December 3, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Owning Raw Land

Roughly 17% of urban areas across the United States are comprised of vacant land. Therein lies a huge opportunity for people that want to invest or just want a blank canvas to craft their dream property on.

Since you’re reading this post, chances are you’re considering the purchase of raw land. We don’t blame you for having that ambition! Owning raw land is a special experience that in many ways hearkens back to people’s innate desire to concur new frontiers.

Unfortunately, owning raw land isn’t all fun and games. There are a lot of considerations that go into making these sorts of purchases, many of which can create serious stress for the unprepared land buyer.

To make sure that you go into your land purchase knowing everything you need to, keep reading. Below, our team breaks down the key pros and cons of owning raw land.

Land Ownership Benefits

We’ll start this write up on a positive note by sharing land ownership pros. And you’ll find that there are several things to love about buying into vacant land!

The primary aspects of land ownership you’ll enjoy include:

Cheap Cost of Entry

Try getting into a house in most major cities and you’ll be staring down a purchase price of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most land parcels, by comparison, don’t come anywhere close to what you’d pay for land with developments on it.

Some land costs hundreds of dollars (believe it or not) while other parcels with massive potential might cost just a few thousand.

If you’re looking to get a deal done, picking up raw land is a great means of accomplishing that end.

Owning Land Feels Great

There’s something about owning a large parcel of land that feels like nothing else. Sure, your friends and family have all bought houses on small lots in densely populated areas, but you’ve got acres of untamed frontier to your name.

You can camp on that land, grow on it, or build! There’s something special about having all of those options that’ll infuse you with a unique feeling of pride you have to experience to understand.

A Canvas for Your Vision

Most people get into buying land because they’re in love with the idea of starting from scratch. Buying into someone else’s vision in the way of picking up a house that was built decades ago means never really getting to live in something or on a plot that is uniquely yours.

Raw land, on the other hand, gives you a chance to craft your own destiny, imbue a section of the earth with a unique purpose, and enjoy the fruits of your creativity throughout your life.

Scarcity

Land is one of the few things in this world that people aren’t making more of, except in very unique cases. That means that every day, there’s less land for you to own as the population balloons and desirable plots get bought up.

If you can get your hands on a piece of land today, you’ll be claiming your stake in a world that’s filling up quickly.

Land Ownership Drawbacks

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, buying raw land comes with its set of headaches. Some of you may view those headaches as being well worth the endeavor. Others will find that buying pre-developed land is more your speed.

In any case, here’s what you need to be wary of when purchasing land plots:

Zoning

One of the biggest raw land shocks that new land buyers run into is zoning restrictions. Many land buyers think that once they buy land, they can do whatever they want with it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Some counties zone areas of land and in doing so, state the purpose for which certain plots can be used for. For example, you might buy a parcel of land to build a house on it, only to find that it hasn’t been zoned in such a way where permanent structures can be put up.

If you don’t do your diligence around zoning before buying, you may end up disappointed and forced to sell land to an investor to recoup a portion of your money.

Getting Utilities

Some land is already hooked to water and electricity. A lot of it isn’t though and getting those services out to where you live can be prohibitively expensive.

Make sure you think long and hard about utility access before buying into land that you plan on having water and power hookups on. Call your local utility distributor to find out what it’ll cost to plug into the grid and factor those expenses into your purchase price.

Funding Can Be Tricky

Most lenders are wary about lending on plots of land. There are specialty lenders that will help out to that end but still, they are few and far between.

If you don’t have the cash to pour into a plot, do your diligence on land lenders in your area before starting to pursue a deal.

Is Owning a Slice of Raw Land Your Destiny?

We can’t tell you how many people have purchased raw land and felt like that land was meant for them. Reading about the connection that some feel with pieces of the earth is a hard thing to appreciate until you’ve felt those feelings yourself, so, if you haven’t been turned off by the land buying process by this point, start searching for plots to buy.

For many of you, we’re convinced that doing so will prove to be a rewarding experience.

If you’d like more guidance on all things related to real estate, we welcome you to explore more of the content on our blog.