Purchasing land, ranches or acreage in Texas Hill country is an exciting under taking but it also can be overwhelming. Before you head out looking at commercial land or residential property it’s best to know these essential 5 tips to buying land in Texas.
#1. Make sure your real estate agent is familiar with land buying.
While any real estate agent can help you purchase residential property including a house or a vacant parcel of land, experienced, skilled, trained and seasons real estate agents that are familiar with land can help you with the nuances and differences between a single-family house, building and land. There are differences to the purchase, finance and contract and unless you use some of that is familiar with the process, you could be making a lot of mistakes and costing yourself a lot of money. It really pays to go with a real estate professional that understands how to purchase land in Texas Hill country.
#2. Understand zoning and building codes.
If you plan on buying land is simply for the fact of holding onto property than you won’t need to worry about any zoning or building laws unless you plan on selling that in the future and having someone else build. It’s a good idea to understand all of the zoning laws for the particular parcel of land you are purchasing. Check with City Hall, building guidelines and any neighborhood covenants about the property. You want to know about restrictions, setbacks, water and electricity and any easements or road access.
#3. Understanding easements.
As mentioned previously, you want to make sure that your property has road access and that you understand any easements. Easements are the rights and privileges that a person may have in another persons land. You want to find out what easements are available to you over other people’s property or if other people have access to your property. If you’re not on a main city or county road you want to know whether the easements are wide enough to meet County specifications and public access. Do emergency vehicles have proper access? Are the road easements legal, binding and properly documented?
While this is not something that most land owners or purchasers are aware of, it can be quite valuable if you don’t hold them. Perhaps the mineral rights and timber rights of your land is owned by someone else; you wouldn’t want to come home after 20 years of being on your property to find someone bulldozing up everything you’ve worked hard for. Just because nothing is been found a value on your property yet, someone eventually may discover something in the future and you want to make sure that you have the rights to everything on your property including above and below ground.
#5. Protect yourself with certain contingencies.
This again goes back to having a qualified and seasons real estate professional that understands the nuances of buying real estate and land. You want to make sure that any of your contingencies are written in stone. Any qualifications about earnest money, deposit and closing need to be clearly identified. You want to make sure to obtain a title search so that you have all of the facts as to the legalities of the property. Make sure there are no encumbrances on the land, future eminent domain possibilities from the government and invest in proper title insurance. You want to familiarize yourself with certain terms such as binders, deposit receipts, graduated payment mortgage, maintenance claws, liens, quitclaim deeds and acceleration clauses. When financing land understand every detail as to the purchase so that you are not stuck with the balloon payment of several thousand dollars in five or 10 years.
Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a qualified real estate agent when purchasing land in Texas. This alone can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches. Using an amateur real estate agent that does not understand all of the details to a real estate purchase and sale contract on land could cost you not only time and energy but a lot of money. When you’re ready to purchase land in Texas Hill country around areas such as Kerr County, Gillespie County and Kerrville please contact me at any time. I am an expert in land, commercial properties, ranches and farmland throughout Texas Hill country.