As our local residential real estate market remains hot and single-family home inventory remains historically low, our team at Berlin Patten Ebling has seen an increase in vacant land contracts and zoning issues that naturally follow. With the tip-off of March Madness right around the corner, we believe it is a perfect opportunity to “coach up” our audience to properly execute vacant land contracts.
First and foremost, does the land qualify for a buyer’s intended use and the contract not permitting for enough time to do so? Until qualification of the use is determined, it is on the bubble. Here are some “coaching” tips to get you to the “Big Dance”:
● Prior to signing a contract, the terms and timeframes should be carefully addressed in a contract to provide sufficient time to procure the investigation/inspection, due diligence, and follow-up needed to permit a buyer to determine whether they are “in the zone”.
● Setting out sufficient time for an inspection period permits a buyer to determine if their intended use, the size of the home to be built, and the location/placement of the home on the lot/parcel are permitted and do not “box out” the option to purchase.
● A question to ask: is the deposit refundable in the event that the buyer determines that the current zoning of the property is not suitable for the buyer’s intended use during the inspection period?
● Reviewing title: are there easements or encumbrances that may prevent a buyer from building their dream home and land the deal “out of bounds?”
● A buyer may think that the 30-acre parcel is plenty of land for their home. “Wohoo!” It made it into the tournament! Only to find out that there are protected wetlands, easements, covenants, and restrictions encumbering the parcel that will restrict it, if not completely prohibit it, and your tournament qualifier dreams are quickly extinguished.
● From a seller’s perspective, it is important to take the time to thoughtfully and accurately represent and complete the vacant land disclosure statement that accompanies the contract.
There is no easy “layup” when purchasing vacant land. We believe it is always wise to have a complete understanding of what your intentions are for the land, to qualify for the tournament. Subsequently from there, determine the time needed to complete these inspections to achieve your goal, and complete the tournament bracket.
Should you have any questions regarding vacant land contracts and zoning issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to your trusted local real estate attorney for guidance on getting off “the bubble.”
Anastasia Stefanou, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org
Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC
This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.
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