There’s an old adage that says you should always invest in land because they’re not making any more of it. If you adhere to this advice, your best bet is probably going to be found in the country. After all, there is less and less land available anywhere else. However, buying land in the country is far from a sure thing. While no investment ever is, if you want a better shot at seeing a healthy return, consider the following advice before buying any land.
Don’t Be Impulsive
This is good advice when you’re in the market to buy land or anything else, for that matter. However, when you’re buying land, it can actually be fairly easy to make an impulsive purchase. After all, you may have a certain type of land in mind and, if the property you visit fits the bill, why wait? You don’t want someone else to scoop it up.
However, land is a bit more complicated than that. You want to spend plenty of time exploring the property, for one thing.
If you find yourself in a situation where you could lose the property if you don’t buy immediately, insist on a study contingency that gives you 60 days after your purchase to return the deed to the original owner if you unearth something you don’t like.
Visit on the Worst Day
You’ll also want to stop by the property at some point when it’s raining or shortly thereafter. This will show you whether or not the land floods easily or otherwise handles water well. Obviously, if you’re purchasing a property along with your land, you’ll want to make sure the rain doesn’t get in through the roof or compromise the foundation.
Just about any land in the country looks beautiful and promising when the weather is ideal. The key is to find land that will hold its own against the elements too.
Come by During Other Times
For the same reason, you’ll want to stop by the property at night. Is there a lot of light pollution that may not be ideal for your commercial intentions?
Come by during the weekdays too and around rush hour traffic. Again, it depends on how you plan on making your money from this property, but if nearby traffic causes a lot of noise or makes the area all but inaccessible, the land may not be such a sound investment.
Look for Properties that Will Help Pay for Themselves
When considering land in the country, you won’t have any problem finding options that are expansive in their size. Although they may seem out of your budget, think about buying one such property and immediately selling off part of it to help pay for the rest. As long as you do your research to ensure the section will sell immediately, you can get far more land for less.
Try to Buy in Winter
Make your offer during the most opportune time of the off season. For most areas, this will be during winter, unless you’re looking in the South. Everywhere else, though, January will be a great time. Most other buyers won’t be interested and your seller will have a hard time convincing any new prospects that the land is as great as they say. Of course, if you’ve been studying the property for a while, you’ll know different—not that your offer will reflect this.
Have a Lawyer Re-Work the Contract
No matter what the seller’s contract says, you can usually do better by reworking it. However, this is generally the job for a lawyer. Obviously, you can’t get away with lowering the prices to zero or adding in all kinds of extras. But view the contract as simply another part of the negotiation and you may be surprised with the kinds of bargains you can secure.
By using a lawyer, you will also get help understanding all the legal wording. Of course, even if you keep every word of your seller’s contract, you still want to be sure you have a lawyer look it over for you so you’re sure about what you’re signing.
If you do change anything in the contract, notify the seller when you return it to them. Though they should be looking it over themselves, having them sign a contract you altered could have legal ramifications or simply be considered in bad taste.
Consider a Brokerage
One of the best ways to benefit from investing in land out in the country is by letting an experienced brokerage handle the matter for you. All you have to do is find a qualified company and they’ll handle the rest. While your profit margin will drop, so will your exposure to risk and the overall amount you need to invest.
Buying land in the country is a safe investment that can still provide you plenty in the way of returns. However, if you don’t follow the above advice you risk overpaying for lackluster land or even ending up without a profit.