Buying a piece of land is a big commitment, and the process can be overwhelming at times. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying land.
- Do the aesthetics of the land, when combined with a log home, meet your vision? As an extreme example, you would not want purchase a prairie lot if your vision includes tall pine trees.
- Is the land located your other interests and activities? Getting a ski-in/ski-out lot may be worth the cost if you ski every chance you get.
- What is the future use of the land surrounding this piece of land? You want to understand the area’s zoning because that can impact your view and space whether it is a three-story home or a noisy roadway. Check with your builder, local building department, title companies, and neighbors to uncover factors not easily noticeable.
- Is the lot buildable? It is well worth the money to have your lot surveyed to better understand its topography. Remember that retaining walls, roads and driveways, utilities, and special permits drive up the cost of the home’s construction.
- Are utilities and/or amenities available? Developed lots may be more expensive because utilities are already there, whereas undeveloped lots require you to install utilities at your expense driving up construction costs. Developed lots in a subdivision may come with a community clubhouse, swimming pool, or other amenities. Please consult with a professional before buying an undeveloped lot as it may be tricky (and costly), and sometimes, not even feasible to install utilities.
- Does the lot have water? Lack of water is a deal breaker if you cannot get city or municipal water, or drill a well.
- Is the soil appropriate for a septic drain field? If the lot does not have sewer access, it will require a septic tank and drain field. A perc (percolation) test is done to assess the soil condition and if it is appropriate for a septic drain field.
- What other knowledge of the land should you have? Make sure you are fully informed of easements, access, setbacks, zoning and other legal considerations. If anything is unusual, please consult a lawyer as the ability to get title insurance is critical.
- When should I walk away? Here are five signs you should walk away:
- Soggy soil or underground water. Understand what the lot is like in all seasons – dry and wet.
- If developer does not fulfill promises, be wary and have a plan if the developer defaults.
- The title, easements, access requirements, or local building codes are not clear.
- You cannot get full disclosure on the land.
- When you cannot get clear information on the development to the surrounding land.
Resale value is important even if you plan to keep your home indefinitely, so follow these guidelines to ensure you make a sound investment in your land. Learn how M.T.N Design ensures your home is designed to match the contours of your land and meets any jurisdictional requirements and regulatory codes.