Essential Questions to Ask Before You Purchase Property

by : Craig Berger

You're considering purchasing property, which is great. Real estate can be a tremendous investment in your future. Even if the housing market is down in the short term, history indicates that it will eventually rebound. When this happens, it can mean big profits for those who got in at the right time.


The right location can be the most important factor in determining the value of your property. Oceanfront and mountaintop properties are particularly coveted because of the scenic vistas they offer. Where you choose your property may also be based on what you plan to do with it. If you are buying an undeveloped piece of land to build a commercial business, you may have different needs than someone who is interested in a rental property or someone who is looking for a vacation home. Consider how the particular location you are looking at fits in with your plans for the property.


How big a piece of property do you want? Obviously, the larger the property you buy, the more you can expect to pay, both for the land, the building if the property is already developed and in property taxes. Ask yourself how much property you really need. Consider that if you are buying several acres of undeveloped land, you may be able to get a deal for a larger parcel.


What do you plan to develop on your property? Will it be a rental property, a commercial business, a primary residence or a vacation home? Each of these will have its own needs with regards to size, location and how much money you will need to put into it. Try to be realistic about what you can afford and about what kind of investment benefits your property will provide.


Many areas have zoning restrictions that limit what and to what extent you can build on your own property. Before making any big construction plans, contact the local zoning board and find out if your plans will meet with zoning approval. If they do not and you find out after you have already purchased the property, you could find yourself in a very difficult situation.


Are you purchasing land in the right community for what you plan to do with it? If this is a primary residence or vacation home, are the neighbors people you are likely to get along with? If you are considering a business, is there a need for the goods or services you will be providing in this particular community?

Land ownership can be a great thing, but it is also a serious and expensive investment. Make sure you have done complete research and are very comfortable with your decision before moving forward with purchasing property.