Purchasing vacant land is in many ways more complicated than acquiring a house. What you see, is important, but what you do not see – the condition of subsurface water and soil, legal requirements, deed restrictions, seasonal effects or the title – have an even greater effect on your land.
Even if you are familiar with home construction, that undeveloped piece of land may hold many surprises. One of the biggest of surprises is the cost of site development, which can be staggering. The first thing you should do is educate yourself as much as possible to know what questions you should ask – just to avoid you getting blindsided by unknown unknowns.
Establish Your Priorities
Before you set out land shopping, take some time to write out a list of priorities. You may not afford your dream site right now, so you have to identify where you can compromise and where you need to stick to your goals. Some of the key things you should take into consideration include:
· Commuting distance: How far or near do you want to be from amenities such as doctors, restaurants, shopping centers and other business establishments that you may visit regularly. What is the maximum distance you would be willing to travel to do your shopping or go to work?
· Schools: Is the local school system great with you or are you looking for something different?
· Neighborhood: Are you looking for land that offers rural-style privacy with room for farmyard animals? Are you happier living in a more densely populated location where you are likely to bump into your neighbors more regularly?
· Taxes and fees: Have you checked out the local tax rates and are they acceptable? What are fees applicable for putting up buildings in the area? What are water, electricity, impact, special assessment and other fees you need to be aware of?
· Local government services: What are the private and public services available and accessible from your property?
· Size: What size of land do you require? How big do you anticipate the building you will be putting up to be once completed? Will you require leaving some space for future development?
· Surrounding environment: Are you looking for a site high up on a hill, near water or in a wooded location? How important is view to you?
Armed with a list of what you want from your land, you can check through the DDProperty land list. Make sure you talk to neighbors and town officials about your plans. If possible, get the opinions of building, health and planning department town officials in writing, and get as much information as possible about owning land in Thailand. If questions still linger, talk to geotechnical engineers familiar with the area to eliminate as many unknowns as possible before you finally make an offer. Purchasing the wrong piece of land can be an expensive learning experience.
Undeveloped Vs. Developed Land
While shopping for land, you will find undeveloped land that has no representation whatsoever of the seller – vacant land, or you find developed parcels in a subdivision served with water, sewer and power already brought to a building site. You are also likely to find something that lies in between – for instance, a rural setting parcel with partially built unpaved road that is designated and with no other improvements.
There are advantages and disadvantages of each:
· Vacant land: Land with no development tends to be less expensive but requires greater diligence and knowledge on the part of the buyer.
· Developed land: A parcel of land in a subdivision requires less investigation, but will cost more than a vacant parcel. The more developed the land is, the less cost of development and risk you assume. However you will pay a premium for this advantage.
People tend to be attracted to the idea of large piece of land in the country due to the open space, privacy, peace and quiet, beautiful views, and extra room for a workshop, studio or even animal sheds. You also get more than you would possibly receive from a subdivision for the same or even less money, but once you add up the development costs these savings disappear. Figuring out the real value of the vacant land takes a bit of homework.