Make Sure That Recreational Land You Want Will Be the Right Purchase

A parcel of recreational land can be a wonderful purchase if you're looking for quiet areas for horseback riding, hunting, or camping. However, just as all neighborhoods in cities are not created equal, so too are land parcels. You have to be even more careful with open land when you purchase than you do a home in a built-up area because you don't have as many resources to check with to see if the area is right for you. However, you still have some avenues for finding out if this recreational land is a good purchasing decision. 

Who Owns the Mineral Rights?

First, are you purchasing just the surface rights or the mineral rights, too? Mineral rights are the right to own the minerals (water, oil, gold, etc.) that are in the land below the surface. Surface rights mean you have the right to use the surface of the land and the few inches of soil underneath. If you purchase both surface and mineral rights, you control all of that land. But if someone else holds the mineral rights while you own the surface rights, that other person can do a heck of a lot to your land without needing your permission. The best examples are oil and natural gas; if the land has these resources, the owner of the mineral rights can arrange for drilling without consulting you. That would mean you'd have to deal with noise, equipment, and underground activity without having a say.

Can You Build Housing Later if You Want?

What is the land zoned for? Does it have to be kept open and used for non-residential purposes only, or can you build a house there? Open land tends not to have too many restrictions on what you can build, but as you'd expect, there are some regulations. You want to be sure that the land is zoned in such a way as to allow you to build what you want to build.

What Eminent Domain Issues Surround the Area?

Do your research. Look at what nearby cities or the state are planning for the area to be sure that there are no eminent domain claims right around the corner. You don't want to buy open land only to find out the county wants to put an interstate in the middle of it in the next few decades.

Your real estate agent can help you research recreational land for sale. You'll need to know about other issues that could require a disclosure, such as pollution, endangered species, and more.