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Alternative Ways To Acquire land

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gbleuc:
Hi flyingvan, thanks for this. The SANGIS/APN + county tax bill site recommendations are particularly helpful. It sounds like you certainly spent time and strategy in obtaining your parcel, and that the ordeal was worth it in the end. It's wild that they didn't even know they'd inherited it, and great that the title company was able to get the other prior name taken off. Extra hoops too, obtaining three people's buy-in. The title search and title insurance are crucial indeed.
 I have no problem with hassle but I absolutely do need to know what I am getting into. I posted another question in the forum asking for book, reading, and research recommendations, which I am sifting through now-

https://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=15100.new;topicseen#new

if you have anything to add, I will definitely read it.

Right now, I am narrowing down area, and have questions mostly related to this, though there's a few others too:

- What areas would you recommend looking at in San Diego based on the budget I described?
- Would you be willing to share your building costs and what your general costs looked like?
- How close to the coast is it worth looking before it gets too $$?
- Is a title search 100% reliable for catching all potentially hidden liens?


I've liked Oceanside/Vista and keep looking around that area, but it's gotten quite expensive in recent years and may not be feasible. I like Bonita but it too might be too close to the coast (cost-wise).

flyingvan:
If you look hard and long enough you'll find bargains anywhere but in the balance equation of location/convenience/desirability/price, the local areas I think are undervalued for land --(apologies for the 99.99% of readers uninterested in the Sandy Eggo area)
---Imperial Beach.  Quiet little beach town, protected from Mexico by the Estuary
---Crest
---Japatul
---Boulevard
---Ranchita
---Top recommendation, Sunshine Summit.  You can get a fair amount of oak covered land for cheap, and Temecula isn't far.

   Cost---This is a handy tool http://legacy.building-cost.net/CornersType.asp Keep in mind at least half that is labor which I assume you're doing. 

This is interesting---last build, I spent as much on plan check and permit fees as materials.  I'm getting ready to do a boundary adjustment for the new lot, and building my 'man cave' as an accessory building.  I went to County DHS for preliminary septic stuff, and they were extremely accommodating---they will honor the perk test from the other adjacent lot.  The new limit is 1200 square feet instead of 400.  They are waiving the plan check and permit fees for the next 5 years for accessory structures---that's going to save $15,000.  What a different experience! California is really encouraging housing development .  Just keep this little tidbit in mind in case you can buy some dump and build as a an accessory building then tear down the original.....

   How close to the coast?  Maybe the way to answer that is through value added...WE bought our 435 square foot dump in Ocean Beach in 2005.  We struggled to make the payments, rented it out, and rode out the dip in the market.  Then we got to work on it and it's doubled and more in value.  That's a rebuild but could have been scraped and started fresh. 

  Title--you don't need the title search to find every lien.  You need it so a title company will insure the property against these hidden liens.  Once you close escrow and get title insurance, it's on them

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