Making the decision to get into real estate as an investment seems like an easy one. However, there are so many details to consider before you actually make your first "land grab." A big part of that is purchasing land that is currently undeveloped and looking at the schematics for sewer lines and underground utilities. Here is why these details should be important to you and why you need to examine them closer before you purchase land.
Where Surveyors Plot Underground Services
Surveyors play a big role in where urban development will lay utility and sewer lines. As they plot the property lines, they make note of where these underground service lines should go, according to the lay of the land. As such, you will want to see A) where the surveyors have said these lines should go, and B) whether or not the city concurs with these plans. It dictates where on the property you should expect to erect a building or home, since it is easier and less costly to build very close to or right over the tops of the connecting ends of these service lines.
When You Do Not Like the Underground Service Line Layout
After you have checked out the notations of the surveyors and the possible or fixed locations for the service lines, you may decide that a piece of land will not work for your intended purposes. Having discovered this, you can skip purchasing this property and move on to another. If you had not known this, and had purchased the property, you would have had many difficulties trying to make your construction plans fit the land and fit the service lines coming into and on the property.
Why You Have to Get This Info Yourself
Real estate agencies generally do not keep track of this information. Their job is to sell a property and promote it for sale. While they do have several details about the properties themselves, they are often unaware of the city's intentions for underground utility and sewer installations. The information is often filed at your county's clerk of deeds, as well as with your city's public works and the utility company that lays the basic ground work for utilities in land-only properties.
It may take a few phone calls and lots of foot work, but it is worth it to know that the land you are interested in purchasing is not going to cause you additional headaches when you begin developing the land.