It can be challenging to find your dream house nowadays. You spend hours browsing through online listings, visiting neighborhoods, and attending open houses to find the perfect home that best suits your needs. Even after spending a considerable amount of your time and effort, chances are you may not be finding the home you had envisioned. That’s why some home buyers decide it’s time to start looking for a piece of vacant land to build their dream home. The good thing about buying vacant land to construct your house is that you can plan its design. Plus, you can find plenty of vacant lots in good neighborhoods today.But there are things you need to consider before buying a piece of land, such as zoning restrictions and easements. Read this blog post to know the DO’s and DON’Ts of purchasing land.
DO Work with a Pro Who Specializes in Land
Like buying a home, you also need to work with a real estate agent when purchasing vacant land. Make sure that he/she has the expertise and long track record negotiating and closing land deals. When you have an agent who specializes in the sale and purchase of vacant lots, there’s a high chance that you can find a property that’s right for you. A good agent will inform you about the most suitable lands in the market. Your agent will also let you know about the best types of financing available for vacant land buyers. Moreover, don’t forget to ask your agent questions and do your homework to find an advantageous land deal.
DO Take Into Account Home Values in the Neighborhood
Among the advantages of building a house is that you can customize it. But it would be best if you considered the values of houses in the surrounding area before you purchase a vacant lot to build your home. It may not be a good idea to construct a million-dollar home in a neighborhood that has homes selling for under $500,000. In such a case, the value of your home may get dragged down by the home values in the surrounding area. You may also find it challenging to find a lender who can give you a loan amount for the home you want to build. You should take into account the values of the houses in the neighborhood before deciding to buy a piece of vacant land.
DO Check Out Property Restrictions
Another matter you should consider before you offer to buy a piece of vacant land is the restrictions on the property. Investigate if there are any ordinances or covenants that limit how you want to build your house. Often, there are restrictions on the size of home you have to build, where you can construct it, how steep your roof should be, or what type of siding you must use.
DO Check for Utilities and Developments in the Area
If you want to build a home, it’s crucial to look around for developments, such as recreation centers or malls in the area. There should also be schools, hospitals, and parks that you can access without going for a long drive.Buying vacant lots in a rural area also requires you to check for undesirable property features.For instance, make sure there are not junk neighboring properties.
DON’T Expect to Obtain a Conventional Loan for Land Purchase
Yes, you heard that right. Not all banks or lenders can provide you with a loan for a land Purchase. It’s because they might not be able to sell your loan on the secondary mortgage Market when you default on it. If you’re lucky enough, you might find a lender who can offer you a loan for your land Purchase, but with a high down payment, which can go up to 50% of the vacant land value You want to buy. In most cases, lenders will reject your loan application because of the risk Associated with such loans.
DON’T Assume You Can Rezone the Land
Ordinances and zoning codes are inviolable. Don’t think that you can get around the law if you rezone a strictly industrial or agricultural land into residential. If you want to purchase vacant land that’s not presently zoned for your needs, you can ask the zoning authority about the possibility or rezoning and land use before you submit an offer on the land.
DON’T Forget to Conduct a Survey and Environmental Test
You need to conduct a land survey to pinpoint the property’s boundaries, especially if the lot has neighboring properties nearby and has been vacant for a long time. This is to ensure that your neighbors have not infringed on the property. It’s also essential to have an environmental test on the land to check for soil contamination and other natural hazards. Of course, this test is crucial for you and your family’s safety.
If you opt to buy a piece of vacant land to construct your dream house, it’s a must to consider the DO’s and DON’Ts of a land purchase. Take note of the essential things mentioned above to avoid any problems in buying vacant land.