Buying land is quickly becoming the newest trend in real estate. Whether you want to purchase a vacant parcel to build a home, start a business, create a recreational getaway, or use as a lucrative investment, you’ll find that untouched earth offers a blank canvas for a number of uses. But before you sign on the dotted line, you should know some of the factors that could stand in the way of your development dreams. In this post, we share The Biggest Red Flags to Look for When Buying Land in Arizona.
Utilities & Access
This is a huge red flag to look for when buying land in Arizona. Having access to the property is key for development or investment. If there’s not currently a direct path, you may need to work with owners of the surrounding parcels to secure entry. Road easements are not always the easiest to secure, so if the real estate you’re considering doesn’t have direct access, you may want to keep looking. Along with that, make sure to check the status of local utilities. Having electricity and water on site is not always a given, especially when it comes to more remote property. Knowing what amenities you have immediate access to versus what you’ll need to add to the property will give you a much better sense of if a certain piece of land will work for your project or investment.
Depending on your situation, the people who own the land around yours could present another red flag when buying land in Arizona. This is where we highly recommend that you or a trusted representative go and physically check out the real estate before purchasing. This way you’ll know things like if the undeveloped land has become a local dumpsite for trash or if there are smells coming from nearby properties that could inhibit your full use and enjoyment of the land. Another aspect of the neighboring homeowners to consider is their attitude towards your proposed land use, especially if you’ll be seeking rezoning and there could be trouble.
Zoning & Boundaries
Perhaps the biggest red flag to look for when buying land in Arizona comes in the form of zoning. If you have plans for a commercial project but the land is zoned as residential, that could put a huge damper on your development. There are many agencies involved with land and various laws governing land use at federal, state, and local levels. Another concern that goes along with zoning involves environmental impacts and protected species. Finally, make sure you check the boundaries of the land. If the lot is oddly shaped, this may inhibit your intended use of the property. Making sure your plans aline with these laws and guidelines will keep you from owning property that you cannot use as you wish.
Like all major purchases, you want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your investment. If you’re working with a seller who isn’t forthcoming with information or is rushing the sale, you may have uncovered another red flag when buying land in Arizona in the form of low land value. While it’s fairly easy to determine market value of developed real estate, raw land presents a bit more of a challenge. An appraisal of the land is a strong backup for the asking price. You should be aware that many experienced professional land investors, like the direct buyers at Southwest Land Deals, can provide a general estimate within about 5% of the value off the top of their head.