When you’re looking to buy some land, it’s important to know exactly what you’re going to do with it. When you buy a home, or a condo, or even an apartment building, for the most part you’re really just going for one of two options – either you want to live there, or you’re planning on renting it out.
Land, however, is much more versatile. You can build on it – and not just homes – you can invest in it, leaving it raw for decades, you can have it mined for resources or drilled for oil, gas and water, or you could turn it into farm land or a power plant and make money by selling crops and power and having the land be a constant asset.
Land can do a great many things – but you’re not buying all land. You’re buying a piece, so you need to choose what that piece will do, and then invest accordingly. So, if you’re going to buy yourself some land, here are some of the more important considerations to make:
Know what you want
Right off the bat, you should have a vision for what you want to do with your land. It’s not a bad idea to buy land from someone who just wants to get rid of it, and then sit on that land for years on end until its value increases due to the increasing amount of infrastructure surrounding it – that very tactic worked well for many, many people, and here in Thailand where development is still booming, it can be a good way to invest in your future and the future of your family. As Area.co.th points out, the website for the Agency of Real Estate Affairs, land prices in Thailand have been increasing since 2001.
However, if you want to be more proactive about the land you’re buying – or if you want to make sure that whomever you sell the land to in a generation or so will actually want it – you’ll have to do your research and know what can be done with it. Is it a flood-zone? Is it prone to landslides?
Using a resource like Floodlist can help you determine where the greatest risks of flooding lies in Thailand, and whether or not the land you may be looking at is particularly prone. Topography, rainfall statistics, soil percolation, the potential for soil erosion, and meteorological sites can also help you determine how the typhoon season affects the land.
Check the lot from above
The quickest and best way to immediately get a good look at an available and nearby lot or piece of land is to check it out through Google Maps. What does the topography look like? Are there a lot of trees? Is it fenced? Is there a nearby main road, or even a highway – or a railroad? Is there a potential for urban expansion, or is it nearby other industrial areas and thus a potential for expansion into the cotton and agricultural industry?
If you’re planning to grab land for sale from a website like DD Property simply to build your own home on it, the above factors could be negative rather than positive – and additionally, you’ll want to know how close the land is to a nearby town or city, in case it doesn’t have any infrastructure and you’d like to hook it up the closest grid available.
Ask the owner for property conditions
Once you’ve got an eye on the property and you like what you see, it’s time to dig deeper and probe further. There’s much, much, much more to land than simply meets the eye. Ask the owner for an environmental report, so you have an idea of what kind of contaminants you may be working with. You could also ask for a pH report of the soil, so you can get an idea of what kind of plants you can grow – either for personal use, or in case you’d like to sell the land as farmland.
Furthermore, asking the local government for any zoning restrictions pertaining to the area can help you get a clear idea of what you can and cannot do legally, and can help you determine whether or not it’s even worth trying to get a building permit for the land.
Confirm any utilities and infrastructure
A big boon in buying land is pre-existing infrastructure. Land development isn’t cheap, and if you’re planning to turn a piece of land into a home for you, your family, and generations to come, then you will want reliable utilities to be laid down. If they aren’t then you’ll have to think about incorporating the cost of trenching, the cost of laying pipes and wires, and the cost of getting a water pump either connected to the city or town’s water, or to a water resource under the land itself.
Buying land is about being thorough. The last thing you want is a nasty surprise such as a ground that is too alkaline, strong traces of heavy metals, or other complications.