4 Mistakes most people make when
At Dreamland365, we know that purchasing a piece of land involves making a lot of important choices and that each step in the process has certain procedures that have to happen to complete the process. Unfortunately, most people looking to buy land on their own do not have the experience or resources to help them avoid making common mistakes that can delay their purchase or, at worst, turn a potential investment property or future home site into a money pit.
There are a ton of different circumstances that can arise when purchasing land, but here are a few mistakes we see people make when buying land.
Not taking the time to research the property's publicly available documents
You should never just blindly trust what the property owner or even the selling agent tells you about the land. In our experience, most people are honest about the property, but it is not that hard or time-consuming to double-check the facts about the property yourself. Most information on the property is public data and can be found by doing a search online or simply calling the local county or city office to double check that the documents have the correct information and/or if the property has any outstanding taxes associated with it. A quick call or search here can save you a lot of time and money down the road.
Ignoring the environmental tests and not contacting a local building inspector
Every piece of land sits on different soil conditions. It is important that you understand what type of land this property is on. Surveys and ecological tests of the area are essential to knowing what condition the lot is in and whether or not you may build on the lot. These tests will also include potential hazards in the area, such as flood zones. These tests can be obtained by reaching out to the local building inspectors’ office or the local environmental office.
Failure to contact the local zoning department
Each state, county, and even cities have local zoning ordinances and codes that govern what each piece of land can be used for. These ordinances indicate what types of buildings can be built on the property; commercial, agriculture, or residential, for instance. As well as listing the zoning codes for each piece of land, the zoning ordinance will include important building laws like setbacks and size restrictions. Most zoning documents can be found on the city or county’s website, and combining the documents with a local GIS map can be a very quick and useful tool to decide if the land is fit for your intentions.
You believe you can save money by
not working with a professional
It is true that most of these steps can be and should be done by yourself, at very little to no cost. But there are certain steps that benefit greatly from hiring a true professional. One of these areas is closing with a professional title company. A title company will help pull all the correct documents together and check that the property does not have any outstanding liens or mortgage payments on it. We suggest searching for a local title company near the property and doing a quick look at their reviews and testimonials to make sure they are reliable and trustworthy.
By just taking a little bit of time and doing your own research on the property’s publicly available data, you should be able to insure that you are not blindly walking into a potential problem property and that you are in control during the whole buying process.