Buying a piece of Malibu land can be a dream come true, especially if you have always wanted to live in this prestigious area. However, your dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you do not ask the right questions. Once you find a suitable Malibu real estate agent, use this list of questions to guide you in evaluating each land listing you come across. Asking these questions can help you avoid wasting time on listings that are not worth visiting. It can also help you avoid paying way too much for your land purchase.
Ask if the property for sale has already been surveyed. A land survey establishes the boundaries of a property, so it is very important that this is done before you make a purchase. Purchasing land that has already been surveyed can help you avoid legal disputes over who can access the property. If you plan to borrow money to finance your purchase, the bank will also require a survey to make sure that the deed is up to date. A survey can also help confirm the current value of the land.
Consider land access before you make a purchase decision. Check to make sure all of the roads leading to the property are adequate. These roads should also be able to handle large vehicles so that your contractor can deliver the building materials when you are ready to build your home. Ask about who is responsible for maintaining the roads. If you are responsible for maintaining the road, it will add to your total expenses.
Always ask if the land has a clear title, as this will make it easier for you to make a purchase. If the title is not clear, the original owner may have to clear up any liens or holds on it before legally transferring ownership to you. An experienced Malibu real estate agent can tell you more about titles and explain why title insurance is necessary when purchasing a property with bank financing.
Ask if the lot is served by a public sewer system or if septic system installation is necessary. If you need to connect to a sewer system, contact the sewer authority to find information on all fees and costs. If you need to install a septic system, you may need to contact a soils engineering firm for a percolation report. These costs can significantly increase the total cost of buying a piece of land.
It is important to ask about any restrictions that may be in place. Make sure you find out if a homeowners association has jurisdiction over the lot. You can find this information in the title report or by asking your real estate agent. If the lot is under the control of a HOA, there may be covenant or restrictions in place that you must follow if you buy the land. You should also ask your real estate agent about any deed restrictions on the lot.
Russell Grether of Compass Real Estate is a real estate agent based out of Malibu, CA. He specializes in Malibu real estate, Malibu homes for sale, Malibu properties, Malibu Land for sale, Malibu rentals and surrounding area real estate from Montecito to the Pacific Palisades.