Land for Sale: What to Look for When Buying

Buying a house isn’t a terribly difficult process. You usually know what you like and what you’re looking for, so it’s easy to tell if the property is a good fit or not. But when you’re buying property without a home, it can be a more challenging process to make sure the property is a good fit for your building needs. Here are some key qualities to look for when you’re buying land.

Get to know the land for sale. Walk every foot of the property until you’re familiar with it. This will help you determine what would need to be done to the landscape, such as clearing trees or leveling it for building. You’ll also get an idea of what access you’ll have to utilities and which ones you’ll need to have installed. You will have to determine for yourself whether a lot that requires a lot of work is worth paying a lower price for than a lot that’s already cleared and set up for utilities.

In addition to getting to know the land, get to know the people. You’ll probably want to know your neighbors, even if they aren’t too close by. They may be able to give you key information about the lot you’re looking at, like if it’s prone to flooding. Neighbors can be a great resource when researching the land for sale.

Once you’ve picked out a property you want to purchase, you’ll need to go through all the different departments and commissions for more information on building codes, zoning, and everything else your area requires before building. The tax assessor will get you additional information that will affect where you can build and what you can do with the property. Once you’ve gone through all this red tape, you’re able to take the next step to buy that land.

Now you’re ready to visit a lender offering a land-buying mortgage program. These “land loans” usually have different terms than regular mortgages, including shorter repayment terms and significantly higher interest rates. They also tend to require a much heftier down payment because they’re riskier than typical home mortgage loans, so make sure you’re financially prepared for this purchase. You’ll also need to secure a construction loan for building a home.

After you’ve worked out the red tape with the town and the loan terms with the lender, you’ve gone from looking at land for sale to officially becoming a property owner! Now you’re ready to start the building process. If you’ve dreamed of owning property for long, chances are you already have some ideas in mind for what you want your home to look like, so now it’s time to make those dreams a reality. Congratulations on your new dream home!