August 1, 2004
VENTURA COUNTY STAR
THE ART OF SPECIALIZING
BY Kay Wilson-Bolton
The placement of SOAR initiatives into our governing processes will continue to be debated, but for now, that same long view has agriculture and farming in place for a long time to come.
Sales activity seems to SOAR, literally, when a production ranch comes available. The typical buyer is motivated by investment opportunities and lifestyle changes, although many buyers are viewing the long view as a reasonable
The real estate practitioner is going the way of many professionals in the areas of developing specialties. Looking at the long view for the business, the REALTORÒ has a way of touching the public that the Internet and its many desirable attributes cannot.
An interesting niche is the sale of ranches and farmland. This important specialty serves a unique need in the lives of Ventura County property owners. Historically, ranch and land sales have been handled by a handful of respected individuals. It is clearly a uniquely different element of real estate sales and activity. Fortunately, there are a few of the younger crowd joining the ranks, mentored by the old and wiser ones.
The County Board of Supervisors widely adopted provisions for the Ventura County Ordinance Code. Buyers might sign a disclosure with respect to the proximity of farmland near their intended purchase.
My company has long required this disclosure, but with housing developments beginning to share the same air as trees and crops, it has become a necessary and wise part of life for the sale of every kind of property in proximity to ranches or farmable land.
The sale of residential properties has its own unique issues such as termite reports, home inspections, Covenants Conditions and Restrictions, and lending and appraisal requirements. Likewise the sale of ranch and land addresses different issues.
One of the most unusual components is the Certificate of Compliance and Legal Lot Determination issued by the County of Ventura. It is now our practice to initiate such requests in the initial stages of marketing a ranch or land.
To not do so creates an opportunity for buyers to discover only after the close of escrow that they are unable to pull a building permit because the lot was created illegally.
Another area for potential problems and irritations are unlicensed mobile homes sitting on ranches. Unraveling this paperwork can take time and easily delay a closing.
The more common discovery elements in a ranch and land sale include water analysis for potability and availability, well recovery testing, leaf analysis, production records and packouts, septic tank and leach line inspections, water share transfers and encroachments.
A particularly challenging issue is that of access to parcels, which are remote or have been under the same ownership for a long time.
While real estate is considered to be that one commodity which is “under everything” and it can be sold by anyone licensed by the appropriate State agency, it is always in the client’s best interest to engage someone with special expertise and understanding of a valuable and unique resource.
Kay Wilson-Bolton has been in full-time real estate since 1976 with CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and CENTURY 21 Ojai Valley. She can be reached at 805.340.5025.