Buying a plot of empty land and building your own abode is like a dream come true for many. However, that dream can quickly become a nightmare if you learn something unpleasant about the land after the purchase. It's best to be proactive and learn as much as you can before you sign a sale contract. Here are four specific things to check for.
1. Get your own survey done.
Often when you buy a plot of land, the seller will have a survey that was done years ago. This can give you a basic idea of where the property lines are and of what natural elements (like streams) belong with the land. However, you should definitely pay to have your own survey done in addition to looking at this existing one. When you have the survey done by a surveyor who you hire, you can be more confident in its accuracy. You also ensure you're informed of any changes that may have been made since the last survey was done.
2. Meet the neighbors.
When there's no home on the land, it's easy to overlook the importance of meeting the neighbors, especially if the plot you're looking at is large. However, you don't want to start building a home and then realize the people next door are really unpleasant or uncooperative. Introduce yourself to the neighbors, get a general sense of how they like living in the area, and see what they think of the idea of you building next to them.
3. Have an attorney check the deed for liens.
Even though there is no home on the land, there could still be liens against it. Someone could have failed to pay taxes on the land many years ago, for example, and if you were to buy the land, you would become responsible for paying those taxes. An attorney can draw your attention to any liens on the deed. If liens are found, they can help you negotiate with the seller to get the liens paid off affordably.
4. Check whether the land is in a flood zone.
This is especially important to do if you are looking for land during a dry season. You would not want to find out the following spring that the land floods and is impossible to build on without intense drainage work. You can typically call the local building inspector's office or municipality, and they'll tell you whether the property is designated as wetlands or a flood zone.
By checking for these four things before you buy land, you can prevent issues later on.
To learn more about land for sale, contact a real estate agent.