· Realtor for 27 years.
· Assoc. Broker 23 yrs.
· Founding partner of Fine Creek Realty ….. one of Powhatan’s largest and oldest Real Estate Firms.
What Do You Need To Know When Buying Land?
1. How do you intend to use the land? Buying land with the intention of immediately building on it is a different proposition than buying land for investment. Land acquired for immediate use should be evaluated in terms of its suitability for that purpose. Questions to ask include: Is the location ideal? Is the topography suitable for building? Is the zoning correct? Is needed local infrastructure in place? Are water, utility and sewer system hookups available? If no sewer system is on-line, could a septic tank be installed? "In some cases, land is cheap and the reason for that is you can't use it," warns Craig Vogel, president of Arizona Land Advisors, a land brokerage in Scottsdale, Arizona.
2. What types of buildings already exist or could be built on adjacent parcels? "Land buyers need to be cognizant of surrounding land uses, including not only existing uses, but also planned uses. The county's or local municipality's general plan shows what types of uses [are permissible]. Just because the land next to yours is vacant doesn't mean it will remain that way," Vogel says.
3. Do you have access to the property? The ability to develop a specific parcel hinges on the owner having both legal and physical access to it. A dirt road leading to a lot might not be a legal means of access. It could be illegally crossing someone else's property. Some parcels actually are land-locked, meaning the owner has no legal right of access from any direction.
4. Is the land contaminated with hazardous wastes or encumbered by environmental regulations? "If you are buying vacant land, you should get an environmental analysis. If [the land is] within a subdivision, the integrity of the environmental situation probably has already been checked out," says Vogel. Be sure to investigate whether any garbage dumps, underground gasoline or oil storage tanks or other environmentally dubious situations affect the property.
More Specifically .......
1. Is there a survey of record. Are the property lines and corners marked by surveyor?
2. What are the legal accesses. Does it front a state road or hace an easement. Is the easement wide enough and does it cover not only access but running necessary utility lines?
3. Are sewer, water, phone lines, power, cable, etc. available to property?
4. Will the parcel be required to pass a perc test for a septic tank. Does the property perk through the use of a conventional drain field or an engineered drain field which can be much more expensive?
5. Will a well be required and at what cost. Do you want a drilled or bored well?
6. How is the property zoned. How do subdivision ordinances & the locality Comprehensive Plan affect?
7. Is the property being sold subject to mineral rights, timber rights or farming rights?
8. Can you obtain a building permit to build the structure / home you want?
9. Is the property located in the 100 year flood zone?
10. If farmground, what are the sources of water, are the sources shared with other land owners?
11. Are there any current property line disputes with neighbors?
12. Do fences exist and who has the right or obligation to maintain them?
13. Are there any nuisances near the property such as train tracks, road noise, agribusiness smells, factories, howling dogs, screeching peacocks or bright lights. Visit the property several times at different hours, especially at night. Is there anything that might disturb sleep or use of the property?
14. Is there any evidence of dumping, toxic waste, garbage, old tires, pesticides, etc.?
15. What are the encumbrances of the land. Are there any loans, Local improvement districts or LID's, conservations easements or limitations to development, life estates?
If You are Considering Buying or Selling Land .... You Need a Land Realtor.
- 27 years experience specializing in selling land.
- Familiar with zoning and how it effects land uses and values.
- Familiar with soil testing and drain fields.
- Use tools like topography maps, aerial photos, tax maps, flood plane maps and more to help analyze land sales and purchases.
- Have a data base of land sales to help determine the value of individual Parcels of land.
- I know how to find, mark and walk property lines and ... enjoy doing it.
There are many more reasons you need a Land Specialist when buying or selling Land. If you are in the market call or email me and I would enjoy helping.