The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Vacant Land
Building a dream home from the ground up is an exciting process, and it begins with selecting the perfect plot of land. At Seabrook Island, many of our lots feature ocean views, access to the marsh, and an unparalleled natural landscape. While all vacant land provides unique features for potential buyers and builders, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind while purchasing lots.
Read on for our Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Vacant Land.
Before You Buy Vacant Land:
1. Do your research.
With vacant land, it is very important to thoroughly understand all that you are buying. Many buyers purchase vacant land with the plan to build their dream home. With that in mind, research plays an important role in ensuring that your lot has the capacity and potential to house your dream home and all your desired features.
Online listings can help you scope out the plots you’re interested in. This big picture overview gives you the initial impression of a plot of land. An easy -to-use interface like Seabrook Island Real Estate’s website helps you organize the land you’re interested in, and helps you stay efficient with your property viewings.
Equipped with essential initial knowledge about a vacant lot, potential buyers can maximize their time during a showing to ask detailed and specific questions about each property.
2. Do be aware of utilities.
Vacant properties within city limits are typically already serviced by the city. However, with properties outside city limits, it can be the property owner’s expense to install water, power, and septic systems. Before buying a vacant lot, it is important to confirm which party is responsible for these essential services. If the responsibility lies with the homeowner upon building their home, factor in those expenses before purchasing a lot.
3. Do be aware of environmental conditions.
Every lot has its own landscape. At Seabrook Island, it is very important that homeowners and builders follow practices to protect the wildlife around them. Sometimes, certain lots may not be the very best option for all that you have in mind for a home. Others may be perfect. The right realtor will help you find a lot that allows for all your plans while working with, not against, nature.
Other environmental aspects of your property will determine how, and what, can be built. Land that holds water more easily will have different capacities for building than that with hard bedrock. Knowing if, and where, a property could flood in the event of inclement weather will determine what type of foundation a home will need.
This environmental information should be essential knowledge for buyers of vacant lots as they consider which plot of land is the best location for building their home.
4. Don’t forget separation distances and easements.
Separation distances determine how close a buyer (and their neighbors) can build in relation to their property lines. Separation distances maintain space throughout a neighborhood, ensuring that land meant to be serene and quiet stays that way.
If your home building plans need a certain amount of square footage, be sure to factor in the separation distance of a lot before purchasing. It would be much more efficient to buy land with the proper acreage to accommodate your plans than to have to revise your dream floorplan to meet standards.
In addition to separation distances, you will also want to consider any easements that may come into play on the property – flood, electrical, etc. A surveyor can be worth the expenditure if you are interested in purchasing land to avoid a potentially costly error down the road.
5. Don’t overlook neighborhood policies.
While your dream home may be meticulously thought out and planned over the span of years, it may not be the perfect fit for every neighborhood. Neighborhood policies and ordinances standardize certain features of new homes and residential properties, which could potentially limit your ability to customize the exterior of a home.
If set on incorporating certain features or structures into your property, make sure you select a neighborhood that allows for them. Do not buy land while counting on being an exception to the neighborhood rules.
6. Don’t work with an inexperienced builder or realtor.
Vacant lots present unique opportunities for potential buyers. While their potential can be great, working without the right professionals could be costly and disappointing.
Experienced real estate agents know how to scope out the potential of a lot, know what questions to ask, and know what answers you should be looking for. Seabrook Island Real Estate agents are go-to professionals for land on Seabrook. Our agents are highly informed about each neighborhood, and how to help you find the right lot in the right neighborhood that most closely aligns with your home building plans. Your dream home is too important to trust with anyone but the best.
Don’t work with a realtor that can’t help you find the perfect lot for your perfect home.
Learn more about available vacant lots on Seabrook Island, working with one of our agents, and how to start the process of acquiring land on Seabrook in South Carolina by contacting us today.
Seabrook Island is Charleston's Truly Private Oceanfront Community. Membership in the Seabrook Island Club is required for ownership. Amenity use is for Members and their Guests Only. The Lakehouse is for use by Property Owners and their Guests as well.