Land for sale: reasons to investMany real estate investors specialize in buying and selling vacant land. However, if you are a novice investor, we recommend doing thorough research and consulting a real-estate broker who specializes in the field. Some of the main reasons to invest in land are:
- It is a limited resource (after all, they are not making more of it);
- It requires very little maintenance compared to other real estate investments;
- Expenses are relatively low (think no utility bills, lower municipal taxes, lower maintenance costs, etc.);
- It can be less expensive to buy land and build your own cottage than to buy a cottage;
- It is a good long-term investment that will show steady growth.
Land for sale: things to investigate before you buyYou would think that buying land is an uncomplicated affair. Here is a brief rundown of issues to investigate before jumping on the land buying bandwagon.
- What are the zoning restrictions for the land for sale? With a quick call to the local planning department, you can quickly determine what this land may be used for. Residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, etc. It is very important to be aware of any building and use restrictions.
- What is the land’s topography? Using free tools like Google Earth is a great way to get a lay of the land. Many properties have unpredictable cliffs, valleys, ravines, etc., which may limit how you use or build on the land.
- Is the property located in a flood zone? With increased flooding around the world, especially in the spring, it is important to check flood zones. Insuring a property in a flood zone can be extremely expensive.
- Does the property have access to municipal water supply and utilities? Access to basic services like electricity hook-ups, water supply and so on are huge benefits. Especially if you plan on building or reselling in the short term.
- Does the land have access roads? Surprisingly, some land for sale is completely landlocked. What this means is that it is surrounded by private property. As such, you could not access it without going onto someone else’s land, making the property pretty useless. Other owners may be willing to grant you access (usually for a sum of money), but this is not guaranteed.
- Does the land have access to a sewer system? If the land does not have access to a local sewer system, you will need to do a percolation test. This tests the water absorption of the land and assesses if you can build a septic system.