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Commentary: It's a good time to buy land

October 18, 2012|By John Thomas

While I have read and heard reasonable arguments on both sides of Measure CC, the Open Space Initiative, surprisingly I have not heard anyone state the simple fact that this is a good time to be a buyer.

We all know it is a tough economy right now, not such a good time to be a seller, and admittedly, probably a hard time for some taxpayers to want to incur the additional expense of a $10-per-month parcel tax. On the other hand, with the funds from this tax, the city might find that it is able to negotiate purchases that are at far more favorable prices and on terms that are much better than they might have seen in the past few years.

In an economy like this, there are fewer buyers; that is, there is less competition, and the buyers who are out there are not willing to pay premium prices for much of anything. If you think it is a tough time to try to sell your house, just try to sell an undeveloped piece of land.

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Bottom line, there might be some land owners who would be willing to sell at a price that the most conservative buyer would think is attractive. Thus, the old broker's argument — "it's a good time to buy."

It's not just location, location, location. It is also timing, timing, timing, and now is a good time to try to buy land to complete the city's open-space system, and that's a reason to support Measure CC.

John Thomas is resident of Laguna Beach.

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