buying a plot of land

Buying A Plot of Land

Buying A Plot of Land

Land is a precious asset, and everyone hopes to own a plot of land somewhere. Here are some helpful tips to remember when buying a plot of land.

Determine the Purpose of the Land

Before purchasing any piece of land, consider what you intend to do with it and whether the available options fit your needs. Is it residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial? Does the prevailing climate suit what you intend to use it for?

Considering these concerns can reduce the risk of you regretting your purchase later down the road when there will be little you can do to change the situation. Having a solid idea of how the land will be used will give you a better chance of knowing whether it is a worthwhile investment.

Topographical features

topographical features

Before buying a plot, checking out the topography is a wise move. Numerous slopes and irregularities can cause costly and complicated solutions when carrying out what you intend for the piece of land. Landform features can also accrue costs when adapting any utilization to the nature of the plot.

Amenities and Utilities


Be sure to check whether the vacant land is served by utilities such as water, waste disposal systems, and electricity or the lack thereof. Being aware of these utilities will help you plan how to sustain the purpose you intend for the plot of land. This has the potential to be costly in the event of a need to add utilities for yourself, such as digging a borehole. 

Road accessibility

plot of land

Another thing that you would have to think about is how you are going to access the piece of land. You would have to make sure that wherever you chose to buy the land there is proper road access to your property. 

There have been victims who bought a piece of  property assuming the road network is reliable but they were sorely disappointed when they found out that it wasn’t the case. Rainy seasons can render poor road networks difficult to use.

If you are planning to buy a piece of land with the intention of subdividing and selling it, you will have to think about how your future buyers will gain access to their parcel of land. This may significantly affect the size of your land mass because you may have to adjust for a road and a parking lot. 

Environmental Factors

flooded homes

Consider whether the area on which the plot of land is found is prone to extreme weather and geological conditions. These include strong winds, earthquakes, floods and landslides, all of which can drastically affect whatever activity is expected to be on the land. Avoid troublesome regions such as riparian land and those known to be prone to flooding – they could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Economic Factors


You can look out for opportunities in the surrounding and whether you can use the piece of land to satisfy a lingering commercial need. A practical example is land near a university having the potential to be used to satisfy the need for accommodations. Investments like hostels and similarly needed services can be the key to realizing significant long-term profit.

Also, think about the potential businesses that could want or own property in the vicinity. There have been times when companies also chose to buy a vacant plot to run their businesses. This becomes a challenge especially if you think about industrial companies that might open a factory or a processing plant. 

This becomes an issue since the byproducts of the commercial activity could negatively harm you and your family’s health. For example, think of a cement-producing factory and all the respiratory problems that come with living in proximity to one. Another example would be a tanning factory and the foul smell that is associated with the involved processing.

Plan and Survey the Plot

land survey

Create a plan that involves the budget and the location of the plot of land. Good planning reduces the chances of making mistakes and hasty decisions by ensuring you stick to a set of measurable objectives. Once you identify a suitable piece of land, visit the lands registry to perform an inspection of the plot in question.

This is only possible with a copy of the title deed from the seller in question. This process usually takes two to three days to yield results. This search usually shows the owner of the land, the physical dimensions, and whether there are any pending issues associated with the piece of land. 

Get Survey Maps

Once you are satisfied with the search results, you can obtain survey maps from the government authority in your region. This will help you identify where the actual boundaries of your land ought to be. You can also purchase appropriate maps from a qualified surveyor.

Once these maps are in hand, it is advisable to visit the plot of land with a surveyor to place physical marks on the boundaries of your plot. This can help you anticipate and mitigate disputes during the change of ownership.



Enlist professional help to check the authenticity of any documents you may encounter in your quest to acquire a piece of land. Falsified documents have been repeatedly used to cheat potential buyers out of their hard-earned money. Using a professional service or an advocate can help you steer clear of this unnecessary risk to your financial welfare.

Ensure that any payment you make during the process of acquiring land is documented and that you have a copy of the record mentioned above. This will help you stay organized, but it can be the difference between timely resolution of disputes and dragging out systemic challenges and delays.

The only concrete proof of owning any plot of land is the possession of a valid title deed in one’s name, one that the relevant governing authority has ratified. Therefore, ensure that you sign all the necessary documents and that you walk away from the transaction with a valid title deed. 

Land Rates/ Rent

land rates

Most governments place particular emphasis on land rates. For example, the City Council of Nairobi which “clamped houses” on which land rates had not been remitted. As a buyer, you should be aware of the legal obligations in your country, and the respective seller should clear any pending rates before you take up ownership.


Performing due diligence before engaging in any trade over land assets will save you time and money in the long term. What seems like a complicated set of requirements is a worthwhile endeavor. So, take your time, do some research and engage professional help to get the most out of your investment.

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