Whether you are planning on purchasing land to build a home now, or whether you want to hold it to build on later, there are a few things that you should know.
You can purchase two types of land – improved and unimproved.
Improved land has utilities such as water, electricity and sewers already on the property, so that they’re ready for you to hook up.
In unimproved land, these utilities are not available. Depending on what you want to build, this may make a difference. Lenders are more hesitant to lend money for unimproved land, as they see it as a more risky venture than improved land.
This is why down payments on unimproved land are so much higher; improved land, on the other hand, will have a lower down payment, as it can be resold more easily should a borrower decide to walk away from it after receiving financing.
There are fewer financing options if you purchase vacant land than if you were going to purchase a pre-built home.
As mentioned previously, down payments are more: typically, you may be putting down 20 percent or more, which is higher than the typical 3.5-10 percent you likely would put down on an existing home.
Lenders will offer both fixed- and variable-rate mortgages, including home equity loans, but usually with terms of 10 to 15 years as opposed to 30-year loans for a mortgage on an existing home.
For more information on mortgages for vacant properties, contact your mortgage professional.