Before buying any land for development, there are plenty of factors to consider. First, you’ll want to consider the general area. Is it urban, suburban, or rural? Is it in a community where you would like to build or live? Choosing a location largely depends on your commitments and personal preferences. These questions should be considered before you select a general area, and certainly before you begin examining specific plots of land.
Next, consider the size and orientation of the lot. How many acres do you want? Can you afford a plot of land in the size required in the area you’d like to build? Consider purchase price along with the amount of land required for your plans. Is there a minimum lot size that you will consider? Once you have a specific plot of land in mind, a land survey can confirm the exact size of the parcel. It’s also important to consider not only the size of the land, but also the composition of the soil. Soil type can greatly affect the building process; some soil types may be unsuitable for building, while others require extensive work before you can even lay the foundation.
Perhaps just as importantly, does it have the right topography for your intended use? Although grading and other work can create more level terrain, this is costly and time-intensive. If you want to build on the land you’re purchasing, consider access and building logistics before selecting a plot of land. A topographical land survey can help you evaluate the overall terrain. If you have specific plans in mind, consult an engineer to determine if the survey results show the plot of land to be suitable for your purposes. When purchasing land for the purpose of development or building your dream home, always consult with a developer, builder, or engineer, depending on the project type. It is also critical to hire a land surveyor so that you can be sure the plot of land you have chosen will meet your needs.
Always involve a land surveyor when purchasing any piece of property, developed or undeveloped, to avoid such messy consequences as an unclear title or a plot of land that cannot be built on legally. There are many possibilities that may only be discovered after a survey of the land, such as a situation in which neighbors have built fences or homes encroaching onto the land you are considering purchasing. Hiring a land surveyor before the purchase can help you avoid long and drawn-out disputes that could stall your intended construction project for years.
It is too easy to fall in love with a totally unusable lot because of what you see on the ground. Don’t purchase an unsuitable plot of land, only to find out later that you won’t be able to build what you want without breaking zoning regulations or spending a fortune preparing the land for construction. Even though it may seem a lot simpler to purchase undeveloped land than to purchase land with existing construction, you should never assume that the land you’re considering will work for your purposes.