How to Find the Rural Land You Dream About
Looking to buy or invest in vacant land, but don’t know where to start? Look no further. Below we’ll walk through how to find land that fits your criteria.
Narrow down your search area
To find land in rural areas, you’ll want a list of a couple of counties where you’d love to own land. The reason you want to choose counties (as opposed to cities or states) is because of regulations. Land will be regulated at the county level. This means that it’s the county offices you will contact to get all the information you need. More on that below.
If you’re looking for land a bit closer to a major city, check with the county to see if they can refer you to a Municipal city district. Then you can check with regulations there. See ‘Contact the County’ below for more information.
Know what you want to do with the land
Knowing how to find land really starts with knowing what you want. Every property in the US, no matter how rural, will have some rules and regulations. Knowing what you want to do with your land may help narrow your search area – depending on the county regulations.
In some cases, you may have trouble finding an area that will allow what you want to do. For example, very few counties will allow you to live in a tiny home due to size regulations. In this situation, decide whether you’re willing to expand your search area or find an alternate solution. In the tiny home scenario, you may consider a larger modular home, or finding someone with a home on their property who will rent out space to you.
Contact the County
Once you know what you want to do with your new plot of land, you can contact the Planning & Zoning office for each county you’re interested in (a quick Google search will find you the phone number and email). Talk to them about what you’d like to do with your land and find out if the regulations in the county – or in certain neighborhoods within the county – will allow you to do what you want. Make sure to ask as many questions as you need to and make notes on which counties will work best for you.
NOTE: If your property is closer to a major city, you may need to contact the local Municipal office to find out if your property has specific City Regulations, or an HOA/POA to look into. The county Planning and Zoning office should be able to help point you in the right direction here and help get you to the right department!
For more in-depth information on contacting the county, see How to Research Land Like a Professional
How to Find Land – The Actual Search
Now that you know what area(s) to search, it’s time to do some searching! It would be bad business for me to recommend any land selling sites other than StunningEarth.com for your vacant land searches, but you probably know what to do.
NOTE: Realtors typically won’t deal with vacant land sales of only a few thousand dollars. However, if your budget is in the tens of thousands (or higher) you may try contacting a local real estate agent. They may have some properties available or be able to help you on your search.
Getting the Best Deal
During your search, pay attention to features you do or don’t need. If your plan is to build a full-time home, but you’re not the off-grid type, you’ll want to find a property with power as close as possible. Typically, the extra cost associated with being near power is nowhere near what you’ll pay by buying a cheaper property and running power over a long distance.
If you simply want the land for camping, there’s no reason to pay more for a property near power. By finding a property that’s more off-grid, you’ll save money with the initial land purchase. And who knows? Maybe one day someone will do the hard work for you, and install power down the street, increasing the value of your land. At no cost to you. Win-win!
Aside from power, finding a property with utilities already installed can actually cost you more than developing the land yourself. For example, maybe the existing well hasn’t been maintained, or the existing septic system isn’t an adequate size for the home you plan to build. If you do plan to move forward with a property that has water or septic already installed, be thorough in your research.
Don’t Leave Anything to Chance
Once you find the lot you want, the next step is to do your research. Learn How to Research Land Like a Professional so you can be confident you’ve found the perfect property!
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