The slumping stock market is driving some consumers to purchase real estate as an alternative investment. If you are considering buying a lot or piece of land, the Better Business Bureau warns you to first do some research.
Purchasing land can be one of the most expensive decisions you ever make. And, as with any major purchase you want to be certain you are dealing with a trustworthy company. Do not be lured into a land purchase simply because you received an attractive real estate brochure in the mail that indicated the land is in a warm and hospitable climate with nearby recreation and conveniences. Also beware of salespersons who make the purchase sound "too good to be true" and urge you to make an immediate decision. Without personally viewing the land, you know very little about its location, utilities and other amenities.
Before buying land, a wise and cautious investor should:
- Visit the property before deciding whether to buy.
- Get any verbal promises and guarantees in writing.
- Obtain a property report from the salesperson or developer.
- Research the land's resale value.
- Determine the extra costs involved for building on the property. For instance, is there proper water and electrical supply?
- Contact the Better Business Bureau to ask if there have been any complaints against the developer/real estate company.
- Contact a local real estate broker and obtain comparative prices for other nearby plots of land.