3 assumptions land buyers should never make

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When buying land, there are a lot of factors that need to be accounted for when making a purchase.  There are three (3) assumptions land buyers should never make.

1) Never assume you can build anything you want on the lot.

RV in desert

Many prospective buyers are interested in buying land in Rio Rancho so they can park an RV or 5th wheel on the vacant lot.

Some like an idea they saw on TikTok of living in a storage shed sold by Home Depot that looks like a tiny home.  Land buyers should be aware that the City of Rio Rancho and Sandoval county have specific covenants and restrictions.

These CC&Rs include building requirements of properties with a minimum square footage of 1,008, a permanent foundation and a two-car garage.

2) Never assume that utilities are available, accessible and that the cost will be practical.

First, most vacant lots in Rio Rancho will not have water, electricity or gas available. This can be due to the distance of the service to the land.

Next, while a lot may have a particular service (e.g. water) located in the street, you may not be permitted to tie into the line.

Finally, if service is available and accessibility is an option, the cost may be impractical.  For example, in some cases electricity may only be 500 feet away, but it could cost over $20,000 to bring power to the property.  We recommend contacting each service provider (including Internet & Television) to determine the availability and cost of service.

While Cheryl’s She-shed or an underground bunker (yes, someone actually wanted to do this) sounds like an affordable idea, we recommend making a quick call to the Planning & Zoning Department to learn what you can and cannot build on your vacant land.

3) Never assume that it is okay to buy a vacant lot sight unseen.

Why does it matter if you’ve seen the lot?  It’s just dirt, right?  Well, it’s more than that.  While you may have seen the satellite view, zoomed in to see what appears to be a parcel of New Mexico terrain, those satellite images can have a one-to-two year lapse.  How do you know six-months ago someone didn’t choose to begin squatting on the land?  Since a street view is most likely unavailable, is the lot flat, have a slight hill or a steep slope?  Has it become a mini landfill?  Take a little road trip out to the lot and see it with your own eyes.  You won’t regret it.

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