Connect with Angie

    Main Content

    Home » What to Check before Buying Land

    What to Check before Buying Land

    Buying land to build on is a dream come true for some folks. You can get just the right location for your family and build your dream house just the way you like. It’s an exciting time, but there’s also a unique set of challenges to buying land to build on instead of an existing home. To best get you prepared, we’re answering the question: what should I check before buying land?

    What to Check before Buying Land

    What Should I Check Into Before Buying Land?

    Buying land is different than buying a property with a home on it already. There will be different questions to ask and various matters to discuss that aren’t the same as when buying an existing home or in a new home development. For example, you will be buying one of two versions of land:

    1. Raw land with no utilities
    2. Open land with some or all utilities already present.

    6 Questions to Ask When Buying Land

    If the land you are buying is undeveloped, you will need to ask about a few more things and possibly do some leg work to find your answers. Once you have found land in a location you like and it’s land you can build on, there are a number of other topics to discuss.

    1. Zoning Restrictions While the lot might be buildable, finding out what structure sizes are required, setbacks, and what locations on the property that building is allowed. Are there restrictions due to wetlands, restrictions, or floodplains? What will the limitations be for modifying the land itself?
    2. Road Access Ask about the right of way to roads and who maintains the roads.
    3. Water If a well is not on the property already, will you be allowed to drill one? Or is the property on city water? What about sewer requirements?
    4. Fees While there will be closing fees when the property is sold, or other fees once a house, other structure, or driveway is built on the property? Each municipality will have their own impact fees for the area.
    5. Fire Protection What district are you in and who will come to the aid of property owners in your area?
    6. Neighbors Are there any neighbors you would find unappealing nearby? Power plants, corporate farms, trash dumps, future developments, and the like. What about endangered species or protected plants on the land?

    Knowing the answers to these basic questions can help you move on to the next step in buying the perfect land for yourself. These are questions specifically about this property. There will be many questions after this once you find the answers that are suitable to your situation.

    Questions for your Realtor When Buying Land

    Your expert real estate agent will help you with many of the questions you will have when buying land. If they do not have the answer directly, they will be able to find it or help you locate someone with the answers. Many of these next steps will take place after an offer is accepted and due diligence happens.

    1. Legal Title search, variance applications, challenges from adjoining properties, right-of-way or lien issues, property survey details, water and mineral rights.
    2. Testing Will the soils need testing or amending for building? Is the area inclined to have radon? Is the water potable?
    3. Taxes and Fees What are the estimated property taxes before and after building? What are the closing and purchasing costs for the land?

    You don’t want to be surprised with issues in the future that can delay, hinder, or even end your building plans. Take the time to ask all the questions you have, review all the documents, and talk to everyone involved who can give you answers. Even asking your real estate agent the question “Is there anything else I should know?” can bring up other topics you didn’t even think to ask.

    Working with an Experienced Memphis Area Real Estate Agent

    When it’s time to sell your existing home or buy a great new place, turn to a highly regarded and well-informed local real estate agent. You want someone that you can trust to give you the best advice and know-how for your new home purchase or sale. Check out my other real estate great articles to help you through your home selling and buying experience here in Memphis. Staging homes for sale is also part of my expertise. Please ask me about it when you reach out.

    Take a minute to learn more about me. With over 15 years of top-notch service for my clients, I can guide you with your house sale, new home purchase, or buying a great parcel of land. As a top, licensed real estate agent in the Memphis area, showing you the best properties for you and your family is my goal!

    Contact me at (901) 828-8919 or drop me a quick note at angie@angiekelley.com and we can speak in person about your plans and options. Ask me about seeing homes for sale by video or virtual tour and find the best place for you!

    Angie Kelley, Crye-Leike Realtors
    (901) 828-8919 or (901) 756-8900