What To Do After You Buy Land | askBAMLand

Unlock the true value of your newly purchased land with our actionable advice. Overcome the confusion and embark on a successful land development journey today.

The initial activities to undertake after buying land are to clean and clear your lot. This involves removing junk, debris, undergrowth, and trimming back tree limbs. A tidy lot allows you to visualize the potential of your property and sets the foundation for future developments.

As a real estate expert, I’m equipped to provide you with the guidance and know-how you need to make the right decision. My expertise stems from years of experience, and my advice is based on thorough research and real-life scenarios. Let's explore ways to make the most of your newly acquired property and navigate the journey that lies ahead with confidence and clarity.

Key Takeaways

  • Plan land use according to your goals and explore zoning regulations.
  • Obtain necessary permits and navigate through the permitting process.
  • It's vital to stay connected and prepare for emergencies after moving to your home.

Table of Contents

Understanding Land Types

When you buy land, the first step is to understand the different types of land available and how they can impact your plans for the property. Here are some types of land you can purchase,

Raw Land

Raw land refers to undeveloped land with no improvements, such as roads, utility services, or buildings. This type of land is a blank canvas for buyers, offering the opportunity to develop it according to their specific needs and preferences.

Vacant Land

Vacant land, similar to raw land, is land without any buildings or structures. However, vacant land often has some level of infrastructure, such as roads or utilities, in place. This can make it more accessible and easier to develop compared to raw land.

Land with Existing Structures

Land with existing structures includes properties with buildings or other structures already present on the site. These structures can range from single-family homes to commercial buildings, and knowing the current state of these structures is crucial when planning for the land's future use.

Land Type Pros Cons
Raw Land Lower purchase price, flexibility, appreciation Planning, costly infrastructure, longer ROI
Vacant Land Existing infrastructure, permitting, flexibility Planning, zoning, competition
Land with Existing Structures Immediate income, financing, and renovation opportunities Renovations, limited options, permitting

Finding and Choosing Land

Searching for the perfect piece of land to build your dream home or invest in can seem like a daunting task. Let’s explore some effective methods to find and choose the right land.

Classified Ads and Internet Platforms

Classified ads in local newspapers and online platforms such as the Zillow website can be great starting points for finding available land parcels. This site typically provides information about the property, including its size, location, and price, making it easy for prospective buyers to compare options and make informed decisions.

Real Estate Agents and Multiple Listing Services

Working with an experienced real estate agent can be an invaluable resource when it comes to buying land. They have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of properties available for sale, which includes vacant land.

Evaluating the Land

After purchasing a piece of land, it's essential to evaluate its different aspects to ensure it meets your requirements and expectations. They include the following,

Soil Test

Performing a soil test is crucial for understanding the composition and quality of the soil on your property. This will inform you about its load-bearing capacity, nutrient content, and drainage characteristics, which are essential considerations for construction, agriculture, and landscaping.


When evaluating your land, the most important thing is to identify potential hazards that could affect your property's value or usability. These may include flood zones, landslide-prone areas, and earthquake fault lines.

Be sure to review available geological reports to gather comprehensive information on such risks to determine whether the area is secure and ideal for living.

Environmental Problems

Environmental issues, such as soil contamination, endangered species habitats, or the presence of wetlands, can also impact your property. Conduct a thorough environmental assessment or hire a qualified environmental consultant to identify any potential challenges in the development or use of your land.


Access to a reliable water supply is vital for any property. Depending on the location of your land, this may involve connecting to a municipal water system, drilling a well, or using a running water source such as a spring or stream.

Zoning Restrictions

Understanding the zoning regulations for your land will inform you of permitted uses, building heights, setbacks, and other requirements that may affect your development plans. Consult with local planning departments and review zoning bylaws to ensure your intended land use is feasible.


Aside from zoning restrictions, there may be additional regulations in place, such as building codes, conservation easements, or special permits required for specific activities. Familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure you can comply with any relevant requirements or restrictions.


Lastly, confirm that your new property has legal and physical access, especially if it’s landlocked, meaning it has no direct frontage to a public road. Access issues can limit your land's usability, for example, transporting the building materials, so ensure that you have the necessary rights to access your property from a public road or by negotiating easements with your neighbors.

Purchasing the Land

When purchasing property, there are several factors to consider. They include:

Budget and Financing Options

When it comes to purchasing land, having a clear budget and understanding financing options are crucial. Here are a few things to consider to ensure you can afford the property:

  • Determine a realistic budget based on your financial situation and long-term goals.
  • Save for a down payment, which typically ranges from 20% to 50% for land loans.
  • Decide between a land loan for purchasing the property and a construction loan for building a house on the land.
  • Compare the lenders to determine the ones with lower and higher interest rates.

Working with a Real Estate Attorney

A real estate attorney is an important ally in the land-buying process. They can:

  • Review contracts and documents to ensure they are legally sound.
  • Offer advice on zoning and land use regulations.
  • Assist with title searches and resolving any title disputes.
  • Provide guidance on closing procedures and relevant taxes.

Land Survey and Title Search

Before finalizing your land purchase, a land survey and title search should be conducted. These steps help to:

  • Verify the boundaries of your property and any encroachments or easements.
  • Confirm the property's legal owner and clear any liens or outstanding claims.
  • Identify any restrictions, covenants, or other factors that may impact your land use.

Contingencies and Closing the Deal

When closing the deal, it's important to consider contingencies and ensure a smooth transaction. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Negotiate contract contingencies (such as financing, inspections, or regulatory approvals) to protect your interests.
  • Schedule a closing date and prepare all necessary documents.
  • Ensure funds are available for closing costs, taxes, and fees.
  • Stay organized and communicate with all parties involved in the transaction.

Preparing for Construction

Now that you've purchased your land, it's time to prepare your property for construction. This section is here to guide you through some essential steps to prepare for construction.

Permits and Liens

Before you begin building, it's crucial to conduct your due diligence and obtain necessary building permits, and ensure there are no liens on your property. Permits ensure that your construction plan complies with local building codes and safety regulations.

These permissions may cover various aspects of your project such as zoning, electricity,  plumbing, and environmental requirements. Checking for liens is also an important thing, as they can cause legal and financial troubles during the construction process, whether in an urban or rural area.

Building Restrictions and Zoning Rules

Understanding the zoning rules and building restrictions in your area is vital for a successful construction project. These regulations determine what types of buildings you can construct, set property lines, and establish rules about building heights and aesthetics.

Consult with local authorities and study the zoning rules to avoid any unpleasant surprises or potential legal issues.

Off-Grid Solutions for Water and Energy

For a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly home, you might consider off-grid solutions such as solar energy systems and water catchment systems. Solar panels can provide a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative for your energy needs, while rainwater harvesting may help reduce your reliance on municipal water supplies.

Building Your Dream

You might be wondering what to do after you buy land. But worry not, we’ll explore the process of building your dream home on your newly-acquired property.

Hiring a Builder or Going DIY

After acquiring land, the first major decision you need to make is whether to hire a professional builder or embark on a DIY home-building journey. Working with a builder ensures the construction process is smooth, and your home is built to code.

In contrast, going the DIY route can offer more hands-on control and potential cost savings, but managing a complex construction project can be challenging without proper experience.

Custom Home Versus Pre-Designed Plans

Next, determine if you prefer a custom home design or a pre-designed plan. A Custom home can be tailored to your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle, making it a unique and personalized living space.

However, these custom designs may be more expensive and time-consuming than working with a pre-existing plan. Pre-designed plans, on the other hand, offer the benefits of a streamlined process, lower costs, and faster construction, but may not provide you with the exact features you desire.

Construction Loan to Permanent Loan Conversion

Building a home typically requires construction loans to finance the construction process. Once the construction is complete, you will likely need to convert this construction loan into a permanent loan (mortgage).

Ensure you speak with a lender to understand the requirements and qualifications necessary for this conversion. They can guide you through the process and prepare you for the responsibilities and financial obligations associated with property ownership.

Life After Moving Into Your Home

As you settle into your new surroundings, it's essential to navigate the post-move phase smoothly, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable life in your new home. You can do this in several ways,

Staying Connected with the Internet and Services

In today's world, staying connected is essential. Once you have access to utilities, setting up a stable internet connection should be a priority. Research available internet service providers in your area and choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Property Taxes and Cabin Living

It's essential to be aware of the property taxes associated with your land, as they will likely be a part of your regular expenses. Ensure that you're well-informed about local tax rates and due dates to avoid any unforeseen surprises.

If you plan to start the building process, you'll also need to consider building permits, zoning regulations, and additional taxes related to the cabin.

Preparing for Emergencies

Purchasing new land comes with responsibilities, one of which is being prepared for potential emergencies. Create an emergency kit with essentials like flashlights, a first-aid kit, bottled water, and non-perishable food items.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with local emergency services, such as firefighters, police, and hospitals, and have their contact information readily available.

Topic Description
Staying Connected with the Internet Set up a reliable internet connection by choosing an appropriate service provider for your new home.
Property Taxes and Cabin Living Be aware of property taxes and additional requirements if you plan to build a house on your land.
Preparing for Emergencies Stay prepared for emergencies with an emergency kit and knowledge of local emergency services.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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