Before you start building your custom dream house, you need to find the best piece of land possible to build on. There are several important factors to consider when searching for the perfect lot for your new home. Here are 9 things to watch out for from Felicia at Compass Land USA.

1- Check Current Property Owner

It is important to confirm who owns the property. Unfortunately, there are some bad people out there that will try to scam you so it is very important to protect yourself.

2 – Check For Delinquent Back Taxes

If a property has any owed back taxes, you as the new property owner would be responsible for paying off these delinquent taxes and debts. There’s no reason for you to have to pay more than you have to!

3- Understand Property Uses

Counties in Florida can be very strict when it comes to the usage of land. Land use is limited by three main factors: county zoning, city bylaws, and HOA level restrictions.

4- Check for Legal Access

This is not a given, even for residential Florida land. You don’t want to be in a position where you end up with a totally landlocked property that you can only reach via a county easement or an unofficial, and probably privately owned, trail. Then there are properties that do have access, but may be difficult to reach and may need an off-road vehicle. These properties can be really cool, especially if you’re looking for more privacy, but they are not for everyone so make sure to know what you’re getting yourself into.

5 – Check for Utilities

Just because you might be looking for land in existing towns or cities, does not mean that it’s a given that utilities are all set. There are tons of residential Florida lots that do not have any utilities and chances are you are going to want to know if you’re allowed to bring in a septic, if you can drill a well, and how deep you can drill.

6- Check for HOA or POA

It’s important to know if the land is part of a Home Owners Association or a Property Owners Association. You want to know this because annual dues might be involved (in some cases they could be pricey), and you would also want to know if the association is established any restrictions on how things can be built on the land.

7 – Check Flood Zones

Flood zones are obviously very common in Florida and if your property is in a special flood hazard area, you will be required to purchase flood insurance. If your property is outside of a special flood hazard area, flood insurance is recommended, but might not be required based on your insurance company.

8 – Check If Property is in Wetlands

Wetlands are great because they filter and clean the water we drink, but they can be a big pain for you if you want to build on or improve the property. If you’re building on wetlands, you’ll have to watch out for damaging existing wells, which requires a special permit from the county.

9 – Check for Scrub Jay Zones

Scrub jays are only found in Central/ Southern Florida and they’re a threatened species which means you’ll need extra permits before you improve or build on your property.