When you're looking to buy vacant land, it's important to consider what amenities and luxuries are nearby. Proximity to infrastructure, everyday conveniences, and special luxuries will affect your overall property value. People who want to live in a remote location need convenient access to well-maintained roads, schools, hospitals, and utilities. Similarly, land investors should keep an eye out for appreciation-driving neighbors like high-valued developments and zoning types that might attract motivated buyers. Before you sign the dotted line on a plot of vacant land in your area, check the surrounding area for these amenities and luxuries.
High-Value Homes or Developments in Nearby Areas
One way to increase the chances of solid returns on your land investment is to have high-value homes or developments nearby. If you purchase a plot of land near million-dollar mansions, your land's value will likely be higher than if it were located near less expensive developments.
This logic can apply to raw land investors, too. Buying undeveloped land near industrial developments with lucrative leases could potentially draw in commercial real estate investors looking to build a space to rent out.
Public Land or Conservation Areas
Additionally, many people are looking to purchase land near public lands or conservation areas. If a parcel of your prospective property is adjacent to government-managed land, it's less likely that it'll ever be developed.
Not only does this type of land offer increased privacy, scenic beauty, and access to free camping, but it also inherently limits the inventory of similar parcels of land in that area. By controlling the supply of raw land near a protected area, you increase your chances of enjoying high demand when it's time to sell.
A location next to protected land doesn't mean your neighboring lots will never be developed. Open space controlled by federal bodies can still be sold or transferred, but the process requires several votes for rezoning.
Types of Zoning That Limit Development
Public land isn't the only type of acreage that's resistant to development. Numerous types of land zoning regulate urban buildout. Historic, agricultural, and rural zoning are examples of other types of zoning with specific regulations that make it difficult to change the underlying zoning.
Those buying vacant land for custom construction will appreciate these zoning regulations, as it allows them to enjoy the perks of a brand-new home without being surrounded by noisy construction.
Types of Zoning That Encourage Development
Living off the grid isn't every land-buyers final goal. Many people buy land with the intention of selling it to developers. If this is your plan, you'll want to purchase a parcel that's zoned for the type of development you're hoping to see.
Keep an eye on residential, commercial, and industrial real estate trends. That way, you can buy land for cheap and sell it a few years later when development expands beyond the nearest city.
A Nearby or On-Site Water Source
Water is a valuable resource, no matter where you purchase land. However, a parcel with an existing water source may have a higher value than a neighboring vacant lot without one.
Plots of land that are included in the municipal water supply are slightly more convenient than plots that require well water. People buying land for personal development can rest assured that they won't have to go through the permitting and planning processes required for building a well. Investors can use municipal water supply as a selling point for future developers. An existing water well can be a luxurious perk for people buying land.
At the very least, buyers should ensure that the plot of land is eligible for well construction. If you're considering purchasing raw land, check with your state's water resources board to see if any other environmental factors could limit your ability to drill a well.
Municipal Sewer System
Most people wouldn't think of living close to a sewer system as luxurious, but land investors know better. Like water availability, having municipal sewer lines nearby can make a big difference in the development value of a plot of land.
If you're looking at undeveloped lots, check to see if there are any municipal plans to expand the sewer system into that area. Even if there's no such plan on the horizon, it may be possible to connect to the existing sewer system with a private line.
Septic systems are the go-to option for many landowners. Having one on-site at the time of purchase can set your investment up for success, too. Installing a septic system is a costly and time-consuming process that many prospective buyers will be glad that they don’t need to bring utilities to vacant land they’ve purchased.
Hospitals, Schools & Accessible Roads
The quality of schools and hospitals in an area will have a big impact on property values. Families with young children are especially sensitive to the quality of schools. They'll be looking for good school districts when they start their home search, and they'll be willing to pay a premium for a home located within those boundaries.
Hospitals shouldn't be overlooked, either. Living close to a top-tier hospital can provide peace of mind and increase property values.
Finally, drivable roads are a must for many property owners. Snow removal, pothole repair, and regular street resurfacing are all services that keep roads in good condition and improve your quality of life.
Invest in Vacant Land Near the Best Amenities
Before you purchase a plot of land, do your research to ensure that the location has certain luxuries and amenities that will maximize its value. Proximity to high-value developments and desirable zoning types can increase property values for all investors. Finding an area away from urban sprawl is ideal for many buyers, but all land investors can benefit from nearby schools, hospitals, and high-quality roads. The most valuable luxury near your plot of land is anything that increases the value of your investment.