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Many individuals searching for their dream homes express frustration in the inability to find a home that aligns with their expectations. For some, building a new house provides the perfect opportunity for customization and ability to choose the location and property. When it comes to buying land, however, there are a few things to consider to ensure the purchase doesn’t end up costing you after closing.

Location

Land prices drop the farther away you move from cities. With cheap acreage, you can buy a sizeable plot of land without a large price tag.

Despite these low prices, land farther away from the cities might pose some complications. It is important to gauge the distance from the property to the nearest towns that offer groceries and other living amenities and determine whether the commutes will be reasonable and sustainable. As far as personnel goes, craftsmen may be unwilling to travel considerable distances or require compensation for their travel and plowing companies may not service your location.

In addition to proximity and distance from local amenities, elevation proves an important factor when determining whether a plot of land is suitable for a house. If land is adjacent to hills, it may be unstable and threaten the integrity of some slab foundations or receive a considerable amount of run-off that can lead to weakened structures. Property located near bodies of water have the potential to flood if not elevated.

Natural Hazards

Environmental tests are important, as they determine any soil or natural hazards that may advise against building on the property. Some soil may have naturally occurring asbestos or poor drainage that puts a property’s foundation at risk. In addition to environmental tests, you should obtain natural hazard disclosures, which may reveal that the area is a known fire hazard or that the lands are protected habitats and prohibit building.

Utilities

Some locations may already have electricity, sewer, and water established nearby, whereas others will cost money for infrastructure. Some water rights may bar owners from digging wells and an inability to hook up to a sewer may require the installation of septic systems.

Appraisals

The most common way to pay for land is cash. It’s important to obtain appraisals—which can either be serviced through conventional lenders or individuals—as a means of determining an appropriate price for the property prior to making an offer.

Though purchasing land for a new build may appear daunting, the right preparation and information can save you from costly headaches after closing.