For many families, buying land and then building their dream homes makes more sense than hunting for a home that fits their needs. What some of those families do not realize is that without properly researching the land, they could end up with a bad investment that could take a considerable amount of money to make worthwhile. If you are planning to purchase land, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Contact the Zoning Commission
The zoning commission in your city dictates what type of building is allowed on the land. The commission is also responsible for setting restrictions, such as limiting the height of buildings constructed in a certain area. Before you buy your land, you need to check the zoning requirements and limitations on the lots for sale.
You also have to check out the zoning for the areas surrounding your home. Find out if there are any commercial businesses allowed in the area. If you fail to do so, you could end up with a commercial business as a neighbor.
Research the Land's History
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to thoroughly research the history of the land you want to buy. There could be problems hidden from you that could impact your ownership in the future.
For instance, if the land has a lien against it, you could end up paying out the terms of that lien in order to retain ownership of it. A title search can help you determine if there is a lien. Work with a real estate agent or attorney to find out the land's history.
Get an Appraisal
Some buyers who are not relying on a lender for financing, tend to skip the appraisal and make a bid on the land based on what they believe it to be worth. If you choose to forgo the appraisal, you could possibly be overpaying for the land.
An appraisal will give you the actual value of the land. If there are comparable lots in the area that have been sold, check out those to get additional help with determining what your bid should be.
Consult with a real estate agent to find out what other steps you need to take before purchasing land. In addition to steering you towards prime properties, the agent can also help ensure that you are covered when it is time to sign the purchase contract for the land.