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Learning More About Real Estate

After finally saving up enough money to use as a down payment, I decided that it was time to hit the market. I met with a lender, got pre-approved for a loan, and then started visiting different properties. However, I quickly realized that I didn't know as much about real estate as I would have hoped. I wanted to find a great neighborhood and know what to ask the professionals, but I could tell that I needed a little help. To point me in the right direction, I started working with a great real estate agent who was familiar with the area. This blog is all about educating the general public on real estate matters.


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Learning More About Real Estate

Questions To Ask When Buying Land

by Nathan Olson

Land is a significant investment that should reflect the value of money and utility. So, before you buy land, there are important considerations to make. Consider asking the land sale company the following questions before taking out the checkbook. 

What Are the Zoning Restrictions? 

You want to be sure what you can do or not do on a piece of land. Thus, discover by inquiring about existing zoning restrictions. The land sale company should declare whether the land is residential or commercial. Even land zoned as commercial falls under industrial or agricultural development areas. Depending on how you intend to use land, you want to ensure there are no legal restrictions for intended purposes. 

Does the Land Have Any Easement Rights? 

The land sale company should inform you about any existing easements on the property. Essentially, easements give other parties the right to access or use part of your land. Primarily, inquire whether access rights allow other landowners to pass through your property to access their land. Then, ask about any existing easements by utility companies and agencies to put up their infrastructure on your land. Notably, check if the land is under conservation easements. Such easements can prevent landowners from clearing, planting, hunting, or building in certain parts of the land to conserve the environment. 

How Will You Reach the Property?

No one wants to buy a piece of land that they cannot access. Typically, you can reach your property through a frontage road and deeded access. The best property will have a frontage road, a local road that drives up to the land. On the other hand, deeded access comes into play when two neighboring landowners do not have reasonable access to their property. Thus, the two neighbors reach an agreement that provides a right of way to their respective properties. Therefore, ask the land sale company to clarify access to the property to avoid future conflicts on trespass. 

Does the Land Have Clear Boundaries?

Contested boundaries are one of the significant causes of land conflicts. As a general rule, never buy land without clear boundaries. Therefore, the most critical question to ask the land sale company regards the boundaries. You can face prosecution if you trespassed or utilized land that is not yours without knowledge. Thus, besides getting the title, inquire whether there has been a recent survey on the land. A land survey should show you the clear boundaries for the land and the site map for neighboring properties. 

Does the Land Have Access to Utilities?

Access to public utilities increases the value of the land. Thus, ask about the availability of typical utilities that can enhance property development. For instance, is there a connection to electricity, water, and drainage systems? Remember that availability does not always mean ease in utility connection. For example, you can have powerlines running through the land that you cannot use. Also, you may want to check on communication and internet connectivity to avoid buying land in a "dead zone." 

Asking the above questions and getting satisfactory answers is an indication that you may have found an ideal property. However, do due diligence to ensure you are dealing with a genuine, professional, and reliable land sale company.