Driving Around Tour the areas you marked on your map and look for land with “For Sale” signs. Note location, phone number, and enough descriptive detail to help you envision it later. Take note of the surrounding areas. A camera or camcorder can aid your memory.
Real Estate Agents Some real estate agents specialize in land sales. An agent can assist you with your search and handle the paperwork when you make a final choice. Real estate agents use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to learn about properties for sale. The MLS computer system stores dozens of details about available lots. The agent inputs your criteria such as size, price, or school system, and the system prints a list of sites that meet those criteria. For sale by owner sites are not in the MLS database.
Newspaper AdsYou can discover for sale by owner lots in the classified ads of local newspapers. You may find some terrific sites through this medium, but remember that the newspaper prints what the person who placed the ad dictates. The screening process that is an integral part of listing property with a real estate agent is not involved. As with all potential sites, investigate thoroughly.
Local Government The county planning commission or public library can supply information on zoning, the master plan, and maps. Most communities or counties today have a master plan or a comprehensive plan. The master plan defines the density of subdivisions, size of lots, and setbacks (how far from the edge of the lot to place the home). By reviewing the master plan, you can get an idea of what the future holds for the region and whether the home you want can work on the site you are considering. Keep in mind that zoning is always subject to change. Real estate agents, builders, and subdivision sales staff can tell you what they know as of today. While you are having that conversation, someone may be organizing a campaign to change zoning—and your future view.