Buying acreage? If this is your first time buying acreage, you may be unsure of what to expect or where to start. Buying land is notlike buying real estate. While there are fewer inspections to deal with, you’ll still have some major concerns to consider – especially if you’re buying vacant land. Use these buying acreage tips to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Location is Still King
You already know that location is king when buying a home, but it’s still the most important thing to consider when buying acreage. First, sit down and determine what the most important factors to you are:
– If you plan on living on the land, commute time, views and seclusion may be important to you.
– If you plan on treating the land as an investment, road access, space for outbuildings and proximity to major cities may be important.
Other things to consider: wind and property orientation. Sure, a house on a hill is a nice idea, but will the wind prevent you from sitting outside and enjoying your view? And if the property is not located on a hard surfaced road, you may find yourself having to deal with dust in the summer each time a car drives by.
If you’re buying land in rural areas, consider how close you are to feedlots. Odors from cattle or hog feeding operations can carry for more than 2 miles.
If you’re buying vacant waterfront acreage, find out if hurricanes and/or flooding will be a major issue in the future.
Consider Water, Sewage and Drainage Issues
Soil and water drainage are major concerns when buying large or small acreage for sale. You may fall in love with a property with a picturesque creek, but you may not have the right to use that creek.
That creek may just be a part of the city watershed. If you’re going to have livestock, they may need to be kept several hundred feet away from the creek. You may not even be allowed to legally place a septic tank or outhouse on your property. In general, it’s best to avoid buying land on a watershed for all of these reasons.
You’ll also want to check for any drainage issues on the property that might prevent you from obtaining sewage permits.
Researching easements should also be on your land buying checklist. What are easements? These are the privileges and rights that another person may have on a piece of land. First thing’s first, find out if any easements are available to you over nearby properties.
Easements and their sizes will help determine whether or not you are able to run telephone lines or if public access can be permitted.
Additionally, you’ll want to find out what easements other people may have available on the property.
Find Out Who Owns the Mineral Rights
Think mineral rights aren’t important? Think again. Even if no minerals have been found on a property, it doesn’t mean it won’t be found in the future. And if you don’t own the mineral rights on the land, you may just come home to find your home or your farm bulldozed to the ground. To make matters worse, you likely won’t have any legal recourse.
Bottom line: if you plan on building a home and planting gardens, make sure you own the mineral rights.
If you’re looking at acreage for sale by owner, you’ll need to discuss mineral rights before the transaction goes through. The owner may hold onto them until you’re finished paying for the land.
Find Out If Utilities Are Available
Are utility lines already on the property? If not, you’ll need to consider the expense and plausibility or running lines. If the land is far away from a power line, the electric company has the right to refuse to run electricity to the property. Know power availability before you buy.
And it’s not just electricity you should be concerned about. Telephone, gas, and cable lines should also be considered. Chances are, if the property already has electricity, it has other utilities as well.
These are just a few of the many things you should consider when buying acreage. If you’re a first-time buyer, consider working with a realtor who can help walk you through the steps of buying land.
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