The Massachusetts Land Buying Checklist



by Laura Mueller

If you’re looking to buy land in Massachusetts, it’s a good idea to have a plan for how you intend to find the right piece of land at the right price. There are some stunning properties for sale in The Bay State, and lots of opportunity to make a smart investment. To do so however, you have to follow the proper steps and make sure you’re asking the right questions. And that’s where this checklist comes in.

We’ve put together a handy guide to the boxes you’ll want to check off as you browse Massachusetts land for sale. So whether you’re looking to buy on the coast, in the mountains, or in the city, follow the checklist below for making your mark on New England’s most populous state.

The Basics

There are some essentials that apply no matter where you’re looking to purchase land. Start here when searching for land in Massachusetts so that the process will go as smoothly as possible.

• Hire a local real estate agent. Find a local agent who has experience helping clients buy and sell land in the area you’re interested in.

• Get your financing in order. A pre-approval will speed up your purchase and will also help you set your budget.

• Figure out exactly what you want. Establish your land must-haves and your must-have-nots so you can more easily browse available properties (and so that you know the right piece of land when you see it).

Legalities and Restrictions

Once you find a plot you like, it’s time to dig into the legal side of buying land. It’s important to be sure that a piece of land is well-suited to your plans before investing any time or money into it, and these questions will help you figure that out.

• Check the zoning restrictions. Is the property zoned for the use you intend for it?

• Access and amenities. How will you access your property? Who maintains the roads? Are there already utilities set up on the land? If not, will you be able to bring them in?

• Title and liens. Does the seller have a clear title on the property? Are there any liens or other possible setbacks that could interfere with the sale?

Lay of the Land

Last but not least, it’s important to clearly define the specific features of the land. Even if you intend to keep the land undeveloped, you’ll want to have a full picture of its topography and layout.

• Examine the land’s features. Is it flat or hilly? Wooded or bare? What would it take to develop on it, if you choose to do so?

• Check out your neighbors. Walk around the border of the property and take a look at what and who your land abuts against. Is there a busy road? A farm? A timber operation? All of these could potentially affect your land usage.

• Water and flood risk. Is any part of the property in a floodplain? Is there any existing standing water? You’ll want to address any water issues early on, instead of waiting until after you’re fully committed.

This is not an exhaustive list, and as you go through the process of buying land in Massachusetts you may find additional tasks to take care of. Do follow the basics above though and your purchase should go a lot faster — and a whole lot smoother.

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