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If you are considering purchasing a parcel of land in the state of Minnesota, be prepared. Any seasoned real estate buyer will tell you that there are literally thousands of things you need to consider when making your purchase. Buyers need to consider the location of the land, the price of the land, whether the land is appropriately zoned for the use they intend to make of it, whether there is a source of water, whether there are utilities already available on the land, etc., etc., etc. The list is virtually endless. In the midst of all of these considerations, it can be easy to forget some of the details.
You know the old saying, "The devil is in the details?" Well, it's especially true in regard to land purchase deals. Buyers must be incredibly familiar with the ins and outs of the property and the terms of the deal into which they are entering. One such detail that is often overlooked by buyers of property is whether the land is bordered by county owned property. While a real estate professional will likely make you aware of the benefit of buying land adjacent to county owned property, many buyers themselves may not think to ask about this seemingly minor detail.
Now, you may be asking, why does it matter to me whether the county owns the adjacent property? Depending on the use you intend to make of the land, it can actually matter a great deal. If you are purchasing land to build a residential vacation home, a resort or just to use as hunting land in the Northwoods of Minnesota, being located next door to county owned property can be a valuable asset. Land adjacent to county owned property can have the added benefit of allowing you access to hundreds, if not thousands, of additional acres of hunting or recreational land. You can roam on your property and immediately connect with hiking paths, hunting land, lakes, rivers, streams and more. While you might be sharing this land with other visitors to the county-owned land, it can significantly add to the value of your property. Sometimes, a landowner may purchase a very small amount of acreage here in Minnesota, but because he or she can step off their property into a county preserve or protected area, the land can feel much, much larger. Not only will this increase your enjoyment of the land, it will also likely increase the re-sale value of your property in the future. If you are fortunate enough to find a parcel of property bordered on multiple sides by county, state or federal owned land, it will likely help increase the value of your property dramatically.
Access to additional acreage is not the only benefit to owning land adjacent to county owned real estate. Owning property bordering county owned land can help to keep your land private and peaceful. While county or state owned land is occasionally sold or auctioned, these sales are relatively rare. If your property borders a county owned property, you have a significantly decreased risk that a factory or other commercial monstrosity will be built next door. This also reduces the risk of pollution as much county and state owned land is used for the benefit of the public for recreational purposes and is protected by measures intended to conserve the beauty and natural resources of the land.
Just as purchasing land adjacent to county, state or federal owned property can be a benefit, so can purchasing land adjacent to a conservation easement. Conservation easements became very popular in the 1980's and 1990s. They are essentially legally binding agreements between a grantor, or owner of the property, and a grantee, the organization that receives or buys the easement. The grantee hold an interest in the property and oversees whether the landowner is complying with the terms of the conservation easement. Conservation easements restrict the landowner's ability to develop the land in order to preserve wide-open scenic spaces, natural resources and/or endangered wildlife habitats. Conservation easements began as a tool to allow landowners to protect the natural beauty and resources of their land in exchange for tax benefits. By purchasing land located next to a conservation easement, you can be assured that the land will not be developed in ways that deplete the environment or damage the beauty of your property although property located next to a conservation easement does not have the added benefit of allowing you access to additional acreage as purchasing land adjacent to county or state owned property does.
Now, you may be thinking, "Gee, owning property bordering county owned property sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but how do I know that I am purchasing such a parcel?" Engaging the advice of a real estate professional will help answer that question for you. Local realtors will be familiar with the adjacent properties and be able to provide you with valuable information about them. While there may be online databased specializing in properties bordered by county or state owned land, nothing can replace the advice of a trusted, local real estate professional such as those agents working for you at LandBin.com.
If you are not working with a real estate professional, or if you just want to get a little more information yourself, property boundary maps and ownership records are kept by county recorder's, assessor's or land surveyor's offices. In order to determine where you will need to go, check out the list of recorder's assessor's and surveyor's kept by the Minnesota Association of County Surveyors. You will often need to go one of these offices to take a look at the records they may have regarding a particular property. While some counties have entered the digital age, others continue to use more archaic methods of record keeping in respect to their parcel information. Many counties do offer some sort of online property information, allowing users to search by property owner or address. Some of these services though are only available through a subscription service. Plat books may be available at local libraries; however, these descriptions are not meant to be used in sales situations and they may not be as current as other sources. While the information in county offices can be very useful for you, it is important to remember that this information is not intended to be a substitute for a certified property survey, a detailed plat map or a legal property description that might be used in a sale situation.
Occasionally county or state owned land is sold, so buying neighboring property is not fool proof; however, chances are you've found a valuable piece of property if you discover a parcel for sale next to a parcel of county owned land. Parcels of land bordered by county owned land allow you to access greater areas of land for recreational and outdoor pursuits. It also provides some reassurance that a neighboring parcel of property will not be used in a way that would destroy your enjoyment of your property. Contact a real estate professional at LandBin.com to see if you can find the perfect parcel of land bordered by county-owned property today!