Top Tips for Buying Land


The land market is experiencing a resurgence. In 2021, it had its best performance in nearly a decade, with land sales rising by 6%. Interestingly, these sales even outperformed acquisitions of other commercial real estate types.

But what does this mean for you, the individual buyer? Well, with more people buying land, it’s evident that this form of investment carries substantial potential. Yet, it’s also clear that successfully purchasing land requires insight and strategy.

This article aims to equip you with top tips for buying land. We’ll uncover key steps to navigate this thriving market and help you sidestep potential pitfalls. By the end of this piece, you’ll be well-prepared to join the increasing number of successful land buyers and make a sound investment.

Know What You Want

Buying land is a significant investment, and it begins with having a clear vision of what you want. This initial step sets the stage for the entire buying process. Knowing what you want will not only narrow your search but also guide your decision-making along the way.

When browsing through the online property supermarket for land for sale, it’s important to have defined goals. What’s the purpose of your land purchase? Are you hoping to build a private residence, start a small farm, or perhaps establish a commercial property?

The answers to these questions will shape your land search and purchase decisions.

Let’s take location, for instance. If you aim to build a family home, you might prefer land in a peaceful neighborhood with good schools and amenities.

If agriculture is your interest, you’ll want land in an area with rich soil and favorable farming conditions. And if commercial use is your goal, a plot in or near a busy city center might be your best bet.

Size and zoning restrictions also matter. You don’t want to buy a beautiful plot of land only to discover later that it’s not zoned for your intended use, or it’s too small to accommodate your plans. Make sure to check these details early in your search process.

Budgeting is another critical aspect. Apart from the purchase price, consider ongoing costs such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. If you plan to build on the land, include construction and development costs in your budget.

Think also about potential challenges. Are you prepared for the responsibilities that come with owning land? This could include anything from managing wildlife to maintaining a septic system.

Research Your Options

In this digital era, aspiring land buyers are fortunate to have an abundance of resources at their disposal. Online platforms have made it easier than ever to search for a plot of land that matches your needs and preferences.

One way to approach your research is by browsing listings on various land-buying and real estate websites. Filter your searches based on your specific requirements size, location, price, zoning, etc. Besides providing detailed information about available lands, these platforms also offer helpful tools such as satellite images and area analytics.

Equally important, however, is getting a feel for the land and its surroundings in person. Visit potential sites to assess factors that aren’t immediately apparent online, such as the condition of the soil, availability of utilities, access to roads, and noise levels.

Also, tap into the knowledge of local real estate agents. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of the land for sale in their areas, understanding the ins and outs that may not be evident from an online listing.

Lastly, consider talking to existing landowners in your chosen location. Their insights can shed light on community norms, hidden costs, or potential challenges that only locals may be aware of. This boots-on-the-ground approach, combined with online research, will give you a comprehensive understanding of your options and help you make an informed decision when buying land.

Evaluating a Plot of Land

Once you’ve found potential plots of land that suit your needs, the next step is to evaluate each one. It’s not just about how a vacant land looks; it’s what lies beneath and around it that matters.

Soil tests are a critical part of evaluating a plot of land. These tests provide insights into the land’s ability to support a structure and indicate if it’s suitable for planting. If you’re buying land with the intent to build, you need to ensure the ground can bear the weight.

Additionally, evaluate the land’s topography. A hilly plot might offer breathtaking views, but building on slopes can be costly and challenging. On the other hand, flat land may be easier to build on but could lack natural drainage.

Checking for utilities is also crucial. Is the land connected to the city’s water and sewage system, or will you need a well or septic tank? What about electricity and internet connectivity?

Don’t forget to consider the impact of environmental factors. Is the plot prone to flooding or wildfires? Are there any protected species or conservation rules that could restrict your use of the land?

The Buying Process

When you’re ready to buy land, the process differs somewhat from purchasing a home. It’s not as straightforward, but understanding the steps can make it less daunting.

The first thing to do is to secure financing. If you’re not buying the land outright, you’ll likely need a land loan. Note that these loans often have more stringent requirements and higher interest rates than traditional mortgages.

Once you’ve sorted out your finances, make an offer on the land. This should be based on your budget, the land’s market value, and the results of your evaluation. It’s advisable to work with a real estate agent experienced in land sales during this stage.

After your offer is accepted, hire a title company to perform a title search. This is to ensure there are no liens or disputes over the land’s ownership. If the title is clear, you can proceed to close the deal.

During closing, you’ll pay for the land, sign all the necessary paperwork, and transfer the deed. It’s here that you officially become a landowner. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay closing costs, which usually amount to a certain percentage of the property’s price.

Learn More About Buying Land

Buying land can be a rewarding venture when done right. By understanding your needs, researching your options, evaluating the land, and mastering the buying process, you can navigate the market confidently.

Your journey doesn’t end here; there’s a wealth of information about real estate waiting to be discovered. For more insights and tips, delve deeper into our Real Estate section.