If you have ever thought about buying some land and putting your own home on it then you are not alone. A practice that has been around forever is now starting to gain popularity as people want to live in locations that give them peace of mind and privacy. Its called Homesteading. This is where the home you live in and the property its on is relatively self sustaining.
Some people do this for economics and others do it because they want the freedom but whatever your thoughts about the subject are no matter where you put your home you will eventually need to go through a series of inspections and contracts with service providers like an electric company to pass your occupancy permit.
How to buy land and not have to worry about being able to build on it.
Some land that you may want to own just can’t be built on. There are many reasons for this. In some areas they may have regulations limiting property use to agricultural only use. Building that are permitted are only for the management of the land or animals. Other areas are reserved from residential use because of preservation rules. There are many reasons but if you want to build a home on land that has never had a home on it you are likely to come up against a bunch of rules and regulations that your county or government agency places on you that make compliance almost impossible.
Often when land has never been built on you will need to pay large sums of money for impact fees. The cost of you living there that the community will feel. In reality if you are a single family and not building a development of homes the costs should be small. If you can dig a well for water and install a septic system and electricity is near enough to be provided to your land you might think the costs will be low but in reality you might be hit with huge fees for something as simple as allowing you to put in a driveway or a private road.
If you don’t want to go through all the hassle then you have to find a piece of property that has been previously permitted for residential use. Even if the home is not now livable if the land had previously had permitted residents and no regulations have been passed to restrict it use for residential use then you should be able to modify or rebuild on the sight as you see fit.
Honestly this really is the best situation. If you can find a property with land that you like and a home that is already on it then the initial cost per acre will be higher but the frustration will bee much less. You won’t have to go through public meetings where your neighbors will have a chance to reject your plans and you won’t need to get permission.
What are the things to look for in a Homestead Property?
Land that is in a location you like with low property taxes.
Land with improved buildings like a home that is currently lived in that has been permitted.
An approved septic system.
An inspected functioning water well for human consumption not just agricultural use.
Improved access to the property. Gravel or better an asphalt driveway.
Working electricity on the property.
Property that has no liens from a third party whether its for Taxes or Money owed or any reason.
Property without easements which allow other people to use your property to access their property. This can be a real hassle because you normally get no respect from people that have a right away through your property. They can be your neighbor or a company.
Property without building or use restrictions. You don’t want to get involved with land that has restrictions due to wetlands, preservation areas, historic areas or other like use restrictions.
Property with tenants that you need to evict can be difficult to deal with. You need to file an eviction process as soon as you get ownership and it can take months and longer to get them off your land even though you own it. And if you do anything they can say is harassment it can cost you money.
Finding a place to live today is not as easy as you might think. Being a contractor for many years I had my sights set on moving to a very nice part of the country but the places i found there were either on agricultural restricted land or they were unpermitted. The places I found that I could purchase were rare but I did find a home that cost about 25% the normal going rate that backed up to a forest preserve. The only problem was that the home needed almost complete rebuilding. Not a big task if I could get the materials delivered but I found after long research that buying a home that was already permitted with an Electric Drop and other utilities was so extremely important even if it was a shell that would take a couple months to make livable.
Don’t get taken by people that want to sell you land that you will never be able to live on. There are a lot of plots out there like that. Unless you are well versed in what it takes and willing to dump money on things like lawyers it is just not worth it.
Find a property with a house and utilities even if it is only 500 square feet with 2 tiny bedrooms and nothing else. You can still live in it while you build a larger home and building that larger home won’t take the supreme court to rule in your favor.