October 4th, 2022

You’ve decided to build your own custom home and are now searching for the perfect piece of land! Here are some things you need to keep in mind when pursuing a land purchase.

Below is a quick checklist of legal concerns from buildingadvisor.com

  • Is the lot buildable?
  • Is it suitable for a conventional septic system, or for an expensive alternative system?
  • Are the boundaries clearly and accurately marked?
  • Can the seller provide clear title for the property?
  • Is it zoned for the type and size of house you are planning?
  • Are there any setbacks or other zoning restrictions, septic system rules, or other regulations?
  • Is there legal access by road or right-of-way? Who maintains the road?
  • Is there adequate road frontage to build?
  • Are there any liens, rights-of-way, easements, covenants, or other deed restrictions or encroachments on the property?
  • Are there building restrictions due to wetlands, water frontage,  steep slopes,  historical or cultural sites, or other local, state, or federal regulations?
  • Was the land formerly used to store old vehicles, farm chemical, industrial chemicals, or other toxins that you will need to clean up?
  • Does all or part of the lot lie in a floodplain?
  • Will you own the water and mineral rights?
  • Are there any endangered or protected species on the property?

Work with an agent to purchase land:

Real estate agents, especially agents who have bought and sold land, are an important asset to help protect your purchase. Agents can help navigate negotiations and due diligence. Zoning, easements and covenants are just a few of the things an agent can help you locate when purchasing land.

Financing

Whether you’re buying a home or land, it’s important to know how much you can afford before you start shopping. A lot of land purchases are done in cash since lenders are less likely to lend on undeveloped land. Talk with a lender before looking for land properties to hear your loan options. You may have to put a large portion down in order to get a loan. If you plan on making a cash offer, having proof of funds will to send with an offer will help the seller feel confident in your offer. Contact us for a list of great local lenders who can help you figure out your financial needs and options.

Home Values

One of the biggest advantages to building your home is the ability to customize it. If you are buying a land lot in an established neighborhood, you’ll want to make sure you’re building your dream home in a neighborhood with similar standards and style. If the homes in the neighborhood aren’t similar in price to your build, you might not be able to get a construction loan.

Utilities and Road Access

Depending on how developed the area surrounding your purchase is, you may find extra costs in bringing electricity to your lot or having to pay for a septic system.

Environmental Testing

Just as you would do a home inspection on a home purchase, land also needs to be inspected and tested. Make sure you know what you’re buying by doing soil tests that check for contamination from previous use.

Survey

You’ll also want to have a surveyor identify the property boundaries. It’s possible neighbors may have encroached beyond property lines.

Zoning

Make sure you’re aware of the property’s zoning regulations and codes. It may limit what you are allowed to build on that land.

Buying land to build your custom dream house is a great idea! Make sure you have the help of a trusted and experienced Real Estate agent. Contact us if you’re looking for a home or land purchase!

What our clients are saying:

Jody Savage is knowledgeable, trustworthy and tireless. I purchased a property this spring (2017) near Bozeman; Jody represented me as well as the seller in the transaction. Jody led me through the entire process because this was the first property I had ever purchased. HOA complications and other details made the purchase more difficult. Jody undertook a boat-load of legwork to make the transaction go smoothly. I hope to work with Jody again.

J.D.

Jody was awesome to work with. We were new to the area and she was helpful and knowledgeable about not only the housing market, but schools, and lenders. She worked with my work schedule for showings. Jody also stayed late to write an offer to meet our schedule. I would recommend Jody to anyone needing a realtor.

M.L.

Jody is amazing. She knows the market and was able to advise us on all our many concerns. We so appreciated how responsive she was; within minutes of submitting an online request for realtor contact on a house, she had called us. All our communications with her were like that; we never had to wait long to hear back from her. She was patient and always willing to sit down and meet with us. When we found the house we wanted, she worked tirelessly to secure it for us, and she was extremely patient with us. She was easy to communicate with, understand, and a pleasure to work with – I highly recommend Jody!

J.T.

Jody is FANTASTIC!! We were first time home buyers and she was with us ever step of the way! She never made us feel silly for being new to the process. She definitely knows the area, always kept us up to date on new listings and was just a delight to work with. I would have absolutely zero hesitation recommending her to anyone. Thanks for all the hard-work Jody! We love our house!

K.G.

My wife and I used Jody Savage for the sale of our home in Gallatin Gateway, MT. Jody was exceptional in all phases of our sale. We had multiple offers over asking price and sold our home in two days! Jody uses up to date modern marketing, was extremely professional and knowledgeable regarding our market and addressing our needs. She was great to work with and very responsive to any questions we had. Jody is the best in the business and we highly recommend her services!

G.B.