Avoid These Mistakes When Buying Land Online

Are you considering buying land online? If so, you should first know about the buying process and make a checklist of the activities. That way, you’ll avoid making a purchasing decision that can turn into a major disaster.

Photo of land with green grass and blue sky
Without professional representation buying land online has its own perils. | Photo by Ákos Szabó

Before you buy land for sale online, think about how you want to use the land and find out the requirements for zoning. If you plan to purchase this land without a Realtor on your side, there are things you need to be aware of. Things like surveys, property taxes, and more. Let’s look at a few of these.

Make Sure to Protect Yourself

Some people, in their excitement to buy land, overlook researching the title. The last thing you want is to buy real estate where money is owed. That debt is now yours! Therefore, make sure you conduct a title search before you consider making an offer. Make sure you own the title free and clear.

Don’t Leave Out These Important Details in the Contract

When it comes to the written agreement to purchase land, there need to be the following details:

  1. Property’s legal description
  2. The names and contact information of the buyer and seller
  3. Purchase price
  4. Earnest money amount
  5. Any inspection periods with rules for both accepting or rejecting the contract due to cause
  6. Will a survey be provided by the seller or can the buyer have one performed?
  7. Closing date
  8. Possession date

There are actually quite a few more but you get the idea. It’s not as simple as you might have thought.

Once the agreement is signed, the time clock starts for any inspections the buyer may be allowed to perform. These dates should be clearly outlined in the contract.

There are many ways to finance the purchase of land. All cash is the simplest but not everyone has that kind of money available. Most people buying land online will use a loan from a lender. You might also investigate seller financing.

There is no “right way” to purchase land but there’s certainly a multitude of wrong ways.

Don’t Overlook the Warning of “Buyer Beware”

When negotiating a contract, make sure you are well aware of the monthly cost. This includes principal and interest for the loan, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. There might also be repairs or improvements needed to move the land toward your planned use.

Before the closing date, it’s critical that the title office performs a thorough title search. This is to make sure there aren’t any past liens or claims on the property. It would be a nightmare to proceed all the way through closing only to find out that someone else has the true right to own the land.

A professional title office will also be familiar with the process of transferring title, taking or dispersing escrow funds, and several other tasks that are needed to finalize the transaction.

We hope this piece has been educational. And if you have any questions about buying land here in Louisville, Kentucky, please contact me.