1140 Jefferson Blvd hagerstown, MD, 21742View Listing
Whether choosing a lot in a trendy new subdivision or an out-of-the-way patch of land to enjoy the countryside, there are important factors to consider when buying vacant land in Maryland.
Buying a vacant lot is a different--and sometimes more tedious experience-- than purchasing a property with an existing home. However, if you understand what you’re getting into and the process involved, building your perfect home from scratch on your own beautiful piece of Maryland can be exhilarating as well.
Buying an empty plot of land has many advantages, including freedom and flexibility, the potential for significant savings, and better investment prospects. After all, it's typically the value of land that accounts for the appreciation of real estate investments.
So read on to learn more about the land buying process in Maryland and beyond. And note, none of the information here is a substitute for sound professional advice, so make sure to contact Northrop Realty today to get in touch with the experts in Maryland real estate.
The first and most important step to buying land is deciding exactly what you want. A crystal-clear vision for your land-holding dreams will guide everything from your budget, location, and what features your proposed piece of land should have.
To that end, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Size and shape are just two small factors when it comes to evaluating a lot. Where the lot is located in the state could make the buying experience a vastly different process than buying in another location.
Here are some things that could differ a lot from lot to lot. Make sure to check the following issues before buying land:
In light of the above, here are some important steps to take when buying land:
Between 1973 and 2010, over 1 million acres of forest and farmland were developed in Maryland. Available land is now at a premium, and Maryland has some of the highest cost-per-acre in the country. Of course, this can vary a lot by location, type of land, and so on, but overall you can expect to pay more for land in Maryland than in most other states.
To compound matters, a lot of once fertile land in Maryland is being lost, or will be lost, to salinization. Various factors are contributing to the general rise of water levels and the rise of the water table around Chesapeake Bay. If you intend to farm your land, or are interested in the long-term outlook of property values, these are important matters to investigate.
Maryland includes two large urban centers, around Washington DC and Baltimore, and the counties they occupy are thus heavily urbanized. The most developed counties in Maryland are Montgomery, Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Howard, and Baltimore. However, the further you move away from those two cities, the more rural Maryland becomes.
Counties like Washington, Frederick, Carroll, and Harford, as well as those on the Delmarva Peninsula (shared with Delaware and Virginia), are covered by a patchwork of farms, woods, and small communities. Maryland's western panhandle region is heavily wooded and lined with deep valleys and hills.
Towns like Frederick, Mt. Airy, Westminster, and Bel Air usually include many lots and available land for sale, as existing properties are subdivided or their fringe areas are earmarked for development.
A contract for the purchase of vacant property differs from a contract for an existing residence because it often addresses the issues listed above. It is a legal arrangement that allows for the final sale to be contingent upon the lot meeting certain conditions when all tests and surveys are completed. Moreover, it may even designate whether the responsibility of paying for these feasibility tests lay with the buyer or the seller.
A contract may also request the seller provide:
A good realtor specializing in land purchases in Maryland can help write a contract that should better ensure you are going to get the type of land you are expecting to suit your needs.
Vacant lots will usually require a construction-to-permanent loan. These types of loans convert to a standard mortgage after you meet certain requirements and milestones. These requirements include closing on the land purchase, building the escrow to build the residence, and meeting government and lender occupancy requirements.
Once you get your loan, be smart about choosing your piece of vacant land--just as you would when choosing an existing residence. Research home values in the areas and have your real estate print your MLS listing for homes in the areas you are considering. If you build a $350,000 home in a neighborhood where most homes are being valued at considerably less, you won’t experience the growth in value like you would if you built in a neighborhood where values were comparable or higher.
If you take all of these factors into consideration and consult a knowledgeable real estate professional—like the experts at the Creig Northrop Team—purchasing a vacant lot in Maryland will be the positive, rewarding experience it should be.
The phrase "build your own home" is used to refer to anything from choosing the features offered by a builder in a residential development to hammering together the timbers with your own bare hands. Here we mean something in the middle: hiring a contractor to design and build a home according to your specifications.
This kind of custom homebuilding has many advantages, such as:
Perhaps the most important step in building your home is choosing the right builder. It's important to know what to look for in a new home builder, which you can learn more about here.
But, thankfully, there are more than enough quality and trustworthy builders to choose from in Maryland.
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Listing information last updated on February 24th, 2021 at 5:50pm EST.