Things to Know Before Buying Land

Buying a piece of vacant land opens so many options for you. Will you rent it out to someone, develop it, or hold onto it until property prices in the area go up and you can sell it off at a profit?

Among your first considerations when deciding whether a land investment is for you is to establish that the payment or installments are within your budgetary limits.

If not, land ownership could become an unmitigated nightmare that sees you forced to sell the land at a loss.

For some people, the process of land purchase may seem completely hard, but it’s more than possible to buy land with cash if you follow a few steps.

First of all, you’ll need to have a general understanding of what you are going to do with the land since there are endless opportunities you can use it and generate a static income. Depending on your goals define the ideal land that you’ll need.

Then evaluate your budget and try to search for the type of land in those regions that are available within your budget limits. Afterward, make research on permits and try to obtain all the required ones.

The last but not least step is to hire a well-experienced land inspector. All these steps will help you to come much closer to your goal.

Here are some other things to understand about a land purchase:

Contents

Be selective

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Most land investors do their initial searches looking to buy land from the owner online. However, what you see in a few photographs should not convince you to invest straight away.

Instead, it should be a way of sorting the wheat from the chaff and drawing up a shortlist of land plots you are interested in viewing. It is easy to fall in love with a piece of land and view it through rose-tinted spectacles when you have not seen it in real life.

An in-person viewing is essential if you want to find the right piece of land that suits your needs. The photographs online seldom show neighboring properties.

When you arrive for a walkthrough, you might find that some are littered with an unsightly mess. Or that the access road is an impassable dirt road that a regular car cannot traverse.

Alternatively, you might just realize that there is a landfill not too far away, and it exudes a pungent odor you would prefer not to experience daily.

Ask the property owner or real estate agent to accompany you on the walkthrough so that any outstanding questions, such as those about fence lines, boundaries, and neighbor disputes, are put to rest before any offers are made.

It is not unreasonable to do more than one walkthrough as you might have follow-up queries.

Deed restrictions

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Another essential component of buying land is investigating any deed restrictions limiting what you can do on your land and what is not permitted. A realtor should, in theory, be in a position to give you this information.

However, there is no harm in doing an independent check at the local Deeds Office for verification purposes.

Some of the restrictions that could come with a land deed include minimum or maximum square footage of dwellings allowed, limitations on whether outbuildings or auxiliary structures may be constructed, restrictions on what building materials and styles are permitted, and general rules about how and what the owner can build.

Most rural properties have few deed restrictions attached to them. However, it would be unfortunate to discover that there are some only after making the purchase. Enforcement of a deed restriction is challengeable, although this may take time to complete.

Ceded rights

So far, you are happy with the land’s appearance and its deed restrictions, or lack thereof. Now, it is time to find out about mineral, timber, water, and access rights. These are common on rural land and should be thoroughly investigated.

The real estate agent and owner can provide any necessary information regarding ceded rights. Ceded rights are not something you want to find out about after the fact.

If the current owner sold off these rights to a third party, they do not revert to you after purchase. You will need to undertake legal action to get them back, which can take years and cost an exorbitant amount of legal fees.

Check with a local lawyer regarding ceded rights and whether buying the land would still be a worthwhile investment.

Zoning

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All county land is zoned for set purposes. If you try to use a property for something that it is not zoned for, a world of legal struggles lies ahead.

An area’s zoning and ordinances dictate what you may or may not build, including auxiliary buildings, such as barns, wind turbines, and tiny houses. Each county has unique rules, and you must know what they are before committing to anything.

Visit the relevant local authorities to establish zoning and ordinance regulations applicable to any land you intend to purchase. With this knowledge at your disposal, you can make an informed, final decision about the sale.

Revisit your finances

Determine how you will finance this land purchase and any associated insurance premiums. If you intend to pay cash, ensure that the money is accessible, so no issues are transferring it upon a transaction’s completion.

Delays in a transfer could lead a seller to develop cold feet and withdraw.

There are many ways to finance a land purchase. These include a mortgage, land leases, and owner financing. Choose one that suits your budget and ability to pay.

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Consult an attorney for advice on having watertight paperwork so that nothing can go wrong with the transaction and no nefarious business practices could rob you of your hard-earned savings.

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