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I get a lot of requests from people looking to buy land. But, each person’s goals are consistently different. I have worked with people looking to develop a house to sell, looking to keep their horses on, people who want to build shopping centers, and people wanting to build their dream home. Each has their challenges and what we look for in the lots we show are entirely different.

So, your job is to know just what your goals are and to share them with your Realtor. To better help you figure this out, think about these questions:

“How much can I afford to spend?” When looking at property, you most likely are going to be building on it. A very rough rule of thumb is that the cost of building will be 2 times the amount you spend on the land. In other words, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a $1M lot and have a total budget of only $1.5M.

“If I am going to live there, just where do I want ‘there’ to be?” If you work on the other side of the county, your commute may make your dream home a nightmare.

“How big of a lot do I want?” Many times smaller lots can cost more than larger lots on a price per square-foot basis.

“What view do I want?” Most of my buyers are looking for land in Malibu, and that means they want an ocean view. But that ocean view costs more. If view isn’t high on your priority list, you may find something much cheaper. But, then again, if resale is your concern, think about the value of the view in that…

“Do I need special zoning?” If you need special zoning for animals or commercial use, you should know this before going in. You may look more critically at the property knowing you’ll need to manage to get a zoning variance (which can be very difficult to get depending on the requirements).

So, where do you go from here? Talk to your Realtor and work out your goals with them. They can help you find the lot that fits your goals.

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Tilden Moschetti, Esq.
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