What you need to know about buying land in Ocala

Like many families, you may be thinking about buying land in Ocala.

It’s a popular idea thanks to Florida’s climate, beaches and many interesting landscapes. It is characteristics such as these that make Florida the perfect place to buy rural land.

It’s not always easy to find the ideal land in Ocala. That’s why it makes sense to work with the experts at Florida’s Choice Realty and to know some things about buying rural land before you start.

Financing Land in Ocala

Learning how to finance land might be the biggest question in most people’s minds. It’s important to understand that purchasing land isn’t the same as purchasing a home. Still, it’s not necessary to pay cash when buying land.

People are pleased when they learn that it’s possible to finance land. It’s also possible to combine a loan for the purchase of land and a home. Doing so may make you eligible for programs that require small down payments.

The secret to getting the best options for financing land is to work with a loan institution that specializes in these programs. Check out smaller banks or a farm credit institution that offers land loans or loans for land and construction.

Working with a specialty lenders also gives you guidance with regard to insurance, property tax discounts and the approval process.

Get a Survey of the Land

Unless a current survey is available, it’s sensible to hire a registered land surveyor to perform a boundary survey. This confirms how much acreage you are buying as well as verifying the boundaries. Moreover, the survey tells you if there are any encroachments on the property.

A survey tells you about anything on the acreage that you may not be aware of. Some buyers have been surprised by a public trail that cuts across a corner of their land or a neighboring house that sits partially on their parcel. With a land survey, you’ll know all about easements, boundaries, flood zones and other concerns before you buy.

How to Get Utilities and Water

Getting hooked up to the local electrical utility is critical, so the first step is to find the provider in the area. Your Realtor will definitely know whom to contact.

Call the electrical company and ask for an estimate. Usually, the utility will charge a rate by the foot for bringing electricity to your home. It’s a possibility that you’ll require an easement to obtain access to a neighbor’s electrical pole.

Try to investigate the costs for bringing utilities to the parcel in advance so that they don’t come as a shock after you sign on the dotted line.

Many rural properties in Florida obtain their drinking water from a well. If you’re buying raw land, you’ll have to dig a well. Many companies perform this service, and depending upon the county you’re in, you may be required to have the water tested for nitrates, coliform bacteria and other potential contaminants.

Land Use

People have many reasons for buying rural land in Ocala. Some of them want to farm while others are interested in owning timberland. Still others are excited about the opportunity to own beautiful wetlands. What do you need to know about buying these special types of land?

-Agriculture

Do you dream of raising orange trees? Maybe you want to have a few chickens in your backyard. Whether you’re going all in for farming or just want to keep a horse on your land, it’s critical that you consider the topography and soil conditions. Does the land that you’re looking at lend itself well to the kind of agriculture that interests you? Is the elevation appropriate for your purposes, and do you have access to adequate water?

You can rely on your Realtor to help you answer many of these questions, but you also might want to ask an agricultural expert about the conditions that are necessary for the kind of farming that you envision.

-Wetlands

Purchasing land that includes wetlands involves working with a professional land expert and consulting the local government to learn more about permitting requirements. The expert can highlight the various implications that come with owning wetlands and help you to determine if this is the right choice for you.

While it’s not possible for you to build on wetlands even if you own them, the good news is that no one else can build on them either. This gives you access to unspoiled wilderness for as long as you like.

-Timberland

Florida boasts millions of acres of forest, and buying timberland can be an excellent investment. For most people, it is a safe investment that brings long-term returns. Of course, others just want the opportunity to live among the peace and serenity of a forest.

Before you buy land that includes a forest, consider having a timber inventory performed to tell you exactly how many trees are on the property and to provide an estimation of their value.

Property Tax Exemptions

People frequently consider buying rural property in Florida because it promises property tax discounts. Available exemptions may include wildlife, timber, homestead or agricultural discounts. Some land owners are able to reduce their annual property tax burden by thousands of dollars using these exemptions.

If agriculture is in your future, then you’ll want to take part in Florida’s Agriculture Classification. Basically, if any of your property is set aside for agricultural use, then the taxable value on the property may be substantially lower.

If you want to take advantage of this program, it’s essential that you contact the Property Appraiser’s Office after the purchase so that you can apply for the classification.

Insurance Requirements

If your land has no structures, then no insurance is required, though it makes sense to have at least liability insurance in case of trespassers. People who own timberland may want to purchase insurance against fires or natural disasters, and if you plan to put buildings like a home on your property, you’ll want to get insurance to cover these.

New Construction Home Loan

If you are buying rural land with a plan for building a new home, then you’ll definitely want to explore options for a new construction home loan. This type of financing is for people who have land, a plan for the house and are working with a builder.

New construction home loans are designed to provide money for building a custom home from the ground up. As such, they are not the same as a typical home loan, and you’ll have to complete different paperwork. Generally, these are short-term loans that are funded through periodic draws or advances. This means that they are not fully funded all at once like regular home loans.

These loans can be more difficult to obtain and may not have the most favorable terms. However, newer loan products of this type are streamlined. They may be called a Construction-to-Permanent Loan, and they make it possible for the borrower to have a construction loan that converts to a permanent, long-term mortgage upon completion of construction.

Guidance from Florida’s Choice Realty

Are you ready to make your dreams of land ownership a reality? Contact Florida’s Choice Realty today to work with an experienced Realtor.

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