September 8, 2017 | Barb Huntley
Buying land has its many perks including your own peace and quiet accompanied with the opportunity to build your home from the ground up. When you are looking for land to build on, it’s important that you or your realtor ask the seller these questions:

1)Is it buildable? If you are buying land to build on, this question should be the number one priority. It is legal to sell land that you aren't able to build on. In addition, depending on what you want to build the land may not suit your needs.

2)What zoning regulations apply? Your property will be zoned as residential, commercial, or industrial, which come with restrictions that can be quite detailed -- including the following:•Specific requirements as to the type of buildings allowed
•Location of utility lines
•Restrictions on accessory buildings, building setbacks from the streets and other boundaries
•Size and height of buildings
•Number of rooms

3)When was the most recent survey done? An old survey can give outdated and false information. The information from the land survey is crucial for knowing what to except with your land purchase.

4)Are there construction or expansion projects in the area? If you are looking for peace and quiet in your soon to be purchased land, it’s good to know if the area around it has any developments planned in the near future that could ruin your dreams. An opposite viewpoint is buying land with expansion projects around it could up the value of your land or what you build on it in the future.

5)Are there any protective covenants? If specified actions, or improvements, can or cannot take place on a given property, this is something you should know before you decide to purchase. The covenants may stipulate the use of the property, restrict the number of occupants, and prohibit certain actions.

6)Does the site have access to electrical power, natural gas, town water or sewer? If not,  you will be investing a LOT more time and money if you plan on building a home, cabin or commercial building on this land.

7)Has as a perc test been completed? This soil evaluation tests the rate at which water drains through soil. Perc tests are required in just about every civilized municipality in the world – because the results of this test provide crucial information required to design and install a septic system. Poor perc test = crappy situation for your future home, literally!

8)Can I locate the building on the lot where I want to? Once it’s determined you can build on the lot, you will have to look in the details of the zoning regulation to know if you can build where you want to.

 9)What permits and fees are required and what are the costs?  This could include but is not limited to: building, electrical, plumbing, porch, patio, well, septic, and driveway.

10) Can you afford the land and development costs? Do you know all the costs that come with purchasing the land and developing the buildings you want on it? Look at numbers 1-9, most of which require costs. Make a detailed budget before you go ahead with the purchase to be sure its the cost is within your budget.


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