6 Things to Know before you buy land in Texas

As we are entering September, that means we are getting cooler weather, football season is back, the kids are back in school, and you finally have some time to think about buying land near you or maybe even buying land in the Texas Hill Country.

This time of year, the Texas Hill Country is beautiful with the leaves changing and the weather is finally cool enough to spend more time outdoors. But, before you start getting your heart set on buying land, be sure you know about these 6 things when it comes to buying land for residential use.

1.  Before you buy any land, do you know what you want on the land, how you want to use it, or where you want it to be? Do you want to buy land near you or is now the time to move and buy land where you’ve always wanted to live? Buying your own piece of land can be one of the biggest financial decisions you can make, so be sure you’ve thought about where you want to live, what kind of features you want on the property, and how you want to use it.

2.  The next thing to know about is water, septic, and power. These are the 3 vital parts of building on any land. Without one of those things, you won’t be able to build and you’ll have to install them on your own. It is vitally important that you work with your agent to make sure the land you are considering has at least those 3 elements. These are basic things that you can feel free to ask about and negotiate with the seller if one or more of those things is not present.

3. When buying land near you, ask what building restrictions exist. These restrictions exist to help give you guidelines on what you can build to best use your land and keep meddlesome neighbors snooping around your property. There is always a process to get buildings approved and you should know what that process is. There may be restrictions on what can or can’t be put on the land or a minimum square footage for a house you are planning to build. Be sure you know what these guidelines are so you can find the land that is best suited for you.

4.  Understand the process for getting approval to build on the land. Like we mentioned earlier, most land you buy will have a way for you to get approval on what you want to build. You will want to be familiar with this process before you buy land near you or buy land in the Hill Country. There will be a standard process but sellers may have additional steps to take to get approval and it is your responsibility to know those steps. Don’t be afraid to submit ideas for buildings, just be sure that the buildings will help add to the value of your land and experience and not detract from the experience of others.

5. Line up financing for land AND construction. It can be very tempting to look at the price of land and think that you can buy land for less than some houses in Austin. However, you still need to factor in the cost of building your house. So, before you start exploring properties and trying to find land near you or land in the Hill Country, you need to have the appropriate financing land to make it a smooth process. You can choose to finance your land and home construction using a bank or traditional loan or you can choose to “owner finance” the land. Owner financing simply means that you and the land owner agree on payment terms for land. So, instead of you getting a loan from the bank and paying all cash for the land, you pay the owner of the land as if it were the bank. This is a great option for people who don’t want to have the credit pulled or who want more flexibility to buy land soon.

6.    Finally, the best thing you can do to save time and money is work with an experienced real estate agent who understands the land buying process. Buying land in the Hill Country or anywhere is a different process than buying a home. For all the above reasons and more, you need to work with someone who can guide you through the land buying process, especially if this is your first time. An agent will help save you time by showing you only the properties that fit your criteria and they will help you avoid pitfalls many land buyers make in the buying process. Unless you are very experienced buying land, you should definitely get an agent who can help you in the process. 

There you have it! While buying land near you may feel like a marathon, you can make it a much easier process by incorporating these steps into your process. This will help you avoid many issues that land buyers face and it will make your purchasing process smoother. When you do this, you are well on your way to enjoying your land and owning your piece of heaven. Click Here for other tips for buying land in Texas.