3 Things to look for when buying land

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It’s a BIG investment – get it right

Buying land is a big investment for you and your family. While you might use a real estate professional to help you find just the right piece of land, there are three things you will want to take into consideration when looking at each property. Of course there are lots of other things to consider aside from these three …..for the moment though we’ll leave them up to you however we’re always here to help if needed.

1.    Types of land

There are, broadly speaking, two (2) types of property. There is land that is developed, which has the utilities brought to the site and roads built. The second is undeveloped land.

If you buy undeveloped land, you will be responsible for bringing the utilities to your home, and in many cases, you must build and maintain the roads into your property. Frequently, undeveloped land has few, if any, utilities coming onto the property. If you choose to buy property that does not have utilities, you will be responsible for cost and effort to bring them onto your land. This includes power, water, gas, telephone and cable. Contact the local utilities in your area to determine what it will take to do this. For many properties in more rural areas, water is not available to be run into the property so you will need to drill a well and install a septic system. So, if you know you cannot handle this much trouble, then it may be a great idea to just invest in land with utilities all taken cared of.

There are pros and cons to each type of land. Knowing what your priorities are and what money you have to spend is essential to determining what type of property fits you project best.

2.    Location, location, location

Before you talk with a real estate professional or begin to look at land, you and your family need to determine what is most important to you in a location. How much do you have to spend on land? Is it the quality of the schools and the activities you will be close to that matter the most? Do you want to be in a more rural location with acreage and privacy? Do you want to be close to freeway access? Do you want to be on the water or have a view? What is the minimum size lot you will need for your dream home?

These are many of the questions you should think about. Then prioritize what is most important to you and for what purpose you intend to use the land.

3.    Resale value (in case you change your mind)

This may not seem like the biggest factor as you are most likely putting all your hopes and dreams into this one plot of land but that doesn’t mean you won’t perhaps want something bigger, or even move back into the city in an apartment later on. Like it or not, buying land is a big investment, and you’d have to be reckless not to consider the property value of the plot. The good news is that land consistently goes up in value at a scale almost twice as much as property. The thing with land is that it is a finite resource and one that has a demand that is on the increase across the board. Simply put, most land will only increase in value in time as it becomes more and more scarce (especially around major cities).

TIP: One good thing to look at also is why and how long the piece of land was put up for sale. Perhaps the seller found it too difficult to develop, or discovered zoning laws restrictive, or discovered that the land is at an area prone to flooding and natural calamities. If the land has been for sale for a long time, consider looking into why it didn’t sell fast. Maybe you’re plonking down hard-earned money on property which other people didn’t find profitable, developable or useful.

In these circumstances you should seriously consider appointing a good Project Manager with knowledge across the breadth of issues that you will be needing to confront.

2 Responses

  1. Adrian Stagg
    | Reply

    When looking at a potential property dont just think about what the area is like at the moment. Do your research and find out what the area will be like in the future. Councils are a good source of information about future plans for an area there are also other websites that will alert you of development applications made for developments in the area. These things are often a good indication of an areas potential to grow in value. They can also tell you where not to buy. A friend of mine bought a house then found out there is a site across the street that is earmarked for an electricity substation. If only he had done he research. Happy hunting

  2. Carlton Preece
    | Reply

    Good insights – thanks

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