February 25, 2024
list of essential eco-friendly changes your home needs

When you’re thinking about buying land to build your dream home, it’s not just about finding a beautiful location with stunning views. Sure, the aesthetics are a major factor, but there are several legal aspects that you need to consider to avoid pitfalls. I’ve seen people come unstuck by failing to think about the laws involved.

The thing is, it can be exciting to think about building a home from scratch. You might have a vision in your head of what you want the finished home to look like. Heck, maybe you’ve even thought about building your home from a shipping container like I did, to save on costs and contribute to a sustainable environment. But, if you fail to consider these eight legal aspects when purchasing land, you might end up dealing with more than you bargained for.

1. Title Search

The first thing you need to do is carry out a title search. This involves verifying who the real owner of the land is and whether there are any restrictions on the title such as easements or caveats.

2. Zoning Restrictions

Check the zoning restrictions of the area where the land is located. There are different zones for residential, commercial, agricultural, and mixed-use lands. If the land you want to buy is zoned for something other than residential, you’ll need to apply for rezoning, which can be a long and expensive process.

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3. Building Restrictions

Some locations have building restrictions to maintain a particular look and feel, especially in historic or heritage areas. Always check whether there are restrictions that might affect your building plans.

4. Access to Essential Services

Consider the access to utilities and other essential services. Is the land serviced with power, water, and sewerage, or will you have to pay for connections?

Check These Legal Documents Before Buying A Property

5. Soil and Land Surveys

Carry out a soil test and land survey before purchasing the land. The soil test will determine whether the land can support your planned structure, while a land survey can reveal issues such as encroachments.

6. Environmental Restrictions

Some areas are protected due to their environmental value. You may need to pay for an environmental impact assessment to determine whether your building plans will have an adverse effect on the environment.

7. Land Tax Implications

Consider the land tax implications of your purchase. In some jurisdictions, you might have to pay a significant amount of land tax every year.

Who Might You Work For as a Land Surveyor?

8. Legal Advice

Last but not least, get professional legal advice before signing anything. Buying land is a big investment, and you need to be fully informed before you commit.

These steps might seem daunting, but trust me, they’re worth your time. And once you’ve sorted out these legal aspects, you can get on with the exciting bit – building your dream home. Who knows, you might even decide to go down the eco-friendly route like I did, building my home out of a shipping container. For inspiration, you might want to check out this list of essential eco-friendly changes your home needs.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to make things easier. Here are some tips on buying land on a budget. With careful planning and due diligence, you can make your dream of building your own home a reality.

When it comes to land purchasing and home-building, knowledge is power. Make sure you’re informed about all aspects, and you’re well on your way to becoming the proud owner of your dream home.

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Understanding Easements and Rights of Way

An easement or right of way is a non-possessory interest in another person’s land. This might give someone the right to cross your property or place utility lines across it, among other things. Easements can significantly affect your use of the land and the privacy of your home, so it’s crucial to know if any exist on the property you intend to buy. Your property attorney or real estate agent can help you understand the implications of any easements.

Hidden Costs of Land Development

Land development can come with hidden costs that many prospective buyers overlook. Beyond the initial purchase price, there could be costs associated with clearing the land, grading it for proper drainage, bringing utilities to the site, and installing a driveway. It’s also advisable to keep a buffer in your budget for any unexpected costs that might arise during the process. Planning for these hidden costs ahead of time can save you from unpleasant surprises down the line.

Future Resale Value Considerations

While it’s natural to focus on your immediate needs and desires when buying land and planning your home, it’s also important to think about the future resale value. The location, size, and other unique features of the land can all influence its value in the long run. Consider the area’s growth and development trends and think about what potential buyers might value in the future. It can be beneficial to work with a real estate professional who is familiar with the local market to ensure you make a good investment.