Top 5 Experts’ Tips on How to Buy Land in Texas
Offering excellent ranch properties, majestic pine forests, and rolling hills, Texas is one of the best places to buy land. The Lone Star State offers a variety of properties at great prices to fit anyone’s dreams. It’s also one of the fastest-growing states in the US and an innovation hub that has become a popular relocation spot. While buying land in Texas isn’t exactly a walk in the park, knowing the state-specific trends and regulations will make the process much easier.
In today’s read, we’re sharing the top five experts’ tips on how to buy land in Texas.
Secure the Financing
The land market right now is hot. Plots of land are selling quickly, making it an utmost priority to secure financing before negotiating a contract. Otherwise, you might end up missing out on your dream piece of land. The TREC promulgated agreement will allow you some time to finance. Though, if other potential buyers have already arranged, they might be taken more seriously.
When buying more than 10 acres of vacant land, the best lender would ideally be a member of the Farm Credit System. It was established in 1916 to create liquidity in the agricultural land market. The Farm Credit System nowadays is a network of 71 customer-owned financial institutions, 11 of which are in Texas. These lenders specialize in financing agricultural land and will have a number of resources familiar with ranch and farm transactions. Another great option can be to get financing from a local bank. Compared to the major financial institutions, local banks often look on land loans more favorably. Due to their familiarity with the area and the property, they might also provide better terms.
Find the Right Plot
There are numerous websites where you can browse land listings. However, before you find the right plot of land, you should get a buyer’s agent. The listing agent has an obligation by contract to serve the interest of the seller, not the buyer. Moreover, they have motivation to persuade you to purchase one of the land parcels they are listing. Not necessarily to find the best one for you.
Usually, in real estate transactions, the seller pays the commission at closing to the listing agent. The fee usually ranges around 5-6% for most properties. However, if a buyer represented by a buyer’s agent comes to the table, the commission can be split between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. That way, the buyer’s agent will be prompted to help you find the right plot for your needs.
Make an Offer
Land markets vary greatly, and offers do as well, accordingly. Still, a general rule of thumb is that the initial offers are about 10% below the asking price. Hence, negotiations begin from there. Sometimes, properties in hot markets can get multiple offers quickly, resulting in bids well above asking prices. Other times, properties with undesirable features or those located in a less favorable area might sit on the market for a longer time and have the land owners negotiate lower prices. But, again, it’s crucial to understand what’s appropriate, so it’s best to consult with the buyer’s agent.
After both parties agree on the contract terms, you’ll enter the option period. This is the right time to evaluate the property and ensure it fully meets your needs. Since there are no professional land inspectors, it would be up to you, the buyer’s agent and a qualified consultant to conduct a land inspection. The buyer’s agent usually pulls out data about the soil, information about vegetative production, flood plain data, mapping, pipelines, oil wells, and water wells. They would also likely connect you with wildlife biologists and agricultural experts that could answer any questions.
Title commitment in Texas is a title insurance commitment that outlines the terms and conditions under which the final title policy will be issued. The title insurance protects the buyers and lenders from various errors and defects related to the property title. It’s one of the main factors to ensure that the people you’re buying the land from are the actual owners and that there are no tax liens or the property isn’t collateral for loans.
The title commitment starts immediately after the contract is executed. Usually, it’s sent directly to a title company. It takes about two to three weeks to complete the title commitments. For raw land, it’s best to use a title company in the same county as they would have experience navigating the local record system.
Rural Land Surveys
Land surveys are an integral part of any transaction. It defines what you’re purchasing in detail. If you’re financing it, you will only be able to schedule a closing date after the lender receives a satisfactory survey. Sometimes, the property you have interest in would have a recent survey, but if it doesn’t, you should get a survey done regardless of whether you’re financing the property.
This is the final step in the process of buying land in Texas. By now, you should have done your due diligence and be sure that the property you’re eyeing is right for you. The last thing to do is to close the sale. This means that both parties will sign the financing agreements, title commitments, promissory notes, and other documents.
Buying land in Texas can very well be the investment of your lifetime. Owning a piece of land in the Lone Star State means having the privilege to make the best of it. You would be reaping financial benefits and tapping into a state of abundant beauty and extraordinary life. The state offers flexibility in zoning and building regulations, so you’ll have greater freedom to decide how to develop your land. Also, there are numerous tax benefits for Texas landowners including the ability to write off expenses. Check out DiscountLots for the best land offers in Texas right now and make the dream of being a land owner a reality.
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