Maybe you just can’t find an existing home that qualifies as your dream home, maybe you just don’t want any neighbors nearby, or you might want to buy land for investment purposes. Whatever your reason for buying land, there are a few things you need to know beforehand. So here are 6 things you should know about buying land in Alameda County.
1. Finding Land for Sale
Before buying land in Alameda County you (obviously) have to find the land to buy. You could begin with the old standby methods such as checking newspaper classifieds and land-for-sale publications and perusing Craigslist. You will definitely want to dig into the online listing sites for land, for example, LandWatch, Land and Farm, and LandCentury.
Your best bet is to lean on your local agent who will be adept at finding land for sale that you may not be able to find on your own. In fact, your local agent will likely know about land that isn’t listed yet but is still for sale. To discover more about this, call (408) 893-1866 .
2. Selecting the Right Land
Buying land in Alameda County also means you’ll have to put in the effort and time to find and select the parcel of land that best meets your needs, both financially and with respect to goals. Keep in mind, too, that this involves more than price.
For example, you wouldn’t want to buy land where local zoning laws prohibit buying for investment purposes or that restrict the size of the structure you can erect. You also need to look into things like whether the soil is suitable for building and for water and septic systems. Again, your agent can be a great help in this arena.
3. Making an Offer
Making an offer when buying land in Alameda County proceeds much the same as making an offer on a house. When you find a piece of land you want to buy, you and your agent submit a purchase offer, and then you and the seller hammer out all the details.
The difference lies in the fact that when you want to negotiate the price down or to get better concessions, you will need to come into the negotiations armed with research and facts. If, for example, it turns out that the ground doesn’t “perc” well and you will, as a result, have to put in a more expensive aerobic septic system, you’d better come to the negotiating table armed the reports that can back up that claim.
4. Getting Financing
And then there’s financing (if you can’t buy with cash, which is recommended for buying land). Loans for raw land can be far more challenging to obtain than for a home. In some cases, you may have to pay as much as 50% down though some lenders will accept the standard 20%. In addition, you will likely have to pay a higher interest rate when you buy land, and many lenders will have to know what you intend to do with the land.
5. Finalizing the Land Purchase Agreement
After securing financing, you’ll move to the step where the land purchase agreement is completed, which is similar to closing on a home. The land purchase agreement specifies such purchase details as the price and how much you pay down. It will have to be signed by both you and the seller. And there will, of course, be a closing statement as well that all lists the costs involved, and then the deed must be transferred.
The point here is that even though you’re purchasing vacant, there is still a formal, legally binding process you have to go through. Consult your agent if you have further questions about the process.
6. Using an Agent for Buying Land in Alameda County
As we’ve indicated, hiring a qualified local real estate agent is one of the best things you can do when buying land in Alameda County. Buying land presents, in some ways, greater challenges, particularly with financing, than purchasing a home. But a good agent can help you over the hurdles and guide you around all the pitfalls.