Do owners ever sell land adjacent to their homes?

There's a lot of talk about neighbor letters, and how those adjacent to the lot you own are more likely to buy your land. But what about the somewhat inverted and very common scenario where you are targeting a parcel and notice that it is owned by the same people who own the adjacent single-family home parcel. Has anyone had any luck buying these?

I figure that these are the types of situations where the owner is most attached to the land (almost literally), and where not-in-my-backyard inhibitions are strongest, thus making it much less likely they'll sell. It makes me tempted to drop this category of parcels from my list.

On the other hand, if both the home and the vacant lot are delinquent, maybe the owner might be even more motivated to sell, since it might be saving their home.

I'm undecided. Do any of you have some insight here?

I think you're on the right track @oranjoose. I've had several conversations with people about buying land adjacent to their home... so it can happen, but in my experience, they're much less likely to take a rock-bottom price for it. Since it's something they see every day, it carries a lot more perceived value to them.

Of course, if they're in a dire financial situation like you said (home and vacant lot are delinquent, and they're out of options), that may be a different story... I just haven't encountered many of those situations before.

I probably wouldn't go out of my way to target these people, but if they ever respond to my mail or submit their property on my website, I have nothing against making an offer, so long as the property meets my criteria. At the same time, I'm not going to go against the offer formula just because it's worth more to them.

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I had an owner in this situation respond to a letter, and it played out pretty much exactly like Seth said. In effect, I mailed to them on accident, meaning I didn't realize they were right next door to the vacant lot. I had pulled a tax delinquent list, and this county doesn't assign any address, even a street name, to vacant parcels, so I didn't connect the property location with the owner's mailing address, at all. Turns out, the owners had the property listed with an agent, so they responded to my letter (not a blind offer), very interested in selling their house, but assuming that I knew it was on the MLS (oops). I politely ended the call after figuring out it was listed with an agent, and then I looked on Zillow out of curiosity. It was priced at least 20% higher than I had figured it was worth at "retail", and it had been listed for about a year without selling, in a pretty healthy real estate market. After that, I've tried harder to avoid mailing to owners of improved, adjoining lots.

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I have never personally bought a parcel that an owner had as an adjoining property. My question is how would you go about scrubbing this out of your list?

@dustinrudolph That's a good question. I haven't been doing this long (working on pulling together a list for my fourth mailing now), but mostly I've been pulling up each property for a quick check on the county's GIS to see if there are any obvious issues, including not only (or even primarily) the existence of an improved lot next door by the same owner, but also other things that even more quickly jump out at you when looking at a satellite view of the property -- for instance, if the property is some type of subdivision common area, or a parking lot for a commercial property next door, etc.

Also, I somewhat adopted this approach when working with a data source that included a direct link to the county's GIS view for each property, which made this super quick and easy to do. Now that I'm trying to expand beyond that data source, though, and am having to search out the GIS page for each property separately, I am actually finding that incremental additional effort a bit more tedious for some counties, and I could totally understand if others feel this is putting in too much time on the front end. Where I'm still at (mailing hundreds of letters at a time, not thousands, yet) I feel more comfortable putting this relatively minor effort in on the front end to optimize my spending on direct mail toward properties I'm more likely to actually want to buy, but I can see where it might not scale well unless I can delegate some of these checks to others...which might outweigh the benefit on mail spend, I guess, so not sure what direction I'll take yet if I continue to grow.


I have one under contract to purchase currently that is in fact next door to where they currently live. I had a very honest conversation with them about how I work and what my intentions were after the fact in selling for a profit. His response, and almost verbatim: "As long as you don't build a Walmart back there, I don't care what you do with it - if I get my bottom line price, I'm good with it!" Their primary residence sits on an acre or two; the subject property I am purchasing is 12.3 acres and it is a property they bought at the same time they bought their current primary residence. Just over time realized they weren't going to do anything with it so decided to offload it.

@dl7573 I here you on all of that. That is the only way I currently know of to scrub those kind of properties out is to look them up individually on a mapping software system. I send out several thousands of letters every month so it would be too time consuming to go through my whole list. I wasn't sure if somebody had figured out a way to easily identify these types of property on an excel spreadsheet and scrub them out that way.