How to Best Search for Land to Buy in Ohio 
Land investors choose land to buy in Ohio for many reasons. Unlike other investments of value, buying land is often a safe investment. Land is a limited resource, has permanence, and appreciates in value. In fact, land won’t depreciate, even raw and undeveloped land. Buying land in Ohio offers myriad uses if you follow zoning regulations. Ohio consistently ranks at the top for affordable living and business costs. And there is less competition when buying land than other real estate markets.
Below we provide insight into buying land in Ohio, what to consider, how to find land to buy in Ohio, hiring land brokers, and more!
How to Buy Land in Ohio
Define Your Objectives
Before you set out to find land in Ohio, consider your objectives and make a plan. Determine the type of land to buy and how you plan to use the land. Do you plan to build a house or commercial building on the raw land, use it for farming, rent to a farmer, rent to a business, flip it, or hold it as an investment?
Start Your Search to Buy Land
If you are not sure where to find land to purchase, there are many excellent resources online. Many land listings websites are easy to use and allow you to narrow down your search with filters for location, type, price, and acreage.
Understand the Property and Area
Once you find land to buy in Ohio, understand the property and location of the land. Research the history of the property and property trends in the area. Know the weather conditions, neighboring towns, attractions, transit, and businesses. Learn the local regulations and rules. Schedule a walk-through of the property with the owner or land broker. See the following section for more details to consider.
Research Land Buying Financing Options
If you need to finance your land purchase with a loan, have a financing plan ready, before submitting an offer. Research lenders to find the right institution for your needs. Hiring a real estate lawyer to review all contracts first is best.
If you can buy land outright with cash, you can probably close the deal shortly after submitting your offer (if accepted).
Another loan option for buying land is a land contract. With a land contract, the seller provides the land buyer with the loan, instead of an institution. The loan is structured for the buyer to pay a down payment and repay the seller in installments. This type of financing is more flexible than a traditional loan as the seller is typically more relaxed with the terms of the agreement.
What Should I Consider When Buying Land?
Buying land for sale is a large investment. You must perform land buyer’s due diligence. This is when you, as the investor, will have the opportunity to inspect all aspects of the land and receive full disclosure of all details and conditions before completing the transaction with the land seller. Your findings will help you determine whether or not you want to buy the land for sale. Careful consideration of the following points will help you make a smart land investment.
- Lot Size
- Property Lines
- Floor Space Index or FSI (Amount of Construction Allowed on the Land)
- Zoning Requirements
- Title Deed
- Original Land Deed (If Applicable)
- Encumbrance Certificate
- Possible Title Issues (Easements, Foreclosure)
- Current Property Taxes
- Historic Property Tax Bills
- Approval Document from Local Authority
- Local Laws and Bylaws
- Unique Regulatory Issues
- Public Utility Sources (Water, Electricity, Gas, Sewage)
- Internet, Land Line, and Cell Service
- Regulated Water Resources
- Access to Roads and Highways
- Proximity to Neighbors
- Accessibility to Town
- Natural Hazards
- Forest Presence
- Types of Insects/Pests
- Previous Uses of Lot
- Hazardous Materials
- Quality of Soil (Depth and Composition)
- Load-Bearing Capacity of Soil
- Test Soil Before, During, and After Construction (via a Soil Engineer)
Related Article: Find out why you should buy land for sale in Ohio in 2022.
How Can Land Appreciate and Depreciate in Value?
Does Land Appreciate in Value?
Objectively, land appreciates in value due to increasing demand and limited supply. Because there is a finite amount of available land, real estate investors and individual buyers view land as an attractive commodity. Land appreciation will continue to rise as demand continues for the limited sector.
Does Land Depreciate in Value?
In the general sense, “depreciation” is the reduction of an asset’s value over time, due to wear and tear. Concerning land, depreciation differs as the term relates to the accounting meaning. According to the IRS, “land can’t ever be depreciated.” Even though it’s a tangible asset, land does not depreciate because it is viewed as having a useful and infinite life; we cannot determine its useful and infinite life because it doesn’t become worn or obsolete. Land is unique among other real estate sectors as it is the only sector that does not depreciate.
There is one caveat to that rule, though: land depletion. When an aspect of the land is depleted, that can cause the land to depreciate in value. For example, a property will depreciate if its mine is emptied of its natural resources.
Now, that doesn’t mean that land cannot decline in value. It absolutely can. However, the decline will not qualify as depreciation. The value of land can increase and decrease over time, based on many factors including the following:
- Degradation by erosion
- Improper use
- Zoning changes
- Market conditions
- Value and condition of nearby developments
- A natural disaster that makes the land unusable
Whether buying or selling, you can get a land appraisal. A land appraiser will determine the value of the land for sale.
The Golden Question: Is There Ohio Land for Sale Near Me?
In short, yes, you should be able to find land in your vicinity or neighboring regions. That said, land in Ohio (and everywhere) is a limited resource. There are only so many available land parcels in Ohio. That is why buying land for sale is typically a sound investment decision that provides the buyer with many options. But there are ways to find better land buying opportunities in Ohio.
Land buyers can look online and try to find land for sale in Ohio by owner or broker. Though, buying land in Ohio is not as simple as finding available land, then placing a bid. There are many types of land to buy, ways to find land for sale in Ohio, and other factors you should consider when buying land (see the following sections). Research local market conditions and determine how these factors can affect the transaction.
Finding land for sale near you is also dependent on the type of land you want to buy.
Types of Land for Sale:
- Raw acreage for sale (raw land or undeveloped land)
- Vacant lots for sale
- Early development tracts for sale (subdivision development and lot wholesaling)
- Residential land for sale
- Commercial land for sale (for business development or mining)
- Agricultural land such as farms for sale
- Livestock-raising land for sale
- Ranches for sale
- Homestead land for sale
- Recreational land for sale
- Hunting land for sale
- Vineyards for sale
- Mineral production land for sale
- Wildlife land for sale
- Woodlands for sale
- Unimproved land for development
- Land auctions
How to Search for Land to Buy in Ohio
Find Land for Sale Listings:
Many online real estate listing platforms can help land buyers find land for sale on the market. Some property listing platforms focus solely on land and some incorporate a variety of property types including residential land and commercial land for sale. Below is a list of platforms that feature residential and commercial land for sale in Ohio. Of course, we must include our Ohio land for sale listings at the top of the list. Sure, we’re biased but we feel that our site is where you should begin your search for land to buy in Ohio. When partnering with The Robert Weiler Company, we will utilize our resources to help you find land that meets your needs and budget. Our Ohio land brokers will guide you through the complexities of the land buying process, ensuring a profitable investment.
Find Land Off-Market:
In general, “off market” land means a property is for sale but not listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Services) or publicly marketed. A broker can manage off-market land or it could be a piece of land for sale by owner. A seller typically has off-market land for sale for privacy reasons; this helps weed out the “window shoppers.” Land buyers and land investors can avoid inflated prices, including commercial land brokerage fees and listing fees by searching for land off-market.
When land for sale in Ohio is listed on the MLS, popular listing sites like Realtor.com also have it listed, since it’s fed from the MLS. Once a property is listed on these high-traffic sites, the visibility from agents, investors, and land buyers greatly increase. So, buying off-market land can reduce the number of competitors vying for the same parcel of land.
You can also try buying land that is not for sale. For example, you might want to track down the owner if you see a vacant lot that appears as though it hasn’t been visited in a long time. The local Chamber of Commerce and Recorder’s Office may have directories to help locate the property owners. However, your chances of buying land using this method are slim. And because the owner is not trying to sell land, they will likely want more money.
Hire a Land Broker to Help You Find Land for Sale in Ohio
What is a land broker? A land broker is a real estate broker specializing in buying and selling land. There are many benefits to working with a land consultant or land broker. A professional land broker can navigate a land buyer through the entire process. Land brokers have access to tools and resources that individual buyers don’t.
A land broker will:
- help the land investor understand the land buying process;
- provide the land buyer with a better understanding of the market;
- help the land buyer determine the most suitable property type for their needs;
- identify which land is ideal for development or repurposing;
- find out why the land for sale is on the market;
- locate any obvious faults in the property;
- find the ideal property;
- inform the land buyer about local rules, regulations, zoning restrictions, environmental concerns, or wildlife protections;
- negotiate for a better price on the land for sale;
- draw up and execute contracts;
- assist with financing solutions;
- possibly connect you with service providers (e.g., land appraisers, inspectors, developers, etc.) and utility companies;
- and more.
It’s a common misconception that buying undeveloped land for sale is easy since it is usually void of structures. After all, when you buy a commercial building for sale or residential property, many inspections are required to ensure the structure is up to code. Because land for sale is viewed as a “blank canvas,” it gives the impression of an easier process. Many don’t realize that buying land for sale can be more complex than buying a commercial building or house. Working with a land broker will give you the full perspective and ensure you make the right decisions.
A land broker can help you put a plan in place, be prepared, find land that suits your needs, and weed out the land that doesn’t. With a land broker, your land buying process will be more streamlined and effective.
Central Ohio’s Leading Full-Service Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Firm
Since 1938, The Robert Weiler Company has been helping individuals and businesses seeking available land for sale in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio. With nearly 85 years in the local commercial real estate market, our commercial brokerage firm has a deep understanding of the local market space. Our commercial real estate brokerage expertise goes far beyond buying land in Ohio; we also offer land consulting, land appraisal services, commercial development services, property management services, and buying/selling all property types. In addition to helping you find land to buy, our team can help navigate you through negotiations, appraisals, contracts, and more. Call 614-221-4286 so our land brokers can help you find land to buy in Ohio that suits your objectives.