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Inspecting land for sale

By Tim Marsh

Purchasing land for sale can be a great investment, but unless you’re an expert at surveying raw real estate, chances are you’ll need some advice for what to look for.

Land can be much cheaper than a lot with a home on it, especially in rural areas. This provides you with the chance to resell at a later date or build your own home or business on the land fit to your specifications. However, just as with buying a house, it would be unwise to purchase land for sale without seeing it with your own two eyes.

Your first step should be to physically walk the land. Take the time to inspect every square metre of it, keeping an eye out for how the soil feels underfoot, whether certain tress and other vegetation will need to be cleared and how level or uneven the surface of the land is. All of these issues will affect what work might need to be done on the land in order to support a building.

Turning to professionals

While walking the land yourself is highly recommended, it’s not enough analysis for a purchase.

Potential land buyers should ensure that a thorough land survey is conducted on the real estate. In some cases this may not be necessary, for instance if a survey was completed fairly recently.

However, if a survey has not been done for quite some time or the survey itself was of poor quality, it’s a good idea to have a new one conducted by a qualified professional.

Following the paper trail

The physical properties of land are important, but they are not the only factors that matter.

In many cases, a pristine land investment can be undone by something as simple as a piece of paper. This is why it’s recommended that buyers do all they can to research the history of their real estate.

This includes certificates of title, plans, ownership details, sales details, constraints on the land such as easements, heritage listings, covenants and any other important information.

Weighing your options

At the end of the day, whether or not purchasing land for sale is a good investment depends on your specific circumstances. If you’re looking to buy land in an area that will undergo development in years to come and rise significantly in value, land can be a stress-free form of real estate investment.

However, it’s important to keep in mind the added costs and due diligence required when purchasing raw real estate.

If you’re looking to build a new home set to your special specifications, land for sale may be the only way to ensure your new abode meets your standards.

Other handy tips

Some other things to consider include:

  • Getting the soil tested, if you’re interested in animal husbandry or orcharding
  • Check fencing and gates forensically, as they can be expensive to replace

This article first appeared on and is courtesy of,

Photo Credit: Jan Paul Yap via Compfightcc

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