This may also be shown in a different kind, where Assets = Liabilities + Capital, where capital goes to an owner’s equity. As an example, a person with $50,000 cash in the bank and a vehicle liability of $10,000 will get an equity position of (or capital in the sum of $40,000. This is what someone has left over to spend, invest, or conserve. Many real estate professionals (agents, appraisers, bankers, financiers, and programmers) argue that equity represents a particular number. Since our discussion is about rural land both with and without improvements, we’re often trying to ascertain what a property is worth first without improvements, to ascertain its equity. We can look at several places to get a reference. County authorities have assessed values of all listed properties, based on items like beyond property and sales size. Real estate professionals can provide quotes based on past and current experience with the region. Both of these resources aren’t always the most objective, since county authorities want higher assessed land values (that will result in higher taxes and increased government assets), realtors want higher sales commissions, and bankers/appraisers wish to make higher penalties. A third way of determining the worth of a property is exactly what I’d call ‚real time value.‘ What would the property market for now? Who would purchase the property now, and at what cost? Sometimes buyers think they are eligible for equity positions when they must sell, and will occasionally attempt to sell their property and collect the profits of a deposit without spending the first position mortgage. This may be considered equity skimming (at the minimum), because most contracts say that any profits from selling should go toward paying the under-lining mortgage (or initial position) first. Making payments on a property contract to the vendor doesn’t entitle someone to an equity position as some people may believe. This is the point where the illusion of equity comes in, since these expenses can not be put at the bottom of the priority list. A lot of folks don’t realize that a purchaser can pay on a property contract for many years and not receive any equity. Equity is an illusion perpetrated by the real estate market to make people believe they’re entitled to something. To clarify this further with an illustration, imagine a purchaser owes $20,000 on a property and is secured by a first position note. If, hypothetically, this buyer has a new assessment completed and the assessment states that the real estate is worth $35,000, what would the equity be? If this house is financeable, that may be the case, but for the purposes of the book, equity doesn’t occur until the buyer sells the property, pays off the underlying loan, and has money left over. If we are buying, selling, developing, improving, and ultimately receiving cash payments to your property, we aren’t worried about the term equity.