The following are the basic elements of land value:
6. Lot size & shape
8. Availability and cost of utilities
9. Convents, conditions & restrictions
10. Environmental and governmental regulations
Ultimately the responsibility for choosing suitable land belongs to the purchaser. Vacant land purchase and sale agreements obligate buyers to pursue “due diligence” and provides them a feasibility contingency. Feasibility contingencies allow buyers to cancel the purchase and sale agreement if they discover the land is not suitable.
Buyers will do well to use their feasibility period effectively. Depending on the land and especially availability of utilities and proximity to critical areas, feasibility studies can be simple or problematic. Asking questions of representatives from governmental agencies and public utilities with jurisdiction of the area the land is located is critical in understanding costs and restrictions with developing.
Sellers typically provide buyers with preliminary title reports during this period; title reports are made up of recorded documents such as surveys, deeds, easements etc. Title examiners, surveyors and attorneys may be needed to answer questions relating to these documents. Building contractors will to meet with buyers on the lots to advise on the practicality of building a home.
Unimproved or raw land may require a septic designer to perform a soils analysis test, a logger to cruise or appraise for timber value or a biologist to establish buffers from wetlands. Determining where (under)ground water is has been a time-honored talent; today buyers employ methods ranging from water witchers to electro-seismic technology. Civil engineers can be employed to do geo-technical studies, drainage plans and other reports and surveys.