What to Look for When Buying Land in Ontario as a First-Time Buyer
Investing in land is a great idea, whether you just want to sell it or build on it in the future. However, just as with buying any building, you need to ensure you’re purchasing a valuable plot of land.
As a first-time buyer, you may not know what to look for when buying land. Here’s a rundown of what to consider when buying land to make sure you aren’t wasting your money.
The Right Location
Choosing the right location for your land purchase is critical. If you’re purchasing it for personal reasons, such as wanting to build a home, then you’ll want to ensure you’re close enough to all the amenities you’ll need. For example, you’ll need to be near a school if you have children. If you want to buy land for a business, then you’ll have to put more thought and research into ensuring the location is ideal for your type of business.
If you’re purchasing the land as an investment, choosing a great location will result in a better return on investment. In general, lots in developing cities or in attractive neighbourhoods are a good bet. Lots will also be far more valuable and easier to sell in the future if they’re not in a flood zone.
Proper Zoning Buying land in Ontario means you need to understand Ontario zoning bylaws. Zoning bylaws dictate what different land can be used for and what can be built on that land. Each municipality in Ontario will have its own zoning restrictions, which you should easily be able to find out by looking it up online or by contacting the city planning department. If you have a specific use in mind for the land you want to purchase, it’s essential that the zoning laws permit such use. For example, if you’re going to build a home for yourself, then the land needs to be zoned for residential use. It is possible to apply for a zoning change, but that’s never a guarantee.
It’s also important to pay attention to topography when buying land. The size, shape, and incline of the land will directly impact how easy it is to build on the land. For example, large and flat plots will always be a good bet for building rather than an oddly-shaped, mountain-side plot. When making an investment, you need to consider what future buyers will be looking for.
Keeping yourself and future buyers in mind, it’s also important that your land be close to utilities. Utilities such as power lines, water lines, and gas lines are required for construction of any kind. Without these essentials nearby, future development will be more expensive, which will make your land less desirable.
Just like with the utilities, it’s important for your land to be accessible by a public road. In urban environments, this isn’t something you generally need to worry about, but it’s not a guarantee when purchasing vacant land in rural areas. If there isn’t direct access to a public road, you may need a private road to reach the property, which brings in complex issues. Not only that, but not being accessible to public roads means it’s also unlikely to be accessible to city water or sewage.
Following this guide will help you pick out a good piece of land for your first investment. What would help even more would be hiring a real estate agent experienced in land sales, as they’ll be able to give you inside advice on which land would be best to buy.
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