Things You Should Know About Buying Land in Stafford to Build Your Dream Home

5 Things You Should Know About Buying Land in Stafford to Build Your Dram Home

Land is the most often overlooked piece of the homebuying process. People know how many bedrooms they want, how large a pantry they need and whether a not a home office is a requirement. But the complexities around land is frequently overlooked. When it comes to buying land the more you know-the better off you are. We’ll explore a few things you should know about buying land in Stafford to build your dream home. 


Zoning and the laws governing them are incredibly complicated. Zoning is essentially regulations on how land can be used and what type of buildings can be constructed on the land. Zoning laws may also regulate size, shape and style. When purchasing a property you should familiarize yourself with the zoning laws to ensure you don’t have any problems down the road. Is the property zoned industrial but you intend on knocking the house down and building a larger one? Is the property a duplex in an agricultural zone? You should also be aware of any environmental restrictions or protected species prior to buying land in Stafford. Environmental concerns may pose adverse health threats or eventually lead the land to become undesirable-this will have a substantial effect on the long-term value of the land.

Setbacks and Utilities

Setbacks are the minimum distance a building or structure must be away from the property line, road, water, etc… These set distances are governed by local, state and sometimes even federal laws. Setbacks are normally only a problem when proper permits haven’t been pulled and construction was completed without a survey (although they can be a problem in other situations as well). Setbacks are designed to protect adjacent properties and to ensure a margin of safety is factored in. It is also important to confirm the availability of utilities. Some properties don’t have access to internet, phone, water or sewer. This may include cable and television services limiting you to satellite. Lack of access to utilities could interfere with plans to build certain properties or its usage.


We strongly recommend you get a survey if purchasing land in Stafford, VA. Surveys determine the exact property lines and can help avoid legal disputes. An older survey may be ok but a current survey may be worth the extra investment to err on the side of the caution. Surveys can be worth their weight in gold if a property line issue arises. Surveys may also be required by the lender depending upon the bank. It’s also important to consider doing a soil and/or geology report. The soil can affect building plans and solid rock can affect basements or possibly other additions. Basically if you plan on making any changes you should be aware of what you are working with.

Land Covenants

Land covenants are rules that exist to control the use of the land. They typically require that the owner specifically do or not do something with the land. The rules may have a time limit or apply to the land indefinitely. Land covenants are kind of like a negative easement. An example of a land covenant would be not allowing a building to be any taller than 25 feet on the property. These covenants should be in the sales contract for the land, however, you can research the lands certificate of title, or in a document referenced in the title.

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