There’s nothing quite like owning the land you live on.
The pride of stepping out onto your own property and knowing that everything you see around you is yours—that’s an amazing experience that few city dwellers get to enjoy.
Santa Cruz Properties is here to make your dream a reality. Our specialized company offers financing opportunities for rural residential and agricultural use property. If you’ve had difficulty in the past obtaining a bank loan, our owner-finance solutions can make land ownership a real possibility.
But before you decide to take on the responsibility of owning land, keep in mind the following 7 important things you should consider when buying land.
The location of the plot
What type of individual are you? Do you enjoy the quiet solitude of the country, or do you expect to have the usual amenities within a 10-minute drive from your house?
One of the most important (if not the most) is going to be the location of the land you would like to purchase. If you have children, you might want to bear in mind the surrounding schools. If your job is in town, you should consider the amount of time it will take you to get back-and-forth.
Access to everyday comforts like grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations can be very important for an individual. Purchasing land in a community you feel comfortable in and that will meet your standards of living is going to be important to making the right choice.
Everything changes. And for those of us who have lived here in the Rio Grande Valley for some time, we have seen some major growth over the last 20 years.
That’s why thinking ahead will help to give you a better picture of what to expect in years to come. Does the neighborhood you are looking at seem like a potential hot spot? Have you noticed that businesses are moving into the area by the dozen?
What was once a quiet and rural street can quickly become a major road with dozens of new apartment complexes, houses, and businesses. Try to think as far ahead as you can and decide if you are ok with the changes that might occur.
Don’t forget about those utilities
Another important thing to consider is whether or not utilities are available on the property
While you might have your eye on a vacant lot out in a rural area, you’ll want to consider how easy it will be to get electricity, gas, phone lines, sewage, and water to the property. If the lot is some distance away from city utilities, then you should also add in the expenses of installing a septic system and its yearly costs. The same goes for any utilities that aren’t already installed on the lot.
These additional installations and connections are going to add some hefty expenses and increase the time it’ll take to finally be able to build a house and move in.
Again, thinking ahead and considering how much work needs to be done on the property will save you headaches down the road.
Be honest with yourself and consider potential negatives
For one, you’ll want to consider zoning laws. These laws can affect what you do with your property and might make farming, for instance, impossible to do on your land. Zoning can also mean you aren’t even allowed to build a house on your property, so do a bit of research before hand.
Other “negative” aspects to consider are the property’s setbacks, which direct how close to the border of the property you can build. There’s also the property’s potential for flooding.
Here in the Rio Grande Valley, hurricanes and tropical storms are a relatively frequent occurrence. A weekend of rain can mean major flooding on your property and can mean damage to your residence.
You should check on your property’s plat to get a better idea of topographic and vegetation information. You should also be able to find out the property’s elevation and potential flood areas with a Public Land Survey.
Consider road access
You’ll want to consider the legal access to your property by road or right-of-way (as well as who’s responsibility it is to maintain the road). In an urban or semi-urban area this usually isn’t much of a problem, but in rural areas you might have some trouble getting in and out of your property without a proper road access.
With a property that is landlocked, you might have to arrange an easement with your neighbor. Known as an appurtenant easement, this arrangement allows one property owner the right to use the property of the other. This is generally used to create a road through one owner’s private property to access a public road.
You’ll also want to consider this for future purposes. It may be possible that there is an easement currently not being used through your property, but that might not always be the case. If it is a part of the deed, it can be enforced when necessary in the future.
Permits are a part of life
Permits are going to be a part of the process. Whether you’re constructing a house, looking to use the land for agriculture or farming, or even just burning, permits are pretty much always going to be a part of the routine.
Consider the costs of all the permits you’ll need, from electrical permits to permits to install a septic system for sewage. It’s also a good idea to do a bit of research to understand the process of actually getting a permit and the amount of time it takes to have your requests accepted by governing bodies.
Additional costs of developing the land
Investing time, money, and effort into purchasing your very own piece of land can be one of the most sensible decisions you make in your life. But in order to make the best decisions possible, you should also consider your ability to afford all the additional costs that will go into developing the land.
One cost that you might not have considered is the professional assistance of a land surveyor. When purchasing land, it can be challenging to chart the boundaries of your property, but a professional surveyor will help to answer those questions.
As previously mentioned, you’ll also have to take into account the costs of permits and the development of your home. Will you have to invest a sizable amount into utilities? Is there another property that you’ve also considered that already has the proper electrical, gas, water, and sewage connections? Sometimes the smart choice is to go with the land that is already prepared for development.
There’s also the costs of insurances, closing fees, and a number of other expenses that you might not have accounted for. Considering all those additional costs for developing the land will help you to be financially prepared for the amazing adventure of owning your own land.
Need some assistance to purchase property? Santa Cruz Properties can help!
At Santa Cruz Properties, your satisfaction is a priority. If you need help starting the land-buying process,get in touch with us todayat (956) 383-0868.