We get asked every week how to buy land. Maybe you have thought about buying a piece of land and building. Maybe you want to buy a couple acres and get away from the city. Maybe you want to invest in land and re-sell it when the price is right. We are here to tell you that land is rarely a bad investment. There is a limited amount of land and once it's developed, its gone.
We hope this post gives you all of the information you need on how to buy land. We have bought land twice now. We bought 3.5 acres in Alexandria, Ohio and built a home from the ground up. We sold that home and used the profits to buy 5.7 acres in Westerville, Ohio and we are in the process of building again.
Buying land can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking to say the least. We want you to feel confident in your decision (whatever that may be) after you read this post on how to buy land. If you want to learn more about who we are and meet our family click HERE.
Is Buying Land a Good Idea?
Ultimately, yes, buying land is a good idea. We believe buying land is a good investment because of the demand. Are you buying land to build a home? Are you buying land to sit on it and sell it for a profit? Either way, land usually goes up in price overtime and you will reap the benefits if you sell.
You are not the only person asking how to buy land. There are a lot of people who like the idea of buying land but don't want to put in the work and ask the hard questions.
To buy land, you need to have a few things lined up. First, you need to have a large down payment ready to go. You can finance land, but we recommend putting a large amount down so your payment is small. If you are building, you should have a floor plan ready to go so you can start the building process right away. Lastly, you need to have a good realtor to help you navigate this process. In some areas, like ours, land is in high demand. You have to offer on the plot of land right away if you want to snag it.
How Much Money Do you Have to Put Down to Buy Land?
The first thing that goes into buying land is money. Depending on where you live, land is expensive and in high demand. We recommend putting down a large down payment when you are purchasing land.
The down payment on land is typically higher than a traditional mortgage down payment. Usually, you have to put down anywhere from 25-35%. Here is a land loan calculator you can use to figure out specific numbers.
How to Find the Right Piece of Land?
When you are starting to research how to buy land, it can be overwhelming. We recommend starting the process by finding a great, reliable realtor. If you are in Columbus, Ohio we love Teresa and Vince with Keller Williams Realty. Wherever you live, find someone who knows the area you are looking in and has dealt with land purchases before. Land is different than searching for homes.
While your realtor is looking for you, make sure you are looking yourself. Get on realtor.com and zillow.com at least twice a day and see if there are any new listings. If you find a lead, send it to your agent and have them look into it.
You can also drive around the area you are looking in and see if there are any plots for sale by owner. You'd be surprised at how many people sell land by owner.
Lastly, make sure you are asking friends and family if they have any leads. If you can find someone who is looking to sell land before they list it, you hit the jackpot! It is actually pretty common. Post on facebook/instagram that you are looking to buy a plot of land and you may find someone ready to sell.
Location and School District
When you are looking to buy land, location is extremely important. You have to decide where you want to live and what school district you want to be in. Even if you don't have kids, school district is important for future children and resell value.
Location and school district can add or take away from your return on investment. If you have to drive an hour to the nearest grocery store or gas station, your return on investment will drop. Consider the driving distance to the hospital, stores and schools before purchasing.
Before you look at a plot of land, make sure you check with the county to see if it is zoned as residential property. Also, see if you can do any digging to see if the land next to the plot will remain residential. You don't want to have a new highway pop up or some sort of commercial building. If you are in Columbus, Ohio, here is the auditor's website. If you are in a different state, just google your county's auditor's website.
Buying land often comes with a lot of prep work. Site work can be very expensive. If the plot of land you are interested in is covered in trees, you may have to budget in the cost of tree removal. If the land is uneven or wet in areas, earth work may add up.
The easiest way to budget in site work is to bring a contractor with you to the lot prior to making an offer. It is an important step in figuring out the cost of your building process.
Is Buying Land Easier Than Buying a House?
This question is hard to answer. Buying land and building a home is a lot of work. It takes a lot of money, hard work, expertise, blood, sweat and tears. We have done it and are currently in the process of building again.
We have bought houses and we have bought land and built houses. There are pros and cons to both routes. If you are buying a home, there is no build time. You immediately get to move in and reap the reward of buying. You can start making it your own and you gain instant equity. The process is usually easier and faster because it is streamlined.
When you buy land, you get to customize your home from the ground up which is HUGE. Buying a home outright cancels out some creative rights. You can also save money by managing the build yourself. It is extremely time consuming but can save you thousands of dollars.
Overall, buying land is not easier but we believe it is 100% worth the hard work.
We built a home from the ground up and here is the living room to give you some inspiration. All of the hard work DOES pay off.
We hope this answers all of your questions about how to buy land. If you want to ask anything else, just DM us on instagram @conleyadventures.
Mas & Liz