Purchasing a land property can be a wise investment. Whether you are looking to build a home on the property, cultivate farmland, or want the land developed for any other purposes, it is important to take the right steps after purchase to ensure your plans for the property can be carried out smoothly. After finalizing the purchase, you will need to carefully survey your land, get all documents in order, and get the property into a good condition to fulfill your plans for it.
1. Study the Topographic Map
Before finalizing the sale, you should obtain a topographic map of the property from the seller and check to be sure you know exactly what you are buying. After the sale is finalized, a good first step is to carefully study the map to get the lay of the land. If you are intending to build a home on the property, identify flat areas that may be good to lay a foundation, as well as areas that will need to be cleared of rocks or debris. If you are planning to raise livestock, you can also plan out where they can graze and how best to keep your animals penned in. This map will also show you the exact boundaries of the property you purchased.
2. Establish Boundaries
If the land you just purchased does not already have fencing or natural barriers running along the edges of the property, you will want to establish boundaries. There are many reasons for doing this. If you are preparing farmland, you will want to keep wild animals out, and if you intend to build a home, boundaries will prevent hunters or other trespassers from walking around the property. Be sure to create your boundaries based on the specifications of the topographic map, which will show you exactly how far the property stretches, and choose the material for your boundary wisely. Wooden fencing is the most visually attractive option, but if you are looking to keep livestock in or predators out, barbed wire is usually best.
3. Have Your Land Evaluated
If you intend to build a home, or other structures such as a barn or garage, you will want to have your land professionally evaluated after purchase. Hire a local builder to survey the land; they can take into account topographic conditions, drainage, sun direction, privacy, and other factors that will help determine where on the property you decide to build. Many companies offer free on-site evaluations for customers intending to build.
4. Pick Up Trash
You would be surprised at how much garbage can be accumulated on large plots of land, particularly if it was unowned or unused before your purchase. Whatever your intentions for the property, you will want to clear your land of trash. This will improve its visual appeal, get it ready for development, and keep livestock from coming in contact with garbage. Some trash will be obvious, but keep in mind that items like glass and rusted metal often rest just below the top layer of soil, which can cause them to blend in with the ground. Check the entire property carefully; occasionally, you may even find something interesting or useful among the waste.
5. Clear the Land
After trash has been removed, you will need to clear the land of obstructing boulders, fallen trees, or other debris that can cause problems for land development. You will likely need to hire professionals to help dig out large rocks or clear massive trees; although if you own a reliable chainsaw, you can often cut trees up yourself and then remove them or use the pieces for firewood. Do not complete this step until you have carefully surveyed your property and chosen where you will be building, as you will likely need to more thoroughly clear the site of the foundation for your home, barn, or other building.
6. Meet the Neighbors
One of the most important steps after purchasing land has nothing to do with building or finances. By introducing yourself to your neighbors, you not only gain potential friends, but if the neighbors have lived on their property for a long time, they may be able to offer advice on clearing and developing the land. In addition, being on good terms with your neighbors can be a lifesaver if you ever have a medical emergency or other crisis situation.
By carefully following these six steps, you will ensure that you are ready to work or live on the land you just purchased. The most important thing is to have a plan for what you will do with the land; while these steps will always need to be taken in some capacity, exactly how you go about it will depend on your intentions for the land. As long as you take stock of the property after purchase and hire professionals when necessary, you will have the land ready for farming, building a home, or other property development in no time
About the Author: Alex Briggs is a contributing writer for Lone Eagle Land Brokerage, Inc. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.