If you're about to search for land to buy for a business, and you're new to buying real estate, you have to be sure that you ask questions that cover all aspects of the land and its potential for use. You can't just buy land and assume that all will go as you planned. It's tempting to concentrate on just the size of the land or the evenness of the terrain, but there's a lot more that goes into owning and building on land, especially for commercial purposes.
Ask About Easements
If the land you're looking at is anywhere near someone else's property, you've got to find out if there are any easements, either on the land you want to buy, or on the adjacent land. An easement allows someone to use part of someone else's land -- a driveway is a common example. When one person's property is blocked from the street by another person's property, that first person can often use part of the second person's property as a driveway to get to the first person's property. Having an easement on the land you want to buy will affect where you build what structures; having to use part of someone else's property to get to yours could result in conflict with the other property owner if you're going to have a lot of traffic.
Find out if Utilities Can Be Extended if Outside Populated Areas
If the land you want to buy is fairly far away from populated or developed areas, double-check that utilities can be extended to the property. People trying to work in commercial centers are going to want reliable electricity and water service. If you buy something that the local utility companies say can't be serviced by them, you're going to have issues getting tenants once your buildings are completed.
Survey for Both Boundaries and Unstable Land
Getting a land survey done is about more than just seeing what's on the land. You'll get a more accurate idea of where the boundaries are, but you'll also have a chance to find out if the soil on the land is stable. If it's not -- if there are faults, underground water sources causing erosion, and so on -- then building on the land could be difficult, if not impossible, because you'd have trouble getting permits or would have to pay extra for better construction.
Get Soil Tested
Even if you aren't planning on planting much around the property, you should get the soil tested for a couple of reasons. One is to rule out massively contaminated soil (from agricultural chemicals, heavy metals, and so on). People can track that soil indoors on their shoes, so you don't want to build on land that has a lot of bad stuff in the soil. The other reason is that you are likely to have landscaping on your property eventually, and you need to know now what the soil is like because it can take some time to do things like raise or lower the pH of the soil.
If you want to buy commercial land, it's essential that you work with a real estate agent who is familiar with all of the ins and outs of buying and owning that type of property. It's very easy to make a deal for property that doesn't really have the features you want if you're not careful, and working with a real estate agent helps you get the best deal possible.
For more information, contact The Schueler Group or a similar organization.