Buying acreage is different than purchasing a house. The concept is the same, but the purchase of land comes with different concerns and legal clauses. Walking into the buying process without the proper information can cause you to lose both time and money. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common questions asked about buying acreage.
⛺️ What are the different uses for acreage?
There are different uses for acreage. Some may use the land for recreational purposes to build parks, camping sites, sports fields, or hunting areas. Acreage may be used for large-scale farming, raising livestock, or both of those on a smaller scale. Some investors look for acreage that is suitable for residential developments. You may want to purchase land to build your home. There are times when land is purchased for timber or mineral rights.
What’s important to note is that land is often zoned for specific purposes, and you’ll want to work closely with your real estate agent to determine if the acreage you’re interested in purchasing is suited for your needs.
⛺️ What about water, drainage and sewage?
Before buying any type of land, it is important to investigate potential hazards that may be associated with the land. Inspect things like drainage easements before you sign any sale agreement. Such easements may allow people to use your land for drainage or sewage purposes. Such drainage easements may have set your land aside for sewage disposal, drainage of water collected from any nearby residential areas. They could also allow complex network of drainage pipes across your property that could be an inconvenience because owners are not allowed to build on easements. Poor drainage and sewage systems on the land may cause you a lot of problems and you may be at risk of having a low value on the property when you want to resell.
⛺️ What should I know about available amenities?
It is important to ensure that the piece of acreage you want to buy has access to basic amenities like internet, electricity, telephone, water; trash collection and road maintenance services. This is especially true if you are looking for land to build a home. You should also ensure that these services are provided at reasonable rates. You should also check for socio-economic amenities that are nearby such as; banks, hospitals, schools and shopping centers.
⛺️ What are easements?
An easement is an acquired legal right to trespass or use a particular piece of land, known as ‘dominant land’ belonging to another person (servient land) in any way you see fit. You are required to specify how you use the land. In some cases, easements can be created in gross; in cases where dominant land is not there. Easements are majorly used for roads, bury cables and access utility lines. Homeowners in landlocked homes may be required to pay an easement to cross another person’s land into their own.
Easement payments are time-based. They can be annual, monthly, one-time or any agreed amount of time. It is important to note that easements can expire. Property owners are not allowed to build on an easement. In residential areas, most easements are for public utilities.
⛺️ What are mineral rights?
These are rights of ownership to underground resources like oil, gold, copper, silver, natural gas, uranium, or iron. Mineral rights are not to be confused with surface rights which permit the holder to improve or sell surface land. Surface rights permit the owner to dig beneath the surface only to lay foundations and septic tanks; however, they do not have any right to mineral underneath. Mineral rights provide the right to exploit any resources underneath the surface. Mineral rights that can be sold or bought privately by specific individuals are very scarce. When you get ownership of mineral rights, you receive royalties from businesses who mine the products.
⛺️ Can I do whatever I want with the bought land?
Just because you bought land and you are the rightful owner does not mean you are at liberty to do as you please with it in some cases. For example, if the property is not zoned for residential building, you won’t be able to build a home there. This could be because the land is not stable enough for structures but would be perfectly good for some other purpose.
If you are investing on land, you may be required to hold on to it from 10-15 years. Zoning approval processes also take 3-5 years for you to start development. Easements can also limit what you can do with the land.