Tips and information for buying land

As a registered forestry and real estate agent, I have some qualifications to write about buying and selling rural real estate, primarily land. I have sold thousands of acres as a real estate agent and managed hundreds of thousands as a forester since 1973.

If you are considering buying rural land, this article can help you with some good advice and information. The points below will give you some basic information and an idea of ​​what to look for and consider when buying land.

Land type. Do you want a farm, forest land, development potential, residence site, hunting, agricultural use? A tract of land can rarely be all of this. Think about what you plan and look from there. Of course, most treaties will have multiple uses, but sometimes there are local use restrictions to consider.

Access. Hopefully you have freeway access across the road. Some brochures may have only one easement. If so, look at the design of the deeded easement and the width of the easement. A 20-foot-wide easement for a property that you later want to develop is a major downside if the county requires, for example, a 50-foot-wide access easement for a street.

Utilities. Water, of course, is essential, but for drinking and for livestock. Is there an accessible waterline? If not, what are the costs of a well drilled in the area and are there water quality problems in the groundwater? Will there be water in a drought? Is there a stream for livestock and does it flow all year round? Does anyone have the water rights? Is electrical power available? Internet, cable, cell phone or landline? Easy to check now, difficult or impossible to get later.

Property income. As a forester, I know the value of wood. When looking at rural land, take a close look at the wood and, if there is a significant amount, ask a local consulting forester to evaluate it for you. I have seen that wood is worth up to 3/4 of the value of the sale price of a property, even in recent years. Make sure your purchase contract states that the existing lumber goes with the sale. It may have already been sold! Look at other potential income, such as hunting leases, that can easily pay for property taxes and lower administration costs. There are also agricultural leases. Always make sure the land deed includes all mineral rights.

Make an offer. Find out what the local sales have been on similar and nearby land. If you are not using a buyer representation real estate agent, you may want to consider one. Usually your fee is paid out of the seller’s funds, but don’t always check this. Check if the land value is going up or down in the area. Allow yourself some inspection time and the right to go to the property by yourself or by others you may hire to perform the inspections. Give yourself a way out of the contract if inspections fail. Make sure wood and minerals are included. Don’t make a low ball trying to steal the offer, you’ll only piss off the seller. Make a fair and viable offer and proceed from there.

Closure. Use a real estate attorney to verify the title and close. They will know what to look for in deeds, easements, and property bonds. Ask the seller any questions he has come up with and if he has any reports, old dishes, and maps he may have. Ask about the history of the land before it is lost, as you may never see the seller again if you move.

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