Getting Raw Land, Not a Raw Deal!
There is more to buying raw land than meets the eye and more than a few individuals have wished they’d had a second chance upon finding themselves duped, conned, misled, ill-advised, uninformed, oversold, undereducated and often unprepared. They realize, Vegetation Removal Melbourne often too late, that a raw land purchase should be properly investigated, evaluated and negotiated using a logical and rational plan.
Let me start by saying I’m not a geologist, soil analyst, surveyor, engineer or land consultant. I’m a passionate real estate investor, licensed agent, appraisal assistant and landlord who purchased various raw lots, as large as a 15-acre parcel, for investment and building projects. In addition, I have consulted with numerous individuals proficient in real estate, who have contributed to my general awareness of the conditions and merits of raw land. We, as small investors, can further use this information to our advantage in wisely choosing land and utilizing it to it’s highest and best use regarding fulfillment of our needs, wants and desires.
This chapter is not a technical sleeper and as such, it will not go so far as to tell you how much lime to add to your soil to adjust PH levels (7.0 is neutral) but it does try to get you thinking about some of the more general considerations that can lead you to further investigate your options using this material as your starting point.
With that said, the first question I’ll ask you is what exactly do you intend to do with this land once you have it? Why are you buying it? What purpose do you have in mind for land? Are you going to build a home, purchase a lot for retirement or investment? Will you acquire considerable acreage for farming or subdivision? Do you want commercial, residential, recreational or agricultural? Will it be in the north, south, east or west?
So your first question should be, what am I, or we, buying this land for? Will it satisfy my, or our, requirements? To get answers to these questions you would best be served by talking to those who will be most intimately involved with the land, such as your spouse, partner, family members, associated owners, etc. Once you have a clear understanding of what the land is supposed to satisfy, then your search can begin. So often people waste their time and effort because the significant partners have such a wide gap in what each person truly wants from the purchase that they never settle on anything or end up with much less than they could have had.
Land can be said to consist of soil, geology, water and climate. Whether you’re looking at beaches, mountains, deserts, high plains or city lots, they all have some basic components. Some of the basic requirements we most often seek are clean air, water, electricity, sewage disposal and trash removal.
Clean air might be construed as freedom from dusty roads, smog, foul smells from industry or landfills, free from noise of traffic, airports and/or neighbors.
Water availability is essential and is often desired for aesthetics as well as drinking, bathing, washing, cooking, cleaning, toilet facilities and watering vegetation. We also enjoy lakes, rivers and streams for recreation. Others enjoy the tranquil sounds that our streams, rivers and oceans can provide. Without a doubt, water availability is a major concern. Note: A 1666 square foot roof can capture 1000 gallons of water for each inch of rainfall; cisterns of all types have existed since the dawn of man.
Electricity is another necessity that we often take for granted. Is a power plant within a reasonable distance from the land or will it cost you thousands of your own dollars to run cables across public lands to get your electricity hooked up? How far are gas and oil suppliers?
Sewage disposal – 25% of our country is on a well and septic system. If you don’t have access to public utilities, will your land support a septic system as well as the water to operate it?
Solid waste disposal – how far is the landfill? Is there a collection service? You can’t burn everything; how will you get rid of it?
Those are the major necessities for modern, everyday living…things that we really need, but can often overlook until after the contract is signed. Others essentials are a telephone, mail delivery, shopping, police, fire station, hospital/emergency services, schools, churches, recreation facilities and access by good roads and highways.