5 Critical Land Buying Issues You Shouldn’t Miss

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Purchasing rural land in North Carolina is sometimes more complicated that simply purchasing a home. While the look of the land may yield some clues as to whether it will be suitable for your purposes, there are other factors at play that may not be so readily obvious. Here are five critical land buying issues that you shouldn’t miss when looking at land anywhere in North Carolina.

Weather Conditions

With three distinct terrain regions in North Carolina, there is the potential for almost any type of weather. Farms in North Carolina have the potential to experience heavy rain, high wind, excessive heat and freezing temperatures. If you plan to grow crops on the land, it is a good idea to assess the weather risks before you purchase land. The Rural Advancement Foundation International­-USA has designed a map that indicates where disaster declarations were made during the years 2008 through 2012. By reviewing historical data about weather patterns and determining whether you will have access to adequate crop insurance, you can determine whether a tract of land is a good investment.

Topological Features

Obtaining a survey and topographical map of the land from your real estate agent can provide information on the physical characteristics of the land. This information is important for determining if the land is suitable for your purposes. You can also find out about unusual features, such as waterfalls and streams, that are on the property.
Bonus issue to consider: there can be endangered species of flora and fauna that may find habitat on your very unique property. Always investigate to the fullest extent possible this potential scenario. Case in point: recently, a small creek on the western border of a large property was the last known habitat for a federally protected fresh water mussel in central NC, making the access to the property from its west side almost impossible. Fortunately, this did not affect the value of the property – in fact, lacking access from any other than its current road frontage made the parcel highly desirable for buyers seeking privacy and insurance against future development behind.

Soil Classification

Most land buyers want to know what type of soil a property has. They may simply want to know or may need to know for farming or engineering plans, but buyers must know if soil will support well and septic services, especially in rural areas where there is not access to municipal services of this nature. To get an idea of the soil types that are found on North Carolina land, you can use the information provided by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). These published soil surveys are regularly updated and provide data on both the soil classification and soil geography.


While you might already assume that getting to your property will be a bit of a challenge if the area is rural and undeveloped, ask about accessibility before you make a purchase. In some cases, the path to the land may be obstructed and it is recommended that you instead buy property has state maintained road frontage or a deeded right-of-way. To find out about accessibility for the property, go to the North Carolina Association Registers of Deeds (NCARD) and locate the Register of Deeds for your county. If the property is accessible by road, a deeded right-of-way will provide written permission for landowners to use the existing road and may also provide information about the maintenance of the road.

Special Considerations for Mountain Land

If you are buying property in the mountain regions of Western North Carolina, you should make sure that you have access to an adequate water supply. In this region, access to municipal water services may be limited. Site excavation to find a water source is not cheap and difficult topography can also mean exceeding your budget. If you plan to build a home or other facility on mountain land, you should also evaluate whether the property will be vulnerable to landslides.
Our local North Carolina real estate agents can help you to find North Carolina vacant land for sale. Legacy Farms and Ranches is the premier agency for North Carolina rural land. Give Gardner Reynolds a call today at (919) 749-3177 and get answers to your land buying questions.

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If you have a unique country home, hunting or fishing land, or other premier North Carolina property for sale, call Legacy Farms and Ranches today to learn how they can help you market your property to thousands of discerning viewers across the country.