More and more, people are seeing the benefits of investing in raw land. For one it’s a limited resource, there’s a finite amount of it to go around. Also, when done right, the payoff can provide a nice financial gain. Finally, the whole process of buying and selling a vacant property proves a much simpler undertaking overall than when that of flipping land with a commercial or residential structure on it. That said, without proper planning, some buyers make terrible missteps costing them valuable time and money. But we can help! In this post, we tell you the 5 Biggest Signs of a Bad Land Deal in Arizona.
1) You Feel Rushed Into Buying
One key sign of a bad land deal: if you feel pressured into signing on the dotted line. When it comes to buying land, or any major purchase, you want to take your time to avoid unforeseen problems with the land, such as encroachment or pending zoning changes which could prevent you from fulfilling your plans. The last thing you need is to be dealing with impending legal boundary disputes. A land seller pushing you into closing without giving you all the information you need, is not your friend.
2) Unknown Zoning Classifications
Value in land investments comes through the ability to use the land to the highest and best purpose for the specific area. This is where zoning comes in. If you have plans to develop the land to build your investment, you want to make sure the local zoning laws will allow you to do that. In order to properly value the land, you must know the local market intimately while being aware of any legal issues that control the use of the land to its fullest extent. A quick call to the county planning and zoning department can help to guide you in both the intended use of the land and examples for your consideration. Or just check out any of the current land listings at Southwest Land Deals as we make sure to include that type of information up front.
3) You’re Not Able to View the Land
These days it’s pretty quick and easy to view a potential investment property even if you can’t get out and see it in person. Google maps, aerial photos, and topography features can give you a great picture of the land as well as any signs of concern in the area in which the property is located. Also, reputable land sellers will have photos of the real estate, or at the very least, the general area. They should also have information available about anything that may hinder your development plans including low lying floodplains, other unbuildable or uninhabitable lands, or even the presence of protected species of either animals or plants. Just another sign of a bad land deal—if the seller is not forthcoming with maps, photos, and information to give you an accurate picture of the property.
4) Unknown Taxes & Assessments
Another sign of a bad land deal is if the seller doesn’t have up-to-date information on any outstanding taxes or assessments of the property. As you may have heard, taxes are one of the certain things in life, and vacant land is taxed annually just like anything else. You will want to investigate properties that carry unusually high property taxes or have upcoming assessments for improvements. If you find a piece of land but can’t get information on the taxes and assessments that may come with it, you’ll probably want to walk away and look for a different investment property.
This one may or may not be a problem for you depending on type of land you want to find. If you’re looking for land to build a residential or commercial development, then you’ll want to make sure you’ll have access to common public utilities, such as electric, water, sewer, and any other services you envision are available. Adding these things to an area where they’re not already established can prove costly and very time consuming. However, if you want to invest in more remote properties (think off the grid and away from it all), the lack of local utilities won’t present an issue. This one really comes back to making sure you have a clear idea of what you want your investment to look like, then doing the proper research to find the piece of land to best fit your needs.