Realty Executives Gateway Realty

What To Look For When Buying Land For A Home

There can be some things you can run into when buying residential land to build on. So here are some things you should look out for when you’re shopping and before you sign anything.


When you’re trying to buy a piece of land, of course the number one thing you’ll be looking for is location. 

  • Keep in mind how close it is to hospitals

  • How close it is to shopping (if those things important to you)

  • How long do you plan to keep the property, that way when you plan to sell in the future, you can figure out how sellable this property is.


To find all these things out, have a conversation with your local real estate agent, and they can pull up comparables on how much land has sold for within the last 6 months - even in the last 6 years. Then you can see how well land sells in that area. 


One thing that happens more often than not, is that sellers buy themselves a piece of land, then they learn after they’ve purchased it that certain types of dwellings are not allowed on the property. So when you’re looking on the MLS or when you’re working with a real estate agent, make sure you make it clear to them exactly what you intend to do with that piece of property. They can then filter out the exact kind of property that will work for what you want to build, whether it be a tiny home, a modular home, or a manufactured home. That way you’ll be ahead of the game and not wasting your time on a bunch of listings that aren’t what you’re looking for. 


When you’re buying a piece of land, the other thing you’re really going to want to look at is if the land has utilities already brought up to the property. This can save you thousands and thousands of dollars, so you want to know the property has those services ahead of time. 


Another thing a lot of people don’t think about is mineral rights. One of the privileges of having mineral rights as a property owner is that you maintain mineral servitude for as long as you own the land. 


When you’re buying a piece of property you’re going to want to check it out in all weather types and seasons. If you’re interested in a property, before you write an offer, you should check it out after it rains, on a sunny day, on a snowy day, check in on that property to find out where it holds water on the property. Then you should find out how much of the land is usable and what you can build on. Just because you’re buying 4 acres, does not mean 4 acres are usable. All these things will take time, so make sure you allow a significant amount of time for these inspections in your offer. 


You’ll also want to find out the property line and the set back lines, which tells you how far from the property line you’re allowed to build. 


Easements - A property easement is a legal situation in which the title to a specific piece of land remains with the landowner, but another person or organization is given the right to use that land for a distinct purpose. You should know if a property has any easements that allow people to pass through your property, such as a dirt road. These are things you need to know. 


The key when you’re buying a lot, is that you have to do your research, soil sample, flood determination, you know what the set backs are on the property, you know the easements on the property, know what the zoning is, and know if it’s agricultural and you can rent that land out to local farmers for tax credits.


Now you know all you need to know before purchasing your piece of land!


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