How to Be A Self-Sufficient Land Buyer – The Smart Land Buyer’s Guide

How to Be A Self-Sufficient Land Buyer – The Smart Land Buyer's Guide

Purchasing vacant land offers an exciting opportunity to shape your future, but the process comes with its own set of unique challenges. From navigating to the land to conducting your own research. Here’s your guide to getting prepared and ensuring a successful land purchase.

  1. Mastering Google Maps: Finding Your Way to Uncharted Territory

Vacant land often lacks a formal address, making navigation a bit tricky. Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue with Google Maps. To use this tool effectively:

Google Maps GPS Coordinates: Obtain the GPS coordinates of the land from the Seller. This is usually a link. These will serve as an accurate reference point for you and anyone else trying to locate the property.

Use the Get Directions button: Start by using the coordinates to the land. Use the Get Directions button to take you directly to the land. Pro tip: neter direction into your phone and allow this to load on the screen before you leave home. Sometimes service can be sparse if depending on where you’re going. 

Satellite View: Utilize the satellite view on Google Maps to get a clear idea of the terrain, surroundings, and any potential obstacles. This can be toggle on and off in the bottom left corner of the Map screen.

  1. Partnering with the County Assessor’s Office: Uncovering Ownership Details

Gaining insight into land ownership is a crucial step in your purchasing journey. Here’s how to leverage the County Assessor’s office:

Parcel Number (APN): This unique identifier is your key to accessing ownership information. Ask the Sellers for this number. Not only will they be impressed by you asking, you might be a better level of service because you’re starting to sounds like an informed buyer. 

Google search the “County Name + Assessor Phone Number** 

Once you have this information, call the County Assessor’s office (Google it) and provide them with the Parcel Number (also known as the Assessor’s Parcel Number or APN) of the land in question. They can provide you with the current owner’s name and contact details. You can also inquire about the property’s ownership history. This will help you understand if the land has changed hands frequently.

  1. Ask Great Questions– Understand the Seller’s Limitations

Don’t feel bad if you’re not an expert yet. Ask questions. The Seller should know a bit about the land, but ultimately, it’s up to you to do your own due diligence, not the Seller. So questions like, “does the land have road access?” is a fair question. Seller’s should know this. Asking a land Seller for construction quotes is going to reveal that you’re not an informed buyer. The Seller will appreciate you doing a little homework on your own.

Road Access? OK! 

One of the most critical aspects of land purchase is road access. Ensure you ask the Seller about the availability and condition of access roads to the property. It’s a fair question, and the Seller should be able to provide clarity.

Utilities and Zoning? OK! 

Inquire about utility access (water, electricity, gas) and the property’s zoning regulations. This knowledge is pivotal for your future plans and can influence the land’s suitability for your needs.

Cost Estimates for Building: NOPE 

Asking Sellers for construction quotes or detailed engineering information will likely be beyond their scope or inaccurate. While the Seller should have insight into the land’s characteristics, it’s important to remember that their expertise might be limited. 

Can I do or build this unique thing with the land? The answer is, it depends. But you’re may be asking the wrong person. Sometimes you have to call the County directly. If you’re not willing to make a few phone calls, then owning land may not be for you. Certain questions require your independent research. Investigate local regulations, zoning ordinances, and any potential legal constraints affecting the land.

Purchasing vacant land is an exciting venture, but it requires diligence and  a little research. Leverage technology like Google Maps for navigation, tap into the County Assessor’s office for ownership details, and master the art of asking the right questions. 

Remember, while the Seller can provide valuable insights, your due diligence is your ultimate safeguard. By following this general guide, you’ll navigate the path to your perfect parcel with confidence and clarity, setting the stage for a successful land purchase that aligns with your vision.

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