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Buying a plot of land - what to check to build a real estate on it

The first step on the way to building your own single-family house, semi-detached house or other residential building is the purchase of a plot of land. In particular, you should check whether the plot you are buying was immediately prepared for the construction of real estate and when will it not be possible?

Legal status of the plot

The first thing you should check before buying a plot of land for building a house is its legal status. This can be checked in the land and mortgage register established for a given property. You must definitely verify that the person selling the plot is its owner and whether it is its sole owner. If there are at least several different owners registered in the land and mortgage register of the plot, all their claims must be satisfied and all must agree to the sale of the plot.

In the following sections of the land and mortgage register, we can check information on possible land encumbrances and mortgage burdens. This is so important that if we buy a plot of land on which a mortgage is secured, it will pass to us.

Plot status

For the future investment in the construction of real estate on the plot being purchased, its status will be important. Ideally, it should be a building plot, i.e. a plot adapted for single-family housing. If it is listed in the land register as agricultural or forestry, you should apply for a change in its status, i.e. its de-agriculture, understood as being excluded from agricultural production. It should be remembered that the agricultural plot can be built mainly by farmers. You can put a house on a forest plot, unless prohibited by the Local Development Plan.

Spatial development plan and building conditions

When we buy a plot of land, we need to check the zoning plan for the area where it is located. However, the plots for sale are not always covered by the local spatial development plan, i.e. a document in the form of a resolution of the commune council, which specifies the purpose, land development and development conditions - in other words, everything that interests the investor. Spatial development plans regulate issues related to:

  • The minimum size of the building plot.
  • In what part of the plot can be developed.
  • Purpose of land, e.g. for single-family housing.
  • Is it possible to build free-standing buildings or is it possible to build a semi-detached or terraced house?
  • How many storeys and how high the buildings can have.
  • What is the color of the facade?
  • What is the slope of the roof of the future property?
  • How the media connections are to be organized.
  • What fuels can be used in the home heating system.

The local zoning plan places certain limitations on building a house on a given plot, but thanks to it, the formalities related to the investment become less onerous and time-consuming than when the plot is not included in the plan.

If a plan for a given construction plot does not exist, the investor should apply to the commune for a decision on development conditions, which unfortunately takes up to several months. However, you do not have to be the owner of the land to apply for a decision on development conditions. This decision may be issued in a shorter time, if the plot borders on an already built-up property. Only the plot with which the property shares a common border can be considered "neighboring".

The terrain of the plot

The ideal is a relatively flat plot of land, where you do not need to carry out many construction and earthworks to be able to build a single-family house on it, and then develop a recreational and leisure space on it. It cannot be based solely on the seller's assurances. In fact, the plot may be full of mounds and holes that will need to be leveled before construction can begin, costing you time and money.

You have to see what grows on the plot - trees, bushes, tall grass - all this hinders and prevents a realistic assessment of the terrain of the future building plot. You can hire a professional - surveyor who will measure the slope of the plot.

Of course, nothing prevents you from buying a plot of land on large unevenness, on a slope or on a slope, but then you need to be aware of the difficulties associated with its development at a later time.

Examine the ground

Finding out about the terrain of a potential building plot for purchase is not enough. You also need to explore the ground to know what exactly is under the surface of the earth. Here, the help of a professional - surveyor will be necessary, because he will be able to examine what soil is under the top layer of the ground and whether there is a large amount of hard materials in the ground, such as rocks or stones, which will impede the construction of the house. The area must not be contaminated.

Access to the plot

Before buying a plot of land, make sure that it is connected to an access road and what the status of such a road is. It is possible that the plot can only be accessed through someone's property and then it is necessary to establish the easement of the road. If there is no road at all, it is obligatory to bring it in before building the property. It cannot always be done directly, so solutions such as:

  • Purchase for co-ownership of a separate access road.
  • Application for the establishment of an easement of passage, i.e. the possibility of using an access road from a neighbor.
  • Buy an adjacent plot with an access road.

Plot connections - utilities

The choice of a building plot with utilities will be beneficial for the buyer. It consists in the fact that the property is provided with connections to water, electricity and gas networks as well as to the sewage system. Without connecting the plot to basic utilities, construction cannot be practically started. Building plots with utilities are usually more expensive than those without main utility connections, because their construction is expensive and time-consuming. It also requires many formalities to be completed.

The neighborhood of the plot

It is necessary to check whether the plot is not so much surrounded by other construction land, built-up or undeveloped, but whether there are plants nearby that will be burdensome for future household members, e.g. wholesalers, animal slaughterhouses, landfills, recycling plants and others. The vicinity of a large road, e.g. a motorway in a short distance from the plot to be purchased, will make it noisy and the air quality, due to exhaust fumes, will leave a lot to be desired. Buying a plot of land must be carefully considered and all the most important issues related to it should be checked.

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