When purchasing land to build a home on, there are many inspections to consider, and pitfalls to watch out for before closing on the property. It’s important to know what exactly you will own, what is beneath the surface, WHO owns it, and what you will have access to. This will all save you time, money, and help you avoid headaches and delays.
Firstly, it’s always in the buyer’s best interest to consider having a survey done before closing. A boundary survey determines the exact property lines and boundaries of the land. It confirms the land’s size, shape, and legal description, ensuring that you know precisely what you are purchasing. This survey helps prevent disputes with neighboring properties and ensures compliance with local zoning regulations.
You should also strongly consider a percolation test. A percolation test guarantees that water can properly drain from the land and helps to determine the suitability of your property for a septic system. The results of the test provide you with an indication of the type of soil you are dealing with as well as the infiltration rate of the soil. The percolation test is of utmost importance when it comes to building plumbing, surface, and wastewater removal systems in land. Without this test, you will be taking a leap in the unknown. The test will help to ensure that your proposed plumbing system won’t suffer from water stagnation or flooding problems in the future. It also makes sure that any paved surfaces such as driveways or walkways have a properly designed drainage system, so they won’t be damaged by excessive water running down the drains.
As I mentioned in last week’s article, scam artists are sneaky and savvy in the real estate industry. Being said, it is VERY important to confirm WHO is selling the property and that the seller is who they say they are. Your agent and closing attorney will be able to help with this. You should also know if there are any claims against the property. A title search will determine if there are any liens, encumbrances, or other title issues that you should be aware of.
Lastly, be sure to confirm that the land offers access to the necessary services and utilities. Contact your local utility board to find out if the land can be hooked up to city water and sewar or if you will need to have a septic system and or well installed. If the land can be hooked up to the city utilities, how much will that cost to have them run a new line? These expenses often surprise buyers, so, it’s important to plan for.
Buying vacant land can be exciting, as there’s usually a grand plan in place for it. Whether you plan to develop it, build a home on it, or keep it vacant, it’s a great investment. As Louis Glickman said “the best investment on earth is earth.” Happy Sunday, everyone. Until next week!
Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President