Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Land in Delaware

Return to Blog

Get cash offer for your land today!

Ready for your next adventure? Fill in the contact form and get your cash offer.

Thank you! We got your info and will reach out with any questions ASAP.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Land in Delaware

Bart Waldon

Selling vacant land or acreage without an agent can seem intimidating, but with savvy pricing strategies and marketing tactics, more Delaware landowners are discovering the financial benefits of independent sales. According to real estate data provider Steadily, the current average sale price for residential land in Delaware tops $413,000, while vacant farmland in Kent and Sussex counties sells for roughly $8,500 per acre on average. Capitalizing on increasing demand from buyers seeking privacy, agricultural opportunities and land investments across Delaware, property sellers savvy with do-it-yourself listing approaches can command premium sale prices without sacrificing the typical 5-6% agent commission. By understanding key steps from pricing accurately to closing the deal along with leveraging online land listing sites, Delaware land owners can maximize sale proceeds while maintaining control of the transaction timeline and details. This guide will explore insider tips to shed excess acreage profitably.

Failing to Research Permitting Laws and Regulations

Land use in Delaware falls under the state, county and municipal jurisdiction with zoning restrictions and permitting requirements varying across. Lack of due diligence into the regulatory framework can result in major hassles later. For instance, Kent County defines specific zones from low-density residential to heavy industrial. New Castle County has provisions for the Unified Development Code that governs everything from landscaping to parking lots.

Before making an offer, determine the property’s zoning classification and permitted uses by checking county records. For commercial plans or structural additions, probe into the permitting process. Be aware of any environmental regulations such as the ones imposed in protected water areas. Review development plans affecting the vicinity too. While more rural lands have flexible rules, anything within city limits or planned communities comes with tighter control. Ignoring governance clauses can obstruct financing, construction and operations down the line – or even lead to penalties.

Not Inspecting the Land Thoroughly

Between marshlands, forests, beaches and populated areas, land features differ remarkably within Delaware. How the property is positioned and its innate elements dictate usage formats and development possibilities. Instead of just driving by and taking a cursory glance, dedicate adequate hours to traverse every section of the land under consideration.

Pay attention to the surroundings. Are there any easements for utilities? Any noise or sights that may be bothersome? Any encroaching vegetation or water bodies? Examine the terrain – flat lands suited for buildings may still harbor wetlands underneath. Check boundaries and fences; install survey markers if ambiguous. Capture all nuances that may enhance or detract value for intended applications. Also assess infrastructure availability – does the site have groundwater access? Or connections to electricity, gas and sewage lines? As land buyers, account for prep work like clearing, grading, erosion barriers, drainage and utilities to derive at a realistic budget.

Not Evaluating Access Options

Land parcels in Delaware range from spacious rural acreages to slivers of urban in-fills. And access represents a pivotal trait in land use. Scout all possible access points – whether from county roads, state highways, neighborhood streets or just easement rights. Consider whether the current entries are adequate or additional driveways need to be secured.

For lands fronting major transit corridors, review traffic flows and plan secondary road linkages. Check for access barriers like streams without crossings or abutting properties blocking entry. See if the property falls in traffic improvement zones requiring additional accessways as per development plans. Any lack of deeded access or land-locking could severely diminish usability making the land unattractive to future buyers as well. Account for creating gated entries, building bridges or negotiating access rights through adjoining parcels, wherever applicable.

Not Factoring in Development Costs

Raw land tempts buyers by lower price tags but that’s hardly the full investment needed for any productive use. Depending on intended usage – residential, commercial or industrial – siting costs stack up due to permitting, utility links, excavation, foundations, access roads, landscaping and more. Moreover, site conditions like wetlands or flood plains further escalate preparations prior to building.

A common blunder is assessing just the property’s list price without tallying land development expenses for habitable structures. Compute realistic outlays for clearing land, designing and constructing facilities, obtaining occupancy certificates and so on based on feasibility studies. Whether planning future developments or weigh resale potential, remember that raw lands entail significant financial groundwork before any returns can be realized. So, build in development costs when negotiating buy figures.

Limiting Marketing Strategies

Despite a tiny area, Delaware offers varied parcels –be it marsh frontage suited for resort, rolling countryside perfect for a vineyard or tracts within emerging suburbs apt for residential complexes. To gain sufficient notice among buyers interested in specific geographies or usages, market the land across multiple platforms customizing promotions accordingly.

Beyond online property portals, advertise through relevant forums. Reach those scouting for vineyard estates on winemaker groups or farmland seekers across agriculture networks rather than generic home listing sites. Share the deal within local investor circles or hospitality platforms for commercial usage queries. Given the range of micro niches especially for development lands, expand visibility through both generalized and tailored outreach channels. Maximize enquiries and valuation by aligning messaging with property specifics and buyer inclinations.

Final Thoughts

While land availability in Delaware supports varied interests from small weekend getaways to large residential projects, buyers must steer clear of due diligence gaps to seal profitable deals. Research all governance clauses impacting usage formats. Assess site access and infrastructure adequacies ahead of finalizing plans. Compute prep and development costs vis-à-vis market rates for realistic valuations. And design promotional strategies aligning with property details and target groups for optimal deals. Avoiding these common pitfalls would go a long way in capitalizing on land ownership and development opportunities across Delaware – rated among the most business-friendly destinations in the US.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the key regulations I should research before buying land in Delaware?

You should thoroughly research zoning laws, land use restrictions, permitting requirements, and environmental regulations at the state, county, and municipal levels before buying land. Check the zoning classification and any clauses about permitted uses. Understand regulations for commercial usage, structural additions, landscaping, parking lots, protected water areas etc. Ignoring governance clauses can cause major hassles in getting financing, construction permits or operating licenses later.

How should I inspect the physical land site before purchase?

Do an extensive walkthrough checking boundaries, terrain, easements, fences, surrounding views and ambience. Probe to identify any encumbrances like wetlands, streams, or drainage issues even if not apparent initially. Assess infrastructure availability like groundwater, electricity, gas and sewage line connections near the site. Evaluate access roads and scope for additional driveways. Capture all nuances that may enhance or decrease property usage for your plans before purchase.

What factors should I evaluate regarding access to the land site?

Carefully examine existing access points to the land and determine adequacy as per your usage plans. Review options to secure legal rights of way if the site does not border county roads or state highways. Check for physical barriers like streams, adjoining structures etc that could land-lock the site or block access. If the property lies near major transit links, ensure there is legal access allowing for increased traffic. Account for constructing bridges, new driveways or gated entries to avoid access-related disputes later.

How do I realistically estimate overall costs for developing land in Delaware?

A common mistake is only considering the listed price of raw or undeveloped land in Delaware without accounting for site development costs later. Depending on your plans - residential, commercial or industrial, factor in expenses for clearing land, utility connections, excavation, drainage, foundations, access roads, permits and approvals to determine total capital outlay needed. Evaluate if terrain features like wetlands or flood plains will further increase development costs before finalizing a bid price.

What marketing tips help sell land faster in a state like Delaware?

Delaware has diverse land opportunities - agricultural acreage, residential in-fills, industrial park additions etc. So, market the property by aligning with focused buyer groups looking for geographically similar or usage-specific lands instead of just generalized home listing sites. Target relevant investor circles, winemakers or hospitality forums to draw those interested in vineyards, resorts etc. Customize messaging by land contours, location merits, development potential etc. to maximize suitable buyer queries across multiple specialized platforms for faster deal closure.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


Related Posts.

All Posts