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6 Questions to Ask When Purchasing Raw Land


Buying raw land is an excellent way to invest in real estate. In addition to typically being more affordable than developed properties, vacant land gives you a blank canvas on which to build your vision for growth.

Take the time to research the property that you want to purchase. Be sure that the land suits your specific needs and investment targets by asking the following questions:

Where is the land located?

The property’s location influences how you can use and maximize your investment, whether you develop it for residential use or utilize it for other commercial goals.

Selecting a remote location provides privacy that can appeal to home buyers, for example. On the other hand, its limited accessibility can create serious business disadvantages as well as practical inconveniences.

These factors can impact the property’s future resale value for better or worse, so consult your agent about the long-term valuation prospects of the land you are planning to buy.

What zoning regulations apply to the property?

All acreage properties are subject to zoning designations. These zoning rules govern property lines, the types of buildings you are allowed to build, and the building parameters for structures, such as height or lot coverage limits.

Make sure you know and understand the zoning regulations that apply before presenting any offers on a property. Consult your agent for the latest and most relevant information that apply to your top options.

Is the property under the jurisdiction of a conservation authority?

Similar to local zoning rules, regulations set by local conservation authorities can prevent you from changing or building on the land as you please. In most cases, you need to obtain the necessary permits, which can take a substantial amount of time and money. Other times, you may be restricted from using the land for commercial purposes entirely.

To avoid any complications and inconveniences, learn about the conservation authorities in your area and the regulations they implement on available land.

Does the property belong in an Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) zone?

The Agricultural Land Commission Act designates certain parcels of land as Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) zones. These properties are recommended for farm and ranch use.

If you are interested in purchasing ALR land for non-agricultural use, expect certain regulations and limitations to apply to your building opportunities and usage. You also need to apply for approval from the Agricultural Land Commission first.

How high or deep is the water table?

The water table is the level beneath the surface of the land where the rocks and soil are saturated with water. If you are buying acreage, it’s essential to know where the water table is. A high water table, for instance, may present significant challenges and risks to your building plans – such as flooding and long-term water damage.

What other types of properties are around the land?

In addition to examining the property you want, look around it as well. What kind of “neighbours” do you have? Different types of properties will present different conditions that affect how you can use the land.

For example, being surrounded by residential or commercial properties will mean having other people constantly present around your land. Industrial or agricultural land may be less intrusive, but you might have to deal with noises or odors.

If the land is vacant, inquire if there are any planned or proposed development projects that can affect or obstruct your property.

Let me, Don Munro, help you find the perfect land for sale in Chilliwack and other exceptional locations in British Columbia. Call me at 604.817.7338 or email botsoldmunro(at)gmail(dotted)com for more information.

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