At a point in our lives we all get to the stage where we decide we are ready to invest in real estate either for business or personal residence, to embark on this process we must first of all acquire a land on which to develop your residential or business project, the process of buying the right plot can be quite a daunting task. Gshelters have put together top tips on what to consider when looking for land.

Here are our top tips on what to consider:

Determine Your Purpose for Buying a Land

There are several different reasons you might have for purchasing a land which may include a site to build a residential property either as your own home or a residence to for renting, or a commercial property for business.

It could also be because you see it as a far better investment than any other assets. You certainly need to have some long-term plan for the land because it will determine what and where to buy.


Location, Location, Location

Depending on the reason you have to buy a land, deciding on the location is quite important as it needs to be valuable to your project.

Obviously location affects land prices as in lands in developed areas will cost significantly more but you could still take into account the possible potential of the area in future. Some undeveloped areas have in most cases shown to improve rapidly over time due to some nearby factors which might influence the area like facilities or service buildings.

Therefore depending on the location it might be an acceptable risk to invest in an undeveloped area if maybe you are not planning to develop immediately otherwise the best option would be to pay more for land in area already developed and with the requirements your project might need such as accessibility, facilities  and amenities like markets schools, hospitals etc.


Define Your Budget and Get Help

As explained above prices might differ depending on the location of the land, for example developed areas with facilities would significantly cost more than that of undeveloped areas. Apart from nearby facilities some other factors may also influence the price of land, some of these factors include topography, soil type, accessibility (road network) etc.

To help you determine whether or not the price of the land you are interested in is worth it you might benefit from consulting a real estate expert or agent to help evaluate the possible value of the investment you are about to make.


Consider the Shape of the Land

The shape of a land is another great factor that should be considered before purchase since it greatly affects the possibility for development of your project on the land.

While its close to impossible to find a land that has a perfect shape, there are some levels or irregularity in shape that is so extreme that it would cause some difficulties for the architect during planning on the land as it would create unfunctional spaces on the land that would eventually be a waste, so to avoid incurring unsolvable difficulty during planning it is advisable to get a relatively regular shaped land.


Topography of the Land

Topography entails the difference in levels of a land as well as the arrangement of features like vegetation, hills etc on the land.

Topography is one factor that creates some advantages or disadvantages depending on the extremity of it, a difference in levels creates a slope which could be good for draining the site after development, but may attract more costs during construction since it would require extra reinforcements and subsequent management.

Another downside to bad slope is that it causes flooding which could result to terrible erosion which could damage the land, so you should also check the topography before buying the land and maybe involve your surveyor or any other expert to help check and advice you one to go for.


Check for Good Accessibility

It goes without saying that any land you decide to purchase should be easily accessible.

Good and direct roads means easy access.

There are several advantages a network of good roads provides for a land, one of which is easy and direct access for delivery of materials during construction, and after construction so people can easily locate your property especially if the project is of a commercial purpose.

Every real estate agent will tell you that a corner plot is by far the most valuable type of land, this is due to the availability of alternate access which means if you were looking to build for business purposes for example a company office building, a hotel, a gas station etc, a corner plot would be ideal.


Check the Environment

If you intend to use your land for your personal residence, there are a few basic things you might have have to consider such include:

  • Is the neighborhood conducive to live in?
  • Is it clean?
  • Is it safe?

You need to check these things beforehand because you need to make sure the place would be conducive for your family especially your kids, so that you don’t eventually regret your investment.


Make Sure its Legal

“Had i known” is a terrible thing, a lot of the time people make mistakes of not verifying the ownership of the land they intend to purchase or going through the proper process and eventually when issues arises they start running around.

You need to make sure a land is genuinely registered before buying it except if you intend to register the land yourself in which case the bid on the price of the land would work in your favor. It is advisable to buy a land with “care of ownership” or any other form of agreement between you and the client so that you can easily claim ownership if any issues arises, above all it is important to involve a legal personnel to help prepare the necessary documents through the necessary authorities needed to completely bound the ownership to you and you alone.


Check for Building Codes and Restrictions in the Area

Wherever you decide to purchase a land one thing you need to consider is the planning restrictions attached to that area, this is because you cannot plan to build a factory in a location mapped out specifically for residential development.

There are several building codes attached to every location and these building codes vary greatly and in some cases they are more extreme compared to others, like some areas restrict developments higher than one story while some restrict to only one particular design in the area. These are the things you need to familiarise yourself with so you can make sure the area suites the project you plan on placing there.


Get the Land Properly Surveyed

This might not seem that important to most people but the essence of this is to determine the boundaries, actual extents and existing structures that could affect or influence development on the land in any way.

Its only when these things have been properly documented by the surveyor that you can be totally sure of the complete features in the land you are buying so as to avoid any surprises in the future. It is always best to be on the safe side they say.



Buying land can be far more fulfilling than some other life accomplishment, this because land is an everlasting property. Although there are a few pitfalls and risks, purchasing land is generally simpler than purchasing property. It can also, potentially, be just as lucrative. Whatever you do though do not cut corners so you won’t regret your investment.

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