Buying Red Dirt: Land Search Tips

Buying Red Dirt: Land Search Tips

Buying Red Dirt: Land Search Tips

Most people think that buying land is much simpler than buying a house.  Well…yes and no.  While buying a vacant piece of land may seem simple, there are many things you’ll want to consider during your hunt.  Check out these tips when looking for that perfect parcel of Red Dirt:

  1. LOCATION – Where it is matters. “Location, location, location” is a saying for a reason! Do you want it close to town or way out in the boonies?  Do you want it within a certain radius from your current house, job or other location?  Determining your search area will reduce the number of available properties, but it will save you time by honing in on what you really want and weeding out the undesirable areas before you waste time looking at listings you’re not really interested in anyway.
  2. USER FRIENDLY – What do you want it for? Maybe you want the land for building, hunting, timber or to create the ultimate doomsday prepper paradise. Whatever your goals, keep in mind your intended use of a property and check any zoning requirements and deed restrictions that may prohibit your intended use, so that you don’t look up and realize you’ve bought a piece of land you can’t use like you want.
  3. UTILITIES – Does it have water, electric or a septic system? Do you even need/want utilities?  If so, determine the cost to pull them onto the property.  Costs can vary (and sometimes utilities are simply not available), so it’s always best to find out the costs and options before you make an offer.
  4. OTHER ISSUES – I won’t go into detail overload on these, but depending on the land, there may be other factors to explore. For instance, regardless of your usage goals, property access (whether through direct access or an easement) is paramount so that you can actually get onto the property itself.  Other things to keep in mind are mineral rights, costs to clear the land or make improvements, add fencing or hauling off debris.
  5. BAD WATER – Since last year’s flood, flood plains and low lying areas that may be prone to flooding have become a larger concern among local buyers and sellers alike. Being in a flood plain may not matter for recreational land; but for a home site, it could mean the potential for flood insurance requirements or flooding issues in the future.  It is definitely something worth checking out before you’re under contract.

Of course, this list of tips only scratches the surface of buying land, but it is a great place to start.  The best advice on buying land is not to rush it and to get your REALTOR® to help you.  Land is very subjective.  The dream property you’ve imagined from the description may not measure up once you get there.  Land, even more so than houses, will either immediately have you out of the car and excitedly walking it, or backing up the car shaking your head.  Finding the perfect property takes time and research, but it’s worth all the diligence when you can look at your acreage and think, “yep, this is mine.”

 

Lisa E. Priest suggests a good pair of boots when out looking at land and is an East Texas Area Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com.