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A legal leg to stand on??

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i live in california and recently met a gentleman who told me that he had 40 acres that he was subdividing into ten acre lots. this land was about 1 hour from where i was currently living. dispite this we agreed to rent the house that is on the property until the subdivison was complete. after the subdivision was completed we were supposed to get ten acres for $80,000.00. however the subdivision does not seem to be taking place and the owner of the property who is 87 has been diagnosed with cancer and seems to be nearing the end of his life. he says that he wants to sell us the land but is dealing with problems with the subdivision. is there any legal recourse for us if we do not get this property?

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