Location & Use
Location is always an important factor for any piece of real estate purchase and land is no different. Of course, when considering location it is important to know what you are going to use the land for. Recreational hunting land would obviously have much different requirements than a farm or a homestead. Access to basic utilities like water and electricity is vitally important when considering the location of a property you are looking to purchase. If you are going to live on the property you will need to ensure that land will support a septic system by ordering a perc test to study the drainage capability of the soil, as most rural land will not have access to a public sewer system.
Find an Land Agent
Real estate is a local business. Finding a local expert who knows all the in and outs of the local land market is a must. As well as knowing the basic features and prices of land in the area a knowledge of the local governments and legal practices is critical to making a good purchasing decision and getting the transaction closed.
Get a Survey
You will often find rural land that has never been surveyed. Without a proper land survey you can never actually be certain of the acreage and boundaries of the property. Surveys can be expensive but the knowledge gained is usually well worth it, and if you are financing the purchase then most lenders will require it anyway. If you decide to forgo a survey you will at least want to roughly confirm the acreage and boundaries by walking the land to inspect the boundaries, reviewing the legal description on the title, and examining the county GPS topographical maps.
Understand the Zoning and Easements
Most rural land will be governed by county zoning departments. Zoning codes different greatly from county to county or town to town if you are within a city’s limits. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the current zoning for the land and how that may affect what you are legally allowed to do with the property.
You will need to have a clear understanding of what easements currently exist on the land and how they may affect what can and cannot be done with the property. It is also important to anticipate what easements you made need to request from neighboring property owners for access or utilities.
Of course you will need to understand at what price land is generally going for per acre in the area that you are looking in and what factors may greatly affect that per acre price. Many land sellers will have an over-inflated value of what they think their land is worth. Even if you are willing to pay a little extra for your dream property you should at least know what the average prices are in the area and then make your judgments on what to offer accordingly.
Terrain and Water
Again the topographical GPS maps that most counties provide online are a huge asset to researching the topography and hydrology of any land you are considering to purchase. Topography is something that you want to start by researching on a map but then you will want to walk the property as well. There are many aspects of understanding the lay of the land that are hard to visualize unless you are actually looking at the land in person.
Water in the form of creeks, streams, ponds, flood plains, and wells have a huge impact on what you can feasibly build on the land. You will always want to understand where water is present on the property both on the maps available and by inspecting the land in person.
We Can Help
Whether you’re looking to lease, buy, or sell commercial property, now is still the time to do it in Atlanta. The Meridian Real Estate Group has been assisting commercial clients for well over a decade and would love the privilege of earning your business. Our goal is not just to help our clients with a transaction, but to support the building of financial legacies through real estate. Call us today at 678-631-1723 or visit us online at www.themeridianway.com. We look forward to serving you.