Many people dream of buying a vacant lot either outside the city limits or out in the rural countryside and building their ideal house.
It’s a dream that’s appealing for many reasons. For one, you can build the house you want. There are fewer limits, as long as you have the financing available. Plus, you can get farther away from the hustle and bustle of living in town or at least have fewer neighbors close by.
There is a lot that goes into a decision to buy land for a house, though, especially rural land. Here is what you need to consider throughout the process.
Is it smarter for you to buy or build?
So, you are looking into moving into a new house. Now you are faced with one of the most common conundrums: Should you buy an existing home or build a new house?
Your answer to this question is going to depend on multiple factors. The first of which are going to be your schedule and whether you can afford to build. It’s no secret that having a house built can take months. More often than not, it’s also more expensive.
However, if you have the financing available and are not on a tight schedule, then building may be for you. Some of the benefits are that you can customize the home to your own tastes, don’t have to put money into renovations and it may be a better investment strategy.
You’ve decided to build. Here’s what’s next.
Now that you have elected to go the building route, you need to take a crash course on some of the basics of looking for land to buy. Finding rural land that’s suitable for housing is best done with a real estate professional at your side who can guide you along the way and answer any questions that you may have.
Still, you can prepare yourself by learning some of these basics.
Learn about local zoning ordinances and classification
Whenever you are buying land, you need to know how it is zoned. This could determine exactly what you can build and how you can use the land.
Before you buy land, make sure you know it’s zoning classification, which will let you know how the land can and cannot be used. Then, you will need to freshen up on local ordinances that may further restrict what you can build on the land, how the home you want to build can be designed and how that structure must sit on the parcel.
What needs to be done to the land before it’s ready for your home?
This probably does not come as a surprise, but not all vacant lots and land are in ready-to-build condition.
Rural land may need some work done before it’s ready for the home construction phase. This could include clearing trees, performing dirt work, planning around any wetlands that may be on the property and more. There could also be debris left over from previous land uses, or even old waterways. All of these need to be dealt with before a home can be built on the land.
One other consideration is how easy it is to get utilities to the land. Some vacant lots may already have access arranged, while others, specifically land parcels in more rural areas may need to have this arranged. This potentially increases the amount of time before it’s ready for a home.
You may also need to plan for road access to your home. Will you need to build a private road or can you connect a driveway to an existing public road?
Drive around the property and find property lines
Speaking of roads, when buying any sort of rural land, whether for residential or for commercial/agricultural purposes, you need to know exactly what roads lead to and border the land.
Familiarizing yourself with all areas of the property is an important step in doing your due diligence before going forward with buying rural land. Take a driving tour of the entire area so that you know how accessible it is from different directions.
Get out the maps, too. You will want to find out where the property lines are so that you know precisely what land does and does not come with the sale.
You can use tools like Google Maps and Google Earth to do some quick reconnaissance, but nothing is better than getting in the car, driving out to the land and even setting out on foot to lay eyes on the property.
How is neighboring land used?
Even if you won’t have literal next door neighbors, you may still want to check how neighboring property owners use the land they own.
Will you be next to a major livestock operation or a busy farm? This could create more traffic than you anticipate. If your hope was to find a quiet little acreage where you could enjoy the privacy and tranquility of the country life, then these sorts of operations may defeat that purpose altogether.
You will also want to see how any neighboring communities plan to grow in the future. A peaceful acreage may not be so peaceful if developments pop up quickly in a matter of years.
Ask what comes with the land
Some vacant lots may not just be land. You will want to know if anything extra currently on the land comes with the sale.
For example, if the land was once used for agricultural purposes, then there may be fencing or at least fence posts. Be sure to find out if there are any other buildings on the land, such as old barns or storage sheds. If these are in disrepair but are included in the sale of the land, then they will be the buyer’s responsibility unless some other deal is negotiated.
Work with us and Get the Advantage!
Advantage Realty and Land Management can help you find the land that’s perfect for your future home. We specialize in a wide range of real estate services, including residential.
Get in touch with us and we will get to work finding land that fits your dream house vision.