Indeed, buying land on which to build your house can be a source of excitement. However, don’t let your emotions overcome your rational thinking. Many people often commit mistakes when buying vacant land because they neglect the crucial considerations to guide their purchase.
For sure, you’re here to know about those considerations. So, here’s a list of things that land buyers should know before purchasing vacant land for building a house.
Local laws or ordinances govern property zoning by dividing the land into different zones. In this way, land usage can be organized for maximum livability and efficiency. For example, a residential area can only achieve the highest livability if there are no industrial buildings that cause noise and air pollution to people living in it.
Before you buy land, make sure to determine how the land is zoned and what uses or restrictions apply to it. Here are the common zoning designations that you should know:
- Commercial. A zoning designation allowing malls, theaters, restaurants, offices, and other commercial establishments to operate.
- Residential. An area designated for the building of houses and dwelling units.
- Rural. A zone that allows the operation of farmlands and other areas reserved for agricultural use.
- Industrial. A zoning designation allowing for the operation of factories and manufacturing businesses.
- Environmental. A zone designated for the protection of essential environmental lands.
- Historical. A zoning designation that protects important historical buildings and structures.
Local Building Codes
It’s natural for anyone who’s planning to build his own home to indulge his creative imagination. However, there are construction-related laws that you need to know before building physical structures on vacant land.
In the United States, you have to know construction-related codes, such as the International Building Code, National Electric Code, and International Plumbing Code. You can look them up online or hire a contractor or engineer that will ensure that your building plan meets the standard regulations.
It’s crucial to determine the accurate topography and dimension of the land to ensure that your project meets town planning codes and building guidelines. Get your land surveyed to ensure that the architect and engineer have useful information to guide their work.
Hire a licensed surveyor now to measure your land and define its boundaries. Then, the surveyor will give you a certified plan confirming that the survey has been completed accurately.
Don’t underestimate the importance of location when purchasing vacant land. The location of the property is one of the factors that determine its value. For instance, if the land sits in a desirable location, its value is likely higher than the land that’s located in an undesirable neighborhood.
It’s wiser to purchase land in a location that enjoys economic prosperity or has the potential for economic growth. If you want to sell the property in the future, you’re likely to get significant profit from it.
Real estate buyers will also look for a property in a prime location. That’s another advantage since it will be easier for you to sell the property whenever you want to sell it.
Another thing you have to know about buying a piece of vacant land for building a house is the art of negotiation. The land seller will always quote a price that can provide them with more profit, while you want a price that suits your budget. Negotiation happens until both you and the seller agree on the terms. In other words, it’s a give-and-take process.
Keep in mind that you provide a reasonable price. Put yourself in the shoes of the seller. It’s wise to review the land title and consider the vesting deed and the appraisal.
You should also get a copy of the covenants to see what you can build on the land. Then, conduct a cost analysis.
If you can’t pay cash for land, you have the option to borrow money for the purchase. Lenders offer financing for land at an interest rate based on your credit score. So, it means that you need to have good credit to obtain an affordable mortgage for the land you want to buy.
Land sellers can also offer to finance your purchase. Owner financing is great for buyers who don’t qualify for traditional financing.
Those who want to build a home often ask which is better: finding a vacant lot on which to build the house or looking for a builder that will search for the best lot for you and offer design-build services?
Most experts say that it’s wise to search for a builder because it can save you time, effort, and money. Many builders have expertise when it comes to evaluating the history, features, and built-readiness of the land. You can also obtain financing from a builder.
So, it’s like a one-stop-shop when you choose a builder instead of looking for the land you’re going to buy, hiring an architect to design the house, and picking the best bid from custom house builders.
Finding a vacant lot on which to build your house can be problematic if you don’t have a checklist of the most important considerations regarding the purchase. Consider the zoning regulations, local building codes, land survey, financing, location, among other things, before you purchase land.