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What to Know Before Investing in Vacant Land

By Jamie Richardson | August 29, 2022

Despite concerns about its sustainability, the real estate market is going through a boom. While the real estate market is focused chiefly on buying and selling built properties, investing in vacant land can also give you good returns. You can purchase vacant land to sell it for profit or to build your ideal house according to your taste. 

Buying or selling a vacant land is a complex procedure that requires you to understand the market carefully. Whether you are buying land to build a house or for commercial purposes, you should keep the following in mind:

1. Work With a Real Estate Lawyer

You might think you have researched enough to buy land on your own, but the real estate market is complex, and the laws around them are too complicated to be understood by a layman. A real estate lawyer can help you deal with the legality of your purchase.

For example, zoning laws are controversial and unclear in their dictation of what you can or cannot use the land for. A real estate lawyer best understands such ambiguities. If you buy the land anyway, you will not be able to use it for the purpose you bought it for if the lot is not zoned for that purpose. There can be other restrictions other than zoning, so having a real estate lawyer can ensure you buy the most suitable land for your needs. 

2. Understand the Cost of Building a Property

If you buy land to build a house or a shop on it, you need to consider your budget before going ahead with the purchase. Land purchases are expensive, and you need to ensure you have enough left to build the property you want. There are also other costs you must factor in when buying land, such as the cost of bringing utilities to your building.  

You may need to install a septic system if the property is not connected to the municipal water or sewer system. In such a case, you will also have to perform a percolation test to determine if your soil can filter water. If the land fails the percolation test, it will not support a septic system either.   

3. Pay Attention to the Location

You may fall into the trap of buying a cheaper lot at a less ideal location, a decision you will regret later on. If you purchase land to sell it for a profit later, you won’t find many potential buyers. If you want to build a property, you will likely face problems, so give some serious consideration to the location of the land. 

The first aspect to consider is the frequency and kind of natural disasters that are most likely to hit the spot. If the land is closer to a fault zone or is prone to wildfires, think twice before going ahead with the purchase.

You also need to see if your property is better off in a rural area or a suburb, if it is accessible by public roads, and if it gets enough exposure from the sun. Choosing a good location will help you sell your vacant land faster and give you a better experience if you want to build property on it.


Real estate investors buy vacant lands all the time, either to construct a building on it or to sell it for profit. The real estate business is complicated and regulated by strict laws, which means you can require the services of a real estate lawyer. Make sure you pay good attention to the location of the lot of the land you intend on buying. You also need to stick to your budget and factor in the costs of building property before going ahead with the purchase. Keep these factors in mind, and you’ll be set up for a profitable venture,

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
  • One comment on “What to Know Before Investing in Vacant Land”

    1. I appreciate that you mentioned how it's important to consider the frequency and natural disasters that can possibly hit the spot of property you're purchasing. My husband and wants to buy a property near the beach but we're not sure if it's safe in there. I think property surveying from experts is our best option here to know if we can make the purchase since it'll be a great investment opportunity.

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