Buying Land to Build on Requires Extra Considerations

Buying a house is one thing. Buying land to build a house on is even more complex. Among the issues you need to consider if you plan to buy land to build on:

  • The seller’s title, supported by title insurance
  • A staked survey showing the property boundaries and any easements
  • Zoning as it affects what you can build and what you can do with the land
  • Restrictive covenants that do the sam
  • Utilities availability, including well and perc tests if rely on well and septic
  • Access easement if relying on a private road for access
  • Environmental problems, e.g., contamination, dunes, and wetlands

If you are buying a lot with an existing house with the thought of tearing it down and building a new one, you need to be aware that the existing house may not conform to current zoning; you may not be able to build a new house in the same place.

Many of these same considerations apply to buying vacant land for commercial or industrial use but you may need to get various zoning approvals, consider infrastructure grants, and carefully consider how to handle environmental problems.

Don’t assume everything is fine, but these issues can all be dealt with.

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