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3 Things to Consider Before Buying Residential Land

Posted on: September 13, 2018

What  You Need To Know Before Making A Residential Land Purchase

Sometimes it’s easy to find the home of your dreams in South Florida – perhaps current listings just aren’t cutting it, or what you have found has been disappointing.

Or maybe you just want to build your home from scratch. In all of those scenarios and others, buying a residential lot or acreage can be worth looking into.

But there are many unique considerations to take into account when buying land. It’s not the same as purchasing a home, and working with a Fort Lauderdale residential real estate lawyer can help to ensure that all of the biggest legal and planning considerations are covered:

Environmental Tests

Just like a home or building inspection, a plot of land will need to undergo a series of environmental tests to determine exactly what you are buying and its suitability for a residential structure.

Some of the areas that may need to be covered include: flooding vulnerability tests, soil contamination, water sample testing and more.

Environmental inspections can catch major potential problems like chemical contamination as well as a check of environmental databases to determine if there was a prior incident.


Zoning is another major considering when buying a vacant lot, and this is a specific legal area that a residential real estate lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can assist you with.

Depending on where you purchase vacant land in South Florida, there are local ordinances that will determine exactly what you can build, and architectural requirements that may be necessary to ensure that the building is a sound structure, limitations on height, property uses, and much more.

Furthermore, there are ecological zoning protections in many areas that must be taken into account. Rather than dealing with rezoning issues, it is best to find a plot of land that will allow you to build the home that you want, and your attorney can assist with this matter.

Utilities and Plumbing

It’s also essential to determine if the plot of land already has the connections for utilities and plumbing available or whether you will have to run new connections to the land. The cost of running utility and plumbing connections will likely be on you if the land doesn’t already have them.

The same goes for road access, internet, and other infrastructure. You will want to determine which of these costs you are responsible for, if any, well ahead of time. Plots in more developed areas will have a greater likelihood of having these connections available.

These are just a few of the concerns that you’ll encounter while searching for a vacant lot in South Florida. As you go about your search, contact Mark Schecter, a leading Fort Lauderdale residential real estate lawyer, at (954) 779-7009 with any questions you may have.