Purchasing Land on Contract


New Member
I was a member at the old QDMA forum and mostly lurked and absorbed all the info i could. I followed many of your guy's habitat threads always dreaming about one day being able to purchase a piece of ground that I could implement some of these things on myself. It appears that that day has finally come. The wife and I walked a property on Saturday and I have a forester meeting me there on Thursday to look it over to makes sure there are no huge issues with the timber.
We will be purchasing this piece of ground on contract (If we move forward). Are there any red flags I should look for in the contract? Any tips/tricks on items to include or omit in the contract if the seller will agree to said items? Any red flags in general i should look for on the property?

Property Snapshot. Approximately 100 acres, 85% wooded, 15% old pasture.
For any property for hunting you need to consider how you are going to access it. Most folks now days recommend a perimeter access if at all possible to minimize and disturbance in the core portion of the property.

Look at utilities access. it gets expensive fast to have to run electric lines if needed. Also consider a water source if you intend on building a home and consider where that site would be. Sometimes it's not as easy as just drilling a hole in the ground to get water. I have a neighbor down the road that drilled nearly a dozen dry holes looking for water and they had to resort to having water trucked in on a regular basis because they didn't build the house with the plan of a cistern. i on the other hand am less than 1/2 mile away and have one of the best well sin the area......go figure. If it does have a well have it tested to ensure it will provide the water you will need.

Look up previous property taxes and the like to make sure you know what those will be and make certain there is not any sort of lean or the like against the property - if so and you find out later....it becomes your problem.

If your building a home look at the local schools and the like as well. Also make sure you understand if any of the property falls under some sort of government program or protection as it can limit what you can and can't do and to get out of some of those can be very costly as most of those programs transfer with the sale of the property.

Make sure any easements are clearly defined and properly documented. Utility right of ways are something to consider as well as they tend to have rules to what you can and can't do as well.

Soils may come into play if you plan on building a pond or lake - so if you see that in the future you may want to look into that now.

Try to find out what you can about the neighbors. Good neighbors are great, bad neighbors you will regret. This can affect day to day life as well as your hunting efforts. Nothing is more frustrating that trespassing, poaching, disputes and all those things that some folks that don't respect a property line tend to bring. As a side note the old saying "good fences make good neighbors" is pretty true - just saying!

This is going to sound maybe dumb.....but make sure you can get the cell coverage you expect there. I live in an area where things are pretty hit or miss so true high-speed anything is just not going to happen. Really frustrates the wife and kids as lots of homework and the like is now on-line based as well as working from home and the like.

I have never purchased property on contract so I can't help with that - the above is all just things that I deal with or have seen/heard of other issues that have caused a lot of pain for others because they didn't know/check first.

Good luck and I hope things go your way.
Eventually we would most likely build a house on this piece of property. Water is at the road so that shouldn't be an issue. Electric would have to be run to the house, from the road. Need to talk to the electric company about what would be my cost on this. We will also have a perc test done if we submit an offer.

Portion of the property is currently in Classified Forest. No big deal to me, just means less property taxes (which are quite low).
Currently has a small man made pond/lake that seems to be holding quite well for as dry as it has been.
Had almost full coverage on my cell phone while walking it on Saturday. Was really shocked by this because I thought it could be an issue.

I would have access from the South and most likely the west. Access i feel is pretty good for how the property lays out. Obviously would love to have access from all directions but I would say that is quite rare. I know one of the neighbors used to hunt(this was the first season not) the property so I will need to keep eye on that. North and East neighbor does not hunt or allow hunting per the owner. I am trying to verify this

Thanks for all the info. Lots to think about with some things you brought up.
Good advice. Mine is more simple. Get it in a contract and have an advocate (lawyer) represent your interest.
When it comes to money, friends turn to enemies and gold turns to manure.
Not sure where you are, but make sure you are purchasing rights to the entire property, surface rights as well as mineral and gas rights
Make sure owner that is carrying contract doesn't written in for a lump sum payment after a certain time without you knowing about it and make sure taxes don't change to recreational because youa ren't putting cattle onit or something ag,sometimes just saying you will run cattle can save you issues or planting walnut or such