|Finding Your Piece of the Rock |
What to look for while shopping for property—and what you should know before you sign on the dotted line.
Location, location, location.
Do you need help?
Real estate transactions are more complex than ever, so you should seriously consider finding a land broker, developer or real estate agent to guide you through the land-buying process. Choose a local broker/agent who is an expert on the area.
Buying land is an investment, so you need to approach the process at least partially from a business perspective. One way to do that is to look for property in an area that is on the rise. Steer clear of neighborhoods that feature run-down or half-built homes. Just as importantly, avoid becoming excited about a piece of land before you know everything about it. If you fall in love with the physical attributes of the land, it will be all that more difficult to sort through the regulations that will affect how you can use it.
Think long and hard about how rural you really want to be so you don’t suffer from culture shock your first night in your new log home. There are different levels of seclusion, so it’s up to you to find the right balance of privacy and convenience. The more the two come together, the higher the price tag. There are also development costs when building on a rural site. When buying rural property, you need to consider:
Sewer or Septic
Surveys & zoning restrictions
If the land you’re considering hasn’t been surveyed recently or if boundary markers aren’t clear, have a new survey done. It will show you exactly how much acreage you’re buying and protect you legally. Once you know exactly where the property lines begin and end, research the land around your parcel. The goal here is to make sure your quiet wooded lot won’t be surrounded by shopping malls and commercial developments 10 years down the road. Some of the more common ordinances regulate the maximum dwelling size or the materials you can use to build your home. You may be restricted to certain color palettes for roofing, siding or windows. Some covenants restrict outbuildings such as sheds, gazebos or playhouses. Water features like pools and fountains may be limited.