In California, there are many different types of land available for sale from waterfront property to cheap desert land.
Buying a piece of land in California can be an expensive purchase and doing some research before you start looking around will see you save a lot of money and find the perfect location for your new home or business. View Southern California Land for Sale Listings
Learn the 8 tips for buying land in California
1) Decide what type of land you want to buy in California
There are 2 main areas that land is sold, residential or commercial use. Residential properties might be great if you’re looking to build your own home but if your plan is to build commercial units it’s not possible on all residential building plots/land .
Businesses must have certain amount of acreage, usually at least one acre (43,560 sq ft), so look into this before you waste your time looking at places that can’t be used for commercial purposes.
2) Decide where you want the land
Making this decision is very important because it affects what type of property you will get, where it’s located and how much its going to cost you.
There are many different factors that go into making this choice, size of the land , proximity to amenities including doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, public transport etc.
If you want a big house with several acres of land then high prices are unavoidable but if all you need is a small lot in order to build one home on then there are bargains out there!
Don’t forget to look at all locations as well as countryside and city areas as everyone has different preferences when it comes to the type of landscape they want to live with.
3) Read up on what you can and cannot do on each type of land
Different parcels of land come with different uses. Buying residential property does not mean you can build whatever you like, it is restricted by planning laws . You might find that your ideal plot has all the amenities you need but there are certain limitations on what types of construction materials are allowed.
Another important thing to remember is that residential properties usually cannot be used for commercial purposes (for example a gas station/supermarket) even if you have acres of room around it so read up about restrictions before buying or ask an expert for advice.
4) Buying rural land is often cheaper than buying elsewhere
There can be some great deals found when you buy a larger plot of land (usually more than 100 acres) but these parcels are usually only available in the countryside.
Buying this sort of land might become expensive so decide how much you want to spend on it before getting too involved with negotiations as there will always be another parcel of land that’s close by and all offer different prices and conditions so see it as an investment.
You’ll find that country plots of land come with restrictions such as those covering farming activities , distance from neighbors’ buildings, noise levels etc. Make sure you know about any restrictions that may affect you before making an offer.
5) Buying commercial land comes with different problems
The only problem with buying commercial property is that it will usually cost you more money than if you were to buy residential (unless of course your business makes millions every year which allows you to purchase limitless amounts of commercial plots).
If you are looking at purchasing a large plot of land, one acre or more, then the value of this land increases rapidly.
Be careful not to pay too much for your commercial sites because even though there might be demand for certain types of businesses (for example gas stations), other business opportunities don’t come up very often and if they do then you should probably sell whatever type of business runs on these sorts of plots.
Buying commercial property comes with many other challenges because you will have to get permission from the land registry , find a solicitor to draft up your contract and also pay stamp duty.
6) Buying plots in the city is different but not necessarily more expensive
Getting through these procedures when buying commercial property are unavoidable but they are usually much easier when buying plots in the city compared to when purchasing rural land. If you are looking at large plots of land then make sure that it’s actually for sale before spending money on solicitors because some plots might be earmarked by councils or other government bodies for future projects.
Buying small lots of land is usually much cheaper than larger parcels, especially in cities where real prices are higher.
Buying plots in the city comes with much less hassle than purchasing rural land but there are still restrictions that may impair your plans such as height limitations, maximum number of floors etc.
7) Buying land is nothing like buying a home
There is nothing like having full ownership over a piece of land; building roads, erecting buildings, collecting rent – it’s like having your own kingdom.
Buying land can be enjoyable but you need to ensure that the land is for sale and that you’re not buying into someone else’s vision (with commercial plots).
Buying residential property is always beneficial because no matter what happens in the future these properties are not going to lose their value, unlike all other sorts of real estate.
Please weigh out the costs when purchasing for commercial purposes, unless you’re looking at single lots of land. Buying lots of commercial property is like buying a license to print money because the more plots you buy, the higher your chances are of making a profit. Buying multiple pieces of rural real estate is beneficial because your investment will most likely increase in value over time; unlike commercial spaces which can become obsolete overnight.
8) Buying land always becomes difficult once you want to build homes on it
Although it’s possible to build a house pretty much anywhere, building one on a plot of land that has not been specifically designed for housing will prove extremely difficult and costly.
Buying residential property proves to be simple as long as there aren’t other people’s homes in the way; you might want to hurry though because this type of real estate is always in high demand.
Buying lots of land for commercial use is extremely risky because if your business fails then that’s all money down the drain unless you are buying commercial to lease it out to other businesses.
Buying plots of rural property can prove difficult due to their sizes, but it’s still possible despite them being impossible to divide without great expense. Buying multiple plots of rural space makes no difference when it comes to cost but will increase your chances of making money on this venture exponentially.
Just Listed Land for Sale in Southern California
This list is the top 20 just listed pieces of land for sale in sunny Southern California.
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Resources to Research
There is an article by US News on The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Vacant Land