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10 Things to Know Before Buying a Vacant Lot

Road Access

Road access might sound like a no-brainer, but it's a surprisingly complex issue when you're purchasing a vacant lot. In urban areas, it's rarely a problem -- but in the countryside, rural land for sale could potentially be cut off from a major road and be available only via private access. This can introduce a number of problems. If land truly isn't accessible via public roadways, it might not have access to city water or sewage. You could end up requiring a septic system and a well to handle those basic utilities, which will add to the construction costs.

More important, however, is the issue of access. A public road obviously guarantees a route to a vacant lot at all times. But when private roads enter into the equation, things get complicated. If your property is landlocked, the typical solution is to make an arrangement with a neighbor for guaranteed access via a private road through their land, known as an easement. We'll discuss this next.