When purchasing land, it's important that you think about the intended purpose it will be used for. It's Gary Edelbrock here, and I'm talking with Charlie Arnold about what to look for in a land purchase.
Buying a Piece of Land
Last time we talked about floodplain issues, its time to talk about how to buy a good lot or piece of land.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller you need to hire a Realtor who is a land expert. By expert I mean a realtor who has land development experience, who has the knowledge base to identify potential problems and/or benefits to a specific piece of property.
Whatever jurisdiction the property is in (County/City/Town), you or your Realtor must go to the development services department to investigate issues that could exist like: zoning, floodplains, slope, access, utilities, water and building height restrictions. As a note, city water could be available but the cost to connect might be different from one area to another.
----Did you know that a Land Specialist can often see defect in a property just by looking at it? ----
- What do you want to do with the property? If the answer is build a house then it’s time to get into soils. The soil composition can affect how you can build on the property and if you are putting in a septic tank… well let just say its better to be informed about your costs than to be caught off guard.
- You want to ensure there is adequate water to the property; if you need to drill a well, check local well records in the area, and call a well specialist. If there is already a well on the property, get the well inspected, and have a pump test done. Having to repair or drill a well can add thousands of dollars to your purchase, so be very careful.
- If your property is in a subdivision it is important to understand what the Codes, Covenants & Restrictions (CC&R’s) are, they can be basic or extremely strict. CC&R’s can govern paint colors, building height, exterior material, landscaping, roofing and minimum square footage, just to name a few.
- Access: Just because there is a road to the property doesn’t mean that you have the right to drive on it. It is important for your sake that access is verified, the easiest way is to review the title report and map any and all easements.
- Easements: be sure you know what kind of easements exist across a property; I have seen parcels with power line easements running right down the middle (no power lines today, but could be some tomorrow). Underground utilities such as gas lines can also be problematic.
This is a big picture overview of possible issues that a land buyer could face, but many more could apply to your specific situation. Ask lots of questions.
In today’s market land ownership is a great investment.; They aren’t making any more land and there are many terrific parcels at prices we may never see again.; Take the time to find a good property and a good Land Agent.
Southwest Development Consultants