As a property investor, recreational land might not be at the top of your list of options to explore, but these types of properties offer plenty of unexpected benefits. On top of tax deductions, minimized maintenance, and long-term security, reactionary land also offers land buyers the chance to own a location that will be home to fond memories and unique experiences.
While the function of your recreational land might differ by location, one thing’s for certain: you can’t go wrong with this type of property investment. Here are some tips for buying recreational land for the first time.
Table of Contents
- What is Recreational Land?
- How Can You Use Recreational Land?
- Things to Consider When Buying Recreational Land
What is Recreational Land?
Chances are you’ve probably used recreational land before if you’ve gone camping, fishing, or used motor vehicles like ATVs, motorbikes, and even snow mobiles. Recreational land is a designated area for a variety of activities and it intended to be enjoyed by more than just the land owners.
However, not all recreational land can be used for just any activity. If you’re planning to buy land, it’s important to consider what the parcel has been zoned for and research any other regulations that might exist within that area. This will determine elements such as how you can use the land, what types of structures you can build on it if any, and other details. Make sure you do your research upfront so you’re not caught by surprise by zoning laws.
How Can You Use Recreational Land?
Most recreational land is used for outdoor activities like outdoor sports, watching wildlife, and going camping, but there are a myriad of ways you can choose to use your land. One popular option is to rent the land by requiring an entry and access fee. This is a sound idea if you want to open up your land to campers, RVs, and other temporary residents.
Another option is to flip the property for a profit. If there’s a piece of land in your area that’s selling for dirt cheap because of cosmetic issues, you can easily clean up the area and add amenities to make it a more viable market option for other potential buyers.
Things to Consider When Buying Recreational Land
1- Determine How Much Land You Can Afford
Before you commit to buying recreational land, it’s a good idea to sit down and assess your budget to determine how much land you can afford. Many first-time land buyers are intimate by the unfamiliar process since buying raw land is a very different experience from purchasing a home or commercial property, but the rewards can be great.
On top of your credit application, expect to provide a variety of financial information such as your annual income, mortgages and auto loans, and any other investments you might already have. This kind of information will help you as well as your lenders to determine how much land you can afford and timeframe for paying for the land.
2- Decide What You Will Use the Property For
There are big differences to consider whether you want to use your recreational land for, fishing, camping, or hiking. Each type of activity comes with it’s own set of rules and regulations that you will need to check against what your land is currently zoned for. An experienced land broker can help you determine which zoning laws apply to you and any other legalities you might need to consider.
3- Be Ready for a Lengthy Land Buying Process
According to Corey Tyner, a DC land buyer consultant, when buying recreational property, you should plan for ample time to move through the buying and closing process. On top of searching for the perfect piece of land, it might take months to go through all the hoops like appraisals, surveys, and any environmental evaluations that might affect the local wildlife and ecology. Each of these steps will take some time, so be sure to slow down and pick a property that’s perfect for your needs.
4- Check for Easements
An easement is the right to cross into or use someone else’s land and even though you might own your particular piece of recreational land, that doesn’t necessarily mean that legal access to the property comes with your deed. The most common situation where this occurs is when your land is located between two other properties. You might be happy to have people hiking through your property, but if that property crosses over into your neighbor’s backyard, they might not be so happy!
5- Do Your Research
As stated earlier, the process needed to buy recreational land can be time consuming, so be sure to do your research ahead of time to save yourself some headaches down the road. It’s recommended to visit your prospective piece of land at least once before signing the papers to purchase it.
“In addition to looking at zoning laws, you’ll also want to take into consideration other factors such as soil quality, land drainage, and road access.” – Corey Tyner, DC Land Buyer Consultant
6- Get a Good Title Company for Closing
When you’ve finally picked out the perfect piece of recreational land, the next step you’ll want to take is finding a qualified title company to seal the deal and get title insurance. Title companies often have far more experience dealing with recreational land than real estate companies that mostly work with mortgages.
Buying land for recreational uses is a solid investment because of the versatility of raw land and the fact that it will help to diversify your investment portfolio. If you follow these six easy tips, you’ll be sure to land the perfect piece of recreational property for your needs.