5 Signs of a Bad Land Deal in Florida

With proper guidance on your investments, purchasing the right property, at the right price and time, is a much simpler undertaking overall than that of the typical commercial or residential investment. However, it requires dedication in order to avoid making a mistake from which you may never recover your financial loss.

There is a lot involved emotionally and mentally when you decide to make a land investment. On the one hand, you feel happy and excited – you’re going to become a landowner! On the other hand, it can feel overwhelming. Especially if you’re investing in land for the first time. (If you’re nervous about buying land in Florida, you can get our free list of items to check before you buy here. 🙂)

If you are considering venturing into the arena of land investments, you will want to watch for these 5 signs of a bad land deal in Florida.

Feeling Rushed

Should someone make you feel pressured to rush the process of investing in land or be pushing you to sign quickly, this is a key sign of a bad land deal in Florida.

This is a very large investment so you will want to take your time to ensure that there isn’t an unforeseen problem with the land, such as encroachment or pending zoning changes which could prevent you from fulfilling your plans. The last thing you need is to be dealing with impending legal boundary disputes.

If you’re looking for land in southern Florida, you may also want to check for scrub jays. Scrub jays are a tiny bird, cousin to the blue jay. Scrub jays usually move in 6-month patterns, from habitat to habitat, so they won’t be with you all the time.

If there are scrub jays on your property that’s ok! You will just need to get special permitting before making any improvements to the property like building or taking down trees.

Another thing you should check without rushing yourself is whether or the property is in wetlands, flood zones, and floodways. This is particularly important for Florida because the whole state is located so close to (or is below) sea level. Water mitigation and removal are crucial! You can learn how to check for wetlands, flood zones, and floodways here.

Zoning Classification

If the seller focuses on building your expectations and seems to want you to avoid learning about the zoning of the property, this is a sign of a bad land deal in Florida.

This could be because they don’t know themselves, or because the zoning is very restrictive and the opportunities with the land would be limited. It could even be that they know your planned use for the property isn’t actually allowed.

Investments such as these carry high consequences both financially and timewise. Value in land investments comes through the ability to use the land to the highest and best purpose for the specific area, regardless of how it is currently being used.

In order to properly value the land, you must know the local market intimately while being aware of any legal issues that control the use of the land to its fullest extent.

A quick call to the county planning and zoning department can help to guide you in both the intended use of the land and examples for your consideration. This article will show you how to check the zoning of a property for free.


You will want to be aware of problems that could prevent your plans from coming to fruition, such as low lying floodplains or other unbuildable or uninhabitable lands. These are signs of a bad land deal in Florida.

You will want to utilize the benefits available to today’s real estate investor by online viewing of the topography map, quickly showing you any signs of concern in the area in which the property is located.

A lot of County’s will have a GIS mapping system where you can check this for free. In the GIS mapping system, you can check for the property slope and elevation. You can learn how to do that here (it includes a video tutorial!).

Be sure you’ve done your research on the local, state, and federal laws for the property you are interested in purchasing. Some landowners have been prevented from developing property due to the presence of protected species of either animals or plants.

If it’s possible, it’s always a good idea to get some boots on the ground and go visit the property.

If a property is listed with a realtor, you will have to coordinate with them and find a time that works with their schedule.

If a property is listed for sale by the owner (like with us at Compass Land USA), you should be able to go visit the property whenever you want, whenever it works best for your schedule.

Taxes and Assessments

As you may have heard, taxes are one of the certain things in life. you will want to investigate properties that carry unusually high property taxes or have upcoming assessments for improvements causing many owners to unload, there are signs of a bad land deal in Florida. 

High amounts of taxes owing is another sign of a bad land deal. This is important to check because it could make or break your purchase. And as the new owner, you would be responsible for all taxes owed and other debts!

You can learn how to check the amounts of taxes owing on a property here (it’s free!).


The lack of access to common public utilities is a sign of a bad land deal in Florida. While you are busy dreaming of just where you will place your new home on the property, you need to confirm that your electric, water, sewer, and any other services you envision are available. You can see steps for checking for utilities on your property here.

Problems like these could prevent you from ever building or using the property.

These would also include cable television, telephone service, or internet providers. These are not as big of a problem but could be annoying if you want to build a house in Florida.

We have covered just a few of the possible complications that can arise in the purchase of land. Want to avoid a bad land deal in Florida?

Let our experience guide you and make it simple. Compass Land USA will help you find the best land, we know these signs to watch for and many more! Send us a message or call (313) 349-0434 today!

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