Buying land is more than just choosing a piece of dirt to call your own. Not all land is created equal, so we’ve put together some tips on what to look for when buying land. Read on to learn more!
Walk the Line
Before you purchase any property, you should physically take the time to walk the entire piece of land. You should walk the perimeter of the property and note any issues you find that could impede your plans for the property. Are there slopes, hills? What is the soil like? Not all soil is primed for building.
You will want to make sure the land can handle a structure before you make your purchase. This will also give you a chance to get a feel of the parcels surrounding you.
Research Zoning and The Future Plans of the Land Nearby
You need to do your homework before making any real estate investment, and land is no exception. You don’t want to find out after your purchase, that you aren’t able to build the 3 story house you dreamed of. Or that the land you bought is in a flood zone. Contact the area’s local zoning department, and in addition, ask about the land specifics of the area.
You will also want to research future zoning for the area. Certain projects can have a huge affect on your properties value. Is the city planning a major road in the area? Or railroad tracks? Or a utility plant? You will want to learn as much as possible about what the future plans in the area are. Contact the area’s local property planner to learn about future use and how these future plans will affect property taxes.
Survey & Title Search
You will want to have a property survey done as well as a full title search. Look for easements from utilities and landlocked properties. Is there a creek on the property? Does it flood? Anything that will keep you from building (if that’s your goal) should be looked into. Some areas have building restrictions because there are protected species in the area. Other areas restrict building due to sandy soil. Each area presents its own unique challenges that should be addressed before purchasing.
You will also want to make sure that the property has a clear title. This means there are no liens against the property and that the seller has the authority to sell the land free and clear.
If you plan on developing the land in any way, you will want to make sure utilities are available and easily accessible. Most developed areas are on municipal water. However, if your area is using septic you will want to have a perc test done, and calculate the costs to drill a well. Are there gas lines in the area, or will you solely be using electric? Will there be any additional cost to have utilities (including internet, cable electric or water) ran to the property? You want to find out these things beforehand, and not down the road.
Just like when you purchase a home, land should be purchased only after careful consideration and research. You should work with a land specialist such as Land of America LLC to ensure you are purchasing a property with no hidden surprises and that will meet all of your wishes & requirements for the land!