Why We Love Buying New York Land in Cash

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Why We Love Buying New York Land in Cash

Bart Waldon

New York State is a vast and diverse place, home to bustling metropolises like New York City and Buffalo, quaint small towns and villages, rolling farmlands, and majestic natural wonders like the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains. With such a range of landscapes and lifestyles to choose from, it's no wonder so many people dream of owning a piece of the Empire State's abundant land. For real estate investors and land developers, in particular, New York offers exciting opportunities to buy vacant plots, agricultural acreage, and other undeveloped parcels to hold onto as investments or build future housing, retail, industrial projects and more.

While buying land anywhere requires research, planning, and often a leap of faith, doing so in New York brings its own unique advantages, rewards, and challenges depending on the region and type of land being acquired. For these reasons, when it comes time to pursue a promising New York land deal, most buyers sensibly opt to make their purchase with cash rather than financing the buy with a loan. Paying cash to lock down ownership straight away provides buyers with maximum flexibility plus peace of mind that they will have no mortgage payments hanging over their heads.

Why Pay Cash When Buying Land in New York?

New York land investors choose to buy with cash for several key reasons:

1. It Allows Acting Quickly on a Good Deal

Quality undeveloped land doesn't stay on the market long in New York. Prudent buyers know that when they locate a plot with strong potential in a high-growth area, they need to be prepared to close the purchase swiftly before the opportunity slips away. Arranging traditional bank financing can drag out the acquisition timeline for weeks or months. Paying with cash means being able to seize the moment and take ownership of a choice property within days of the offer being accepted.

2. Cash Buyers Have Greater Negotiating Power

Sellers tend to look more favorably on offers made in cash versus through financing. Cash deals are simple and straightforward, with no appraisals to be done nor lender approvals to wait on. Motivated sellers may be willing to shave more off their asking price if they know it will result in a quick, no-hassle closing. Cash buyers use this to their advantage, presenting aggressive yet fair offers with the confidence they will be taken seriously.

3. There Are No Monthly Mortgage Payments

Land investors buying property solely to hold it for later development or resale do not want to be burdened with a mortgage. Monthly payments would only eat into long-term profits. Paying cash eliminates this worry, allowing buyers to sit back and wait for ideal conditions to materialize before building or selling. Owning the land free and clear gives investors maximum flexibility to leverage their asset down the road.

4. Cash Deals Are Less Complicated Transactions

Purchasing land with cash pares the acquisition process down to its most basic terms. There is no need for buyers to maintain certain income levels, credit scores or debt ratios to qualify for financing. Appraisals, title searches, and other steps mandated by lenders are minimized or avoided. The transaction simply involves a buyer and seller exchanging money for a deed. This straightforward approach saves time, effort and stress for both parties.

Key Considerations When Buying New York Land with Cash

While paying cash for property offers buyers clear advantages, there are also important factors to keep in mind to ensure a wise investment:

Research the Area Thoroughly

Carefully study market trends, economic projections, planned developments and demographic shifts related to the precise location where you want to buy land. Look at recent land values and sale prices in the vicinity. Get boots on the ground to assess the landscape and local community firsthand. This will help determine a fair offer price and make clear the property's realistic redevelopment potential.

Act Fast When the Right Opportunity Arises

As noted above, the best undeveloped land parcels sell quickly in New York's hot real estate market. Experienced investors learn to trust their instincts; when a deal seems promising, they move swiftly to make a competitive all-cash offer. However, it is wise to still have any contract contingencies reviewed by an attorney before closing.

Make a Conservative Offer

There is room to negotiate more aggressively when making a cash offer since banks are not involved. But still avoid getting caught up in bidding wars that drive prices to unjustified levels. Research sales comps extensively to establish a fair bid, and stand firm if sellers try driving up the price.

Inspect the Land Thoroughly

While cash buyers save time by minimizing inspections, it is wise to still have the land surveyed, tested for contaminants, assessed for development suitability, etc. before finalizing a purchase. Catching problems ahead of time is ideal.

Understand All Closing Costs

Closing fees, taxes, legal charges and other transaction costs still apply, even for all-cash deals. Ensure you have budgeted sufficiently to cover these so they do not eat into your investment capital at settlement.

Seek Guidance from Local Experts

Work with a top-notch New York real estate attorney and land development professionals who know the area's unique laws, regulations and trends. They can help structure a wise cash purchase suited to your investment goals and risk tolerance.

Cash Land Sales Offer a Simpler Path for Sellers Too

For those looking to sell undeveloped land in New York, accepting an all-cash offer also makes the process faster and easier vs. dealing with buyers who need financing. Key benefits for sellers include:

  • Quicker closing timeline - No waiting on the buyer to be approved for a loan. The deal can be wrapped up in days or weeks rather than months.
  • No appraisal contingencies - Appraisals ordered by banks can delay or even derail sales if the number comes in lower than a negotiated price. All-cash deals have no such conditions.
  • Buyer financing is guaranteed - Sellers can be assured the buyer has the full purchase amount ready to exchange upon closing. The deal will not fall through due to the buyer failing to secure a loan.
  • Straightforward process - There are minimal hoops and paperwork for sellers, just signing over the deed in exchange for payment. Closing costs may still apply.
  • Potentially higher purchase price - Buyers free from loan constraints can present higher offers, which sellers may prefer even if the deal involves closing incentives or other concessions.

Best Practices for Buying NY Land with Cash

When paying all cash for New York property, whether vacant land or developed real estate, it is important to follow certain best practices to ensure a wise investment:

Research the Property and Local Market Extensively

  • Study recent land sales and values in the area to gauge fair pricing.
  • Assess factors like zoning, development plans, population and job growth in the region.
  • Visit the property and surrounding community to evaluate the landscape and growth potential firsthand.

Verify Clear Title and Access

  • Perform a title search to confirm there are no liens or other encumbrances on the land.
  • Ensure the deed provides clear ownership rights.
  • Confirm there is adequate legal access, utility availability and other essentials.

Inspect for Any Structures or Contaminants

  • Do due diligence to rule out defects, contamination issues or structures requiring removal.
  • A land survey and environmental site assessment is advisable before finalizing a purchase.

Have a RE Attorney Review Documents

  • Allow an experienced real estate lawyer to examine the purchase contract before signing.
  • Verify all terms protect your interests as the buyer.
  • Confirm closing costs and understand tax implications.

Move Quickly When the Right Deal Arises

  • Be ready to act decisively when you find a properly priced parcel in a prime location.
  • Consider making a prompt cash offer contingent on confirmatory due diligence.

Seek Local Expert Guidance

  • Work with a top real estate attorney familiar with state and regional regulations.
  • Consult land developers, contractors and others with specialized market knowledge.

Final Words

For real estate investors and land developers, buying property in New York State offers tremendous opportunities paired with unique challenges. Opting to purchase promising vacant land, building lots and acreage with cash allows buyers to act quickly when prime parcels become available. Cash deals also provide negotiating leverage to make aggressive yet fair offers that motivated sellers will seriously consider. By following best practices like thoroughly researching the local market, performing due diligence, and consulting experienced local professionals, land buyers can make wise cash purchases that align with their investment goals and risk tolerance. Paying with cash provides flexibility for buyers to hold land long-term until ideal conditions arise to develop, subdivide or resell for maximum gains.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main advantages of buying land with cash versus financing?

Paying cash allows you to act quickly, negotiate better deals, avoid monthly mortgage payments, and simplify the transaction. Cash buyers have more flexibility in how they structure offers and can close faster.

Does paying cash mean I can skip inspections and due diligence?

No, it's still wise to have the land surveyed, appraised, and inspected before finalizing a purchase. Cash allows you to minimize financing-related steps, but key due diligence should still be done.

How much of a discount from asking price can I offer when making a cash land purchase?

There are no set rules. Research recent sales to establish fair market value. Offer a discounted but reasonable price and be prepared to negotiate. Unique parcels may command prices closer to asking.

What professionals should I consult when buying NY land with cash?

Local real estate attorneys, land surveyors, engineers, environmental consultants, land development advisors, and appraisers provide insight on valuations, regulations, liens, site conditions and more.

What are the main closing costs with NY cash land deals?

Typical fees are title search and insurance, attorney charges, recording the deed, transfer taxes, surveys and inspections you obtain. There are no loan origination fees. Property and sales taxes may also apply.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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