The Do’s and Dont’s of Buying Rural Land

If you have decided you want to buy rural land whether for your home, a second home, or investment property, you will need to do a lot of research.
It is important to know what you want, what you don’t want, and your limits. Consider all your options before making such a big decision. Here are some do’s and don’ts of how to buy rural land to keep in mind during your search.

The Do’s of Buying Rural Land

  1. Do know why you are looking at land and that anyone else involved is in agreement. Do you want the land to build a family farm, retirement, for a private retreat, to do some hunting or fishing, or simply as an investment to hang onto for the future?
  2. Do work with a realtor working specifically for you. Yes, you may be able to negotiate and fill out the inordinate amount of paperwork that goes with purchasing property, but honestly, realtors earn their commissions and then some. Find someone you trust to work for you.
  3. Do look at the property yourself. No matter the reason you are considering buying property, don’t just go by the listing and some pictures. You are spending your money on it, check it out, even if you have to travel to do so.
  4. Do check with the local county offices for maps with precise acreage and detailed lineage of the property. Exact property lines can come into question later and you need to ensure you have accurate information up front.
  5. While you are at the county offices, do check into the zoning of the property and make sure that your intended use is permitted.
  6. Do learn about building permit costs and possible restriction. Sometimes land hasn’t been developed because of the complexity and/or expense of those permits.
  7. Do find out the past uses of the property. You want to make sure it is free of contaminants and environmental concerns.

The Dont’s of Buying Rural Land

  1. Don’t buy on a whim! Just because you see a property listed that looks like it fits what you are looking for, realize that it isn’t the only property available. In other words, don’t rush into it. Make sure you check out many properties out there and get a feel for the market before you buy.
  2. Don’t buy without learning as much about the property you can. Study where it is located, what the neighboring properties are like, what is on the ground, and what is in the soil, water locations, access to public roadways and conditions of those roads, the distance to town, and so forth.
  3. Don’t buy if you don’t know the neighborhood. Do your research. Find out what your neighbors are like, not just next door, but all around the area. Make sure you have some commonality with the people you will be around.
  4. Don’t accept the asking price. Test it out. If the property has been on the market for any length of time, you may be able to get it for less.
  5. Don’t buy something that isn’t ready for what you are wanting to use it for. Thinking you can amend soil to improve it for farming or fill in the land to make a better foundation for a homestead may not be feasible. Those type of improvements cost money, time, and may not work. Make sure you are looking at a property that will work for its intended use.

Buying land can be complex and should not be taken lightly. But when you are ready to look, check out the Land Broker MLS search systems that make researching available land easier for you. You can search by state, land size, types of land, and more.

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