Investing in vacant land is often necessary when you want to develop, build and/or speculate in Texas—but the key to making a good investment is buying land that will suit your purposes, appreciate in value and pay off with a fair profit. In fact, many parcels are undervalued in today’s market, which can mean that, with the right research and development, you can make a profitable purchase.
However, to make sure you’re making a good investment, you need to hire a land surveyor. Don’t rely simply on the seller’s description and map—visit the parcel yourself, walk around and determine whether the property will suit your needs. Then have a surveyor come out to measure the land and create a full description. Both steps are important because they will reveal whether there are any obstructions or other issues that would prevent you from using the land for your desired purpose. Whether you want to build a home, create a subdivision or even build an amusement park, you want to make sure it’s suitable for your intended purpose before you sign on the dotted line.
Four factors to consider
In order to tell whether you can use the land the way you want to, you’ll need to do your own research. Never rely only on the seller’s information, since they have a vested interest in getting rid of the property. Here are four factors to take into account during your research process:
- Terrain: Before you can commit to building on a piece of land, you’ll need to be intimately familiar with its terrain. For example, is it on a hill or floodplain? Is there a stream running through the middle of the parcel, right where you’d like to build a house? Are there positive features that would make the land more valuable? The answer to these questions will vary depending on your goals. This is why it’s important to actually visit the parcel yourself—you’ll be able to observe features and drawbacks that could affect your plans.
- Accessibility: A piece of land is worthless if you can’t access it. Look at the roads around the parcel and leading to it. Depending on your purpose, whether they’re paved and well maintained may make a difference. If there are issues with the roads, this may not be the right land for you. Also, make sure you observe whether there are roads or easements running through the land, as these can also affect your development plans.
- Location: Location is everything with real estate, and vacant land is no exception. Check the zoning and surrounding developments to determine whether it’s likely to appreciate in the coming years.
- Utilities: Finally, take utilities into account. You’ll need water, gas, electricity and sewer services, or septic services and well water if municipal lines aren’t available. Make sure you’re allowed to add these utilities if they’re not already accessible.
With the help of a surveyor and your own research, you’ll be able to find a worthy investment during your search for vacant land in Texas. Call D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. to schedule your land survey today.