Search & Buying Tips


National Websites, despite their distinction, are not your best option with regard to property searches.

Many of these national websites pull information from a variety of different sources that can be unreliable and often contain outdated and inaccurate information.  Many of them don’t use MLS data, so home values quoted on the site may differ wildly from those presented to you in a local comparable market analysis (CMA).  Some don’t show a property as being “SOLD” or a “PENDING” sale.  The property you could be interested in may have sold months prior or been under an existing contract.  Descriptive property information including location, size and price could be outdated and misleading.  

These sites also generate revenue via selling monthly or annual advertising campaigns to Real Estate Agents. These paid-for positions often promote a Real Estate Agent as a local expert.  This could be true or not?   

Independent websites, despite their “boutique” appeal, may only display their specific company “owned” listings.  All other properties on the market in that business’ town, county or area are not displayed.  This literally could result in a like-kind property being right next door to one that you are viewing on their website, but be completely unaware that it is for sale because it is listed with a different brokerage company. 

3 Main Area Search Portals –  Every real estate listing portal requires a separate paid membership from the listing agent or brokerage firm.  Many Real estate agents only maintain membership to one service.  Therefore, their particular property listing(s) will not appear on the other two search portals.

 Also when searching these sites make sure you utilize the various filters or categories provided.  EXAMPLE: If a property is categorized as “LAND ONLY” but has a small cabin on it, you could miss finding this listing if you are searching for a property with a  Cabin, simply because it was entered into the database under the “LAND ONLY” category by the listing agent. 

My Blog Post – I try to produce informative, short and useful blog posts associated with property acquisition and ownership.  Currently, there are more active posts at than here on this site.  Please look there at my “BUYERS LAND TEMPLATE” for example.   

Also, when looking at real estate on the market do you see only what is there currently on those properties, or are you envisioning what could be enhanced or improved with creative land use options?  I’m talking about planned, designed, constructed improvements to both buildings and the land itself.  Example:  Where would you place a small pond or lake on the property that you are focused on?  Once constructed, will it catch and hold enough water??? Texas is spattered with dry holes…

 Check out the various blogs on these types of topics.  I can assist you with visioning and designing your real estate dreams.  Get past the minimum that may exist, think unconventionally!  Your land choice will have a dramatic impact on your quality of life! 

General Tips – Focus on your intended use of the property you are contemplating purchasing.  Does the property have characteristics that are conducive to your plans?  Be realistic about it; don’t let a single prime feature drive a poor decision.  

Visit the area the property is in as frequently as possible to get a “feel” for the location.  

Don’t overlook the maintenance requirements of the property, Mother Nature is a hard taskmaster!

Almost always buy a new Survey.  The property survey is owned by the person who pays for it.  Do you want an existing survey that may be inaccurate? Or is it from a company that is no longer in business?  There are circumstances where accepting an existing survey is o.k., but you should know exactly what you’re getting.

Earnest Money is a show of good faith.  Choosing the appropriate amount communicates to the seller that you are serious about acquiring the property.  A larger Earnest Money position may make your contract stand above the others if multiple offers arise.  Make sure the terms of your contract are specific about your intentions with regard to your Earnest Money deposit with the title company to ensure who receives the Earnest money if the transaction does not close…

Walk, inspect, and question things you are not familiar with on the property you intend to purchase.  Most buyers of rural property have not been afforded the opportunity to acquire much “knowledge of the land” which can handicap them in their ability to interpret a property’s physical characteristics.  This is why you should consider hiring me!