Continued from page 1
Utilities Be sure to consider well and septic installation expenses for land without community water and sewer hookups. Check availability of electric, gas, and telephone services.
Easements An easement is right to use another person's land for a stated purpose. Does someone else have right to use property you want to buy? Find out before you make an offer, or add a contingency to offer that you must approve of existing easements or offer is void.
One way to find easements is to take a look at past deeds for property you are considering and for surrounding parcels, but a real estate attorney or other title researcher can give a more accurate opinion.
Surveys Does bank require a survey? Updates to existing surveys can often be used, and are less expensive than a new survey. In our area, surveys are most important for tracts of land that are not part of a development, since plats for developed lots are typically on file at courthouse.
If there's a question about number of acres in tract, your offer can be stated as "X dollars per acre as determined by a new Now, you'll need to word it a bit better, and state who will pay for that survey. This method can work to either buyer or seller's advantage, depending on how acreage count turns out.
Locating Boundaries Look for iron pins at corners of property, or at any point where property line makes a turn. You might find iron pins flush with center of road, too.
In wooded areas, watch for cut-throughs, pathways cut by surveyors when they marked a property line. Cut-throughs that go through wooded areas are often visible for many years.
Sometimes trees or bushes that border property lines are marked with brightly colored paint or plastic wrappers.
Road Maintenance If property is accessed from a private road, there should be a formal Road Maintenance Agreement. Some banks will not lend without a recorded agreement that shows all owners have promised to help with road upkeep Restrictive Covenants normally cover road maintenance issues.
Environmental Liabilities If homes or other structures were on land in past, ask for a signed statement that discloses facts about buried items, such as oil or gas storage tanks. Their removal and cleanup can be expensive.
Contingencies Before you make an offer, think about what ifs--things that would make property unusable for your purposes. Add these to offer as contingencies, which means if they do not happen, offer or contract is void.
All offers for land without sewer hookups should be contingent on your ability to obtain permits for a septic system.
If an architectural review committee must approve your home design, offer should be contingent on obtaining that approval.
The offer should be contingent on obtaining type of financing you desire.
There must be a deeded right-of-way to property. You get idea. Your buyer's agent, contractor, or real estate attorney can help you determine if other contingencies should be added.
Searching for land can be a fun adventure. If you look hard enough, you may find a perfect building site just waiting to be cleared from an overgrown jungle of brambles and weeds.
Ajay Pats is a professional manager.He manages real estate site "Real estate broker"(http://realestatebroker.nexuswebs.net/realestatebroker/index.html ),a community for home based business entrepreneurs "Venturecon/Home business opportunities"(http://groups.msn.com/venturecon) and inspirational ezine "Discover secrets of happy and prosperous life"(http://www.topica.com/lists/venturemall).