Issue 3: What to look for when buying land

Issue 3: What to look for when buying land

Purchasing land can sometimes be overwhelming since, for most landowners, it requires an ability to have a strong  imagination. But for those of us who can’t take a piece of property and imagine what can feasibility be built upon it, we’ve pulled our experts together to come up with a four key ideas to look for when buying land. Bottom line: Do your homework.

Buying land

  1. Location, location, location. Ensure there is a vested resale value if the purchase is intended to be as an investment. If the property is to build upon, ensure it hits all your marks: schools, commute time, quality of life, grocery, entertainment, outdoor recreation…create a list of what is vital, what is desired, and what can be lived without. Then use that to determine if the property is the right choice for you.
  2. More than a financial investment, real estate, especially land, is also an investment of your time. Do your homework. Investigate what types of expenses you can expect to incur. From there, it might be wise to purchase title insurance during the land-buying process, it “protects owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property” [source:]. It’s just an extra line of protection should there be any complications involving your property. It also is a necessary purchase if you apply for a bank loan or a mortgage, to protect their investment and your own.
  3. Another purchase that’s typical during a land purchase is a land survey, however, with a Patten Companies property, you can trust the legwork is already done and the boundaries of your property have already been charted out.
  4. Also, find out about the utilities and building costs. Will you need to pay for water or electricity to your new build? Be sure to ask.
  5. Don’t forget to ask about government zoning restrictions. Ask yourself, does this property really fit what you need?
  6. Be prepared to do some legwork in getting building permits. Each state, city and county has their own requirements, so ensure you know what you need before you start hiring and digging
  7. Ask if your property falls in a floodplain. No one wants to deal with a swampy mess after purchasing a new stunning piece of land. Be sure to check the plats, past research may have the details you need like the property’s elevation and the potential flood areas. Also, to make things easy, flood zones should be clearly defined with letter designations, for example, Zone A means a 1 percent chance of annual flooding and it will require you to purchase flood insurance. Zones X or C are the ideal ratings since they mean there is only a .2 percent chance of annual flooding [source: EDCGov].

We hope this helps you, and if you have any more questions and need any clarification, a Patten expert is always here for you, just ask!

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