A beginner's guide to buying land

Perhaps this sounds familiar: You've been searching for a home but for whatever reason you just haven’t been able to make up your mind. Maybe every home you've looked at just didn't seem right. Now you're thinking about building your own home from the ground up.

Before you lay a brick or swing a hammer, you need to have a piece of land to build on. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

What are your reasons?

First off, you need to clearly outline what you want to buy the land for. Do you want to build a home or cultivate and farm the land? Is it an investment you will leave undeveloped and sell at a later date? Is the land for a business?

Your reason will determine the budget you will need to set when looking for land. The other pieces of your total budget will need to include how much you plan to spend on building and land cultivation and how you will convert the raw land for your uses.

It's important to note that down payments for raw land tend to run higher than properties with homes. The reason for this is there is no collateral, such as a house, so banks generally want a higher down payment.  

How do I find land for sale near me?

If you want to buy land, you generally go about it in much the same way as you would go about buying a house. That is, you contact a real estate agent and let them know what lot size you’re looking for and the area you’d like to buy land in.

Not every agent has a large inventory of land they’re trying to sell; if they do it’s often within the city limits, meaning more lots than acreage. With that said, an agent can easily tap into their network and connect you with someone who specializes in selling land. The other advantage of working with an agent is they will be able to tell you about building restrictions and easement laws for the land. They can also connect you with surveyors, inspectors, contractors and lawyers who are often involved with land purchases.

If you want to see what’s out there in the Cedar Rapids area and beyond, check out www.landwatch.com, a site that specializes in rural land properties. This can give you a good sense of the lay of the land.

To learn more, contact a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. With years of experience, they know the area and can lead you to some great lots of land.

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