Mass. Land For Sale - Listings Updated Daily
Whether you are looking to invest or planning out a location for a new custom-designed home, buying land in Massachusetts isn’t easy. The land sales market differs considerably from the typical residential and commercial property markets, and getting your bearings can be a tall order. Regardless of your reasons for seeking land for sale in MA, there’s only one name to trust for help: Boston City Properties. Don’t let our name fool you; we specialize in providing support and resources to people who are looking for land and real estate across the entire state. Keep reading to find out what we can do to help!
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Land for Sale
If you’ve ever purchased a home in Mass. before, you might already be familiar with what we have to offer in that department. What you may not realize, however, is that we offer the same robust array of resources to land buyers as well, whether they are looking for land to invest in or land on which to build homes or businesses. For example, our vast, online database of searchable MA real estate listings includes up-to-the-second listings for land and lots for sale across the state. It includes a powerful search tool that lets you zero in on suitable options quickly.
Find the precise type and amount of land that you need by availing yourself of Boston City Properties’ convenient search tool. With it, you can check availability for parcels for sale by city, Boston neighborhood or even by zip code. Fine-tune your results even more with search filters for things like price range and total acreage. Get pertinent details in each of the resulting listings. Boston City Properties can later connect you with an experienced land real estate agent in the area of your choice, and they can guide you through the rest of the process.
About the Massachusetts Market
Compared with the number of developed commercial, industrial and residential property transactions that occur throughout the state every year, the total volume of land sales is remarkably low. This reflects the fact that especially when compared with many other states, Massachusetts isn’t exactly awash in undeveloped land. Naturally, it is easier to find undeveloped land in more far-flung rural parts of the state. In major urban centers like Boston, the odds of finding land that is completely natural and that has never been developed are exceedingly slim. Luckily, you don’t need virgin land to build something new on it.
Here’s an overview of what to expect when seeking land to buy in various parts of the state:
- Greater Boston – Whether you need land in Boston on which to build a home or business or if you just want to secure some for investment purposes, you are in for an uphill battle. Finding vacant developed properties in this part of the state is tricky enough; finding undeveloped land here is practically impossible. Unused land in central parts of the city is valued so high that it’s beyond the reach of most independent investors. With all of this being said, however, you will have the best odds of finding something suitable by connecting with Boston City Properties.
- Central MA – While Boston City Properties is based in Boston, we have experts in communities across the state who can assist you with finding suitable land for sale. Whether you are looking for rural acreage somewhere in the central part of the state or if you want vacant lots in communities like Worcester, we have connections and resources that will help you find something with ease. Note that especially in rural areas, land in this part of the state tends to be quite affordable.
- Western MA – Much of what has been said about buying land in central MA can be said about buying land in the western end of the state. However, perhaps you are looking for hunting land somewhere in the Berkshires where you can enjoy your sport privately, or maybe you want a cozy parcel on which to construct a custom-built getaway. Whatever your goals may be, Boston City Properties can refer you to experienced land sales experts in western Massachusetts who can help you find exactly what you need.
Top Benefits of Buying Land
If you are unsure about buying land in Massachusetts, considering the pros and cons of doing so may help you to arrive at a decision more easily. If you are looking for raw land, for example, you have the benefit of being able to do what you want with it—barring zoning and other restrictions, of course. By purchasing land with cash, which is typically how it is done, you enjoy the considerable perks of direct ownership. In particular, of course, you do away with mortgages, interest fees and other costly headaches. Property taxes still apply, but while the land stays undeveloped, they should be very low.
From a property investment standpoint, purchasing land brings many advantages to the table. Chief among them is that undeveloped land is far easier to maintain than developed land. If you are buying undeveloped land to hold onto while it appreciates, in fact, you should have very little to do in terms of upkeep. That’s far different than owning actual investment properties that, of course, require considerable maintenance. The issue here, of course, is finding vacant, undeveloped land whose value will reliably increase—and that is often easier said than done.
If you are looking for land on which to build a business, you will enjoy some pretty great benefits too. Most of all, you will be able to turn the parcel into precisely what you need it to be. You won’t have to deal with making do with whatever structure is currently there. Land of this type isn’t easy to find in densely populated urban centers, but it’s much more accessible in the suburbs and, of course, in rural regions. Our land sale experts can assist you in finding land that will work perfectly for your business needs.
Potential Drawbacks of Buying
While there are advantages to buying land under many circumstances, it doesn’t always make sense. For example, if you won’t be able to buy the land outright with cash, you may struggle to obtain financing. As noted elsewhere, you can’t get a normal mortgage for vacant, undeveloped land. Rather, you must obtain what is known as a raw land loan, and these are much trickier to get. Lenders tend to scrutinize buyers much more closely, as there is no real collateral to protect them. You usually must make a much larger down payment as well, and that may be beyond your means.
Another potential downside of buying land for building a home is that you must usually fork over a ton of extra money for things like utilities and easements and just to get the land ready for development. Numerous permits and other approvals must be acquired as well, and this is costly as well as time-consuming and frustrating. Even if you take care to have surveys and appraisals performed, physical problems with the property may come to light and impede your ability to do what you want. Be aware of these potential risks to make informed decisions.
Finally, if you are going to buy land as an investment, note that you won’t get immediate cash flow from it. In fact, you are unlikely to see anything for quite some time. Undeveloped land appreciates slowly when it does at all, unless it is located in an unusually hot market like Boston’s. Ideally, you should already have investment property income coming in from other properties. That way, you won’t be relying solely on income from vacant land, which tends to take some time to materialize. Boston City Properties can connect you with real estate agents who specialize in land investments, and their input is sure to make an enormous difference.
Tips and Considerations for Buying
A lot of planning, work and patience are required when buying land in Massachusetts. It helps immensely to familiarize yourself with the basics before striking out. Without question, connecting with Boston City Properties is among the best ways to ensure smooth sailing, as we will provide you with free, instant, unlimited access to our listings and other resources. To put into perspective why it is so crucial to arm yourself with the right resources, consider the following tips and considerations about buying land. As you will see, it tends to be far more complicated than it looks:
- Know why you are buying land – Before doing anything else, including signing up to search our listings, make sure that you know why you are buying a plot in the first place. If you need it so that you can build a new, custom home, you have a specific goal in mind. This will help you to zero in on suitable options more quickly. If you vaguely think that owning land is a good investment strategy, however, that probably isn’t a good enough reason. Instead, study up about investing in land to see if it even makes sense for you; our team can help!
- Check zoning for the parcel – When considering a parcel of undeveloped land, one of your first steps should be figuring out which zoning and other regulations apply, if any. These may exist on the county, state or federal level, and it is crucial to be fully aware of them before proceeding. These are regarded as public records, so you should be able to obtain them from the local zoning office or city hall. Even if the land isn’t zoned to suit your requirements, you may be able to request approval for rezoning under certain circumstances. While you are at it, check to see if nearby land is likely to be rezoned in the future.
- Look into setback requirements and road access – If the property that you are considering is situated right on a roadway, you are in good shape. If not, access to a road will need to be established, and this means obtaining easements from other property owners. Needless to say, this can be a headache. Another thing to ask about early on is whether any setback requirements are in place. These dictate how far a structure must be set back from a property line, and they can negatively impact your ability to develop land to your liking.
- If you need financing, start the process early – The absolute best way to purchase land is to buy it with cash, as this allows you to avoid the headache of obtaining financing. You may not be too concerned about financing right now, but obtaining it for undeveloped land is far trickier than it is for developed land, as the seller assumes far more risk without any real collateral. So-called “raw land loans” tend to require much higher down payments, and buyers typically undergo far more scrutiny, so getting approved can be tough.
- Research the local land market – If you are going to buy land for investment purposes, you will definitely want to get familiar with how the local land market is faring. Since people tend to invest in land far less often than in actual, physical properties, however, finding accurate information about specific markets can be tricky. This is another reason why it pays to connect with Boston City Properties, as we can connect you with resources and agents that are sure to make a massive difference for you. That way, you can make more informed and strategic decisions.
- Obtain a land survey – Ideally, a land survey will have been performed on the land that you are considering in the not-too-distant past. However, if it has been a long time since a survey was performed, or if you are unable to find records of one at all, you will need to pay to have one done. A survey shows how physical land matches up to mapped land, allowing you to develop it legally and responsibly. Note that in addition to basic land surveys, you can request more specific ones, including construction surveys and flood surveys, depending on your needs.
- Get an appraisal – If you are going to use financing to secure the land in question, an appraisal will be performed as a matter of course. Even if you are paying with cash, however, you should still have one performed. Yes, this means parting with even more money now, but it also means protecting yourself financially. Whatever you do, don’t make an offer until you have the appraisal in hand. Be patient, however, as finding comparable sales for plots of land can be exceedingly difficult. Hang in there until you have it, and then go from there.
- Be on the lookout for flooding hazards – The last thing that you want to do when buying land, regardless of why you’re buying it, is to end up with a soggy, swampy mess. This is precisely why it is essential to learn everything that you can about the flood status of any land that you consider. Start by checking the plats; with any luck, flood surveys will already have been performed. Otherwise, you might have to have one done yourself. Land that is in Zone A, which has a 1-percent chance of flooding annually, needs flood insurance. The best classifications are Zones X and C, which mean that there is less than a 0.2-percent of annual flooding.
- Get a feel for the surrounding area – Vacant land may seem promising at first, but surprises may abound in the surrounding vicinity. In particular, nearby land may harbor unpleasant odors, or there may be loud noises of some kind. Whatever the case may be, it is important to figure out if there are any glaring problems like these that may impede your ability to develop the land to your liking. In particular, if you are going to build a house there, you’d probably rather not have to deal with unappealing smells or distracting sounds.
- Consider the prevailing lifestyle of the area – All too often, people buy land with the romantic notion that it is guaranteed to be their personal haven. Just because you buy vacant land, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t be affected by the culture around you. For example, if you want to buy a custom home and enjoy a tranquil and beautiful environment, scout out the area to ensure that others feel the same. It might be that the locals don’t tend to care for their land very well, and it’s better to find that out now than later.
- Be on the lookout for design issues and natural hazards – Through land surveys and appraisals, you should be able to get a feel for whether the land suits your needs. Consider your goals too, and determine if they are compatible with the lay of the land. It may happen that the land is too exposed to wind, too wooded, too sloping or otherwise not suitable for your needs. Request a natural hazard disclosure as well to see if the land is susceptible to hazards like fires, or if it is classified as an environmentally protected area.
- Keep utilities in mind – Depending on the land itself, you may also have to deal with having utilities brought in. If utilities already serve the area, you may still have to pay for connections, and these can be costly. Don’t assume that you can make the land work for you no matter what, either. For example, it might be that there is no potable water nearby, which eliminates the ability to put in a well. The land may or may not be suitable for a septic field, and this can make it impossible to develop anything there.
- Check into water and mineral rights – One thing that someone who isn’t experienced about buying land may fail to consider is whether the land includes water and mineral rights. Unless this is specifically spelled out, make sure to ask before you consider buying. If those rights are not included, it might be that the land will someday be quite valuable in that regard. If you are investing, this could ruin your ability to make a good profit. It might turn out, however, that the land has already proven to lack these resources, and therefore the issue would be moot.
- Obtain title insurance – Whether you are going to invest in a parcel of land or will buy it for the construction of a new home, it is absolutely crucial to have a title search performed and to obtain title insurance. Through the title search, you can confirm that no liens or other restrictions are currently affecting the land. The title insurance protects you in the event that the search fails to uncover something. These may seem like minor issues, but they can come back to haunt you. For more information about how this works, please contact Boston City Properties.
Know the Costs of Buying Land in Massachusetts
When buying a house, most people understand that there’s more to the cost than the sale price of the home itself. Typically, if you have a mortgage, you also have interest. Either way, you must pay homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself and property taxes to stay legal. When budgeting for any real estate transaction, it’s vital to take all of the potential costs into consideration. The costs associated with buying land often surprise those who have never done so before. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the basic costs that go into buying land:
- Cost of the acreage itself – Like many prospective buyers, you’re apt to be drawn initially to the total cost of the plots. In the listings in our database, you will usually see the complete price for the total acreage first. It helps enormously to have a concept of how much land sells for, and Boston City Properties can help in that department. Across the nation, for example, the average cost per acre for farmland is $3,020. In MA, which has very little such land, it is $10,400 per acre. Remember to have an appraisal performed even if you don’t need financing to avoid being taken for a ride.
- Title search and legal fees – No matter why you are buying MA land, you should hire an attorney who is experienced in this regard to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up from start to finish. Of course, this means having to pay the attorney; typically, the costs aren’t extravagant. As mentioned earlier, you will also need to have a title search performed to ensure that the land is unaffected by liens and the like. This comes with fees as well, so be prepared to pay them.
- Surveys and appraisals – If you are lucky, the land that you are thinking about buying will have been surveyed fairly recently, and you will be able to avoid having to pay to have one performed. Even in that case, however, you will likely pay a fee to access the survey. If you must have one performed, or if you need a special one done, additional fees will apply. Likewise, whether financing or not, you should pay to have the land appraised. Do this before making an offer; that way, you will know whether the seller is being straight or not.
- Land prep – If the land that you are buying is completely virgin, which means that it has literally never been developed before, there will certainly be costs associated with preparing it for development. These may include landscaping the area to make it suitable for construction, including leveling the land and clearing trees. Figuring out how to prepare land properly is immensely difficult, and hiring a land planner is an optimal solution. Again, you will pay a bit more by hiring this individual; however, you will probably also save money by knowing precisely what needs to be done and not doing needless work on the land.
- Utilities and easements – Finally, as touched upon earlier, you will most likely also need to have at least some utilities brought onto the land. This may include paying fees for connections to the electric grid and for having natural gas piped to the land. You may also have to pay to have a well-placed as well as a septic field. If the land is not accessible directly by a road, you will also have to request easements from neighboring property owners, and those come with their own fees as well.
How Boston City Properties Can Help
When it comes to finding land for sale in MA, it pays to have ready, easy access to timely, accurate information. So many variables come into play when purchasing land that it is vital to arm yourself with as much info as possible. Without question, the best way to do that—at least when it comes to buying land in Massachusetts—is by connecting with Boston City Properties. If you are reading this, you are already on your way to finding the land that you need.
Some of the ways in which we support you in your search for MA land for sale include:
- Listings – When turning to Boston City Properties for help, your first step should be signing up for free, immediate access to our constantly updated MA real estate listings. It takes only a few seconds to complete and submit the form, and you’ll get unlimited access instantly. You can search listings for land for sale by zip code, city or town or even by Boston neighborhood. Our listings are populated by reputable MLS sources, so you can rest assured of their accuracy.
- Search tool – If aimlessly browsing through listings for land for sale in MA doesn’t sound too helpful, don’t worry—our database includes a powerful search feature that makes it a breeze to pinpoint suitable properties. As noted previously, you can limit your search to specific geographic regions, so be sure to select your desired town, city, zip code or Boston neighborhood; you may select more than one if you’d like. Adjust filters for things like price range and total acreage to refine your results even more. In no time, you will have a manageable list of listings for land for sale to consider.
- Articles and other resources – Within the pages of this website, you will find a wealth of information about buying land across the state of MA. Navigate around to check out helpful articles about various aspects of buying real estate, whether you are doing so for personal reasons or for investment purposes. Gain insights about popular strategies that land buyers use to find great deals, and get tips and advice about ensuring that you get the kind of land that you need. By being as informed as possible, you’re likelier to have a smooth, easy time.
- Real estate agents – As noted several times throughout this article, Boston City Properties also has connections with experienced and skilled real estate agents in communities across the state. This includes real estate experts who specialize in land sales, and their help is sure to make a profound difference. In addition to arranging visits to land that you find in our listings, your agent can help you navigate the confusing land sales market; assist during negotiations; and be by your side all the way through closing. With expert help by your side and our resources at your fingertips, you can’t go wrong.
Don’t settle for less when buying in Massachusetts. Whether you want to build your dream home on a beautiful piece of acreage or if you are looking for vacant land for investment or business purposes, finding what you need shouldn’t be a huge ordeal. Sign up to search Boston City Properties’ listings right now to get the ball rolling right away. When you are ready to proceed, contact us for a referral to a local real estate expert. In the meantime, please give us a call for more information.
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Land for Sale