Buying an existing house is a unique experience. Buying a piece of land on which to build is also unique, but in different ways. When you’re building, you are embarking on a much bigger project. There is a lot more to think about. That’s what this post endeavors to tackle.
We welcome the opportunity to show land for sale to people who have what it takes to build. But we think it’s important to help buyers understand just what they’re getting into. Looking at different pieces of land for sale doesn’t really prepare you for what it means to build.
In light of all of that, here are some important things to consider before buying land:
Does it need improvements?
For all intents and purposes, there are three types of land options when you’re looking to build. The first is land in a subdivision. The second and third options involve land that is not in a subdivision. You can buy it improved or not improved. That’s the first thing to consider.
Does the land need improvements? In other words, electricity, water, and sewer have already been installed on the land. If not, you will have to pay for improvements as part of the deal. That could add quite a bit to the overall cost of your project.
How do you like the location?
The next thing to consider is the location of the land. For the record, you need to think about location above and beyond property value. Look at the surrounding land and how it is used and maintained. Consider how close the land is to your place of employment, local schools (if you have children), shopping, and anything else you’ll be accessing.
Also try to imagine what the area might look like a decade from now. If you are looking at land that’s right on the edge of a commercial zone, you need to consider whether commercial development will take place over the next few years. Many people are caught off guard buying land in an area they think will always be remote, only to discover that this is not the case.
Do you have a builder and architect?
If you choose to not build in a subdivision, you don’t necessarily need to have a builder and architect lined up before buying land. However, it might be wise to settle on that question first. Why? Because local builders and architects probably know the land better than you do. They are also aware of local building regulations that might impact what you believe your dream home should be.
Lining up with a builder and architect beforehand gives you the opportunity to ask their advice about a particular piece of land you have your eye on. There is nothing quite like the knowledge and wisdom local professionals bring to the table.
What are the local laws and restrictions?
Never buy a piece of land until you are familiar with all local laws and restrictions. The last thing you want to do is invest tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) on a piece of land you ultimately can’t use the way you intended. Here in Louisiana, it has happened before.
Towns like Rosepine and DeRidder are considerably less restrictive than many other communities around the country. But that doesn’t mean you can do anything you want.
Buying land on which to build opens the door to a process that can be considerably more complicated than buying an existing home. But it is the right move for some people. If you think you have what it takes, land is out there to be had.