Buying land is more than just selecting a hunk of dirt to put your name on. Not all land is created equal, so we’ve put together some tips for you to consider on what to look for when buying land. Read on to learn more!
Walk the Line
Before you purchase any property, you should visit the property and physically walk the entire piece of land. Ask if the boundaries are marked or if the seller can provide you with GPS coordinates of the corners. You should walk the perimeter of the property and note any issues you find that could be a problem to your plans for the property. Is there a super wet area? Are there slopes or hills that need to be worked around? What is the soil like? Not all soil is primed for building.
You will want to make sure the land can handle your structure before you make your purchase. This walk-around will also give you a chance to get a feel of the neighboring 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 discover after your purchase, that you aren’t able to build the 3 story dream house you were planning. Or that the land you bought is located in a flood zone. Contact the county property accessor, and in addition, ask about the land specifics of the area.
You will also want to research future zoning for the area you are considering. Certain projects can have a huge impact on your properties value. Is the city planning a major road in the area? Or railroad tracks? Or a utility plant? Or a landfill? You will want to learn as much as possible about what is being planned in the area. Contact the area’s local property accessor 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 properties that are landlocked. Is there a creek on the property? Does it flood? Anything that will keep you from constructing a structure (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 investigated and addressed before buying.
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. A title agency can do this for you and should be part of the closing of the sale if not done before.
If you plan on developing the land in any way, you will want to be clear that utilities are available and easily accessible. Most developed areas are on municipal or county water. However, if your property needs a septic system you will want to have a perc test done, and calculate the costs for drilling a well. Are there gas lines in the area, or will you rely only on 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, so you can budget for them, and not find out after the fact.
Just like when you purchase a home, land should be purchased only after proper consideration and research. You should work with a land specialist such as Rural Acres Properties to ensure you are purchasing a property with no hidden surprises and that will meet all of your wishes & requirements for the land!