Before You Make an Offer to Acquire Land
Aside from carefully inspecting the property, prior to making an offer to buy a parcel of land anywhere in California, you should:
- Determine if the land has been surveyed so you can accurately describe it in a purchase offer by means of a meets and bounds description, or recorded map.
- Determine whether you have access from a city or county-maintained road whether paved or not. If the property is landlocked, you will need an easement from an adjoining landowner to obtain access.
- Determine whether utilities including, electricity, water, natural gas, and sewer service are immediately available. If not, can they be brought to the subject property at a reasonable price, or are they reasonably expected to be available in near future?
- If water is not readily available, is it economically feasible to drill a water well?
- Research to determine if any easements exist on the property that would be detrimental, including a conservation easement.
- Determine the zoning of the property and whether any overlay zoning exists that would allow or interfere with your plans for the property.
- Determine the zoning and whether any overlay zoning exists on adjoining or nearby properties that might create a negative influence on the subject property or prevent you from using the property as you would choose to use it.
- Determine if adequate cell phone and internet services are available.
- Determine whether there are any possible environmental hazards to be concerned about. For example, was the site used for above ground or underground storage of gasoline; oil, lead, asbestos or other hazardous materials.
- Determine whether the land is home to any endangered or protected species.
- Determine whether the mineral rights are included or excluded. This includes the rights to underground oil reserves.
- Determine whether any timber is infested with pine beetles or other pests.
- Determine whether any plans have been publicly announced to take all or any portion of the property by eminent domain.
- Determine how the nearby landowners are using their property to make certain those uses do not interfere with your plans.
- Determine whether the land is in a flood zone.
- Determine whether any part of the land has been designated as a wetland.