4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Purchasing Vacant Land

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4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Purchasing Vacant Land

Many people wrongly assume that buying vacant land is simple as there is nothing on the lot. However, if you intend to develop the vacant land into something, you need to ask yourself more questions than just if you like how the land looks in order to make a good investment.

How is the property zoned?

The first and perhaps the most important question to ask when you find vacant land is how the property is zoned. How the property is zoned will impact what you can do and how you can use the land.

This shouldn't be too hard to figure out — just call up your local planning and zoning department for the city or county where the land is located and provide them with the tax identification number or address of the land, and they should be able to tell you how the land is zoned.

Although the zoning for a property can be changed, that usually involves a very lengthy process, so don't assume you can change the zoning for the property. You need to make sure the zoning lines up with what you envision doing with the property.

What are the building setbacks for the property?

When you are on the phone with the local planning and zoning department, find out what the setbacks are for the property. The setbacks are basically how close to the property line you can build.

For example, you may have to leave ten feet or fifty feet of space from the property line to any building on the property. You don't want to purchase the property only to discover the required setbacks make the buildable area of the property too small for your intentions.

What usage restrictions are in place?

Just knowing the zoning of a property doesn't tell you everything about the property. The property may have additional usage restrictions on it that limits how you can use the property, which is why you should check and see what the usage restrictions are when talking to the zoning and planning commission.

What is the topography of the property?

The second thing you need to look at is the topography of the property. This can best be discovered by walking the entire property, if the size of the property is reasonable, on your own. This can also be discovered by having someone map and survey the property for you.

You need to consider how the topography will impact your plans for the property. A small flat piece of property is great for building a home on; a property with a steep cliff may not be as ideal.

Before purchasing some vacant property, you need to make sure you research the property to be sure that you can do what you want with the property. Zoning, usage restrictions, setbacks, and topography can all impact how you can actually develop the property.

For more information, contact a company like Canyon Real Estate LLC.

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In Real Estate, It Pays to Have a Plan Real estate purchases are big purchases. You may pay several hundred thousand dollars, or even more, for a property. As such, there's not a lot of room for error. If you buy a house that needs a lot of unexpected work or end up in over your head when it comes to the mortgage, your dream home can quickly turn into a nightmare house. We want to help you avoid scenarios like that, which is why we share so much information about real estate on this blog. Our readers emerge more informed on a wide array of topics, from buying to closing.