10 Things You Should Know Before Buying Land In Texas
Land has always been one of the safest and best investments anyone can make. Like my Grandfather said "They ain't makin anymore land". According to Dr. Charles Gilliland at Texas A&M, "a general lack of lucrative investment alternatives makes the decision to acquire land less costly than when stocks were booming".
No matter what your reason for buying land, with or without a home, it's best to make your purchase based on facts and good information, not emotion.
1) Research The Market
The best way to do this is to find yourself an experienced Realtor who knows the market. Ask your Realtor for recent comparable sales in the area. Sometimes there are no relevant comps so you must rely on the Realtor's expertise and compare that with the County Appraisal District. Sometimes you have to go out of the area to a similar area to get comps. Finding reliable comps can really be a challenge out in the country.
2) Check The Infrastructure
Rural areas usually don't have city water they rely on wells or coop water districts. This can be costly in that there are places here in Texas where there is no ground water or the water that's so brackish you can't drink it. Very important..Ask lots of questions about the water. Most rural areas do not have high speed internet, cable TV or electric service. So if those things are important to you find out how you will be able to get them. It can cost thousands of dollars just to get electric service run to your property. All of these things affect value.
3) Check Out The Improvements
Check with local contractors on the cost to install a septic or drill a well. The cost could vary $10,000 on a well if you drilling in rock verses drilling in sand or if the water is at 300 ft or 1500 ft. Barns and fences all have value even if they are in disrepair.
4) Know If There Any Restrictions
If you intend to subdivide, you'll have to check with the County Commissioners and get on the docket to the court to get approval. It's best to check in with them anyway even if you aren't going to do something weird.
5) Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
There are many...ag exemptions, wildlife management etc. Your CPA should help you with this.
6) Shop For Your Insurance
Farm Credit Lenders and your Realtor can recommend insurers to you.
7) Check out the Surroundings
Is it by an airport? How far is it from the freeway? Is it next to a rock quarry? Is the neighbor growing pot? You get my drift.
8) Check out the environment factors
Let me say this..Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste. Do I need to explain?
9) Set A Realistic Budget
Remember once you own this place it costs money to run it. Also, it takes work and time. I haven't ever seen a place that operated by itself. Have a plan and budget for it.
10) Use Local Experts
Work with Real Estate Professionals, they can save you from getting in a trap.
I believe land is a way to build a fortune and to leave a legacy. We all should own a piece of God's Green Earth!