Material Release - May 11, 2010


What you need to know before you buy the land


Spring is the time when demand revives for the building plots for detached houses. It gets sunny and green, social life begins in the gardens, and among the inhabitants of the low-rises  awakens the desire to have their own house with a green garden.



Media fuel these dreams indicating that for 50 square meter apartment in the city you can build a house out of the city. To build – but not to buy, because then we have a house at the cost of construction. But you have to start from the selection of land for a house, and it is already quite art, it would seem that the land purchase is easier, because you can see how it looks. When buying a home you need to specifically look at "as is" condition, what are maintenance costs, etc. This belief is just not quite true. Buying land – we acquire some potential. Buying a ready building on a plot - first of all we check the reality, buying a plot of land we should verify our ideas, dreams and expectations - and it is much more difficult.



Buying land for the construction of the house is an art and one should not do it on their own, but instruct it to a renowned and experienced real estate agent who specialisesin this type of transactions. Working with
a professional will help us avoid the pitfalls that may be waiting for us in such transactions. You can, assign a valuer to prepare valuation report before the purchase, nonetheless it is not required. Such  valuation — is nothing but a fair collection of information about the land we are interested in in example information about transactions of similar plots in the vicinity. Certainly you need to perform a valuation if you buy a land of large size intended for commercial investment.

First of all, we must realize what type of right to the land we buy- says Jolanta Urban, the mediator from Poznań, and also a lecturer on Realtor courses-you also need to know how tour counterparty has acquired the rights to the land-stresses Jolanta Urban- for example, it may be that the municipality has the right of first refusal, or purchase of perpetual usufruct right - that it is burdened with certain obligations.We can buy for example the right to usufruct, which our client has purchased from the Treasury and there is a built-in condition within a specified period, or does not have any conditions because the plot was given  as a compensation for lost property around the Bug River. I do not limit myself to test extracts from the land registry - says Jolanta Urban - I always check how and from whom the seller acquired the land.


Before purchasing and signing the preliminary contract we need to read some important facts that affect our ability to use a chosen land for construction. The first very important part is the master plan. We'll check it in the commune in which the property is located. From the plan we will find out what on types of investments will be possible on the designated, and what can be built around our property. It may turn out that there is planned highway or e.g. a bar or other onerous neighbour. If the plan does not exist, you can buy the property but it is associated with the risk. Preferably in this case you can apply to the municipality for a zoning which will determine what can be built on the plot and where to connect suitable media such as electricity and water.



Then absolutely you should check the real estate mortgage register, because there are important information about the state of the law: designation of the property, the entries for perpetual ownership and use, the entries for the other claims, easements and also mortgages. Also pay attention to the so-called mention - this is only the announcement of possible entries.

 An experienced real estate agent knows about all these things (a person with a license), and in general he is the one to collect necessary information for the transaction for his customers. He can also verify the entries, which can raise his concerns. In general, he does not settle for a copy of the books. He will see the basis for these entries, e.g. deed of purchase.

Shape of the plot is also important (the width of the front) and the surface. We should check land surfaces in the register maintained by staroste. It may happen that the land area at the land register will be different from the size in the records. With the prices of the land spanning hundreds of zlotys per square meter it is important. In such case you must take the area from the land registry and the broker will help the seller in completing the formalities and documents that will allow data data to  be recorded in the appropriate mortgage and land registry, entry will be made. We can also see in the district office a special map which includes plot, topography and network utilities. We should note that the plot will be called service only when we know the conditions of media delivery - says Marek Biegocki agent and spokesman of PFRN.

To avoid subsequent court "settlement of bounds" seller of land using land surveyors should determine the boundaries. Real estate agents work with surveyors and will advise on how to settle the boundaries of plot  and who should be contacted in this case.

The fact that we were able to drive to  the plot does not mean that it has access to a public road. There should be such an access if there will be a house - says Marek Biegocki. Buying land with the help of an agent, we are sure that he has checked the route, meaning that it exists and is legally regulated.

We are entering into a preliminary agreement to secure a deal. We should use legal means to hedge transaction adequately to the situation. A good broker will tell in what situation an advance would be preferable, in which the down payment and how much should it be.

These are not the only tools used to hedge the transaction. You can use the deposit notary or escrow account compensation can be agreed,as well as penalties, claims records to KW and others. There are already Law firms providing such services. This will surely increase the costs of the transaction, but it can protect us against the acquisition of land for example, burdened with a claim, or - if it suddenly turned out – it is not suitable for the construction of a detached house.

Plot is charming, but what is possible to build out there?

Even looking closely at the plot we have been looking at for long time, we might not noitice its certain disadvantages, advantages and characteristics. An experienced broker will notice them. The shape, location and planting may determine the fact- that the room will have windows facing north, and the kitchen in example facing south - warns Alexander Scheller - You should also pay attention - how far is access to the services, or even if the bandwidth is sufficient - says the broker. You may find that the plot is occasionally cheap, but the cost to have the connection to all the service may be significant. If the parcel is heavily wooded  you will need to cut the trees down, which can be costly and it is not obvious that the permit will be granted., Lovely plot surrounded with forest may be not appropriate to built on- because of forest areas must be separated by at least 12 meter distance from building - says Alexander Scheller, noting that not all of the agents have that detailed knowledge

In the real estate brokerage-experience is important as well as the diversese situations and propertieswhich were the subject of transactions conducted by the broker highlights Scheller.



Agricultural cheaper but higher risk transactions

Plots are expensive agricultural lands are cheaper. Many people reasoned: if I buy agricultural land it will be cheaper. - May actually be cheaper, but what will we do, when we find out that we are not allowed to build? - says Alexander Scheller. Some risk: They buy agricultural land, because they think that it is well located - and can only get more expensive, they want to divide a larger area and selling it with profit. Then it turns out that the zoning will not be granted, there will be no division and in addition, in the future, a ring road, sewage treatment plant or cementery will be built,! Such situations happen because the commune wishes so.

Jolanta Urban forewarns against the problems related to the purchase of so called habitats lands,

- The concept of habitats land is not defined - she says - is, however, the definition of homestead habitats land and several conditions  have to be met to be able to build on the parce. The name "homestead land" already suggests that the problem is satisfying the housing needs and workmanship someone who cultivates role. Thus, to obtain permission to build a house with seperate farm buildings one must be in possession of the area of not less than the size of the average farm in the municipality. A good broker can in this respect be a great help. Jolanta Urban also reminds that the seller is counting on profits, in time the land that he owns will be under zoning plan will increase in value - one forgets or does not know that by disposing (not just selling) a habitats land, you must share the income with the community paying so-called "Planning fee". And it can be as much as a third of what we make in this plot.



Then how to buy land safely then?

If someone wants to buy the land without the help of an agent - he can of course, but he should rather buy it in the area that he knows,in example his hometown or surroundings, where he has lots of friends and it will be easier to obtain relevant information about the land.If someone looks for land in the area he knows roughly – it is much better to take  an advantage of the offers from the broker. Ideally, an exclusive offer. This way he has a collection of reliable information about the plot. It is crucial to check if  the individual has a license and is insured against civil liability.

It is also good to choose an agent that is recommended by someone who we trust and who has carried out transactions with a broker and was satissfied with the service. If we don’t have such friends let us search for the land- with the local dealer who mainly operates in the area, which is in our interest.

We still have to remember that we should visit the  place where we want to live several times prior to the purchase at the different times of the day.- not only commuting there by car, but also by public transport.We should also carefully inspect the area and talk to to the neighbours, to get to know local environment. Even if you buy a property for your own purposes you should consider it as an investment: if after few years, when we will be forced to sell property - can we recover the money invested in it?

Finally comes the anticipated moment: We go to the notary and here Jolanta Urban again draws attention to a very important moment. The deed is read aloud before signing. Both parties of the transaction are usually under the influence of strong emotions at the time, it always accompanies our major decsions. One realizes his dream, the other has made profit. It also happens that the counterparties not always understand the provisions in the act, are too embarrassed to express their doubts and many details are not noticed.. It is good when you are in the company of an agent, who is not so emotional about the transaction as he has been involved in many, unlike the buyer he attaches importance to the details of the deed.



OLIMPIA BRONOWICKA - A Spokesman for Polish Real Estate Federation

(realtor license number 4782)

Tel. 509-679-642