Tips for Real Estate Investors
Legal Checklist for Buying Vacant Land in Buffalo, NY
If you are considering buying vacant land on which to build, take the following precautions:
- Check with the planning board to determine what type of development is planned in the area.
- Determine if there are oil or gas leases on the property.
- Determine what utilities (gas, electric, cable, water and sewer) will service the property.
- Ask the owner if a percolation test has been done for a sewage disposal system. If not, have a percolation test contingency clause inserted in the contract of sale. The cost of fill may be prohibitive.
- Check with the town building or zoning department to find out: What building and other permits are required and the zoning requirements that will have to be satisfied–minimum square footage, minimum lot size and minimum frontage.
- Check to see if the property is in a flood zone.
- Determine whether state, county or local subdivision regulations have been met.
- Make sure that the contract of sale indicates the lot’s dimensions and size. The contract should also require the seller to have the lot staked by a surveyor.
- Check for signs of hazardous waste dumping by having an environmental study done.
- If public water is not available, obtain an estimate from a well digger.
- If the property is in an agricultural district, farming activities may cause noise, dust and odors.
- Insert a contract provision stating that the contract is subject to your attorney’s approval as to form and content.