Thinking of buying land? Think it is easy? Here are some factors to consider before buying.
You will probably need these professionals in your corner;
REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY
Each of these professions does their own specialized job. And as professionals, we will try to stick to our
areas of expertise. Venturing into areas where you are not a trained & experienced expert can lead to
legal liability, lawsuits, & insurance claims. I as a REALTOR defer to qualified professionals for things
other than Residential Real Estate.
1. Identify the project purpose. Is it to build a single family home, multi-family home, condo,
manufactured home, or commercial application?
2. Identify the zoning. Read the town by-laws regarding zoning. If you are looking for residential,
be advised there are mutable types of residential, for example some applications are
Agricultural, Residential, Residential Business, Residential Rural, or Commercial, each has its own
frontage, setbacks requirements, identify wetlands or irregular shaped lots. Also, the percentage
of land that can be used for a building. Read the town zoning by-laws. Talk to the town Zoning
Enforcement Officer. They are a great resource.
3. Verify ownership & seller, make sure the contact person is really authorized to sell the land.
Identity theft, and scammers are all too common these days. Check the deed & registry of
deeds, check for liens, delinquent taxes (takings) easements & rights of way. This is where a
good real estate attorney can assist with title search & title insurance.
4. Engineering for septic, (if municipal sewer is not available). The price of a septic system will
depend on the number of bedrooms it is rated for. Other factors include the topography of the
land & proximity to water. Once your system passes the BOH (Board of Health) inspection, it will
be issued a certificate of compliance. This will be in effect for up to 3 years. However, if you
have the system pumped within that time, it extends the Certificate by an additional two years.
If you do not have it pumped, and three years elapse, you will have to have a Title V inspection
(MA). This testing will check the health of the septic system and issue a muti page report. Also,
you will need to know if there is ledge, large boulders, and perhaps the need/ability to drill a
well, if not municipal water.
5. If water is on or near the property, (including a high-water table) then a visit to the conservation
commission is a must do. The Conservation Commission will detail what kind of test will be
required, timetables, erosion barriers, plantings, & documentation.
6. Identify your necessary offer contingencies, (perc test, conservation approvals, building permits,
engineering, special permit, and/or variances.)
After giving serious consideration to the above questions, are you ready to write an offer?
Let me know and let’s get started!