Tips Before You Buy Vacant Land
Are you building your dream home? Taking the ATVs for a spin? Getting your own hunting grounds? Whatever your reason to buy vacant land, there are some key things you should know as you begin your search for the perfect parcel.
1. SECURE FINANCING
Unlike when buying a home, it can be tough to secure financing when you’re ready to buy vacant land. Many financial institutions will only underwrite mortgages for already improved properties, but there are ways around this. If you are going to build on the land, consider a construction loan. This type of loan pays for the purchase of the land and any costs associated with the construction of the structure you intend to add. Financial institutions generally consider this a higher risk loan since it is not secured by finished collateral, like an existing home, so many banks and credit unions will only lend to customers with well established relationships and for a relatively short term – typically only a year.
If you don’t intend to build right away or if you are having trouble securing a loan, ask the current property owner if they would consider in-house or owner financing. Owner financing describes a situation in which the property owner lends the money you need for a purchase, accepting a down payment with regular installments over time. When you work directly with the owner, you may be able to negotiate more flexible terms when you buy vacant land than what you might get when you go through a bank.
2. FIND THE RIGHT BUILDER
If you intend to build, keep in mind that not all builders are alike. Did you fall in love with a particular floor plan? Before you pick out cabinet colors, make sure that your builder will build on your own land. Some companies will only do business in communities that they own.
If you plan to buy vacant land in a deed restricted community consider that some home owner associations (HOAs) restrict which builders you can work with, or place special requirements on the type of home you can construct.
And when you build, be sure to choose a reputable company familiar with the municipality you plan to work in. Wetlands and flood plains may be an issue in one area and protected species could be an issue elsewhere. Getting a builder knows your area is key to avoiding delays and ensuring a smooth experience.
When you’re ready to buy vacant land, Steven Jantzen Properties is here to help! We offer owner financing on every property in our inventory and we can recommend a host of qualified partners to get you started with confidence.
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