Buying land is something not all people think about, but it can be crucial for so many people who want to build something from scratch. Although buying land is much easier than buying other real estates for many reasons. If you look you can certainly find many good options depending on where you are living in the world. However, buying land may not be that easy because there are a few things to consider and a decision to make, whether or not the land would meet your needs is the biggest question.
So the best way to buy the desirable land that you have been looking for is to make sure that you know everything about the land and its surrounding. For this, you will need some answers to the right questions so that you know what kind of land you are buying and whether it would be the best deal for you.
While you might be in a rush to decide whether or not you would like to buy the land, it is important that first you know everything about the land and see how you feel about it. There might be hundreds of questions running in your head or you might be struggling with finding the right questions to ask the previous owner or the realtor. Either way, you could use some help.
While we won’t be able to make a decision for you or get you all the answers, what we can do is provide a list of questions to ask when buying land. These are some of the important questions that you must ask before you purchase land and these would certainly help you make a decision.
Go ahead and take a look at the following questions to ask while buying land.
Questions To Ask When Buying A Land
1. What is the Chain of Title?This simply means who is the owner right now. Even though it doesn’t sound like a big question, you need to know if you are buying the land from the owner. While it is unlikely, scams regarding a piece of land happen a lot and that is why buyers should be aware of it.For example, the previous owner of the land may have died and didn’t leave the property to a new owner and someone might be looking forward to taking advantage of the situation. In this situation, you should certainly be careful when it comes to the chain of titles.To make things clear and simpler you can ask the owner to send you a copy of the deed. If they don’t have the deed you can check the county’s website for the deed history. For the search, you will need APN.
2. What is Property Back Taxes?Once you know about the chain of titles for the land, the next thing you would like to know would be the taxes on the land. You will need to know the amount of back taxes, liens, or debts owed on the property.If there are any debts that the property has, you might have to deal with that. This can be worth hundreds if not thousands of debt. If there are any unclear debts, as the new owner of the property, you will have to pay those later.
3. Is the Property in an HOA or POA?If there are no debts, liens, or back taxes on the property, the next thing you need to know would be if the land you are buying is a part of HOA/POA for two primary reasons:
- These have an annual fees
- It has some restrictions and property use rules that you will need to be aware of.You won’t find the HOA or POA on the County Treasurer’s system but you will have to contact them directly. If the owner doesn’t know about it, you should use the APN and contact the county. They would help you figure things out.
4. What is Property Zoning?When you are buying land, you must have something planned out about what you are going to do with the land. That is where you ask about the property zoning and understand what you can do with land and if there are any rules or restrictions imposed by the state.The common queries include:
- Is the lot buildable?
- What other construction is planned or possible on the surrounding land?
- Is this property agricultural, residential or commercial?Sometimes you won’t be allowed for camping or RVing, the activities most the property owners love to do.To inquire about the property zoning you must contact the county’s Planning and Zoning Department directly. The seller might tell you about this information but it would be better if you get this information straight from the source.
5. What Can You Use the Land For?This again is a question that you shouldn’t neglect. There are so many things that you would be able to do with the land that you are buying but the question is, whether these things are allowed or there are certain restrictions.As we have said earlier, the most common restrictions that you would face would be the property zoning and HOA/POA rules. Other than this the vacant lands are classified as recreational, residential, and undeveloped. You will still need to follow the rules and regulations imposed by the Property zoning and HOA and POA.
6. Does the Property Have Utilities?Utilities are quite important but it is not common for vacant land to have the utilities. So before you go ahead you would want to ask if you will get the utilities along with the land. Two of the most common utilities that you can expect from the land are power and water. This will only happen if the land is a part of a developed subdivision.The other utilities such as sewer or septic, city water, or a well depend on the property location and the costs of bringing utilities.You can find out about the utilities you will be getting with help from the county. Although if you are buying a private or a remote area, you might have to depend on natural resources such as solar power, collecting rainwater, etc.
7. What Property Taxes Do You Pay?There is no maintenance cost for vacant land, but there can be some taxes that you will have to pay as an owner of the land. The taxes that you will have to pay will vary according to the location and the tax regulations of your state, and this is what you would need to know before you buy the land.To find out what kind of property tax you will be paying and how much it will cost you. Make sure you do pay your taxes for the property or you will end up losing the ownership of the land or you will have to pay the fine which might be more than the tax itself.
8. Does the Land Have Common Facilities?The common facilities may or may be there depending on the location and how developed the area is. The common facilities include septic, road, and water.It is much like the utilities as it will vary and depend on different factors. It would be better if you know about this before you make the deal.
9. Are There Any Wetlands?One of the things that you will need to ask the owner or realtor is if there are any wetlands near the property.The wetlands are not very ideal and no property owner would want their land near wetlands. These areas will be either seasonally or permanently saturated with water resulting in several marshes and swamps.The wetlands not only make it difficult to build anything but they will also affect a lot of activities that require a solid ground.
10. What is the Property Size?The size of the property is something you would know even before you talk about buying the land because this may have been something that has attracted you in the first place. But if you haven’t talked about the size “officially” then you should certainly do it before buying the land.Not only would you want to know the exact size of the land but also the shape. You should know the clear boundaries of the land you own. Apart from this, the size of the land should be suitable for the plans you have for the land.
11. Is the Land Near a Conservation Easement?The conservation easement is a restricted area on a property to protect its resources. Within the conservation easement agreement, the property owner will be legally obligated to some restrictions such as planting, clearing, or hunting on certain areas of land.So before buying the land, you should know this much about it because once the deal is done, you will have to follow those restrictions too. It is like permanent restrictions on the land that doesn’t change whether the land has been sold to someone else. These kinds of lands are usually cheaper than the market value of the land.
12. Who Owns Mineral Rights to My Property?You need to know that you won’t be able to access some of the resources on your land because legally the mining rights are not divided by the lands. So whether the land has a gold mine, you won’t have any access legally.So if you want to know about the mineral rights and what are these or who owns the rights, then ask before buying it.
13. Who are Your Neighbors?This is one of the most crucial questions that you should ask before buying land or any other real estate. The neighbors can certainly impact your lifestyle and your experience, so you must know about the neighbors a little bit before you buy the land.
14. How Desirable the Land is?The purpose of asking this question is to make sure whether you would be able to sell the land if you want to. You need to know how many potential buyers are there and how desirable the land is. So you can ask the broker if there are any other potential buyers for the land or you can research that on your own as well.
ConclusionSo these are some of the most important questions that you should ask while buying land. The questions would certainly help you know about the land in and out and help you come to a final decision. We have listed some of the generic questions which you can customize according to your locality and needs.That would be all for now and we hope you got everything that you have been looking for and our article was helpful for you. Thank you.