Spring in the Adirondacks is a time of greening up and lots of new growth. The landscape pops with new beginnings and change, and you might feel inspired this spring make something new in your life too. Now might be the perfect time to follow your own dreams like purchasing land and building your own home from the ground up.
Purchasing land can be a complicated process, especially if you’ve never done it before. As purchasing land can be a costly endeavor too, it’s always wise to do your research before getting started. Our agents have helped many clients complete successful purchasing land deals. Check out our 5 steps and insider tips below to help you get started with the process.
5 Steps for Purchasing Land Hassle Free
1. Decide How You Will Pay
Before you begin your search for land, take a deep look into your finances. It’s always good to know what you can truly afford and what resources are available to you before you get too attached to a piece of sale property. By understanding what financial resources you currently have, you can minimize your risk of overextending yourself by limiting your search to properties in your price range.
The easiest strategy for purchasing land is to pay cash. Most lenders have special requirements for land loans in place because it is a riskier investment than a home that is already built. This risk typically comes with a higher down payment and possibly even a higher interest rate.
2. Compare Loans (if Necessary)
If you decide that you want to go the loan finance route, know up front that it can be a difficult process. Land loans aren’t the same as taking out a conventional mortgage. They are higher risk for the financial institutions, and this leads to high costs for the purchaser.
Researching your options can help you get the best deal on a purchasing land loan. A few good options recommended by our experienced agents are:
- Bank Land Loans
- USDA Loan
- 504 Loan
- Home Equity Loan
- Seller Financing (depending on the seller)
Purchasing land with a loan can be a tricky process, so researching as much as you can to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs makes everything run smoother.
3. Consider Every Expense
Depending on what you plan to do with the land you are purchasing, there can be some hidden costs involved. Ask yourself these questions to start uncovering unexpected expenses:
- How do you plan on using the property?
- Is it an addition to your own land?
- Do you want to build on the property?
- How could your use of the property change over time?
Your answers to the above questions will help you determine additional costs you may have down the line. If it is an addition to your own land, your maintenance costs could potentially increase with additional acreage. There will also be an increase in taxes as you take on the tax burden of an additional parcel.
If you plan to build, a careful look at all the costs associated with your building project is necessary. Be sure to investigate the costs of construction, permits or adding utilities to the property if they are not already in place when you purchase.
4. Find Your Land and Research the Property
Once your initial research is finally done, you can start the fun part of finding your perfect parcel of land. If you know a general area that you would like to live in, heading out for a quick drive around the region can help you see if there is a certain area that you prefer more than another in that region. After your drive, you could move your search online, but you may want to reach out to a local real estate agent.
Local agents will have a better idea of the current market and possibly new land listings that will be coming to the market soon. This knowledge of the market could help save you from making a poor investment. Once you find the right parcel of land, continue your research before you make an offer. Some parcels might have different zoning or land use restrictions. These restrictions could derail your home plans or usage before you even get started.
In the Adirondacks, be sure to familiarize yourself with Adirondack Park Agency regulations as they apply to your property of interest. Land inside the Blue Line can have additional zoning regulations that are unique to the Adirondack Park.
5. Make Offer and Close
With property research and financing done, now it’s time to either give your agent or the seller your formal offer to purchase the land. The offer is a written document containing the details of the property, your information, the price you are willing to pay and other required terms that must be in place in order to close.
Additional requirements might include:
- Environmental Tests
- Land Survey
- Other terms the lender might require in order to get the loan (if borrowing)
Once your offer is accepted, the real estate attorneys will work up the paperwork and you will finally close on the land.
Purchasing land can be more costly than buying a home due to additional requirements and considerations that often apply. Doing your research ahead of time to have a clear idea of what you are getting into is key. Completing the above steps recommended by our expert Adirondack Premier Properties staff should get you well on your way to a cost effective and smooth land purchase. If you need further assistance, reach out to one of our agents today.