Buying a piece of land and building your home on it is what the American dream is all about. If you’re looking at land for sale in your area, your dreams are probably a lot bigger than just the roof over your head. Maybe you want land for recreational opportunities such as hunting or using ATV bikes, maybe your dream is to have a lake property, perhaps you have agricultural plans for the land. Whatever the reason you want your own piece of land, here are some common mistakes realtors often see first time land buyers make while shopping for land for sale:
- Buying the land for the land, not the area it’s in. Before you settle on a piece of land, scope out the neighborhood. Even if you love the actual dirt you would own, it might be ruined by loud neighbors (like a factory), ugly neighbors (such as a landfill), or smelly neighbors (like a pig farm).
- Not checking the zoning restrictions. You might assume that if you own acreage, you have plenty of room to do anything your heart desires. However, your county has determined the zoning and land usage for it and that might conflict with your plans. You might hope to build two houses and a work shop on your land, but the predetermined land use limits the land you’re considering to a single structure every 20 acres. You can also obtain the ten year plan for the area from your county’s Development Services Office. This way, you can ensure that the land you’re considering isn’t going to be adjacent to a new highway one day.
- Not making sure you have road access. The land you’re considering should have an road easement that is recognized by the Department of Transportation. Buying land that is land-locked can easily turn into a considerable nightmare. Even if there is a well-established agreement that the owner of the road you must use to access your property will allow you to cross, there is no guarantee that it won’t change in the future. A gentlemen’s agreement for driving on someone else’s land has no legal standing.
- Making the price tag your highest priority. We all love a good deal. However, nine times out of ten, the asking price on the land for sale is a good reflection of what it’s worth. If your main priority is finding a low-ball deal, you might find a great deal on swampland, a tract that land-locked, next door to a chicken processing plant, or just ugly. Chances are, you’ll be calling this place your home for the rest of your life. It’s better to spend a little extra on a place you’re proud of.
Do know of any additional land buying mistakes that we neglected to mention? Please share your insight in the comment section below.