Land Searching

How to find and secure the perfect property for you

Owning land is one of the most important investments you will make. It is a fairly simple process but there are a number of important steps to ensure that your experience is all that you expect. From start to finish, here are the basic steps to getting the land of your dreams.

What are your reasons and resources?

  • Understanding your intentions for current use and future disposition will make your search for the right property much easier and allow us to help you better.
  • What is your intended use? (Homesite? Hunting? Recreation? Investment? Development? A combination of uses?)
  • How much of a financial commitment will you make? Will you be purchasing with cash or need a loan? What price range do you need to consider?
  • If you plan to develop the land and sell smaller tracts, do you have the finances available and a qualified team of professionals to assist you?

Determine what is most important.

  • Make a list of attributes that are important to you and your family.
  • Differentiate between the characteristics the land must have versus what you may just want it to have.
  • Primary considerations are location and condition, such as distance to/from a town or natural feature, access, waterfront features, soil conditions, topography, timber, upland/wetland area, applicable easements or use restrictions, environmental issues, fire and law enforcement protection.

Locate the land you wish to own.

  • Use the Find Land quick search on our website to look by certain criteria, click on one of the property types listed, or use the All Listings Map View to see a map of all properties. Register on our website to set up automatic notifications for properties that meet your desired criteria.
  • Drive through your areas of interest and look for “ For Sale” signs.

Know what you are buying.

  • Call or email us with your questions.
  • Use the Land Buyer’s Check List as a guide to fully understand a property.
  • Personally inspect the property you are considering or intending to purchase.
  • Understand where the boundaries are; the utilities that are available; how you will access the property; and any easements, encumbrances, or restrictions that affect the land. Make sure that the soil is suitable for your use.
  • Contact local governing units about your intended use of the property and any zoning or other restrictions (as well as building code information if you’re planning to build).
  • Consult your financial representative, tax professional, banker, and legal counselor for any other due diligence they would suggest.
  • Due diligence should be done prior to signing a Purchase Agreement so that your purchase will be contingent upon satisfaction of any items of concern.

Purchase the land.

  • Vacant land transactions through generally include a/an:
    • Vacant Land Purchase Agreement
    • Addendum (for Potlatch land)
    • Agency Disclosure (if a residential lot)
    • Vacant Land Disclosure
  • We will prepare the paperwork for you using standardized Minnesota forms that cover all aspects of a typical transaction and protect you, the consumer. We will make sure that any contingencies are specified in the purchase agreement.
  • Seek counsel from an attorney if you have any questions about the terms in the purchase agreement before signing it.
  • Consult your attorney, tax professional, and/or title expert to determine how you should take title to the property (as individual(s), joint tenancy, tenants in common, a trust, or other legal entity such as an LLC or LLP).
  • You may wish to finance the purchase through your bank, savings and loan institution, credit union, land financing firm, or the seller. If you wish to finance, contact your banker or financial representative to get pre-qualified for the purchase. Visit the Land Financing section for more information.
  • Also see the Land Purchasing section for more details.

Acquire ownership of the land.

  • Use a licensed title professional with vast experience in closing vacant land transactions for your closing. Deb Kline at Complete Title Services (a First American Title company) in Baxter, Minnesota, coordinates nearly all the closings for purchases through–many of them through mail to save you time and travel. Although Complete Title Services is adept at closing our land transactions, you may close with any title company or qualified attorney of your choice.
  • The title professional will prepare a title commitment or title opinion identifying any title concerns or exceptions to title insurance.
  • At the closing itself, you will need to provide cash for payment/downpayment and closing costs as well as financing for any balance of the purchase price. You will sign final documents and receive copies of all documents that you have signed as well as a closing statement detailing the financial aspects of the transaction.
  • After closing, the title professional will handle recording the deed and any other documents at the county to officially transfer ownership to you.

It’s yours!

  • You will usually get possession of your new property at the time of closing.
  • Once you own it, enjoy it! Make it better. Make memories with family and friends. Have fun. If you are planning to build, get your building permits, secure a contractor, and move forward with your plans!
  • Check out Land Enjoying for links to resources that might help improve your land-ownership experience.