It turned out that not all that glittered was gold, I found out the hard way. There was an easement placed on the land where Acres of Gold was. There was an important gas line across the land beneath. Though the previous owners might have not be disturbed for the past 30 years, it does not mean there will not be any disruption to the land in future when the need arises. Thus the easement clause in the land title and that does anything but to put one at ease if you are considering buying the land. KL-J's advisers told him to stay out. I had the same opinion. I wouldn't mind living on the land even if a gas pipe running below. In Singapore, we live above all kinds of shit anyway. However, running a business on land with easement is an entirely different story. If the easement is exercise, the business downtime, opportunity costs, reinstating costs and compensation will be potential headaches. Since prevention is better than cure, the best thing to do is to avoid.
Was I embarrassed for not spotting such a critical problem? Yes. However, it was the first time I heard of the term easement in my entire life. Much as I tried, I didn't cover every single potential issue associated with buying land. That is how we learn things. I am grateful for an opportunity to an eye opener rather than dwelling on my lack of knowledge. I learnt something from that and I am sharing it now for your benefit.
There will be always better properties around. Perhaps not at the same price or location but there will be interesting ones here and there. So it is up to KL-J (and me to a lesser extent) to shortlist new ones. Coincidentally, the one that he spotted and noted me was one that caught my eye just a minute before. It was a beautiful looking estate on paper. One that sends hearts fluttering. However, I thought it might be over his budget so I didn't suggest. Of course, I was wrong again. From the way I see it, if it is value for money, investors will not mind paying more.
The land report suggested a scary drop in land price in just one single year but it was still valued for a million despite the plunge. It looks like most people who buy land recently, be it residential, commercial or rural, will be sitting on a property worth less than what they paid for today. Despite the drop in land value, the owner is expecting at least a million more on the raw land itself. Is the stunning house, water licenses, boreholes, infrastructure, buildings and other investments worth a million dollars?
I'll visit it soon to find out. Hopefully my eyes will be keener this time.