Slow land sales and low inventories have plagued the real estate market for the past couple of years, mostly because of the consequences of the Hirst Decision.  Since that dilemma has been rectified by our legislators recently, Realtors® expect land sales to surge in coming months. 

     With the ability now to obtain building permits, inventories should increase and buyers should easily be able to find a property for their dream home.  However, they should come to that improved market armed with some knowledge.  The following questions should be of importance for anyone with a desire to purchase land;

  1. Are boundary lines clearly marked? You should know that the only way to clearly identify boundary lines is by survey.  Fences rarely accurately define property lines.  This process takes time, so beware of that fact when you write an offer that requires a survey.
  2. Will the site be suitable for a septic system?  The cost between a gravity flow system and a pressurized system is significant.  Are you prepared for that additional cost if that should be the case?  A perc test by the county is the definitive way to make that determination.   
  3. Are there good wells in the area?  By researching well records of surrounding properties logged at the DOE, a buyer can discern approximately what the cost would be to install a well.  The one thing that will NOT be on public records will be the quality of the water in that location.  High in iron, uranium or other minerals?  A visit with neighbors may help in that regard.
  4. Do current zoning laws allow you to do what you want in that location?  For example, if you are purchasing 20 acres with the intent of subdividing later, will the county allow that segregation?
  5. What utilities are available?  Is power readily available?  If not, what is the cost to install and would you need to fight for an easement? Are gas, internet or telephone readily available?
  6. Is the property in open space ag or timber tax designation?  Will there be ongoing requirements for a buyer to continue in that program?
  7. Are there covenants or restrictions that will impair your intended use?

Call a real estate professional that can help you answer these questions before you start the process of looking for your dream property.  That one tip could save you a lot of time and grief!