Important Factors to Consider Before Buying Vacant Land
Possessing own land may be a dream come true for many, but the process is not an easy one. There are several vital factors to consider when buying vacant land and if you are not very careful there is a good possibility of getting frustrated at a later stage and losing your hard earned money.
Locating the Land
Firstly you need to be very clear about your purpose of buying vacant land. There are several ways to locate properties suitable for your purpose. The ideal way would be to contact a local real estate dealer who will be able to assist you to find land suitable for your requirements. Alternatively you can use various websites which deal with land or do a Google search. Or else you can adopt the traditional method where you personally visit the places and look for the ‘For Sale’ signs.
Now you need to personally visit and look carefully at various features of the land to ensure that it suits your needs. Does the slope of the land, trees, and layout suit your plans for the property? You should also see whether the land is serviced by water and sewage lines as constructing these for long distances may cost you money. You need to also ensure that proper electricity, telephone and internet connections are available. Does the land provide enough privacy for the building you are planning to construct?
If you are planning to construct your dream cottage on that land, then it would be better to be sure that the local regulations permit a buyer to do so. Each counties and municipalities have their own regulations and restrictions on home building and you need to confirm that the vacant land you have selected does not fall in such areas where building homes is not permitted.
After this, you have to ensure that the land can fulfill the Municipal and Zoning conditions for building houses. Residential Zoning requirements include setbacks around the building, minimum size of the house, percentage of property which can be covered by other buildings including garage and workshop, specifications of driveways and other details. The entrance permits to the land would be handled by different authorities and rules are different for highways and municipal roads.
Since many of these permits have expiry dates, you need to ensure that the permits held by the seller are still valid for new constructions. You would also need to ensure that construction of road to access your property does not infringe any rules by environmental authorities.
Land for Farms
Buying vacant land for developing a farm has different set of rules. Since every farm need to have a barn, there are specific regulations about construction of barns and for this you may need to consider the existing barns and other buildings in the area. For keeping animals on the farm, there are another set of regulations which include number of animals, waste disposal, waterways etc. These regulations are set by various authorities including federal authorities, environmental agencies and municipalities. These regulations are frequently changed, and you need to be careful if you are purchasing the land for future development. Any change of regulations might make the land worthless.
Before finalizing the deal you would also need to ensure that the land has all the service connections to sewers, municipal water, natural gas, electricity or internet depending on your needs. You may later end up spending a large amount for getting these connections, when required. In case of absence of sewage you may have to install your own septic systems, which can be expensive depending on the location and type of property.
Paying Taxes and other Fees
It would be prudent to check the taxes and fees you need to pay while developing the land. This would include development fees by municipalities, fees for surveys and site plans and taxes such as Harmonized Sales Tax. It would be a good idea to avail the services of an accountant to assess this.
The value of the vacant land would also depend on the future developments in the area. Land for sale in Ontario, is often search for as investment as the province continues to develop and expand at a rapid pace. The changes may include possible expansion of the town towards your land, laying new highways or roads, possible industrial use of neighboring areas etc. Even the possibility of building a garbage processing facility near your property can diminish the value of your property due to bad odors.
Considering above factors can help you to locate and buy vacant land, which you can profitably develop at a later stage.