It's exciting to have a parcel of land to call your own; whether you are planning to build a home or looking to invest. However, land purchase is not a walk in the park.
You have to put serious thought into this major transaction if you don't want to end up with a bag of regrets. Here are a few factors to consider before you make that land purchase:
The location should be your primary consideration in land purchase. What do you want to do with the land? If you want to build a home, buy land where you can live. If you want to invest, look at the resale value. If it's for business, is it within reach of your customers?
Once you've identified a lot, look at the zoning regulations. The areas zoning laws will determine what you can and cannot do with the land.
If you want to build a home, you do not want to find yourself in an industrial zone, next to a warehouse!
There may be other restrictions by the local area council or the homeowners' association. Make sure you can live with these before you settle on that lot.
Take a visit to the property and look at the terrain. If the land is sloping, you are likely to lose soil through runoff. If your lot is located at the bottom of the slope, runoff from above will accumulate on your lot.
Above all, it will cost you more to construct your home's foundation on a slope. Note that the soil type and quality will affect the excavation and the overall cost of the foundation. It will also affect the type of shrubs and plants you can grow.
Utilities & Amenities
Do you have access to utilities such as water, electricity, gas or sewer? If the area does not have these utilities, you may have to drill a well, construct a septic tank, bring in electricity, etc. All these will cost you. Also consider access to amenities such as schools, your job, shopping, entertainment, etc.
Rainfall patterns and temperatures may affect the type of plants, trees or shrubs you can grow on your lot. They may also affect your energy consumption. Look out for extreme weather conditions such as drought, floods, fires or frost.
Remember that buying land is a major move. But with the right information, patience, and caution, you can get it right. Be sure to enlist a custom home builder before you buy the lot; they can help you look at things like utility line installation costs, terrain constraints, and other aspects. A custom home builder is trained to envision a home on an empty lot, and they'll help you figure out whether one of their premade designs (or something of your own) would work on the land.