Florida land scams
I wrote this several years ago when Florida real estate was "hot". That seems like ancient history now but the same caution and care should be exercised when buying land or any property for that matter site unseen.
If it sounds too good to be true…. You know the rest. Your neighbor knows the rest.
Well meaning folks looking to invest in their future knows the rest. And still every month someone buys a parcel of Florida land from an online auction site or from reading an artfully worded newspaper ad. Willingly, they send off a check to an individual they have never met, for a piece of Florida they have never seen. Why not? The Florida real estate market is hot right now isn’t it? As long as they get a title policy they are safe, right? Maybe. Yes, the Florida real estate market is indeed “hot”.
Florida homes and land sales are increasing at record breaking paces. That being said, if you are considering making an offer on a property that appears to be the deal of the century and you know Florida real estate prices are climbing through the roof, then there should be bells, whistles and crimson colored flags waving and sounding off wildly.
Why is this parcel of Florida land so cheap? There has to be a reason and you need to make a diligent effort to find out why. Contact the local Florida realtor expert. Research the area online. Ask questions, lots of questions.
If you are afraid this is really “your ship coming in” and you need to act fast or miss it, then please, please, please make sure your “offer to purchase” gives you the chance to do a feasibility study, which is allowable. A satisfactory survey, perk test, well analysis, zoning and/or county/city building requirements check are certainly important items to review and consider prior to closing. The seller should be willing to allow you the time to check out these facts. If they are not, don’t proceed.
The fact is, some of the Florida land being offered for sale is inaccessible or wet or both. In central Florida alone there are many “paper road” subdivisions (roads that have never been constructed, just appearing on a map or plat) with lots being offered for sale. Some useless property is being purchased at its real value and then sold to the unknowing individual for an inflated price, sometimes several thousands of dollars over its real value.
So the next time you see a piece of Florida being offered for sale and described as “near the beautiful sunny beaches, million dollar views, soon to be developed” and the price seems too good to be true….. It probably is.