflation - What You Need to know, Who Owns America, and Supply and Demand for Land.
What happens if two people own real estate together and one wants to sell the property while the other refuses to sell?
A co-owner can force a sale of the property by filing a partition action which will result in a court order forcing the sale of the property. See: Partition Actions - Real Estate Sales.
I would like to work with a Christian real estate agent. Can Pacific-Realtors.net assign a Christian real estate agent to me?
Yes. Michael Chulak, the founder and owner or the company, is a Christian and many of our agents are Christians. Please call Michael Chulak for additional information.
When evaluating pre-development land opportunities, what are some of the most important considerations?
Your evaluation should include the following: 1) Is the location in the growth path of a major population center? 2) Is the. population of the area in which the land is located increasing at an acceptable rate? 3) Is the land usable and relatively level? 4) Is the land easy to reach by car? 5) Does a master plan exist for streets, sewers, and utilities? 6) Is water available? 7) Is the land located in a business-friendly county and state where residential and commercial development is encouraged? 8) Is the land priced at or below fair market value? 9) Can I afford the payments?
Your final decision to invest in land will ultimately involve weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. The agents with Pacific-Realtors.net can assist you in evaluating all types of real estate investments.
We own a valuable parcel of land that is zoned to build condominiums. Instead of selling it to a developer, we would like to explore the possibility of joint venturing the development of condominiums with a home builder so we can make some real money. Can your firm help us?
Yes. It is very likely we can help you find the right developer and assist you in negotiating a joint venture that makes economic sense while protecting your interests. See: Real Estate Development Joint Ventures.
What is gentrification?
Gentrification is a process in which a city neighborhood is transformed from a low income area with low property values into a higher income neighborhood with far higher property values. Gentrification involves low-income people moving out and higher income people moving in to the area. Gentrification results in an increase in higher paying jobs and usually far less crime. The gentrification process is commonly the result of spillover from more affluent areas and the desire of workers to avoid long costly commutes from the suburbs. Gentrification is more likely to take place when law enforcement is supported and less likely to take place when crime is out of control. See: General Plans - Cities and Counties.
What is urban renewal?
Urban renewal is an economic development tool often used by city governments to revitalize blighted areas by means of making investments with tax dollars. The object is to encourage private investment in housing and new office and retail properties.
What is a percolation test?
A percussion test or perc test is a test to determine the water absorption rate of soil usually in preparation of installing a septic system including a septic drain field, also known as a leach field. See: Septic Tanks and Soils Reports.
What is a leach field?
A leach field is another name for a septic tank field or leach drain. Leach fields are subsurface wastewater areas used to remove impurities and contaminants that flow from a septic tank. The organic materials are catabolized by microbes. See: Septic Tanks, Groundwater Wells, and Glossary Groundwater and Water Well Terms.
What is a county-maintained road?
A county-maintained road is a road that has been formally accepted by a County Board of Supervisors to be added to the county road system and registered and maintained by the county. While most county roads are paved, some are gravel roads, and some may be dirt roads. Many roads within a county are maintained by other agencies including incorporated cities. Freeways and State Highways in California are maintained by Caltrans which is an agency of the state. Other roads are private roads maintained by a land owner, or a group of people, usually a homeowner association. Rural property is always more valuable if it fronts on a county-maintained road or has legal access to a county-maintained road.
What is arable land?
Arable land is any land that is capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops. Nonarable land includes land that is extremely steep, excessively wet, has poor drainage, is full of rocks, or has insufficient freshwater for irrigation. Major portions of the California deserts are arable and capable of growing many types of crops. Using desalination facilities along the coast, Israel has turned most of its desert areas into rich agricultural areas that export fruits and vegetables all over the world. One of the ways that desert soil is made more arable and fertile is to mix compost into the soil. Composting and adding compost to desert land is one of the ways that owners of desert land make the desert greener and more capable of producing fruits and vegetables. Compost is a mixture of ingredients that includes decomposing plants, food, and animal waste.
How is semi-arid land different from desert land?
It's a matter of degree. Most desert or arid areas receive less than 10 inches of rain each year, whereas semi-arid areas receive 10 to 20 inches of rain per year. Aquifers and underground rivers may be located beneath type of area. Approximately 30% of the surface of the earth is desert and about 15% is semi-arid. Approximately 25% of California is desert and about 10% is semi-arid.
Is desert farming possible?
Absolutely. Desert farming has existed in the Negev Desert in Israel for more than 5,000 years. It has existed in the Imperial Valley in Southern California for more than 90 years and in many other desert regions as well. Desert farming has relied on drip irrigation ; desalination; water reuse, also known as reclaimed water, and the use of groundwater wells. The following types of plants can be grown in desert climates: Figs, guavas, eggplant, grapes, passion fruit, jujube trees, date palms, apricots, artichokes, goji berries, black berries, mulberries, pomegranates, Aravaipa avocados, peaches, plums, and all types of citrus.
What does topography refer to and what are topographical maps?
Topography refers to the forms and features of land surfaces or their depiction on maps. A topographical map is a two dimensional representation of the land's surface which exists in three dimensions. Topographical maps use contour lines to illustrate various elevations and slopes.
What is a hobby farm?
A hobby farm is usually defined as a farm not exceeding 50 acres where profit is desired but is not the number one priority. Most operators of hobby farms desire to produce organic food for their family, friends, and to be sold at local farmer's markets. Most hobby farmers are retired or have a primary source of income. Hobby farms are intended to provide pleasure. Farms that are between 50 and 100 acres are generally considered small-scale farms where profit is a higher priority. See: Land Banking Strategies.
What is Desert Greening?
Desert greening refers to the process of converting desert land, by various man-made means, so that it can be used more effectively for agriculture and growing various types of plants. Desert greening also makes the environment more hospitable and increases property values. Desert greening is accomplished over time by various means including planting trees, developing groundwater wells and ponds, and improving the soil. The following types of plants can be grown in desert climates: Figs, guavas, eggplant, grapes, passion fruit, jujube trees, date palms, apricots, artichokes, goji berries, black berries, mulberries, pomegranates, Aravaipa, avocados, peaches, plums, and all types of citruses. See: Groundwater Wells.
What is an oasis and can they be created in the California desert?
An oasis is a fertile area found naturally in the desert that sustains plant life while creating a habitat for certain types of animals, mostly birds. Surface water is usually present the entire year which is supplied by underground rivers and aquifers. An oasis can be created in the desert by installing groundwater wells. See: Groundwater wells.
How do aquifers fill with water?
Aquifers are recharged when rain, snow, stormwater, and the flow of water from ponds, creeks, streams, and rivers seep into them. They may also be recharged by irrigation water seeping into the ground.
What are water pipelines, and can they be used to eliminate the consequences of drought conditions?
Water pipelines are just like oil pipelines except that they transport water instead of oil. Water pipelines are capable of moving water from areas that are flooding, because of too much rain, to drought-stricken areas that are dry because of insufficient rain. Unfortunately, very few large water pipelines exist in the United States which is the reason we have both flood and dry areas. If elected members of Congress would act and build sufficient water pipelines, the California deserts would be green and producing an abundance of food crops, the Salton Sea would be saved , and tens of thousands of people whose homes are in flood zones, could stop worrying.
Can the drought in California be solved by piping water across the country?
Absolutely. More than 100 years ago, the City of Los Angeles solved its lack of water problem by constructing a 230 mile aqueduct from Owens Valley to Los Angeles County. That was in 1913. The only thing preventing the construction of a pipeline from areas that have an abundance of water is the political will to do so. The deserts of California could be turned green in a few short years.
Does California have any laws or regulations that prohibit rainwater harvesting?
No. Neither California nor the federal government prohibit the harvesting of rainwater. In fact, some cities and counties are considering laws that require rainwater harvesting systems to be installed in newly constructed commercial buildings.
What is reclaimed water and how is it used?
Reclaimed water is reused water or wastewater that is used for several purposes. Types of reuses include agriculture; irrigation of public parks, golf courses, and freeway slopes; industrial use; the recharging of aquifers; vehicle washing; street cleaning; and even drinking water if it is properly treated. There are several technologies used to treat wastewater for reuse. The type of treatment will depend upon the type of reuse. See: Community Garden.
What are the most common reasons that people invest in remote desert land that cannot be developed as a practical matter for many years?
Many of these buyers are acquiring California land for their young children, grandchildren , and future grandchildren in order to assure them that they will participate in the American Dream. These buyers recognize that much of the most valuable land today was once remote and considered of little value only forty or fifty years ago: Much of this land is now being used for shopping centers, office buildings, residential subdivisions, and apartment complexes. Many people buy large sections of remote, inexpensive land because they want the future generations of their family to be wealthy. They want to leave a legacy.
What are some of the cities located in the Mojave Desert?
Cities located in the Mojave Desert include Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, California City, Henderson, Hesperia, Lake Havasu City, Lancaster, Las Vegas, Needles, Palmdale, Ridgecrest, Twentynine Palms, Victorville, and Yucca Valley.
What is glamping and what is a glamping site?
Glamping is a term that refers to camping in a luxury camping site, often referred to as a glamping site. Many owners of rural property are developing glamping or camping sites on their property as a means to earn income in the short term before developing the property at some point in the future, or long term. See: Land Banking Strategies and Land Banking Joint Ventures.
Is investing in land a good hedge against inflation?
Over the long term, the acquisition of land located in the path of development can be a good hedge against inflation. When the right land is acquired with a down payment of 10% to 20%, and the seller carries a long term loan written at 2% to 4% per annum, the investment can be very attractive when inflation is raging on average at the compounded rate of 5% per year or more. When acquiring land, a due diligence investigation is always required. See: Before You Make an Offer to Acquire Land.
Is owning raw land a good hedge against inflation?
Many long-term investors consider the ownership of California land to be an excellent hedge against inflation. Raw land can often be purchased with a low-down payment and seller financing with an interest rate that is well below the long-term rate of inflation. Given that interest rates on land loans are tax deductible, bringing the effective interest rate down even lower, a leveraged raw land acquisition will normally be an excellent long-term hedge against inflation. Raw land will usually appreciate over time as the value of our dollars continue to lose value over time. See: Inflation-What You Need to Know.
Can I reliably determine how much my land is worth from an internet website such as Zillow or Trulia?
No. These sites provide only rough computer-generated estimates based upon averages as opposed to specific data. Their valuations can easily be 10% high or low. If you want a reliable estimate of the value of your home, you should have one of our real estate agents prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA).
Will Pacific-Realtors.net provide us an estimate of value before we list our vacant land for sale?
Absolutely. While estimating the value of vacant land is difficult, we will provide you with our best estimate of value based upon the data available.
For infill lots zoned for condominiums, other than the square footage and the number of units permitted to be built, what is the most important factor that determines value?
The number of parking spaces that can be designed for a future building is a highly significant factor. Regardless of the zoning, the number of parking spaces will determine the maximum number of units that can be built and sold. For example, two nearby lots may be zoned for 12 units each, but one will accommodate 24 parking spaces while the other will accommodate 23 parking spaces because of the configurations of the lots. The lot that will accommodate 24 parking spaces will allow 12 units to be built while the other lot will allow only 11 units to be built notwithstanding the zoning. The lot that will accommodate 12 units will be worth substantially more money to a developer of condominiums.
What is the best way for us to search for land?
After being pre-qualified by one of our real estate agents, the best way to get started is by engaging in an advanced search on our website. The search feature is on the home page. For instructions: Search for Land Listings Like a Realtor.
What is the difference between raw land and vacant land?
Raw land is untouched land that has not been developed or prepared for construction. Vacant land may be raw land, but it also may have been prepared for construction. Preparing land for construction could include: (2) Obtaining a soils report, (2) obtaining a Phase I Environmental Report, (3) obtaining building plans, or (4) obtaining building permits. Preparing land for construction does not necessarily create any visible signs on the property.
Does your company represent buyers and sellers of land in the Antelope Valley and the surrounding areas?
Yes. We have represented buyers and sellers of land in the Antelope Valley including Palmdale, Lancaster, and Victor Valley for more than 35 years. We have also represented buyers and sellers of land in nearly all of the Mojave Desert communities in California.
I am intending to sell my land. What am I required to disclose to prospective buyers about my land?
You are required by law to disclose every material fact that would affect a buyer's decision to buy or not buy the property, or to pay more or less for the property. This is a very broad disclosure requirement that sellers must take seriously.
What are severed mineral rights or a severed estate?
Mineral rights may be transferred separately and at a different time from the rights to the surface of land. When this takes place, the mineral rights are severed , and the estate becomes a severed estate. Sometimes people sell mineral rights to generate a one-time cash payment or a stream of income. Individuals and businesses sometimes buy mineral rights as an investment without acquiring an interest in the surface rights. See: Mineral Rights and What Does Title Insurance Protect Against?
What is a wetland and how do wetlands impact the development of land?
A wetland is an area of land that is saturated with water most of the time. When a wetland is not covered with water, the land has a very high-water table, making it possible to support aquatic plants. Wetlands can be tidal or non-tidal. The water can be freshwater, saltwater, or brackish. In California, wetlands cannot be developed and must be protected. Consequently, when acquiring land, the buyer must investigate in order to determine if any part of a land parcel is a wetland. In California, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services protects wetlands.
How much does it cost to hire a buyer's agent?
It doesn't cost anything. Agents that are hired by buyers are a paid portion of the commission paid by the seller of the property.
What is earnest money?
Earnest money is money deposited into escrow in connection with a purchase agreement to demonstrate good faith that the buyer serious about closing the transaction. Earnest money protects the seller if the buyer backs out after all contingency periods have expired or is unable to perform. The lack of performance by the buyer for any reason can cause substantial financial harm to the seller, who has taken the property off the market and has probably made plans based on the sales agreement.
Is it possible for me to earn real estate commissions by simply referring potential buyers and sellers to a full time, experienced real estate agent?
Yes. By becoming a referral agent, you can avoid joining the Board of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service while earning commissions. Referral real estate agents can earn thousands of dollars consistently each year without showing homes or selling. Call Michael Chulak for details.
Do you do more than sell land?
Yes. We are involved in property management, commercial leasing, and the sale of houses, apartment buildings, and commercial properties. Our affiliate, Pacific Business Advisors represents people wanting to sell or buy a business anywhere in California.
Does Pacific-Realtors.net receive referrals from out of the area real estate brokers?
Yes. Our firm receives both buyer and seller referrals from: Broker to Broker Referrals and other referral sources.
Is the assessed value of my land an indicator of its market value?
No. The assessed value is the number assigned by the real estate taxing authorities and is not indicative of the fair market value of your land.
Are real estate brokerage commissions set by law in California? It seems that every firm is charging 10% to sell land.
Broker commissions are not set by law. Every real estate brokerage firm establishes what it will charge to market and sell a given property. Commissions and levels of service vary from firm to firm.
Does Pacific-Realtors.net offer any commission discounts or rebates to buyers or sellers of homes?
Yes. In appreciation of their extraordinary service, Pacific-Realtors.net is pleased to offer a $1,000 commission discount or rebate to all active-duty military and reservists in the United State Armed Forces, sheriffs, police, fire fighters, and paramedics who buy or sell land through our company.
Does your firm ever joint venture the purchase of investment properties with others?
Yes. We will consider the joint venture of homes, rental homes, apartments, commercial properties, and land. Call Michael Chulak to discuss a potential joint purchase of any type of real estate.
Why do the principals of Pacific-Realtors.net sometimes joint venture the acquisition of land with other investors?
We want to make money and we know that acquiring land at the right price and holding it can lead to profits. See: Land Bank Joint Ventures and Supply and Demand for Land
What types of investors most commonly participate in land banking as an investment strategy?
Land banking is a long-term investment strategy most commonly engaged in by large home builders who hope to buy land inexpensively and then develop it when the time is right. Likewise, many individuals utilize land banking as a retirement strategy. See: Who Owns America - The Largest Land Owners in the United States.
Can a non-citizen own real estate in the United States?
Absolutely. Whether you are a citizen or a non-citizen, we would be pleased to help you purchase a home, land, or any other real estate.
I am not a United States citizen. If I buy real estate in the United States, will it help me obtain a Green Card or citizenship?
While foreign citizens are free to buy real estate in the United States, buying real estate does not grant citizenship, nor does it give a foreign citizen the legal right to live here. Investing in property does not automatically put the investor on a path to citizenship. While it is not guaranteed, owning property in the United States may help convince an immigration interviewer that the applicant has the ability to support himself or herself and any dependent family members.
Does your firm recommend the acquisition of land or other property in Mexico?
No. Crime is out of control in Mexico making the government unstable and the economy highly uncertain. See: Acquisition of Properties in Mexico. Many Mexican citizens are purchasing land in California. See: Land Investing for Non-Citizens - Foreign Investors.
I would like to start a career in real estate. Do you have any suggestions?
You have already made a good start by visiting our website. You will need to take certain required courses which you can take through First Tuesday. They are an excellent company and you can contact them through our site. They will give you a discounted price when you contact them through Pacific-Realtors.net. They also offer an excellent, prelicensing exam crash course which we highly recommend. Our firm also offers a real estate licensing crash course which is absolutely free. Information is on this site.
After you pass the state exam, we would like to meet with you in person if you are in Southern California or via Zoom if you are not local. After learning more about you and your career goals, we will assign a mentor to you and will provide you with excellent training. Of course, you many contact us at any stage or at any time. Please ask for Michael Chulak.
When I sell my property, who receives the commission I am paying?
Generally, 50% is paid to the selling office and 50% is paid to the listing office. Each office must pay their agent from its share of the commission. This is typically between 50% and 80% of the amount received by the office. Every office is different so the formula will vary from office to office.
If I obtain a real estate license and join your firm, will I be assigned someone to assist me through my first few sales transactions?
Absolutely. All new real estate agents are assigned a mentor and receive extensive training both in the office and in the field. A knowledgeable experienced, financially successful senior agent will be available 24 / 7 to help you and will be available to meet with prospective clients as needed.
Does Pacific-Realtors.net have an experienced transaction coordinator?
Yes. Our transaction coordinator has been providing our real estate agents with excellent services for many years.
Is it possible to be successful selling real estate part-time?
Yes, assuming you have no other employment, or your other employment is compatible with selling real estate. If your other employment allows for flexibility in your time requirements, there should be no problem. If your other employment is rigid in its time requirements, it will not be compatible with serving as a real estate agent which often requires you to be available on short notice. See: Part-time Real Estate Agents.
I would like to join your real estate company but I live very far from your corporate office in Agoura Hills. Can I work from my home in Northern California if I join Pacific-Realtors.net?
Yes. It is not necessary to work from Agoura Hills. Today, most real estate agents do most of their work from their home. See: Part-time Real Estate Agents.
I am a very successful real estate agent with a dedicated team located within ten miles of Agoura Hills. Will you consider opening a Pacific-Realtors.net office for my team?
Yes, assuming you have a proven record of success over a period of at least two years.
Does the opportunity exist within your firm for a successful Realtor to become a part owner of the company?
Is Pacific-Realtors.net interested in acquiring small independent real estate brokerage firms in Southern California?
Yes. Please call to discuss.
How much are real property taxes in California and how are they calculated?
Real estate taxes in California consist the 1% rate established by Proposition 13 in 1978 plus voter approved debt and district levies. Voter approved debt and district levies vary, but average about .25% for a total average tax of 1.25% of the fair market value. This is an estimate only.
How big is an acre?
An acre is 43,560 square feet and approximately 208.75 feet square. A large residential lot is typically one-quarter acre or 10,890 square feet.
What is a city or county general plan and how does it impact value?
In California, every city and county must adopt its own general plan for long-term physical development. These plans have a substantial impact on the demand for land and buildings within the local government's planning area. See: General Plans - Cities and Counties
What is an overlay zone?
An overlay zone is a defined geographic area shown on a city or a county zoning map where special requirements exist in addition to the underlying base zoning district requirements. Some overlay zones are intended to provide incentives to developers to build low-cost housing within certain districts by permitting increased housing density, reduced lot setbacks, reduced parking requirements, and/or reduced government fees.
What is a zoning variance and how do I get one?
A zoning variance is an exception to the zoning laws which must be approved by the county or city government having local jurisdiction. While obtaining a change of local zoning is close to impossible, obtaining a variance is extremely difficult, but not as difficult. Each local government has a list of requirements that must be met in order to justify a zoning variance. Property owners seeking a zoning variance should start by reviewing the list of requirements that applies to their land. See: General Plans - Cities and Counties.
If I decide to request a zoning change, what will I need to submit with my application?
At the minimum, you will need to submit a site plan, a landscape plan, building elevations, and the application fee. The city or county will provide you with a list.
What is plottage?
Plottage is the increase in value obtained by combining adjacent parcels of land into one larger, more useful parcel. The process is known as assemblage. Often, the value of the assembled parcels will be worth far more than the sum of the individual parcels.
What is assemblage?
Assemblage is the process of combining two or more parcels of land into one larger, more useful parcel. The process of assemblage creates the plottage value.
We own some desert land that is located in an extremely remote area. It does not have water or utilities, and is not located on an improved road. We have tried to sell it without success. Can you help us sell it?
Yes. If you are wiling to carry financing, we have buyers who are long term land bankers who are in the market for inexpensive rural land including desert property.
I own dessert land that I have been unable to sell for several years. I have no use for the land and would like to sell it. What do you suggest?
Nearly all land is saleable if priced right and marketed correctly. See: Sell Your Unsalable Land and then provide us with the information we need to evaluate your land and make a recommendation.
What is a Will-Serve Letter?
A will-serve letter is a document in which a utility company certifies that a specific property lies within the utilities service area and that subject to certain terms, conditions, and limitations, the utility will provide its services to a specific property. WiII-serve letters are often obtained in connection with the acquisition of land in rural areas. They may apply to water, sewers, or electricity.
What is a Mutual Water Company and how do they function?
Mutual water companies provide water service in rural areas that have no viable alternative source of water and in some urban pockets. Most mutual water companies are organized as private nonprofit corporations under the California Corporations Code. See: Mutual Water Companies.
Is it possible to find buyers for remote rural land that is landlocked without any legal access?
Yes. There are buyers for landlocked rural land including desert land. Down payments are usually in the range of 5% to 10% and long-term seller financing is almost always required.
What does it mean to be off-the-grid?
For most people, off-the-grid means not being connected to the public electrical grid, but it can also mean not being connected to other utilities such as water, sewer, and gas. Off-the-grid is a matter of degree. Most off-the-grid homes will have extensive solar panels with battery backup, rainwater harvesting, groundwater wells, and septic systems. Some people that live off-the-grid supply their own electrical power by means of wind turbines.
Many home builders, developers, and land bankers prefer to buy off-the-grid land because it can be acquired inexpensively and developed at a later date.
What exactly are site improvements?
While there is no legal definition, most land developers and local building departments consider site improvements to include: streets, gutters, curbs, retaining walls, storm drains, sewers, fire hydrants, street lighting, and sometime certain common area improvements such as perimeter walls, v-ditches, and drain boxes or catch basins. See: Land Loan and Construction Loans - Financing.
What types of land are easiest to sell?
Land that is zoned for condominiums, planned developments (single family detached homes) and apartments are the easiest to sell. Next would be individual lots zoned for the construction of a single house.
We are considering the acquisition of a group of lots that are encumbered by deed restrictions. What advice can you offer?
Deed restricted properties are most often encumbered by a Declaration of CC&Rs, or by restrictions set forth in a deed. You must review and approve the proposed deed and any recorded CC&Rs before you make a commitment to purchase a property. Questions should be directed to a real estate or homeowner association attorney. One of our affiliates, CoastManagementofCalifornia.com has an excellent website that contains many relevant articles that will assist you in understanding 'homeowner associations.
What is a property owners association?
A property owners association (POA) is an incorporated or unincorporated association of lot owners. Generally, the lot developer will form a property owners association to manage any common area and to govern the CC&Rs that are commonly adopted. At some point, after some of the lots are sold and developed with new homes, the property owners association becomes a homeowners association. In California, the developments governed by property owner associations, are referred to as planned developments by the California Department of Real Estate.
What is a landowner's association?
A landowner's association is a voluntary organization consisting of landowners in a specific development or area formed to serve as an advocate for the group and to keep members informed about those issues affecting property values. Examples are the California City Landowners Association and the Salton Sea Landowners Association. If you have a group interested in forming a landowner's association, contact, Michael Chulak, who can assist you.
If I sell my desert land with 10% to 15% down, carry back financing to make the sale, and then pay a commission and closing costs, I will end up with little cash. If I list my desert property with your firm, are you willing to take all or some of your commission as a note secured by a deed of trust?
Generally, yes. If we recommend that the seller carry back financing, we are almost always willing to convert all or some or all of our commission into financing.
How are FICO scores determined and how can a FICO score be improved?
A FICO score is a credit score created by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). Lenders and lessors use the scores to make credit granting decisions. See: FICO Score - Credit Score for detailed answers to your questions.
Should I buy land in California using a land contract or land sales contract?
No. Land sales contracts or land contracts are full of risks for buyers of land. We recommend that you receive a grant deed and that any real estate financing involve the use of a standard promissory note and a recorded deed of trust. A neutral escrow holder should always be used and you should always insist on a policy of title insurance. Please refer to the article on our website: Land Sales Contracts for more information.
What is a cistern?
A cistern is a waterproof receptacle primarily designed to collect and store rainwater in desert areas where rain does not occur often and other sources of water do not exist, are expensive, or are in short supply.
What is a wind farm?
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines located together for the purpose of generating electricity. Wind farms are also referred to as wind parks and wind power stations. Wind farms can be found on land or offshore and may be small, consisting of only a few turbines or very large, consisting of several hundred turbines. The largest wind farms are located in China and India. The largest wind farm in the United Sates is the Mojave Wind Farm, also known as the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC). It is located in the California desert. Wind farms are a form of power station that transmits electricity to a power grid for distribution to homes and businesses.
What is a solar farm?
A solar farm is a large-scale installation of solar panels used to harvest the power of the sun. Solar farms are also known as solar parks and solar power stations. They operate as electrical power plants and are becoming more common in all areas of the country especially in desert areas where they are most efficient. Most solar power stations provide electrical power to the local power grid as opposed to housing communities or businesses. Many owners of desert acreage in California are developing solar farms. The development of solar farms is increasing the demand for land in the desert areas of California.
How do escrows work in California?
An escrow is a legal arrangement in which a third party, a licensed escrow holder, temporarily holds money, and sometimes property, until specified conditions nave been met that satisfy all parties to the escrow. The parties to most escrows involving the sale of a home include a buyer, seller, a homeowner association, and usually the buyer's lender and seller's lender See: Escrows in California.
What is a wilderness area?
A wilderness is an area of land that is in its natural state. It is land that has not been modified in any way. Most large wilderness areas in the United States are owned by the federal or state governments and are protected by law.
What is a ravine?
A ravine is a landform similar to, but much smaller than a canyon. Ravines are almost always formed from streambank erosion. They are larger than gullies and usually contain an active or intermittent stream.
What is the difference between a wash, an arroyo, and a gulch?
A wash is a shallow channel that follows contours of the land allowing water to flow or wash from higher elevations to lower elevations. An arroyo is a creek or small river that may be intermittent. Arroyo is a Spanish word. A gulch is a small ravine or small canyon. All of these landforms should be investigated to see if they exist near a property that is being considered for acquisition. See: Before You Make an Offer to Acquire Land.
What are timber rights?
Timber rights are generally the legal right to fell , cut, remove, sell, and dispose of growing or dead trees, whether standing or fallen. Timber rights mayor may not be owned by the landowner. This makes it necessary to determine whether timber rights are included when wooded land is being acquired. If timber rights have been conveyed by the land owner, there will be a timber transfer deed of record that will describe exactly what has been conveyed. See: Preliminary Title Reports, What Does Title Insurance Protect Against, and Before You Make an Offer to Acquire Land.
What is land accretion?
In real estate, land accretion is the gradual increase of land on a stream, lake, or sea by the action of water depositing sand , silt, or soil upon the shoreline. This may build up considerably over time. The opposite of accretion is erosion which is the gradual washing away of land.
What is erosion of land and the cause of it?
Erosion is the geological process in which earthen materials such as wood, soil, and rock are worn away by natural forces such as water or wind. Erosion is the opposite of land accretion.
Is it possible for a rural parcel of land located in the desert to have a homeowner association?
It is extremely unlikely, but it is possible. A preliminary title report or a title insurance policy will indicate whether CC&Rs have been recorded against a specific property. By reading the CC&Rs, you should be able to determine whether an association exists.
Is it possible to sell real estate prior to filing for bankruptcy in California?
It is definitely possible to do so, but you should not list property for sale or sell it before you obtain the advice of a bankruptcy attorney.
May we distribute your articles to others and add them to our website?
Yes, provided we are given credit for writing the article. Every one of our articles includes our identifying information at the bottom which must be included. There is no cost for using our articles.
What is a land trust?
A land trust is a revocable living trust that is commonly used to hold title to land. If a buyer uses a land trust when he or she acquires a property, the ownership of the property will remain anonymous to anyone doing a normal title search, assuming the name of the trust does not include the property address or the trustor's name. Land trusts are often used when investors are involved in assembling multiple parcels of land and want to remain stealth. The Walt Disney Company used land trusts to acquire the land for Disneyland in Orange County and other locations in order to minimize their land costs.
What is a flood certification?
A flood certification, also known as a flood determination and certification, is a document issued to certify whether a specific property is located in a flood zone based upon Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) flood maps. A flood certification is sometimes required by an institutional lender.
What is the California Wilderness Act of 1984?
The California Wilderness Act of 1984 is a federal law signed by President Ronald Reagan that authorized the addition of over three million acres of land in California to the National Wilderness Preservation System. It also provided guidelines for the addition of future wilderness acquisitions.