Buying first vacant lot

9 Replies

I am in the processes of buying a vacant lot to build a duplex on. I figured I would tap the wealth of knowledge in bigger pockets.

What should I be looking for during the due diligence?

A few of the questions I ask are, is it buildable land?, is there any tax liens or HOA fees?, and is there any title issues? I dont buy and hold land to build those so you definitely want to add more questions. :)

@Taylor Trantham

Stop. Go directly to zoning and make sure it's allowed. 2nd check your deed and make sure it's not prohibited. Are there other multis in the area? If not, you may get some blowback so make your offer contingent on a ton of questions you'll need to answer before you close.


@Taylor Trantham Definitely check with your local zoning department to see what you can and can't do with that vacant lot. They should be able to tell you. Have the parcel number and legal description ready so they can look it up. From there, you'll have a better idea of what your options are. Hope that helps! 

Not sure where you are located, but depending on where your are, you should determine if it is in a flood plain, if its endangered species habitat, is the land protected with a deed restriction for anything-eg. conservation area, it is classified as a wetland, were hazardous materials released or stored there in the past, was it a gas station or have any underground storage tanks, what easements are there, electrical, water, access, etc., what are the lot setbacks, what is the soil, does the lot receive drainage?  And can you build what you want on the lot if the answers to anything above is yes?  And at what additional cost?

@Taylor Trantham

Check with city on zoning, not the agent.

Find what year building code the city uses....newer codes cost more with efficiencies etc but some cities still use building codes a couple years prior. They come out every 3 years. We built in 2017 - City was using 2012 even though 2015 was out. Contractor said same house would cost thousands more with newer code...

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