For about two years I’ve been evaluating real estate in Northeastern California. But before I get into that, I need to preface the conversation by saying that I was a real estate agent/broker for 37 years.
During that time I thought I learned a lot about real estate sales. In fact, I did. However, there is an entirely different world of real estate out there. The real estate world in which I operated was legal, ethical and conscientious.
Real estate transactions in Northeastern California are mostly different. The genetic makeup of real estate in Northeastern California, and particularly Modoc County, is infected with corrupt motives. Much of the county is owned by Southern California corporations that operate on a basis not normally seen in California’s real estate industry. And, one of the most prominent owners and sellers of real estate in Modoc County is the county itself.
It appears to me that Modoc County is in the middle of a major conflict of interest.
The properties of which I speak are generally “recreational properties.” Lots range from an acre to a few acres. They were created in mass at a time when land was cheap, laws were lax and oversite was non-existent.
The worst offenders were and still are sub-dividers whose corporations exist only by a continuous chain of “fishing” activities. Lots are mostly void of value because Modoc County has a very limited economic base. The corporations “fish” for inexperienced buyers, who think big brother is watching out for them.
The very worst case scenario is one where the landowner (often Modoc County) offers lots, but not title. This is very common.
The ongoing tax sale in Modoc County is a testimony to the case I am making. Hundreds of lots are for sale and the Modoc County tax collector is offering them at prices three or four times their economic value.
Notice to bidders. If you purchase one of these lots, you may be contributing to the tax sale of 2025.
The lots of which I’m speaking would be more valuable to society if they were all recombined and resold in economically viable units.
What’s going on here? I’m watching.
And, I’m going to purchase a lot. Call it education.