Most people assume that purchasing land is simple, but this is not actually true.  As with purchasing a house, you will have to do your due diligence and know what you should be looking at.  This is particularly important if you have never bought land before as you will not know what to avoid with land purchase.

Know The Zoning Of The Land

The first thing that you need to look at when purchasing land is the zoning.  All property that is listed for sale will be zoned by the local planning and zoning authority and you need to know about this.  If you are looking to build on the land, you have to ensure that it is zoned for what you want.

There are a number of different zoning classifications that you need to know about.  If you want to build a house on the property, you will need land that has residential zoning. You cannot live on the property which has commercial or industrial zoning.  There are some plots of land that have mixed-use zoning which allows both residential and commercial activity.

To find out the zoning, you can ask the listing agent, or you could contact the local planning and zoning department.  They will be able to tell you the zoning and the types of buildings you can place on the land.  Once you know the zoning of the land, you will easily be able to determine if this is right for you or not.

Know The Topography Of The Land

Understanding the topography of the land is also important because this will affect what you can place on it and how you are going to build.  There are a lot of plots of land on the market which have unpredictable topography such as elevations, mountains, and cliffs.  There are a number of ways that you can find out the lay of the land before you buy.

It is recommended that you try to get this information before you plan to visit the plot of land.  To do this, you can use online programs such as Google Earth or Erath Point.  All you will need to do is look for the property on the system and use the satellite images to get an idea of the topography.  It is important to note that you will need to spend some time on this and you will not always get the exact topography.

Another way that you can understand the topography of the land is to actually view the plot.  Before you buy a house, you will view it and the same needs to be done for land.  Contacting the seller or the selling agent for a viewing is the best way to do this and you can use this viewing to get a clear understanding of the topography.  Of course, this route will take more time and you could go to the viewing only to see that the topography will not allow for what you want.

Know The Annual Tax Obligation

If you are going to be holding onto the land for sale Cincinnati, for any length of time, you need to know what the tax obligations will be.  You need to know the tax that you are going to pay on the land, so you can determine if this is a worthwhile purchase.  There are some plots of land that have very high tax bills, and this may be a bad investment for you.

A commonly accepted tax obligation will be between 1% and 4% of the full market value of the property.  If the tax obligation per year is more than this, you should reconsider your purchase of the land.  It is generally hard to have the tax bill reassessed for vacant land and you do not want to take this on if you can help it.

Are Public Utilities Available?

Something that many people take for granted when looking at property is the utilities.  When you purchase a home, you know that all the utilities are in place, but you cannot assume this with vacant land.  If the land you want to buy does not have access to one or more of the staple utilities for reasonable living, it might not be considered a build-able plot.

Of course, there is also the chance that the land was recently rezoned or divided and utilities have not been run to the property yet.  This is something that you need to be aware of because when you purchase the land, you will have to contact the utility companies to have everything put in place.  This can take a number of weeks or months depending on the extent of the isolation of the property and how far it is from where the utilities stop.

Are There Usage Restrictions?

What many people do not realize is that most of the vacant land on offer will have some form of zoning requirements or restrictions.  After all, you would not want a skyscraper next to a farm.  In order to find out about the usage restrictions on the land, you will need to look at the municipality plan.  All municipalities will have a plan for their land, even if it is vague.

It is important to note that usage restrictions on the land will not always be a bad thing and they will often make sense when you take the time to look at them.  These restrictions ensure that there is order to the planning of the municipality and will support the value of the property.  However, these restrictions can also make the land unsuitable for what you have in mind which is why you need to know about them.

Is The Land In A Flood Zone?

There are some vacant plots of land that are still vacant because they are underwater for certain months of the year.  There are other plots that are more prone to flooding and you need to know about this.  You should check the flood zone of the area before you make any decisions on the land.  Land within a flood zone will be expensive to insure and you might not be able to use it for what you want.


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