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First time land purchase


Jessica Letellier Biddeford, ME

After a recent post on help with land I got a great resource. I was wondering now if there was any advice before sealing the deal. Thank you

20 October 2015 5 replies Leadership & Management



Christina Aragon Mesa, AZ

Hello Jessica:

Do your due diligence by checking with the county assessors office and checking to see if there is any liens against the property, any back taxes or loans that you may be responsible for after purchase. This will also tell you how the property is zoned and for what uses.

Best of luck,



Gary Wojcik Canton, MI

Hello Jessica. Jamie's answer covers all the pertinent questions. I might add, especially if it is in the country and dependent on your state laws, who owns mineral rights.


Larry Louwagie

Jamie good detailed answer. Jessica, in addition, what is or was the land used for? was there ever buildings on it.


Jamie Nevins Bremerton, WA

Has the land been surveyed and marked recently? Can you find the markers? Is there a well/ power/ phone/sewer line available? If so, where are they located? Assuming a sewer isn't available, what are the county requirements for septic? Is it in a flood plain? Has a perc test been done recently (this measures how fast water is absorbed into the soil, vs. run off/ standing water)? Is there any land use restrictions (any part of it a wetland/ salmon creek that type of thing)? What is it zoned as (commercial/industrial, farm, residential)? Is there any joint use or easements in place? These are all questions you should have answers to before signing. Most of them should be answered during the sale process, but some you may have to ask, and I would highly recommend you get all of them done that you don't have answers for. Some of those tests can be paid for by the seller, some of them you may have to pay for yourself. Find out those costs before you sign, lest you get stuck with a chunk of property that you can't do what you want to with, because it's simply not allowed, or it's too cost prohibitive, and you're still making the payments and paying the taxes on it. Not doing things within local or state code is most often far more expensive in the end. If you get the answers to the above, you should be in good shape.


John Green Cary, NC

Hi Jessica,

What is the purpose of owning this land? Are you raising crops, cattle, or plan to live there?


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