10 Things to Know Before Buying a Vacant Lot

Just about everything you build on the property is going to require a permit.
Just about everything you build on the property is going to require a permit.
©iStockphoto.com/Kirby Hamilton

It's a sad fact of real estate life: Just about everything you build is going to require a permit. You'll have to deal with government zoning before starting construction, and obtain a permits for building, permits for burning, and permits for, well, the list goes on and on. Yes, it's a hassle, but permits aren't necessarily bad news. After all, remember that restrictive covenants protect you from the nasty habits of your neighbors even as they restrict you. Construction permits help protect the land and keep you honest to building codes, and those building codes ensure you can't haphazardly build a structure that's going to collapse on itself like a house of cards.

Be ready to apply for permits, permits and more permits as construction progresses. Need to drill a well on the property for water? You'll need a permit. Need to install a septic system for sewage maintenance? You'll need a permit. The construction process is laden with permit requirements, from plumbing to electrical work; on the bright side, at the end of the day, all that paperwork will guarantee a solid, completely legal investment. But first, you need to find that perfect plot of land -- time to get out there and start looking.

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