Land for Sale in Northern California: What To Ask When You’re Buying

3889540_2e906a69When you’re looking at land for sale in northern California, you’re probably excited about the big dreams you have for it. Perhaps you want to start your own ranch or farm or you want to build a home in a picturesque setting or you just want your own hunting land. Whatever the situation, this is a substantial investment and you want to know that you’re doing it right. Before your eyes glaze over with the stunning beauty of the property and you drop a large sum of money on it, you should consider these three practical questions.

Does it have road access?

What’s the point of buying a property if you can’t get to it? Will you need to access it through a neighbor’s land or government land? If so, make absolutely sure that you have irrevocable agreements in writing and that the rights of access are transferable to the next owners, if you decide to sell later on. Sometimes, government agencies and neighbors will allow you access if you pay them. (Money can work wonders.) Also, find out who will be responsible to keep up the road. That someone could be you! You don’t want to get surprised with a fine or a lawsuit.

How will you access utilities?

If you’re planning to build a house, a cabin, or even a barn, on the property, you’ll want toilets and clean water–unless, of course, you just want to keep it very pioneer-like and use an outhouse and the creek. Are you able to connect to public utilities, such as water, sewer, electric, gas, phone, and internet lines? If not, are you able to dig a well, install a septic system, put up a cellular signal booster, and install a stand-alone power system? Fortunately, internet service is available everywhere via satellite if you’re not able to access it otherwise. All you need is a dish. Even if you’re not initially planning on building on the property, it’s good to find out what would be required if you did.

Are there any usage restrictions?

Is the land zoned for a specific purpose? Just because there’s land for sale doesn’t mean that it’s available for any kind of use. Are you allowed to build on it? Has it been designated as a protected habitat for an endangered species? Consider seeing if you can obtain a conservation easement, particularly if you’re planning to use some or all of it as hunting property. You can get some tax benefits for this, but make sure that you also keep permission to build or develop some of the land if that is part of your dream.

Land for sale in northern California is some of the most beautiful land in the country. You may want to live on it or establish your own cabin retreat to get away from the city for a while. Just make sure you ask the practical questions before you buy!