County Property with White Fence

10 Questions To Ask Before Buying Land

5 Minutes

More people have made the chosen to buy their own land. Owning land is much less of a hassle than owning a home or other types of property, which makes it an attractive option for many. Purchasing land is a big decision, as well as an expensive one, to make. Like any large purchase, you need to ask yourself a few questions beforehand to be sure this is the right choice for you. Another important part of buying land is working with the right people. At Michigan Whitetail Properties, we can help you find the land in Michigan that works best for you.

Here are some questions that you should ask before buying land.

1. What size land you’re interested in?

The first question you need to ask is the most obvious one. How much land you want to buy is entirely up to your circumstances, so this varies from person to person. This might seem like a simple question, but many people don’t know exactly what they want beforehand. You don’t want to make a mistake and not fully think through the size of the land you want and end up unhappy with your choice, or have to sell it because it doesn’t fit your needs. You’ll likely have this land for years to come, so you need to be sure it’s what you want.

2. What you intend on doing with the land?

Everyone has different intentions for what they’re going to do with their land. What you’re buying the land for can make a huge difference in what your options are. Not every piece of land is equal, so you may not be able to do what you’d like on some of the land available. Many people buy land intending to hunt on it, which of course, won’t be possible in some areas. Whether or not you plan on building on the property can affect the land you can buy. This is something you need to have figured out ahead of time.

3. How can you access the property?

How you’ll be able to reach the land is something you should figure out before you buy it. Some properties might have a local road that you’ll easily be able to take to get to the property. However, not all pieces of land have access to a local road and may have deeded access instead. If this is the case, you’ll discuss this with one of your neighbors who does have access to a local road to get to your property. While this is easy for you and a neighbor to figure out, it does require a little more work for you.

4. What neighboring landowners are like?

Knowing how you’ll get along with your neighbors is important whenever you buy property. Even if you won’t be building a home on your land, this is still something you should understand. You don’t want to go through the hassle of buying property and then spend all of your time having to deal with those who own the land near yours. How your neighbors treat their land can have a huge impact on yours, including what it’s worth, so you want to be sure that you’re well matched.

5. Are there utilities nearby?

If you’re buying land in a rural area, there could be a chance that most of the land you can buy won’t have utilities. Depending on what the land is being used for this might not matter much, but it could lead to additional expenses in the future. Anyone who plans to one day build on the land needs to take having utilities or not into consideration. If you don’t want to have to deal with getting water and power to your property, you might be limited as to what land you can purchase.

6. What property taxes will you have to pay?

Although you might not have any type of structure on your land, you’ll still need to pay property taxes for it. Fortunately, these taxes are less expensive than you would have to spend on a house or other real estate. This can vary from area to area and it’s one of the most important questions you should ask. You don’t want to find the perfect piece of land only to find out that you can’t afford to pay the property taxes for it.

7. Are there any water features nearby?

Many people would prefer to have water features on their land, such as a stream or pond. Depending on what you’re using the land for, you may or may not want this. This is important to take into consideration because it can affect how you’re able to use the land. Water features like this can also make land more expensive. On the other hand, marshes or wetlands tend to turn people away from a piece of land. These types of swampy lands can make it impossible to do a majority of the things that people buy land for.

8. Are the boundaries marked?

When you buy land, you absolutely need to know where the boundaries are. Even if you know the general area of your land, this is something you need to have clearly figured out. If the boundaries aren’t marked, this is easy to have done, but it’s important to keep in mind. If you use land beyond what your limits are, there’s a chance that you could get in legal trouble.

9. Who owns the rights to everything on the land?

You might think that just because you own the land, you own everything that comes from it. This can include timber, water, and minerals on your land. For example, if your land has trees, you don’t always automatically have rights to those trees. If you intend on selling the timber or anything else on your land, this is something you have to have settled. As a landowner, you must know who has the rights to what.

10. Is the land under conservation easements?

A conservation easement essentially helps to preserve a piece of land, and there’s always the chance your land can fall under this. Depending on what you want to do with the land, conservation easements might force you to have to choose somewhere else. This can severely limit what you’re able to do with your land. You might not be able to build, plant, or change much about how the land is naturally. This type of land can be less expensive because there’s less potential for it.