Buying Land in Granville – Important Questions
The prospect of building a new home is an exciting one. After all, you can customize it to meet your exact needs. While searching for land can be exciting, buyers need to make sure they know exactly what they need to look for. Do you know what questions to ask? Are you confident you have all the help you need with making this purchase? Buying land in Granville is a great option, but you need to make sure you do it right.
Be aware that most sellers aren’t going to have all the answers. It is the buyer’s responsibility to make the right decision. This is why it is so helpful to have a qualified Real Estate agent to assist you with buying land in Granville.
Essential Questions to Ask Yourself when Buying Land in Granville
Have you received a grading plan or topographic survey?
A professional needs to conduct a survey of the property in order to ensure the acreage is properly reported.
Topographic surveys will show the elevation changes on the property, giving you a visual representation of the slope of the land. This is essential in determining the building location and points of access to the land. A survey may also include any existing utilities, land features, trees and right-of-ways.
Some sellers choose to hire a civil engineer to draft a grading plan. This report shows how the existing topography can be altered to accommodate driveways and the building’s foundation. This gives you a clearer picture of what it will take to actually develop on the property. Grading can be an expensive process. Knowing ahead of time what it will take to actually build your home will be extremely useful in budgeting for your home construction. The less you have to spend on grading, the more you will have to spend on your home. This makes buying land in Granville a much easier process, minimizing risk for unforeseen complications.
Are the property lines clearly defined?
Property corners and boundaries should be marked on the site, using sticks or flags. This is easier to determine in urban areas where there are many nearby structures and utility markers. It is important to remain aware, however, that some existing structures could be encroaching on the property you are interested in. For this reason, it is important to have a survey to show if this is the case or not.
Does the area have any Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s)?
To regulate the appearance, use and maintenance of the property, many developments use covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R’s). These are usually created by homeowners associations (HOAs). They limit what the property owner can actually do on and with the property. They do this to ensure the neighborhood maintains a long-lasting look and feel.
Common CC&R Restrictions
A common restriction that affects buyers who want to build a new home is minimum square footage. In order to protect the value of properties in the neighborhood, many CC&R’s set a minimum home size. Before you start planning construction, you want to make sure you are meeting these requirements.
The design of your home may also be restricted by CC&R’s. In a subdivision, developers often create design restrictions to make sure all the homes in the area have a cohesive look. This could include the specifications on any potential outbuildings the buyer may want, what exterior materials may be used, and even the orientation of the home itself.
Does the property have a clean title?
Properties with clear titles are much easier to work with, making them highly attractive to buyers. Liens, taxes and easements can really get in the way of purchasing and development if not addressed properly. For this reason, it is best to work with a title company to help you figure out what you’re dealing with. In many cases, the seller will have already worked with a title company, and you may be able to get the information from them directly.
Have you or the seller gotten a preliminary title report?
Both the buyer and seller benefit greatly from a preliminary title report. As the buyer, you don’t want face an unexpected or unwanted surprises. These things occur more frequently than you may realize. For example, a contractor may be owed payment or property taxes weren’t adequately satisfied.
This is useful for sellers as it helps them prepare for closing on the property. They will better understand what they will actually net from the sale, and they will be aware of any additional costs necessary to pay off the mortgage.
Having a clear and complete picture of the details of the property transfer will make everyone’s life easier and ensure a smooth transaction.
What are the utilities that are available when buying land in Granville?
When buying land in Granville, you must consider utilities. Building out utility infrastructure is no small process, and can cost a lot of money. Because of this, it is critical that you know what is existing and what may need to be improved or added. Before removing contingencies during escrow, make sure you understand these five main utilities.
The following information will help you fully understand the costs involved with each utility:
- Power – Power can be underground or overhead. Speaking to the local power company will help you learn the process and requirements of supplying power to your new home. Even if you see nearby power lines, it will still take time for the power company to survey the site and make the connection.
- Telecom – Most people in this day and age simply cannot live without a phone and an internet connection. Find out what services are available in the area. This could include cable or satellite television, cell phone coverage and high-speed internet availability. It would be a shame to spend all your time and money on your new home, only to realize you can’t get the telecom services you require.
- Gas – What is availability? The city or municipality may provide natural gas to the area, or you may have to purchase your own propane take. Just like power, if you choose to use the built-in utilities, there is still a process to make the connection. See if there is a local gas company and reach out to them for details.
- Water – It’s hard to imagine living without water. We need it to live and it is useful for so many things. The city or county may provide water access, or you may need to provide your own well. Connecting to public water can be a challenging process if it has not already been set up.
- Sewer – Sewage is dealt with via existing sewage lines or a septic system. If there is no municipal sewage available, you will have to have a septic system designed. This process involves drilling holes in the ground and conducting a percolation test to understand the absorption rate of the soil for the septic drainfield.
In addition to these things, it’s important to consider where the sources are located. The longer the distance, the higher the cost will be.
What are the current property taxes?
Hopefully, the seller already has this information. If they don’t have it, you will want to check the preliminary title report. The county Auditor should also have the tax info to help assist you. Also, they will be able to tell you the status of tax payments and the most recent taxes on the property. It is essential to understand the annual taxes on the property to make the right decisions when buying land in Granville Ohio.
Is there a geotechnical report?
Certain areas may require a soil or geotechnical report. This report provides an understanding of the conditions of the earth. It is useful in assisting a structural engineer with the design of the home’s foundation. Lots with low strength soils, expansive soils or steep slopes often require a soil report.
Zoning types when buying land in Granville
The government assigns a zoning type to each piece of property. Residential and Commerical are the broad zoning types. Within those categories, there may be additional conditions as well. These conditions could affect the number of units you are allowed to build, how tall a building can be or how close you can build to the property line. If the seller does not know these answers, you can speak with your local planning and zoning department.
Are there any pending offers on this piece of property?
You must be aware if you are competing with other buyers. Undeveloped land does tend to stay on the market longer than homes, because fewer buyers are willing to go through the process of new construction. Be prepared to bring your best offer if you are sure you want the property.
There are so many issues to investigate – I would highly recommend seeking help from your trusted, reliable and professional real estate resource – Aaron J Graves.