What data service will help me do due diligence?

I am wondering if there is a data service that addresses my needs. Tutorials on how to buy vacant lands at tax deed sales emphasize the need to do due diligence on all the following:

–check for taxes and liens against the property

–find out which taxes and liens, if any, will remain attached to the property

–make sure it is a buildable lot

–to do above, you need to establish how the lot is classified for code purposes, and access the lot specifications, minimums the lot must meet for construction to be allowed

–you further need to find out what its sewage situation is because 1) municipalities have different lot minimum specification for lots with public sewage and lots with septic; and 2) if the lot will require the construction of a septic tank, you need to take that into account in your decision.

–check to see if it is in a flood zone. Sometimes a property will be within a hair’s breadth of a flood zone on the map, and you need to get a yes or no from an official

Tutorials don’t mention how hard getting all this information can be because of uncooperative government agencies. It is not even an issue of the hours and hours this research takes up. The biggest problem is potential purchases I have had to abandon simply because either officials don’t call me back or they tell me to hire a lawyer to do a title search.

All of this is by way of setting the stage for my question. At this point, I am willing to consider subscribing to a data service if that is going to give me access to all or virtually all of the items of information I need. I would be very interested in your input.

A quick call to the county treasurer/tax collector will get you a reliable answer to this. Some data services have this in certain counties, but it’s usually not kept up to date on a daily basis.

If you’re astute at doing a title search, you can figure this out on your own (more on that here), but most people handle this by closing with a title company. It’s their job to make sure the title is clear and that you’re buying a property without any liens attached to it.

“Buildable” is a strong word. If it’s an infill lot, this is fairly easy to figure out, but for a raw piece of land, there can be all kinds of obstacles that get in the way of it being buildable, depending on the area and the municipality.

It also depends greatly on what you’re trying to build (a property may be buildable in some respects, but not others). I don’t know of any software that can tell you definitively if a property is buildable in every respect. You’d have to talk with the local planner to get more confirmation on that.

HOWEVER, if you’re just looking a due diligence that will give you a lot of quick, easy answers, Land id is great for this. I’ve got some videos explaining how to use it in this YouTube playlist.

Aside from talking to the local planner, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the local zoning ordinance that dictates what can be done under certain zoning classifications. You can usually find these with a simple Google search. When you do, there are some great AI tools out there now that can help make it easier to read and make sense of what’s in these ordinances. Here’s a video explaining how that works.

Again, you can usually find these rules in the municipality’s requirements online. If you can’t, you can always give them a call for more guidance on this. The county Health Department is the one that governs this in my area.

Flood zones are pretty easy to figure out. I’ve got a blog post on that here, or if you’re using Land id, they’ve got a FEMA layer that shows you exactly where the flood zones are.

Some things are worth researching before you make an offer, and certain things can wait until the seller has accepted (because many sellers won’t accept your offer, and you don’t want to waste your time on them until you’re fairly certain you’re dealing with a serious seller).

Land id is a great tool for getting many of your due diligence questions answered (the things I talk about in this blog post). Things like topography, flood zones, wetlands, road access, surrounding neighbors, parcel maps, and a lot more can be answered in less than 5 minutes.

When the seller has actually accepted, that’s when you can start asking the harder questions and deciding how far you want to go with your due diligence before closing. You also have to consider how much you’re investing in the property. If it’s a few thousand bucks, it’s hard to justify spending any money on surveys and other items… but if you’re investing tens or hundreds of thousands, it makes a lot of sense to order a survey, do soil tests, get entitlements, etc… but again, that stuff can wait until all your ducks are in a row and you know the seller has agreed to sell.

I am so impressed by the time you’ve put into the answer. I will be going through it in detail and watching the videos. I hope others will benefit from all this information as well. Wow, thanks so much!!!

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I took the week-long free trial at LandID, and I have decided I cannot live without it. I know you have a link somewhere

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[quote=“Sylvia Castellanos, post:3, topic:7538, username:syasturi”]

I think my trying to answer got messed up. I was saying that based on your suggestion I tried Land ID and it is great. My 7 day free subscription expired today and I need to now purchase a Discover membership ($80 a year). I know I have seen somewhere that you have a link so that people can buy the membership through you at a bit of a discount. Mainly, you have helped me with so much information that I want you to get whatever small commission may be involved. Please let me know as soon as you can, because I don’t want to be without Land ID.

Thanks for trying to click through my link! Unfortunately, Land id doesn’t have an affiliate program at the moment, so there’s nothing special I can offer on that front.

If that every changes, though (if anyone is reading this in the future), I’ll put a link that redirects… so if they ever do bring back their affiliate program, that link will be embedded here: REtipster.com/LandID