Questions about buying Montana land
If you’re looking to purchase land in Kalispell or anywhere in Flathead Valley of Montana, there are many things you should consider before making a decision. Some of the considerations follow:
What are you going to use the land for? This answer will determine where to look.
For example, do you want a parcel of forested land to use for hunting? Or would you want to build a single family home and garage? What about a main home and some guest houses? A shop? Will you be raising livestock? Do you dream of land with a lake for fishing? Do you want to start a neighborhood vegetable farm? Will you want a horse ranch, with stables and training tracks for your horses? Or would you like to walk out your back door into a National Forest for hiking? Once you know how you want to use the land, the next thing to consider is how you want to enjoy your land.
How you live:
If you plan to live on the land in a home of some sort, then think about how you want to enjoy your land. For example, do you want to be able to go into your backyard and target shoot? Do you want to be close to your neighbors or in the woods out of sight of everyone? Will you want to wander out to the garden to pick plants? Do you have a dog, or five? Do you have cats? Goats? Horses? Do you need to be able to easily get into town in any kind of weather? Do you want to be able to look out at beautiful views every day? Do you work at home and need access to excellent Internet? Or do you want to hide out with no modern conveniences? Your answers will guide you towards the right property as well. Many parcels have CCRs (covenants, conditions and restrictions) which can constrain some activities. Which leads me to…
Many properties in the Kalispell and Flathead Valley area have CCRs. Those are covenants, conditions and restrictions which provide a guideline for how you will be able to live (or more likely, how you can’t live). The rules can cover everything from how many pets you can have and what you can park in your driveway to what kinds of outbuildings are allowed and whether you can use firearms on your property. CCRs might also address how big your house needs to be, where on the lot it must be built, whether you can have a metal roof or not, whether you can run a business from your home and put signs in your yard or rent your home.
There are also parcels of land with no restrictions at all, which is fantastic if you want to build something unique. This type of property would also work if you hope to build a family homestead with multiple buildings. The process for building new homes is also much less onerous in a place with minimal guidelines. Of course, the lack of restrictions also means your neighbors have no restrictions and can build whatever they want. Fewer restrictions are more common in a rural area than in the center of town or development, which is another thing to think about.
If you’re considering buying property in the woods where you can do whatever you’d like and build whatever suits your fancy, there are some other things to consider. For example, how accessible will the property be? Is there both physical access and legal access? Will you be able to easily get all services to your door? Is there anything you might need to consider about agriculture and right to farm rules? What about good old Mother Nature considerations? What about wildlife? What about neighbors? Do you want them? Your decisions about these types of attributes will help you pick the right parcel.
Hiring a buyer agent who specializes in land
Similar to buying a home, it’s in your best interest to hire a buyer agent to assist you with finding the right piece of property. Their commission is usually paid by the seller, so it’s typically “free” to you. You should have one because there are so many factors that must be considered once you’ve decided where to live. Things like:
- obtaining the rules for a specific parcel
- determining how to move forward with getting well and septic estimates or how to hook up to town services
- understanding the permitting process if there is one
- obtaining access to for-sale parcels to be able to walk the land
- understanding local history or activity that might be happening in the future
- getting information on available services
- getting a good handle on proper pricing for parcels (which is especially important in Montana which is a non-disclosure state in terms of sale prices)
- understanding your options for making an offer
- getting expertise to help you write your offer and handle negotiations and contingencies
- and more.
Hopefully these questions will provide food for thought if you are considering purchasing land in the Kalispell/Flathead County area. Feel free to contact me to discuss in more detail. Also if you need a buyer agent who will walk property to answer additional questions you may have, call me! 406-270-3667 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As long as I can access the property, I’d be happy to put my hiking boots on and head on out to get your questions answered and shoot some video for you.
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