Posted on: 19 October 2020
Buying land that currently has no structures on it or that has old structures you plan to demolish, can give you a sense of freedom. It's your land, and even if you pay property taxes on it, no one can really tell you what to do with it as long as you follow local and state regulations. Whether you want to keep it open or build a home is up to you, making ads for the property at the edge of town seem very attractive. Before you agree to buy, however, check out these issues and consult with your real estate agent.
Proximity to City Services
If you plan to build on the property, you'll need to hook the structures up to utilities or provide a well and septic tank/field. Hooking it up to existing city utilities is infinitely easier than trying to drill and find a well or install a septic tank. That doesn't mean you should avoid the property if it will have to use septic and a well, but you need to be very sure you're prepared to have all that work done and prepared to maintain it. Seeing someone find and buy the property of their dreams is always nice, so real estate agents want you to be sure you know what you are getting into if you had not originally been planning to drill a well, for example. It's OK to turn down some nice-looking property if the work needed to live on it will be more than you anticipated. Your real estate agent can help you find other properties.
Tiny House and Accessory Unit Regulations
Let's say the land is perfect and the utility arrangements are not an issue. Now you need to make sure you know what you can put on the land. A "house" is a very general concept. But what if you were hoping to put a tiny house or RV on the land, or have accessory units built for additional housing (e.g., guests, renters) or workspaces? Cities and counties vary widely in their acceptance of these. If all you wanted to do was have land or place a custom-built home on the property, you're not likely to have any issues with approvals. If you were hoping to have other structures, however, double-check the legal requirements and restrictions before buying. Don't get discouraged because adjacent cities and counties can have vastly different regulations. What one city prohibits may be just fine a few miles away.
Always, no matter where you are, check what sort of wildlife is in the area. It's not always gentle deer (which can be rather aggressive when hungry anyway) and small woodland creatures. Sometimes you have coyotes to deal with — bad if you have pets — bears, and bobcats. These animals can live very close to suburban and even urban areas, so you can never assume that you're buying animal-free property. The fencing you put up has to be able to exclude these animals.
A real estate agent can help you find property for sale that fits your needs. Think carefully about what you plan to do with the land so that the agents you talk to know what to look for.Share