There aren’t too many things more American than purchasing land and building your dream home upon it. If you are one of the millions of Americans who want to choose their plot before building their home, this blog is for you. I’ve got a number of ways for you to locate land and some things to look for once you’ve found the perfect piece, too.
Locating Available Land
If you’re looking to purchase land, here are some great places to start:
- Check local neighborhoods. If you are looking for a suburban setting, try checking out available lots in existing subdivisions. If the lot is vacant, you may have an array of floorplans to choose from.
- Research online. Use Google Maps, Street View and satellite views to locate empty parcels of land. Then hit the road or the online records to research the property’s history and surrounding area.
- Use specific land-listing sites. Do an online search for sites that solely list land for sale. You can also use traditional property portals, but you’ll often have to sift through many home listings to find them.
- Talk to home builders. If you will soon be building on your land, talking to local builders can be really helpful. Builders generally have a good pulse on available land in the area and can help you get a feel for what is out there.
- Use word of mouth. Never underestimate the power of social media and good old fashioned word of mouth. Tell everyone you know that you’re searching for land. You just might be amazed at how many people you know who know someone selling property.
- Work with an agent. Real estate agents don’t only work in home sales. Contact an agent near you for help with your search. They can set up MLS pages with your specific criteria, and the listings can come directly to you. Look for someone with experience buying and selling land.
What to Do When You Find Your Land
While a celebration dance will definitely be in order, hold off on those fancy moves until you’re done a few things.
- Check out every inch of the land on foot. Walk the property and look for swampy areas, trees that need to be cleared, etc. Get a feel for the land.
- Check out the surrounding areas. Make sure you have researched everything in the area. Are the schools of high quality? Are the businesses you frequent nearby? How convenient is it to the interstate? Go through your day in your mind and imagine that you are living there. Will you be happy with the outcome?
- Get a survey. Ask the current owner for the survey or pay to have it surveyed yourself. Surveys tell you whether or not the land is suitable for building.
- Visit government offices. Check with the planning commission to verify zoning. Research water and sewage information with the county office. Check for easements. Learn about building restrictions. Research everything you may encounter when it comes time to build.
And if you’re looking to buy or sell a home or land in Prince William County, contact me! I’d love to help you through your next real estate adventure.
Looking to buy or sell a home in Gainesville, Haymarket and Manassas? Call Realtor® Marcia Goodman at Samson Properties at 703-819-4776.