buying vacant land

04.27.21 | Buying

A Few Things to Know About Buying Vacant Land

Are you looking for the perfect home or cottage—one that meets every one of your expectations? For many, the best way to achieve this goal is by building a space from the ground up. This approach allows you to customize every inch of your new place, but it also comes with some challenges. One of the most significant is learning the ins and outs of securing the ideal piece of land to build on.

If you’re thinking of buying a vacant lot, here are a few things to know…

Be aware of the costs

Buying a piece of vacant land can be more affordable than purchasing an existing home or cottage. That said, building costs can add up quickly. First off, if you need a loan, you can expect higher interest rates than you’d get with a traditional mortgage.

Once it’s time to get started, there’s no shortage of expenses to cover. To start with, clearing or paving a lot can be costly. From there, you’ll need to pay various professionals—which may include an architect, a designer, a contractor, and subcontractors (to name a few). In other words: it’s never too early to start doing the math.

Is power easily accessible?

The location of a lot can determine how much infrastructure is available. Water, phone, gas, electricity—in most locations, buyers take it for granted that it’s all easily accessible. Unfortunately, when you’re in an area that’s not heavily populated, that may not be the case.

When you’re looking at a potential location, consider whether it’s close to things like power lines and a water main. If it’s not, you’ll likely encounter some complications—and additional costs—when you’re getting connected.

Know the boundaries

The precise boundaries of the land you buy could have legal implications, so knowing where they’re set is crucial. The first step is obtaining a recent survey. If there isn’t one available, you’ll want to hire a professional surveyor for help.

As part of your due diligence, find out if there’s an easement to consider (which gives someone else the legal right to use your land—or part of it). Your lawyer can look into the background to determine whether there’s one you should know about.

Understand the zoning laws

Knowing how you can use a piece of land before you buy it will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. There are few things as frustrating as purchasing a lot to build your ideal cottage on, only to discover you can’t construct the dock you’ve been imagining.

When it comes to zoning laws, exceptions are rare—which is why doing your homework is so critical. Of course, there are other logistics and legal hoops to jump through as well. As just one example, if you’ll need a septic system, you’ll need to pass a soil test.

Find a reputable builder

When you’re investing large sums of money into a home or cottage, you want to make absolutely certain that it’s beautifully constructed. Start by looking for the right builder. You can check the Home Construction Regulatory Authority to find licensed professionals.

Once you’ve found some options, take a close look at their experience. A little online research will help you figure out how long a builder has been in the business, and whether they’ve constructed many living spaces like the one you’re envisioning. Collect quotes—and make sure you know what each one includes.

Purchasing vacant land isn’t quite like buying a built home or cottage, which is why working with a professional who understands the process is so important. Are you ready to take the first step?

When you’re ready to buy your dream lot, we’re here to help. Get in touch to learn more about taking your next step with our team!