Before you buy a property, determine the actual cost of the lot vs. the listed price of the lot. What do I mean by this? You may think that a lot is a great price, and that you are going to save a whole bunch of money by buying this lot over another lot, and building there. However, this may or may not be the case. For example, one lot may be several thousand dollars cheaper, but if you have to put in a new water well and a septic system, you need to add that to the price. Check all of those types of things, and get estimates for everything from utility hookups to tree removal so you have a clear idea of what the lot will actually cost you, before you buy it!
Once you have determined your bottom line on the cost of the building site (purchase price, soil removal or additions, utility hook ups, water, septic, tree removal etc.) it is time to determine if it is worth that price. Don't let cost determine value. You want to save some money, and to do that you have to find a lot that will be a good price, but that will be a good value as well.
Pricing The Lot: After finding a lot that fits your needs, and determining what it is going to cost you and whether or not that is a good value, it is time for you and the seller to determine a price. A real estate agent could really come in handy during this part because they can negotiate for you if necessary, and can help you find comparable sales so you know what a fair market price is for the property.
Negotiating Tips: In order to get the best price try negotiating using these tactics: Ask all your questions before you make an offer, find out any terms the seller wants, ask what price they will give you for a "cash offer" (even if you are getting bank financing), build your case for why your price is right, have an official and legal contract, make sure the seller knows you have looked at other property, don't be in a hurry, and make sure that your contract protects you...so if the seller says the lot is buildable, get it in writing, that way if it isn't, you don't take a loss.
Once you settle on a price you feel good about, you buy the lot! Of course when you buy anything, especially if it is a major purchase, you want to make sure the contract of sale is legal and binding so the previous owner can't take it back form you after you put a bunch of money into it. To save yourself from any lawsuits etc, either have an agent or an attorney draw up the contract; and make sure there are no liens or encumbrances on the property. Once you have done all of that, there is a bunch of paperwork and the site is yours. The paper work is not much fun, but knowing that you just purchased (legally purchased) a lot that you are going to build the house of your dreams on, is exciting, and is also a lot of fun.
Information for this article was taken from http://www.homebuildingremodeling.com. Always look at the Texas Residential Commission Construction site for registered builders (http://www.trcc.state.tx.us or call 877-651-TRCC). For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at (830) 833-4249 / (713)818-69658 or firstname.lastname@example.org.