How To Buy Land 101
People seek to become homeowners by simply purchasing a house or building one from the ground up. If you’re one of those people who’s looking for land for sale, planning to build a house, or constructing a building for a certain purpose you have in mind, this post is tailor-made for you.
We all know the first step is to find land for sale. However, purchasing land can be quite a task. Let’s examine the process involved in buying land so you can have an easy path to doing so.
Where to Find Land For Sale?
In looking for land for sale, it’s rare to come across a plot of land when you’re having a walk or driving. You might require the help of professionals called “real estate agents” or a search on the internet. It all comes down to your choice.
However, it’s always best if a thorough inquiry is made into a potential asset. In situations where you might feel you missed out on a sweet deal because you failed in carrying out a proper choice can be regrettable. In this post, a great deal of research has been carried out to save your time and prevent further stress in your inquiries into purchasing land.
Three methods for discovering land for sale
Real Estate Websites
An online search is usually how most people start their inquiry into land for sale. It’s simpler to head into Google and search “Land for sale in [specified residence].” You will find helpful resources through this method. Real estate websites have databases of land for sale and listed properties throughout the country.
Some of the best real estate websites are:
This real estate website specializes in lands and farms and not buildings. It focuses exclusively on land. Here are some of its search options;
- Farmland for sale
- Residential land for sale
- Commercial land for sale
Loopnet.com concentrates on commercial property listings. It’s a platform for finding land for sale with buildings on it. It advertises commercial properties and also has an extensive list of commercial brokers.
This is another good real estate website to search for land. It has listings on rural land sales. It markets landed properties such as;
- Timber Land for sale
- International Land for auction
- Farms and ranches for sale
Realtor.com offers services not just for locating realtors but the sale of residential land lots and homes. They offer a unique service of catering for homebuyers. With this website, you can find realtors to aid in your search for suitable land for sale.
It offers services on homes for sale as well as vacant lots. The platform provides the services of a real estate agent for people seeking to buy homes and empty lots. Landflip.com; this real estate website also focuses on rural land for sale.
They have listings for:
- Empty lots
- Farms and ranches
This is a popular platform that concentrates on almost all branches of real estate. It deals with the transaction of houses, lands, and other investment properties. Zillow is popular for finding land for residential homes and not really farmlands. It is also a good place to find a realtor that will aid your search.
Craigslist is a household name as far as land and property are concerned. It has a versatile use, and land is also sold on it. Local land for sale can be found on Craigslist and For Sale By Owner (FBSO) listings.
These websites have properties listed by the owners looking to sell and selected real estate listings.
Real Estate Agents
If you are looking for a unique land for sale, a real estate agent is your best bet in helping you find one. Some real estate agents have the experience in purchasing and selling land plots−with the resources and access to listings they possess, locating your specified land wouldn’t be a hassle.
When selecting a real estate agent, go for the real estate with experience in raw land sales and those with experience in soil science or forestry.
Also, there are real estate agents with Accredited Land Consultation (ALC) in the Realtors Land Institute (RLI). They have knowledge of legal aspects concerning the land purchase and will offer the mandatory guidelines required.
Communal information sources can be a good place in your search for land for sales. In some neighborhoods, Landed properties are listed and marketed in local newspapers and online platforms like Craigslist and Zillow.
There is the option of contacting landowners to discuss their listed land for sale. Also, land can be auctioned on county tax deed auctions.
What Factors Should I Consider When Looking For Land?
There are elements and details to put into consideration when searching for land for sale. You can’t simply find land and buy it immediately without performing due research on the rules, utilities, and accessibility of the land. These factors are:
There are certain limitations placed on land, and you can find this information in the county government offices. Some of them are:
- Size of buildings allowed
- Type of buildings allowed
- Position of service lines
The next factor you should take note of is the need for permits. To add certain installations to the land, permits are one of the requirements. Here are certain things you might need permits for:
- Road Access
In your search for land, Utility access is one of the most significant elements to examine. You can’t purchase land and then have trouble with utilities because you never considered them initially. Let’s take a look at them:
Sewers: You will need information on the sewer capacity of the land and if there is no local sewer connection at a close distance to the land. You will have to build your private septic tank.
Water: If there is no local water supply to the land and installation of a water system is not a requirement, a permit will be compulsory.
Electrical access: A utility like electricity is important; if there is no connection to the local grid, a permit will be required for the connection of electric lines.
Road access: In instances where you might have to pave a road through the land or construct one leading to it, permits are required. The construction of a road is expensive, and even the removal of trees on the land can be quite costly. If the land is located beside natural conservation properties, construction might be limited or ultimately restricted.
Internet Service: You need to run tests on cellular coverage on the land. If your internet provider has poo service on the land, you might have to switch internet providers or use a fiber-optic service.
Sort your Financing Options
You might either want to pay in cash or obtain a loan for you’re a\payment. It’s more difficult to obtain a loan for an empty lot than for developed property.
Most lending services associate undeveloped lands with riskier investment and are encouraged to offer a financing service when you have immediate development plans. You might require some extra cash for a down payment if you have no instantaneous plans for developing the land.
Options concerning financing land procurement
Construction-to-permanent (CP) loan
A CP loan enables the buyer to finance the land purchase and home construction simultaneously. It is a popular financing choice due to its smaller down payment obligation and comes with a lower interest rate. Before applying for a CP loan, you need to have a building plan developed, and there is a minimum time limit before construction starts.
These loans enable the buyer to purchase the land without the need for instantaneous development plans. The downside to these loans is the large down payments and high-interest rates.
In instances of FBSO properties, the seller can finance the purchase. The seller determines the down payment, and interest rates are usually higher.
Also, there is the option of paying in cash. You will need to get some documents, such as:
- Proof of documents
- Bank statement
- Open equity line of credit
Paying in cash can aid in financing construction payments; your equity on the land can serve as a down payment.
Make them an Offer
You have to submit an offer to the seller in writing after you have chosen your desirable land. Verbal agreements rarely hold up in real estate transactions, so it’s best to pen down agreements and offers.
A real estate agent’s bid form can be used to submit your offer. There are several important details in the bid form, such as:
- Price of the land
These are clauses that you can include in situations where a problem arises during the inspection period. These clauses will enable you to terminate the deal and recover your money. Here are some regular contingencies:
- The land must pass environmental tests
- It must be able to obtain a utility permit
- The land should have zoning regulations that suit the buyer’s requirements.
Your real estate agent will handle the drafting and submission of the bid form for the land for sale.
If you decide to go in alone without the help of a real estate agent, you will need a real estate agent for advice, setting up the contractual agreement, and drafting the required documents for the purchase.
Get Environmental Tests Done Before Purchase
Right before you go ahead to make a purchase, you should carry out an environmental inspection on the land for sale. There is certain must-know information you need to have. Here are some of the tests you will have to proceed with:
- Soil test: A soil test will check the moisture content of the soil, earthquake damage to the soil, percolation rate (water drainage rate), foundational support, and sinkhole possibilities.
- Zoning regulation: You will have to check the land’s zoning regulation. It determines the usage of the land. The local Zoning and Planning office will have the rules for the land in the designated area. If the land is designated for a residential purpose, a commercial building cannot be developed on the land.
- Conduction of a survey: A survey should be in place on the land for sale to determine its accurate dimensions. It will aid the buyer in knowing the amount of useful land on the property.
Other elements to research:
- Inspection of Title: A person with land knowledge or needs to discover if there are restrictions or unique assessments on the land. A title search looks into other third-party rights to the land. It can prevent future problems such as third-party access to the land.
- Ask for documents: Documents concerning Covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC%R) of the land should be asked for. These documents will contain certain regulations of the municipal community placed on buildings. These regulations can severely limit your land use, so it’s advisable to ask for them.
- Conduct a last inspection: You should carry out a final walkthrough of the property before you make your purchase. A last tour of the land and carrying out an eye test of the property will help clear any doubt you have in mind. At this point, you have done your research and know you are satisfied with your potential purchase.
Make The Purchase
After making your inspection and carrying out your research, it is time to pay for the land. Either you pay through cash by using a check or any other financing method.
Then after your purchase, you can have the deed of the land proving your legitimate ownership of the land. A lawyer or real estate agent will help you inspect the deed to ascertain its legitimacy.
This blog post has done the needful on informing you on the basic steps to take when you are searching for land to purchase−from the search for land to the factors to consider when seeking to purchase land and sorting out your financing.
Nonetheless, getting to the end of this post means you have made the right choice in your information search, and it will pay off when you find land for sale. At this point, you are a landowner. Congratulations.