You’ve just paid off your very own piece of land, and now you’re probably wondering… What’s Next?
The First Step: Make a Plan
You dreamed of this land when you put down the initial payment. Maybe that dream is still the same, or maybe it’s changed. But whatever your dream is now, it’s time to transform the dream into a concrete plan.
If you dream of building a home, then use the following 7 steps as a rough guide on getting started:
- Have tests done for well and septic system installation, or look into the cost of having city water and sewer brought to your land.
- Have your land surveyed to mark the four corners, and get a plan of boundary lines.
- Investigate the utilities in the area. How much will it cost to bring power to your land? Is natural gas available? Do you get cell reception at your property?
- Decide on a floor plan for your home (look at designs online or talk to an architect).
- Call the county building department, and talk to someone about permits, license fees and other building requirements for your area.
- Consider hiring a contractor to build for you. Call several, and talk to them about the costs and timing.
- Look into construction loans. Are they right for you?
If you bought your land as an investment, then you might have a plan that looks like this:
- Find a local realtor. Call them, and ask what’s happening where your land is located.
- Order comparable sales for the area. Ask the realtor, or find them online.
- Research land selling websites. Can you list the land yourself? What are similar properties going for?
- Decide whether to try and sell now, or wait for prices to improve.
The only way to turn your dream into reality is to work on it. The best first step is to write down all the other steps so you have a clear path from where you are to where you’re going.
The Next Step: Visit the Area
You might have gone to see your land when you first began making payments, or you might not have. Now is a great time to plan a longer trip. You should drive out to your land; walk on it, see with your own eyes what the terrain is like, what plants and animals live there, and experience what the air feels like.
There’s much more to do around your property as well:
Meet the neighbors: Whether you bring a plate of cookies to their door or drop a card in the mail, your new neighbors are a great resource. They know about the local weather, the best places to eat, and they might help you get started with your plans for the land. If this is an investment property, they might even be willing to buy it from you.
Talk to people: Don’t just meet your immediate neighbors, talk to other people in the local community. Go to church while you’re there, or eat at a local restaurant. No internet search about local amenities can be half as valuable as finding out from a local resident who the best contractor to hire for a job, or which direction to place your front door to avoid the winds. And whether this new land will be a home, a frequent vacation spot, or an occasional destination for you, it pays to be friends with the local people.
Find Area Resources: Where is the closest gas station to your property? The closest grocery store? Where are the schools, the nearest hospital, or the local fire station? You might not need to know any of this right away, but it will all be valuable at some point, whether you plan to live on your land, or sell it to someone else.
Land ownership can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. That’s why it’s a good idea to take stock of things. Find out all you can about your land, the community surrounding it, and your own plans for the future. Now that you’ve completed these steps you have a good head start on making your dreams come true.
Image Credit(s): Wikipedia