5 Things To Watch Out For When Buying Land In Sarasota County

5 Things To Watch Out For When Buying Land In Sarasota County

From the video:

Buying land in Sarasota County is an excellent way to grow your real estate portfolio. However, there are some things to watch out for before making a purchase. In our latest post, we will discuss what you should be aware of before buying land in Sarasota County or the surrounding areas.

Buying land in Sarasota County is a great way to generate profits using an almost completely hands-off investment. It’s in a desirable area and has lots of benefits being on the Gulf Coast of southwestern Florida.

Most of the time, owning land won’t have any holding costs other than taxes. Florida in particular is a low-tax state. Florida is ranked number twenty-three out of the fifty states, in order of the average amount of property taxes collected. Counties in Florida collect an average of 0.97% of a property’s assessed value as property taxes for the year.

Of all the properties in Sarasota County, including commercial, housing, industrial, and everything in between, the median annual property taxes are $2,095. You can expect land to be on the lower end of that spectrum.

That said, not all lots are going to provide you with the same resale value or opportunities for development. In populated areas, commercial or industrial lots might provide a bigger development opportunity than residential.

Some lots may have unexpected costs (like bringing in utilities or a road), which will ultimately eat away at your final profit. Below, we will discuss some things you should watch out for when buying land in Sarasota County.

Physical Issues With The Land

Some lots and plats of land have physical limitations preventing development and decreasing its overall value. Even if you don’t plan to build on it, not having the ability to do so when you want to resell it will limit the number of potential buyers you will find.

There are many things that could pose an issue to development including topography, bad soil, groundwater, endangered animals nearby, old structures, foundations, tanks buried on the land, excessive growth, and piled up junk can all pose a hindrance to development.

We actually bought a property in Sarasota County, in the town of Sarasota, and found out after we bought it that it had a bunch of junk on it.

It had multiple cars, a fridge, some trailers, and other miscellaneous crap. Thankfully it didn’t cost us too much to have it cleaned up, but it easily could have cost us thousands of dollars. It was really more of a headache and a nuisance to deal with, and obviously, we would’ve much preferred to avoid that.

So something you can do to avoid this issue and learn from our mistakes go check out the property if you can, or send out someone to the property to get some boots on the ground and evaluate it. You can probably hire a local realtor to do this or find someone off craigslist.

Availability of Utilities

A lot with a good resale value will come from utilities being readily available. In general, raw land doesn’t usually have much value until the availability of utilities has been put in place. However, Sarasota County has a lot of built-up areas and subdivisions, areas around North Port, Sarasota, Englewood, it’s all pretty well developed.

So you don’t normally run into this issue there. Most of the properties will have road access, and electricity will be nearby if it’s not already at the property line.

❗️AWESOME TIP ❗️There is one big pocket of Sarasota County that doesn’t have utilities or road access. It’s this corner are north of I-75. It hasn’t had any development yet, and currently, locals love to use it for mudding and off-roading.

Your land value can vary depending on if a property is on the city water system, has a well, or a septic tank. In many cases, people can request utilities can be put in themselves, but the cost and time can both be excessive. Most of the properties in Sarasota County will do well for water and septic for sewage.

Deed Restrictions and Ordinances

When buying land, you will likely have a plan in your head of what you would like to do with it. If your plan includes development, you’ll need to make sure your plans are ok with the powers that be (aka the County and Municipal Offices). 

Check with the city to make sure you aren’t in violation of any ordinances and that you won’t be hit with any building restrictions. Make sure that if the area is governed by an HOA, that your structure is approved and fits within their guidelines (thankfully, HOAs in Sarasota County are far and few between). The property will also need to be zoned appropriately. You can’t throw up a retail store in the middle of a neighborhood.

Accessibility

For land to have real value, you’ll need to be able to get to it. Sure there are some people who want some land that is out of the way and not easily accessible, however, you don’t want to have to deal with easements or trespassing in order to get to your property. There should be some sort of road leading to the property, even if it is a windy one.

Keep in mind that area we pointed out north of I-75 because the roads aren’t really serviceable. If there is a road it’s really overgrown and isn’t really useable.

Flooding

Depending on where the lot is located, flooding can be a major issue. Every good land buyer knows this is something to be aware of with Florida land. You can learn how to check if your property is in a FEMA flood zone here.

It’s not something you can always see, so you’ll need to dig up some history for the area. You’ll need to check the elevation of the area in relation to what’s nearby to get a better idea of your flooding potential.

You can call a surveyor to help determine your risk so you don’t end up buying a piece of land that floods out each spring. You should also price out flood insurance. If the rates are high in the area, you may run into some roadblocks when you decide to resell.

Do you want to learn more about buying land in Sarasota County?

We’re here to help! Get in touch with us today for more information! (313) 349-0434

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