Before You Make An Offer to Acquire Land

Aside from carefully inspecting the property, prior to making an offer to buy a parcel of land anywhere in California, you should:

  • Determine if the land has been surveyed so you can accurately describe it in a purchase offer by means of a meets and bounds description, or recorded map.
  • Determine whether you have access from a city or county-maintained road whether paved or not. If the property is landlocked, you will need an easement from an adjoining landowner to obtain access.
  • Determine whether utilities including, electricity, water, natural gas, and sewer service are immediately available. If not, can they be brought to the subject property at a reasonable price, or are they reasonably expected to be available in near future?
  • If water is not readily available, is it economically feasible to drill a water well?
  • Research to determine if any easements exist on the property that would be detrimental, including a conservation easement.
  • Determine the zoning of the property and whether any overlay zoning exists that would allow or interfere with your plans for the property.
  • Determine the zoning and whether any overlay zoning exists on adjoining or nearby properties that might create a negative influence on the subject property or prevent you from using the property as you would choose to use it.
  • Determine if adequate cell phone and internet services are available.
  • Determine whether there are any possible environmental hazards to be concerned about. For example, was the site used for above ground or underground storage of gasoline; oil, lead, asbestos or other hazardous materials.
  • Determine whether the land is home to any endangered or protected species.
  • Determine whether the mineral rights are included or excluded. This includes the rights to underground oil reserves.
  • Determine whether any timber is infested with pine beetles or other pests.
  • Determine whether any plans have been publicly announced to take all or any portion of the property by eminent domain.
  • Determine how the nearby landowners are using their property to make certain those uses do not interfere with your plans.
  • Determine whether the land is in a flood zone.
  • Determine whether any part of the land has been designated as a wetland.
  • Determine whether the land is in a high risk fire area.


Our firm has been representing buyers and sellers of land in all ten of the Southern California counties for more than 35 years.



"I would never under any circumstances, ever buy a property on a land contract.
Land contracts ....... are dangerous for the buyer and just plain stupid."
Dave Ramsey


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