Buying land to develop property can be a fantastic investment – but it can also be a disaster if you haven’t covered all of your bases before taking the plunge. In this article, we’re sharing our tips on what to consider before buying land to develop property.
When looking to buy land in order to develop property, there’s a lot to think about, including getting to know your way around restrictive covenants law as well as locations and access issues. In this article, we’re sharing our advice on what to consider before buying land to develop property.
What to Consider Before Buying Land
The location of the area
For a lot of people, the price of a plot of land is a major consideration – but don’t be fooled by a bargain. One of the most important factors when choosing your plot is its location. While a large field in the middle of nowhere may seem like a great deal on price, its lack of practicality may mean that this is a poor purchase.
Before even beginning to shop around for plots, do your research in terms of location to create a shortlist of desirable areas. When looking at locations for a business property development, it’s also important to research the area for possible competitors, including checking for any planned works which may be in direct competition with yours.
We’ve talked about the importance of location and an equally vital factor in your investment decision is access. Have a think about who will be using the properties and, just as importantly, how they will get there.
As great as a proposed plot of land may be, your plans may be sunk if there isn’t sufficient access by road both for visitors and, of course, for construction workers who will be responsible for getting your project off the ground. You’ll also want to check with the council to find out about any planned maintenance works which may interfere with any plans.
Before committing to a plot of land, you need to ensure that there is adequate drainage and construction of sewers. This is incredibly important as insufficient drainage may result in your plot becoming waterlogged, thereby bringing construction to a halt.
Constructing sewers is vital as by doing this, you can ensure that the appropriate water board will take over maintenance once your construction is complete.
Appropriate drainage will affect the longevity of your construction plans – particularly if your property development is in a region which is susceptible for flooding. As we’ve seen in the UK, flooding can be disastrous for property owners and cause hundreds of thousands of pounds in damage.
So, you’ve found the perfect plot and you’re ready to commit – but that’s only half the battle. Before signing on the dotted line, you will need to get in touch with the relevant council to check that you’re allowed to go ahead with your project.
In most cases, you will need to gain planning permission before beginning work on your development and this begins with providing plans of your project to the local council along with an application. Gaining a decision on planning permission can take up to 16 weeks in some cases so you need to plan ahead in order to have this in place before starting work.
When considering a purchase of either land or property, you need to pay close attention to any restrictive covenants. These are rules which may prevent you from either developing a site or using a site in a specific way. For example, a restrictive covenant may prevent you from building more than one house on a specific site, even if there is the space available to do so. Before signing any contract, it is essential that you check this before committing to any purchase of land.
When viewing a plot of land, you may think that the boundaries of the plot are evident, but this is not always the case. Before going ahead with the purchase, zero in on all of the small print and check with the Land Registry to make sure that you know exactly what the boundaries are. Failure to do so may result in somebody else making a claim on what you believe to be your property.
At best, this can mean that you are unable to begin your planned construction. At worst, it may result in a claim once your construction is complete, meaning that you may have to either alter your property or pay a hefty penalty.
All in the planning…
Property development is a serious business and not an endeavor to be taken lightly. When planning your project, failure to get appropriate permissions can result in legal action.
As we’ve explained in this article, there’s a lot to consider before you purchase your plot of land and cutting corners on any of these things can be tantamount to throwing your money away. Maidment offers property finance in Townsville which can help you make the most of your investment.
Similarly, making sure that you choose the right constructor for your project is key to its success. When choosing a constructor, always ask to look at their portfolio to make sure that they are experienced in the kind of project that you are planning.
Finally, always read every document extremely carefully and, where possible, ask a solicitor to check it over for you to make sure that you’re not signing up for trouble.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on developing property. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.