Buying Vacant Land in Washington State: Dos and Don'ts

Buying Vacant Land in Washington State: Dos and Don'ts

Looking for a dream home to buy can be extremely challenging. You could spend months and months scrolling down the online listings, going on open houses, and scoping out various neighborhoods. Unfortunately, all this hard work can turn into one big nothing, especially if you have a specific idea of what you're looking for in a house. If you're in a similar situation, this might be a sign that your dream home doesn't exist. Well, not yet, at least. It means maybe it's time to consider building a house on a vacant piece of land. However, before you lay any foundation, you need to educate yourself about this. So, whether you want to build your dream home or invest in real estate, here are the dos and don'ts of buying vacant land in Washington State.

Buying Vacant Land in Washington State: The Dos

Before you decide on buying vacant land in Washington State, you need to know about some must-dos on your behalf. If you make this decision, you'll be taking a huge step, both finances and time-wise. Therefore, you'll have to do it right. Here are some of the most important dos of this complex process.


Building a house on vacant land

There are some factors you need to consider and things to do when it comes to buying vacant land and building your house on it.

Work with an adequate real estate agent

Buying an existing property and buying vacant land are two completely different things in the real estate business. That's why you'll need to work with a real estate agent that has vast expertise in negotiating land deals particularly.

Many land sellers and agents make the mistake of advertising a parcel as having the option to be subdivided. As a result, buyers may be left with vacant land that yields less profit than promised, while sellers may end up with a lawsuit for false advertising.

That is precisely why you need to hire a real estate agent with a proven track record of serving both buyers and sellers when it comes to land transactions. As a plus, do your research and be prepared in advance.

Know your budget

Another crucial thing you have to do before taking any steps in this process is determine how much land you can afford. You need to understand that land deals are frequently made in cash since lenders are less likely to give funding for undeveloped land. So, determine your budget based on the amount of money you have or can acquire before making a purchase.

When making a cash offer, proof of funds is particularly vital. It gives the seller confidence that you have control of the money you claim to have. If your money is locked up in other assets, withdraw it before making an offer. It will help you avoid a sudden loss of funds due to an unanticipated financial catastrophe.

Consider the average home value in the neighborhood

One of the most appealing aspects of building your own home is the ability to customize it. However, make sure your building style is compatible with the style of the neighborhood your build your home in. Why is this important?

You can get turned down for a construction loan if the cost of the land in combination with the construction cost is much more than the average home price in the neighborhood. Believe it or not, this is a common mistake that buyers make. So, make sure you inform yourself about the current market trends and prices.

Think about utilities and road access

When buying an existing home, it's easy to take electricity, sewerage, and electricity for granted. However, when you're buying vacant land, these are not always guaranteed.

That's why you'll need to find out if the infrastructure is already provided, or you'll have to pay extra money to run it to your vacant land. This depends on the development of the area around your land.

Buying Vacant Land in Washington State: The Don'ts

Just like dos, there are certain don'ts you can't overlook when buying vacant land in Washington State. So, let's see what they are.


Brown shovel in the ground

You'll need to avoid some things, and there will be other things you don't expect in this process.

Don't expect a loan

Since a land purchase cannot be leveraged with a bank in the same way a home purchase can, you'll probably have to pay cash if there is no structure on the site yet.

If you own a piece of land, you could be lucky if a lender grants you 40% or 50% of its worth. Unfortunately, this is usually the case only if you have an excellent bank connection or other collateral. It's more likely that you'll obtain a zero.

Because the house you'll build will act as collateral for the loan, you'll have a far greater chance of being authorized for a construction loan on the building you intend to put on the land.

Don't overlook environmental tests

You must submit a parcel of land to tests and checks to verify you know what you're purchasing and that you'll be able to build on it.

Environmental tests search for pollution from earlier uses in the soil. For example, if there was a gas station or auto body shop on the vacant land you're looking to buy, the ground is probably so polluted that you won't get the green light for building your home on it.

Additionally, the land's potential for flooding and its poor soil conditions for building are both causes for caution. Unfortunately, many low-lying locations near rivers and streams in Washington State are prone to flooding regularly.

Because of these critical areas and factors, you'll have to hire a professional - the one who will be able to do a proper examination and give you peace of mind when it comes to these things.

Don't count on rezoning your vacant land

Your local governing body will have zones, codes, and regulations limiting what you can and cannot build on your lot. It can also require specific actions you'll have to take to build a sound construction.

So, rather than attempting to rezone land, it's preferable to preserve your vision inside current constraints. Seek out land that will allow you to build your dream home. However, at the same time, be aware of the limitations of your site before completing your designs.

Moving To Your New Home

Building a house on vacant land will last a long, long time. That's why this is such a challenging and complex process. However, once you come to an end, you'll feel more at peace than ever. This is a time to pack your bags and relocate to your dream home finally! For this step of the journey, you'll have to find the best long-distance movers in Washington State that will get you there trouble-free. After all, you spend a lot of time and nerves building your new home; you don't want more troubles and stress with the relocation.


Buying vacant land in Washington State is a significant step to take. That's why you need to educate yourself about the dos and don'ts of this process before making any final decisions. As you can see, there are a lot of factors you'll have to consider. It's way more complicated than simply buying an existing property. It's also more time and money-consuming. So, the only question left is - Are you ready for this big step?


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