If you're buying a plot of land for the first time to construct a home on, there are a lot of pitfalls you need to avoid to successfully get your dream home constructed. There are many different factors to consider when deciding on the suitability of a given plot of land. A lot that initially seems to meet all your needs could later turn out to present some huge obstacles once it comes time to construct a home and live there.
The following are three potential mistakes you should be aware of and avoid when shopping for lots for sale:
Buying a lot without road frontage or road access
It's a fairly standard practice in real estate investing to buy a large plot of land and subdivide it into smaller lots to sell for a profit. This tactic often creates many smaller lots in the middle of the original plot of land that don't have any road frontage.
Buying a lot without road frontage can create enormous headaches. If you don't have road frontage, you may have to have a roadway constructed yourself. This adds to the expense of your new home construction and may present some hurdles when it comes to regulations of the particular municipality in which the land is located. You'll probably need a permit to construct a roadway, and you'll need permission from other land owners if that roadway must go through their lots to access a road.
Make sure you discuss the issue of road access with the seller of a lot before you buy it.
Buying a lot with an inconvenient easement
Anyone who is buying a lot of land needs to know what an easement is. An easement is a legal right for parties other than the landowner to access a piece of land. An easement could be a right of way for others to pass through to access their property. It could also be a right reserved to a public utility to do work on a property.
Before you buy a lot, ask if any easements apply and make sure you understand the terms of any applicable easements before you make an offer.
Buying a lot with zoning requirements that forbid the desired construction
If you've never built a house before, you may not be aware of just how convoluted and frustrating zoning restrictions can be. You can't assume that you can construct any type of building you want on any lot of land.
You should be looking for a lot that's specifically zoned for residential construction. Do some research by contacting the nearest zoning office and discussing the construction project you have in mind. This way, you know you won't have any problems getting a building permit and proceeding with your new house construction once you buy the land.