Purchasing land can be a monumental task, especially for first-time owners. There are plenty of factors to consider in terms of livability, intrinsic value, and legal hurdles. If well informed, purchasing property can be a profitable and sentimental investment for you or your family.
First and foremost, survey the land. The environmental aspects of land can easily hamper its desired use. If planning to build houses or commercial buildings, then one might want to avoid rocky or hilly environments that make foundation building costlier. With flatter properties it is important to check that proper drainage systems are in place, otherwise, this may be an extra expense to consider for the land’s project or purpose. Also check for local water sources, such as lakes or rivers. While attractive and sometimes valuable for properties, natural water sources greatly increase the chances of flooding.
Next, see if the property is landlocked. When a property is landlocked this means there are no legal road accesses to the property. Even if you see roads leading to the property, make sure to check whether or not they are private and who owns them.
Another important factor to consider, especially for residential purposes, is utilities. Are there power lines close to the property? What about local water access? Sewage? These factors are important to consider when looking at the price of land. What may seem cheap on the surface could cost far more if needing well drilling, culverts, power lines, etc.
After you’ve found that perfect slice of land, next is to research local zoning restrictions. Zoning is a common practice by most counties in which different sections of a county are “zoned” out for different purposes. For example, if part of your potential property falls under a commercial only zone then you wouldn’t be able to build any residential units. So if that beautiful field you bought for your summer home is in a commercial zone, then it may only be good for frolicking.
The final, most important element to consider is actually the exact reason you’re looking at the property. Pay close attention, do your research, and if available ask prospective neighbors about the property. Find its history and ask to see the title, because there could be liens out on the property which opens the door to a slew of legal problems. If all else fails, contact a trusted and local realtor to help find the perfect property for you.