6 Things You Should Know About Buying Land

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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6 Things You Should Know About Buying Land
6 Things You Should Know About Buying Land

When you are ready to buy land, there are a few things you should know. We’ll look at the importance of buying land and some of the benefits of doing so.

Depending on where you’re located, finding buildable lots might not be easy. In some areas, the land is scarce. Quite often, builders and developers are privy to the best land deals.

You might have to search for a bit if you’re interested in buying land. Land is important to own for many reasons. First of all, it’s an investment. The longer you hold onto your land, the more it will appreciate in value.

Secondly, owning land gives you a place to call home. You can build on it or use it for other purposes such as farming or hunting.

Finally, having your own piece of property allows you to feel connected to the world around you and strengthens your sense of independence.

How Will You Buy The Land?

One of the most common ways to purchase land when you’re not ready to build right away is by getting a loan for land purchase. There are a few things to keep in mind when obtaining land financing. The first is to make sure you have a proper credit score.

Like buying a house, an excellent great score will be rewarded. Buying a house with a low credit score is not only more challenging but will result in less desirable terms.

Many lenders will only lend money to those looking for land loans with good credit ratings.

The second thing you want to keep in mind is the interest rate. Rates range from around 4% to 8%. Finally, be aware that the terms of the loan can vary depending on the lender and the type of land you are purchasing.

There are specific lenders that specialize in giving loans for land. Some excellent places to start are community banks and credit unions. Be prepared to have a significant down payment. Many lenders require a minimum of 25-30 percent down.

If you’re ready to purchase land but aren’t sure where or what to look for, there are plenty of resources available online that can educate you.

Some tips for finding land include looking at zoning maps, checking out real estate listings, and searching for properties that match your preferences.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to the area you want, it will be worth it to speak with a local Realtor. Hiring a buyer’s agent is worthwhile whether you are looking for land or a house to purchase.

Finding Land is Easier With a Local Real Estate Agent

A local real estate agent can help you find the perfect land to build your dream home on. They have access to all the local information and can help you compare different properties.

They can also help you get a loan if you need one and can give you advice on how to negotiate the best deal.

Some agents are well connected and know about land opportunities that are not listed in the multiple listing service (MLS). Once you have found a lot you’re interested in purchasing the agent can also provide you with a CMA. The agent’s analysis of value will ensure, you don’t overpay for the land. Like sold homes, there should be some comparable land sales to determine an appropriate offer.

Make Sure You Research Public Services

Researching Public Services When Buying Land Is Critical
Researching Public Services When Buying Land Is Critical

When purchasing land it is essential to research the public services and confirm the property is buildable. You will want to start with zoning to make sure it meets the requirements for size and setbacks.

Other essential things to check is whether there are any wetlands that require conservation approval. Having wetlands could restrict what and where you want to build.

If there is no public sewer available and a septic system is required, testing the lot will be required. Does the lot have public water, or do you need to drill a well?

You’ll need to ensure that a perk and deep hole test are done. Understanding the ensuing results will be necessary to design a septic system plan. Making sure proper utilities are available will also be paramount.

In other words, does the property have gas? Are there electrical utilities available? Does the lot have public water, or do you need to drill a well?

Unimproved land takes some vital research to know exactly what you’re buying.

A Construction Loan Might Be Better When Building Right Away

When you’re building a custom home immediately, a construction loan might be a better alternative than a land loan.

This way, you can build the home according to your specifications without contingencies. Once the loan is paid off, you will own the home outright and can sell it or use it as collateral on another loan.

A building loan will allow you to roll the costs of construction and the acquisition costs of the land into one permanent loan. You’ll need to provide construction blueprints of what you plan to build.

Be Aware of Upfront Costs

Before purchasing land, consider upfront costs like title insurance and recording fees. These can amount to a substantial sum, so factor them into your budget before making a purchase.

There are other crucial considerations to know when using construction financing. Check out the provided resource to get a better understanding. Construction loans are very different than traditional financing.

Final Thoughts

Buying land is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. By understanding the benefits and risks involved, you can make an informed decision that is right for you.

Researching the appropriate type of financing should be at the top of your checklist. You should now have a better understanding of what you need to know when buying land.


About the author: The above article on “6 Things You Should Know About Buying Land” was written by Bill Gassett. Bill has been working in the real estate industry for the past thirty-three years. He works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton Massachusetts. Bill loves providing trustworthy information to buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents to make the best possible decisions. His writing has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, Today.com, Credit Sesame, and others.


About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.

Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between!  In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.

The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow!  In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.

With over 40 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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