What Do I Need To Know Before Buying Land?

You should always do your research and talk with experts to ensure you understand everything that comes along with any plot of land before you purchase it.

Whether you're a developer or building your dream home, you’ll need to purchase land to support your plan. However, the process of buying land is much different from buying a house. In fact, there are a wide variety of things that should be carefully considered to ensure you make the right decision. This starts by knowing what to look out for and what adjustments need to be made to ensure you get the best deal possible. 

Determine Your Budget

If you’ve made the decision to purchase land, it’s important to know that you’re investing in a long-term project. Buying and developing land for use is a huge undertaking. That’s why you should take the time to determine a realistic budget that includes all the fees, permits, the price of the land, the cost of building a home, and any other adjustments that need to be set in place like water, power, and other utilities. 

Find Land for Sale

While you can hire a real estate agent to help you, you can also search for land yourself. Rather than focusing on traditional MLS listings, you should consider searching online platforms like Land Resellers that are specifically designed for buying and selling land. With the ability to search for property by map state, or county, you can easily find the most beautiful, undeveloped land, sprawling ranches, and custom homesites nationwide. It’s also possible to purchase property that isn’t listed for sale. Even if a plot of land you're interested in isn't on the market, the owner may be interested in what you have to offer if the price is right. 

Choose the Right Property

Worried about choosing the right land? Take the time to research any zoning laws set in place around a specific property. Doing so will prevent you from purchasing land for a residential home when it's zoned for commercial use or vice versa. You should also make sure there aren’t any problems with the land itself that will prevent you from drilling a well or installing utilities like power, sewer, and gas. Furthermore, you don’t want to purchase land that has any liens or environmental problems. Once you get this information, you’ll have a better understanding of how you can use a plot of land and whether it fits your individual needs. 

Determine Annual Taxes

Owning land can be a profitable investment. However, it’s also a taxable one. Local governments levy property tax on undeveloped land just like they do for homes and commercial buildings. That’s why it’s important to determine what you will have to pay in property taxes each year before making a purchase. Keep in mind that property taxes will vary greatly depending on location of land and its highest and best use potential. You don’t want to purchase land that comes with ridiculously high taxes in proportion to its actual value. Instead, it’s better to find a piece of land that falls in the 1%-4% tax range of its full market value.  

Is A Property Accessible?

When it comes to purchasing land, it’s important to note that not all property is accessible. While you may find just what you’re looking for, it could be surrounded on all sides by private property that makes it virtually useless. Such is the case with thousands of properties throughout the U.S. However, accessibility issues can be resolved if you can establish a legal easement with one of your neighbors that is willing to allow you entry through their property. Keep in mind, however, that while this can be done for free, you might have to pay extra for this access to give a neighbor reason to help you. 

Know What Comes With The Land

Unfortunately, many buyers discovered what they thought was vacant land, actually contained lots of junk, tires, rubble, and other unwanted surprises. If you are interested in a specific property, it’s important to understand everything you are getting when you purchase it. Debris removal and cleanup can be extremely expensive, and you’ll want to avoid any surprises like these upfront. That’s why it’s a good idea to visit a property in-person to get a better idea of what you are actually purchasing. 

Investigate Nearby Properties 

Nearby properties can seriously impact the value and future ability to sell a piece of land. You wouldn’t want to purchase a piece of property next to a landfill, would you? For this reason, it’s important to investigate any surrounding properties and gain a better idea of what they look like and what their intended uses are. Would you or anyone else want to live there? If any of these properties have obvious issues, you should think very carefully about how it will affect the piece of land you want to purchase. 

Talk With A Builder

It’s always a good idea to consult with a builder before you choose a piece of land. Why? A builder can offer important insight and provide you with ideas on how the land can be developed to suit your specific needs. This includes taking advantage of natural light and views along with the best ways to place a home, driveway, etc. Furthermore, a professional builder can point out any potential problems they see that you may not want to deal with in the future. 

Research Deed Restrictions

Before you purchase a piece of land, it’s important to research any deed restrictions that come along with it. A deed restriction is a provision in a deed that limits how a property can be used and what can be built there. For example, you don’t want to get into the process of building a home, only to discover there are limits on the number of bedrooms you can have. That’s why it’s best to know if there are any deed restrictions before you make a purchase to ensure you won’t have any problems developing it in the future. 

The Takeaway

While searching for land can be an exciting process, it’s not something to be taken lightly. You should take the time to do your research and talk with experts to make sure you understand everything that comes along with any property. By using the tips mentioned above, you’ll feel good about closing on a piece of land by ensuring it’s everything you want it to be. 

Need some help searching for land properties? Land Resellers can help. As an online marketplace designed for buying and selling land, we can help you search for specific land properties in different parts of the country that match your unique criteria and budget. With detail-rich listings, you can also view important information like land type, location, acreage, price, and other specifications. In addition, you can compare different properties using numerous filter options and side-by-side comparisons to find the ideal property you are looking for.

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