How to buy land

The tiny house movement has made huge strides in the past few years by promoting efficient living spaces and minimalist lifestyles in 400 square feet or less. More homeowners are seeing the benefit in downsizing to lessen environmental impact, save money and eliminate home-related stressors.

While it’s true, building a small home is generally less complicated than planning and constructing a large home, there are a few challenges presented with embracing the tiny life. Aside from downsizing, simplifying and the logistical aspects of living in a tiny home, one of the main questions is: where do you put your tiny house?

I put together a video that outlines the challenges involved when searching for land for a tiny house, whether you choose to lease, buy or borrow. Please check it out.

The Challenges of Buying Land for Your Tiny House

Solving challenges

When you decide it’s time to find and buy land for a tiny house, you may be faced with a big challenge: it’s more difficult to find appropriately-sized and cost-effective land for micro homes than it is for average-sized homes. Most micro home builders aren’t looking to pay full price for open plots, since tiny homes are more economical to build. At the same time, small lots are hard to find and come by. Landowners often aren’t eager to split up their property to sell, especially in rural areas.

This presents a major challenge for those who are ready to take the plunge. How do you find the right-sized land to buy for your tiny house?

If you’re ready for a simpler life and you’re interested in joining the tiny house movement, consider these three tips for finding and buying land for a tiny house.

Tiny House on a plot of land

Tools For Planning Your Land

Even at the early stages when you’re just looking at the land, possibly under contract, you need to start to imagine how things will layout.  I love this part because it’s fun to think about what the land could one day be.  It starts to feel real when you are thinking about where you’ll put things and how it will all come together.  Here are the tools I use to plan out my land:

A Good Measuring Wheel

This let’s you measure distances easily and help with planing where things will go.  You want a larger wheel because it can bridge the bumps in the land and make it a bit easier when you are going over logs etc. I recommend this particular measuring wheel if you’re looking for one.

Avoid the Kenson brand, I’ve found that they don’t hold up. And when you’re planning your land, make sure you know where the property lines are and that most places require at least a 15 foot setback from any property line.  I always figure what it is and double it just in case I’m off in my property line.

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Marking Flags

land marking flagsOnce you have an idea where you want to put things, start marking them out with these little flags.  It will give you a better sense of space and let you understand where things are going to be in relation to other things like storage, solar, patio space and parking areas.

You can get these marking flag for cheap here.

A Waterproof Notepad

rite in the rain notebook for taking notesI always take notes when I’m doing this so later I can refer back to them when I draw things up back at home or for figuring out stuff after I’ve left.  My go to notebook is a Rite In The Rain Notebook which is an amazing little note pad that doesn’t matter if it’s wet.  They’re tough and super helpful.

Whatever you use, make sure you write stuff down because so many numbers will be going through your head.

Price

The intention of an auction is to arrive at a true fair market value for the property you are buying. The nature of the competitive bidding process encourages smart investment, where buyers are able to get a real-time sense of the market value. Especially for distressed properties, this may mean that you are able to secure a property at a discounted price given the current market conditions for that particular parcel. Even with non-distressed, unique or premier properties, real estate auctions help buyers arrive at a true market price, not the price that a particular seller (who may have an inflated, emotional, or just plain ridiculous opinion) may set for the property. We do recommend that you determine the maximum price you’re willing to pay for a property before you start bidding to buy land at auction, since the auction process can be intense and exciting. You don’t want to get caught up in the competition of outbidding other buyers and end up paying more than you intended…or can afford.

Bidding on Online Auctions for LandIf you are interested in exploring the use of an auction to buy your residential lots or land, we at LotNetwork.com encourage you to research auction sales and perhaps talk with a real estate professional who is experienced in auction sales. There are national companies and local auction houses, online auction services and traditional companies and brokers who specialize in these types of sales.

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Terms to know related to real estate auctions:

Absolute auction: This is an auction in which the seller agrees to accept the high bid, no matter the price. This is not always seen in real estate auctions because many sellers have costs they need to clear or a minimum profit they’d like to make. If the seller is highly motivated to rid themselves of the property no matter what (like a bank, for example) – or if it’s inherited or otherwise a property that’s “free and clear”, the lot or land may be offered this way.

Minimum Bid: Sellers often set a minimum bid price to ensure that the sale at least covers the costs owed or to prevent buyers from colluding to purchase the property at a deflated price. If the seller has a large amount of equity in the property and sets the minimum price well below market value, this can spur great interest from buyers. However, if the property is unique or otherwise difficult to price, market value will be a matter of perception. A minimum price that is too high – in the eyes of buyers  – will drive off some bidders and may prevent you from being interested in buying at all.

Selling with Reserve: The seller maintains the right to reject any and all bids, so its important to consider when bidding to buy land at this type of auction. This can mean that the seller has a minimum price in mind, but didn’t necessarily publish. Selling with Reserve also can mean that the seller reserves the right to bid on his own behalf (or on behalf of a lienholder) during the auction sale.

LotNetwork.com regularly has real estate auctions for land and lots listed on the site, so be sure to look at auction properties too when searching. And if you choose to pursue purchasing residential lots and land at an auction, we wish you the best!

Search Auctions on LotNetwork.com

Run a Search for Auctions on LotNetwork.com

And be sure to let them know that you found the auction on LotNetwork.com!

Related Resources:

One of the first steps in building a new home is finding a homesite for your home. So if you’re ready to search for the perfect lot or land for you, LotNetwork.com has over 250,000 lot and land listings across the nation that you can search.

In addition, be sure to read our series of articles about the 8 Tips for Buying Lots and Land, so you can know what to look for (and what to avoid) when buying a lot or parcel of land.

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And check out our resource pages with tips and information on the following topics:

Related Articles:

Real estate pros, be sure to see our Real Estate Agent and Broker Resources to see how LotNetwork.com can help you buy and sell lot and land properties. And homebuilding and development pros can go to the Homebuilder and Developer Resources Page to find out about our features and powerful online tools that were created to meet your needs, and will help you buy and sell lots and land so you can sell new homes.

It’s easy and affordable to sign up for a Listing Plan so you can sell your property on the nation’s premier site for residential lots and land:

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1.) Location

While there are a number of elements to consider when you buy land in Ohio, the location should be your top priority. Surely, you’ve heard it before: “Location. Location. Location.” When it comes to Ohio commercial real estate, this may be the most important decision you will be faced with – and the most basic.

  • Decide the general location as to where you will purchase land.
  • Analyze the business climate to find a business-friendly environment (consider the average revenue of local businesses, the number of businesses with paid employees, and so on).
  • Research the local economic health of the areas you’re considering (look at the median income and housing costs, in addition to unemployment rates).
  • Explore the community and see what is available.
  • Consider talking to a commercial real estate broker about your options and the benefits of your desired location.

Pro Tip: There are 25 Ohio companies on the current Fortune 500 list. Nine of those companies are based in Cincinnati, and five are in Central Ohio. Based on this list, these two areas seem to have strong and established environments for businesses.

Keep in mind, though, it isn’t only about the area; it’s also about easy access. Local highways, exit ramps, local streets, and public transportation shouldn’t be an afterthought.

2.) Expenses

Be prepared to spend much more money than just the purchase price of the property. This should factor into the kind of initial investment you make when you buy land in Ohio. Get organized and make a list of the kinds of costs associated with owning a piece of land, such as::

  • Insurance
  • Mortgage
  • Legal expenses
  • Utilities
  • Building costs
  • Service fees
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