Tips for Purchasing Vacant Land

Many people dream of purchasing land and building their own dream home. Some even dream of larger plots that they can use for agriculture, business or recreation. If you have been thinking about purchasing land, consider the following tips.

Do Your Due Diligence

When you research land, e.g., “land for sale in Suffolk VA,” you need to do a thorough investigation. First, you should consult with an attorney to ensure that the land has no outstanding liens. Liens are legal claims to the land held by someone other than the landowner. For example, if the landowner took out a loan against the land to upgrade the irrigation system and that loan is not yet paid, the company that worked on the irrigation system may have a lien against the land.

Next, check the zoning restrictions to ensure that you can use the land for your intended purpose. For example, do you intend to subdivide and resell it? Will you run cattle or plant crops? Will you use it for a commercial purpose? Then, look into local transportation projects because improvements may increase or decrease the land’s future value. The land may also have restrictions, such as no split-hoof livestock. Also, consider environmental testing.

Work With a Surveyor

After your purchase your land, you may be given a survey so you can find its boundaries. However, this survey is only certified for the person who purchased it, so you have no legal recourse if a survey mistake was made. Therefore, consider hiring a land surveyor before your purchase. Not only will you learn the land’s boundaries, but you may receive valuable topographical and geographic data.

Look For Demolition Possibilities

Don’t limit your search to bare land. Many properties in your area may be in such disrepair that they are selling for less than the value of the land. You can demolish the existing home or buildings and still have land that is worth more than you paid for it. Then, you can pursue your goals.

Choose a Realtor Who Specializes in Land

Your realtor or real estate agent should specialize in selling land. These individuals remain updated on the land available in their areas, so they can inform you almost immediately when new properties are listed. In addition, they will be familiar with the intricacies of purchasing bare land.

Research Land Loans

Banks do not tend to like financing bare land purchases. With single-family homes, a bank can sell your mortgage to another lender in the secondary mortgage market. However, land has no secondary mortgage market. Due to this increased risk, you may have difficulty getting a loan and be required to pay a much higher down payment (up to 50%).

Starting from scratch is exciting, but do your homework to get the best land deal available.