No ifs, ands or buts about it - buying land can be an exciting prospect. It's easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of becoming a land owner, looking ahead to how you plan to use your real estate.
And while there's certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the process, it's important not to let your excitement interfere with making a smart buy. That's why the land specialists at Mossy Oak Properties recommend heading into the buying process with your eyes wide open and your specific goals in mind.
"When we meet a first-time land buyer, we try to sit down with them and go over what their goals are," said Terrell Brazell, owner and broker of Mossy Oak Properties Coastal Land and Real Estate in St. Mary's, Georgia. "We need to set basic priorities, prioritize what they want to do with the property, get them to help us understand exactly what they're looking for and try to fit that into a budget."
The difference between wants and needs
If you're buying land, chances are it's for a specific purpose. With that in mind, it's vital to differentiate between what you want and what you need.
For instance, if you're in the market for hunting land, you should have an idea of the requirements you want the land to fulfill. The same goes for farm land and other types of rural real estate.
Keep in mind that while some features would be nice, others are essential to your purpose. It's the latter features that you should put at the forefront of your mind when making a purchase.
Sticking to your budget
You may find yourself falling head over heels for a particular parcel of land. However, if it doesn't fit your budget, this is one love affair that could break your bank account's heart.
"We know the market, we know what [buyers] can get for the money that they want to spend, and we have to help mold ... what they want with what they can actually acquire, and help them be very realistic with that ...," Brazell continued.
Take a helping hand
It's for these and other reasons that most land buyers rely on experienced brokers to help them meet their goals.
First, a land specialist will be able to walk you through the pros and cons of different pieces of land, highlighting whether certain parcels fit your requirements. This will help ensure your investment pays off, and reduces the chance of you heading home with a major case of buyer's remorse.
Additionally, land brokers will be able to help you stay within your budget, and even spotlight ways to achieve your objectives without emptying your wallet.
"[I]t's one thing if you show somebody property that may be out of their reach financially," Brazell said. "We can help show them how to get there with ... a smaller piece of property and create what [they] want if [they] can't afford to buy it now."