8 Factors to Consider Before Buying Land

People have been enticed and almost everyone wants to get into the real estate business and make a kill. Due diligence is key to avoid being conned by fraudsters and to also ensure that excavators or bulldozers do not come knocking down your building for whatever reason.

8 Factors to Consider Before Buying Land
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  1. Soil Type

Building a foundation is never cheap and it should never be. If you intend to build on your land or use it for agricultural purposes, you need to know the right type of soil. When it comes to building a firm foundation, loam soil which is a combination of clay, sand and silt soils is the best. Loam soil combines all the best properties of the three soils making it ideal for supporting foundations. It does not expand or shrink and therefore handles water well.

For other types of soils like clay soil, building foundations will require extra costs. For example, the foundation will have to be deeper. It may also require lining up the sides of the trenches with some slip membrane flexible enough to allow the shrinking and swelling of the clay soil. Involving structural engineers in the foundation building process may also help.

  1. Price

People don’t buy land just because they have plenty of money laying around. People purpose to buy land, they set the budget and deliberate it with their financial advisors. You will find that a parcel of land goes for 200,000 in a certain place and in another place in the same area it is three times more.

This could mean so many things. One, assuming it’s a place of building, the cheaper land may not have the proper soil for building, or it could be that the place is where water and sand gather after the rains. It could also mean that it is a piece of land that appreciates quickly, hence the high cost.

  1. Hidden Costs

In regards to price, you need to consider the hidden charges before agreeing on the exact amount of money you are going to spend on buying land. The hidden costs present themselves when you are not ready. So it’s advisable to have some miscellaneous cash set aside. But, it is best to be prepared. Some of the hidden costs include costs of getting a lawyer’s services, registration fees, taxes like the stamp duty and more which we will look at in-depth later.

  1. Location

The location of the land is another important factor to consider. Does the location have a history of mudslides? Does the area have a good drainage system? Will the climate affect you negatively? Most importantly, is the parcel of land on a road reserve or on riparian land? This is one of the reasons buildings are often destroyed as the owners watch helplessly. Different African countries have different laws governing riparian land. For instance, in Kenya, various laws apply and they can be confusing, this document provides more insights.

  1. Infrastructure

No one likes waking up early in the morning just to get stuck on a muddy road. Access to good roads and proximity to other social amenities is key when considering buying a property.  Especially when you have little children, choose a place where there is a school nearby. You won’t need to wake them up so early so that they get stuck for hours in traffic and end up sleeping in class.

  1. Zoning Restrictions

Some laws can dictate what you can do and not do with your land but only in some selected areas. Some zoning restrictions may limit you from utilizing the land in the way you intended it.

  1. Who the seller is

Right from the start, know the person who is selling you the land. Do a thorough background check on the person or company that you want to buy land from. Talk to people, ask questions to get a good picture of who you are dealing with. Ask for copies of their identity cards and KRA pin, they should not be reluctant to hand them over. Avoid buying land from third party agents. You can also do a search at the land registry at a fee. To learn more on the importance of doing a search, check the article, things to do before buying land. 

  1. Ownership History

Some people may want to sell land, they know they are about to lose it because it was not legally theirs at first. It could be land that is being battled for in court or land that has been used as collateral for a loan. Such land deals are sweet and enticing, so you have to think twice and carry out due diligence.

Don’t just hurry to buy land, be deliberate about it. Do your research well and save yourself the heartaches of losing your land in the future.