What to Ask When Buying Land

Buying Land is a big decision and a big investment. Go slow, ask questions, and learn everything you can about the land before you buy. Below are some of the important questions to ask.

  • Should I Use A Realtor?
  • I believe in most cases you should use a realtor. The realtor is paid a commission from the seller so there is no charge to you. Why not use an expert for free?

  • Am I Paying A Fair Price?
  • Land prices vary and it is hard to calculate an exact value for a piece of land. Be careful, look at similar parcels of land that sold recently to get an idea of the value for the land you are looking for.

  • Are There Limits On How I Can Use This Land?
  • There are many possible limits or restrictions on how you can use a parcel of land. Many restrictions are government regulations. These could include Zoning restrictions and Building Permit Requirements. You should also look for CCR’s (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions.)

  • Can I Connect To Public Utilities, At What Cost?
  • If the land is not already connected to electricity, water and sewer there can be significant costs in connecting. You may need to drill a well and install a septic system instead of connecting to water and sewer.

  • Does The Land Have Any Title Problems?
  • You should use a title company to handle the closing and insist on an Owners Title Insurance Policy. This will insure you against any title problems, including liens, judgments, forged deeds etc. Have the title company explain the policy and any exceptions to coverage at closing.

  • Do I Have Legal Access To The Land?
  • Legal access means you have the right to use the roads leading to your land, crossing any property between your land and the nearest public road. The title company should insure access as part of the Owners Title Insurance Policy.

  • Who Owns The Mineral Rights?
  • The Mineral Rights are often owned by a different person than the surface rights (what we commonly think of as the land). If the mineral rights are owned separately the owners of the mineral rights may have the right to enter your property and set up equipment to extract their minerals.

  • Do I Like The Neighbors?
  • Before you buy land, meet the neighbors. While you are getting to know them ask them what they know about the land. They may have information that the realtor doesn’t.

  • Do I Like The Area?
  • If you find a parcel of land that you like but dislike the area you will end up disliking the land too. Investigate the local schools, the stores, the community and the roads you will travel. Don’t forget to find out what the area is like in the winter and the summer.

    Of course this doesn’t cover everything you should look into when buying land, but it gives you a place to start. Remember caveat emptor (buyer beware), when buying land.

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