Land Shopping Buyers Guide
You can do as much research about land as you want, but you’re still going to want to go to the site to see it with your eyes. Of course, checking zoning requirements, researching historical natural disasters and signing agreements can be done online. But the last step is to go to the site and get a feel for the land and see if you can see your vision coming to life there or not.
Depending on where your land is situated, it might be quite a drive to check this place out, especially if it’s raw land. While this trip can be super exciting, it can also be disastrous on a hot summer day if you don’t bring a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. I have been using this Yeti water bottle for quite a few months now, and it is undoubtedly the best water bottle I’ve ever had. Not only does it keep my water icey cold from morning until night, but it also has a perfect seal that has yet to let me down. The zero-spill rate is something that is extremely important to me no matter where I am, because it means I never have to take time out of my busy day to clean or change my outfit due to a spill.
After getting to the site, I like to measure everything if I can, even if the sellers have already listed the lot dimensions. To do this, I bring a whole variety of tape measures with me so I can choose the perfect one for the size of the property. These tape measures range from a few feet to 200 feet and are a worthwhile investment. It only takes a little time to double check measurements and it cuts out a lot of work afterwards if there are sizing issues that you didn’t know about.
More often than not, you will be looking at more than one plot of land at a time; you will be comparing land a large distance and time period apart. This means you need something to help you keep track of each location’s highlights and points of concerns so you can go back and compare with other areas. To help you document all this, I recommend you get a digital camera to take comparison photos. Instead of losing these photos in a camera roll on your phone with hundreds of meme screenshots and random TikToks, if you keep everything on a separate camera, you will be able to keep everything nice and organized.
As we mentioned in our last blog, you may need to do a soil test with a geotechnical engineer to see whether you can build on the land or not. You can also bring your own shovel to see if bedrock is on or near the surface or not, after asking for permission first of course. This can determine where you can build but no one wants to lug a big heavy shovel across acres of land. That is why I recommend using this foldable and light-weight shovel from Amazon! It folds up into a little bag, which makes it super convenient for transportation, and can be easily used by any average person.
When going on site for the first time, you never really know what you’re going to find so you need to prepare yourself for just about everything. You don’t want to show up to a mud pit with designer heels and then stub your toe on a rock. That is why we get all our staff who go on-site to have a pair of work boots in their car, just so that they are always safe and prepared to go do measures.
Similar to the work boots, it is important that you protect yourself from the elements when on site. While this includes checking the weather network for extreme weather warnings and making sure you are dressed for the weather. It also means always bringing a hat, bug spray, and sunscreen with you everywhere. While a hat may not save you from heat strokes in extreme heat, these items will protect you from the harmful UV rays at the very least, and ensure you are as comfortable as you can be while outside in the summer. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to traditional sunscreen ingredients, I also listed an all-natural sunscreen and bug spray that received great reviews.
Finally, if you can, we recommend bringing a metal detector with you to more “wild” locations where the vegetation might be overgrown and it might be difficult to see the stakes for lot lines. Lot lines are marked by metal stakes in the ground and you can use a metal detector to see the outline through the overgrown grass. This detector does not need to be extremely precise; as long as you get the general gist of where the lines are, that’s all that matters. That is why I suggest getting a slightly more economical option, compared to hardcore treasure hunter gear. Nothing compares to an actual surveyor, but this will give you a rough idea during your preliminary search.
Now that you’ve got all your gear and are both mentally and physically prepared to go on site and judge the land, all that’s left is well… going on site and judging the land! Make sure you can see your vision coming to life on that land and we wish you the best of luck!
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