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5 Things to Know Before Buying Land

Not unlike developed real estate, land has incredible investment potential as well as the pride of ownership. Provided that you do your due diligence, your target acreage can result in lucrative profits. However, there are several caveats needed to be overcome before yours can become a revenue-earning property.

Some factors could impact the land’s market value, livability, or other types of development. That’s why I’ve put together these 5 things to know before buying land. Like any real estate purchase, there are plenty of reasons to buy landed property, despite the process being somewhat complex and time inefficient.

What Do You Need To Know Before Buying Land?

Land has versatility for use that’s not offered by developed real estate, such as a house. You can buy land for commercial, recreational, or residential purposes, meaning it can be used to build your home, sold after the market value appreciates, or used to run a profitable enterprise.

Without the following five tips, you may end up purchasing a lot with restrictions or easement issues that prevent you from developing the land at all. These include;

1. How Is the Land Zoned?

That piece of land you are eyeing is covered by the local county government’s zone planning restrictions that will determine what you can or can’t do with it. You could be looking at a plot zoned as residential while all neighboring lands are for agricultural or commercial development. Zoning limitations may also dictate where you can build or what type of structure, and how high, can be erected on your land.

Before buying land, check the zoning laws from the local county’s planning office in public records or find information online. It’s also prudent that you also check plans for your intended land purchase area, which can turn out to be pros or cons to your property investment.

2. What Are the Area’s Prospects?

Before you buy a plot of land, you must do a feasibility study of the area for factors that will impact property value. So, investigate the research on possible problems associated with land boundaries, explore your neighborhood, and compile the information to see if there are any county, state, or federal development plans like new freeways, retail centers, or industrial parks pegged for the future? Visit the local city clerk’s office to see what current plans or permits have been issued for your target land’s neighborhood. If the area is up and coming, buying land will make sense while aligning with your investment plans. As part of the location rule of thumb in land acquisition, the neighborhood should complement your intentions without incurring additional expenses.

3. Does the Land Have a Clean Title?

While you are up at the clerk’s office, you should check your intended land buy’s title deed. You don’t want to buy acreage, only to find out there’s a title claim on your spread. Ensure there are no liens, meaning the seller has the full legal authority to pass on the plot to you.

You can conduct a feasibility study to gather as much information about your targeted land for purchase. This will divulge caveats or restrictive covenants attached to the property, enabling you to reap success from your investment.

4. Are There Roads and Utilities?

Before you purchase that choice piece of land, check how easy or legal it’s egress or ingress is. Will you have to build a private driveway or road leading from a public thoroughfare, or are there easement agreements with neighbors to access your property? If so, how long is the agreement in force, and who’s responsible for the road’s maintenance or repair?

It could be your land is in a rural location that hasn’t been connected to utilities yet. If the land is undeveloped, it’ll be your responsibility to hook up utilities so you can conduct meaningful enterprise.  Find out how much it costs to bring power, gas, or cable, and if there are no city lines for water or sewerage, how feasible and permissible a well or septic system will be to build.

5. Performing Independent Surveying

Before buying that plot of land, you’ll need to look at its boundaries and find out how they line up with the acreage. If a recent survey has been performed, possibly by the seller, see if the certification is transferable as part of the land deal. Other times, it can be outdated or old, and a new survey will show elevation and dimensions to assist in your land development determinations.

A floodplain survey is essential to see what natural hazards could be affecting the land, such as flooding. Your own surveyor’s report will make it easier to deal with any liens or caveat restrictions like easements since your property line will be well defined.


Whatever the intended use of your real estate, perform your due diligence before buying land. This amounts to doing research and taking precautions on zoning, liens, permits, or other restrictions. By engaging the services of a competent professional such as a buyer’s agent or a local realtor, you’ll ensure that all information on your intended land purchase is uncovered. That can include a title check, road access, soil tests, and drainage. 

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