Would you buy a land locked parcel?

3 Replies

Here's the situation: After a direct marketing campaign, I got a call from a woman that owns two parcels of land within city limits in Southern Mississippi. The first is approximately 3 acres and has road frontage. The second is 4.5 acres and appears to have no road access. The first (3 acre) parcel of raw land has three years of tax liens on it, and can be foreclosed on due to those. The second (4.5 acre) parcel is wooded vacant land and has 9 houses touching its boundaries. My best estimate of the land is $18-20k. I could purchase it for about $1700. Is it worth buying with no access? Would you try to negotiate an easement after the fact? Would you try to contact the tax lien owner of property 1? Would you just sell to the neighbor? Or would you RUN? Any advice welcome!

As to the tax sale, not an issue except you'll be waiting to get a deed, why not buy it and pay the taxes?

As to "land locked" property, look at the title and see when and who sold the land or the last transaction that caused the access  issues. in AL, I don't believe you can sell land locking other remaining parcels. The transfer that created the matter can be held responsible to give access. This issue needs to be taken to an attorney and the court can cause access to be granted, you'll likely be paying a fair value for access set by the court. Easements, like 120X8' aren't that expensive in such matters it's the attorney and surveying fees. 

So, yes, I would buy a land locked parcel after due diligence, if it looked like it wasn't worth the time and unknown, but estimated costs, I'd move to the next trick.

You hit on it, get a contract and then approach every adjacent owner, one of them may very well buy it.....question is, for what use?

Find the highest and best use, it might be possible to tear down an existing house and put a cul-de-sac in with 6 homes maybe more. What is the zoning, is it zoned? Apartments?

It may just be excess land for an existing home, again, zoning, anyone want a horse and a barn? Storage building, shop, private lake, dare I say it, mobile homes back there? Is the timber marketable? 

Having a contract and then finding a buyer is much easier than court battles, but either way can work. 

And, the other land with road frontage, again, highest and best use, zoning, lay of the land, drainage, engineering, utilities for development or just one large lot with new construction?

Start with your due diligence. Good luck :)   

Sometimes a landlocked parcel is just what the doctor ordered ... provided you own an adjacent lot which permits access.   We are presently dancing with just such an arrangement.  The landlocked lot is of little use to anyone but the three properties which abut it (none of whom own it) ... and should come at a discount to market due to this fact.

@Harry Asnien

As others have stated, land locked properties can be a real gem if you can do the research on the neighbors.  Can you lock up the property for 30 to 60 with a relatively low cost an option?   Then you could aggressively market to the neighbors.  If they bite, you could then go through with the purchase and either wholesale it to neighbor or or buy and resell.  If nothing works out, let the owner keep the option premium and you go to the next deal. 

My best deal so far (sold for 5x my cost)  was a 4.7 acre land locked vacant property sold to a neighbor.