by Laura Mueller
Buying Maryland land — or buying land anywhere, for that matter — requires a good amount of research and a smart investment strategy. You should also go into it with a clear idea of exactly what you’re looking for, since land in Maryland varies between urban, rural, and coastal.
If you’re ready to invest in the Old Line State, follow the steps below to make it happen.
1. First and Foremost, Hire a Local Agent
Whether you’re buying land in Maryland from out of state, from a different town, or right in your own neighborhood, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced local agent. Local agents understand better than anybody what constitutes a great Maryland property (and a great deal on that property), and they’ll be an essential resource throughout the purchasing period.
2. Figure Out Your Ideal Location
For such a small state, Maryland really does offer a lot of diversity in terms of land types. By honing in on exactly what your ideal location is, you can greatly narrow down your search parameters and make your agent’s job a whole lot easier.
When choosing your location, keep in mind topography and access to amenities, as well as nearness to population dense areas. Within and around Baltimore there are lots of options for urban and suburban development, but you’ll also have a decent amount to choose from if you opt for something a bit more secluded.
3. Research Zoning and Use Restrictions
What is your plan for your land investment? Like all other states, Maryland’s land is divided up for different uses, and these have a direct effect on both the purpose and potential of a property. Only seek out land that’s designated for your declared use (i.e. commercial, residential, recreational, etc.) and that can accommodate your needs. Are utility lines already in place? If not, can they be added? Is the land governed by a homeowner’s association? All of these variables will matter when it comes to choosing your ideal plot.
4. Consider a Perc Test
If you’re purchasing raw land with the intent to build, a perc test will help you determine whether it’s suitable for the installation of a sewage system. Perc (or percolation) tests evaluate how the soil reacts to and absorbs water and how quickly. This in turn establishes (a) whether a sewage system is possible, and (b) how large it has to be. This may impact your budget, as well as the general utility of the land, so talk to your real estate agent about setting up a test before committing to a property.
Aside from the steps above, follow general best practices for purchasing land in any state, including getting your finances in order as soon as possible. This will help you set your budget and make you a more attractive buyer, and it will also speed up the process of a sale when you’ve found your perfect Maryland property and are ready to move forward.
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