If you are planning to buy a piece of land, you should take a few precautions and follow the formalities to avoid unpleasant surprises. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn about some formalities and precautions to take.
1. Some precautions
Find out about the PLU
When you have found a piece of land that interests you, it is important to find out about it by consulting the PLU (Local Urbanism Plan) at the town hall. This is a precaution to take to ensure that the land is in a buildable zone.
On the other hand, if the commune does not have a PLU, you can always refer to a current land use plan (POS) or the local map. This is an essential step before acquiring a piece of land.
Make sure that the land is buildable
There are different ways to check if the land is buildable. A piece of land can be designated as a non-constructible zone by the PLU if a natural area is preserved nearby or if it is agricultural land. Land may also be unbuildable if the area is unsafe (risk of natural hazards, for example). Furthermore, one must be careful because the PLU evolves over time: buildable land may become unbuildable or vice versa.
It is also necessary to make sure that the land is serviced, that is to say, that it is able to accommodate houses and that it is viable. It will then be necessary to verify the presence of electricity, running water, or gas networks in the vicinity. It is good to know that the servicing of the land is not imposed by the town hall but remains an obligatory initiative for any project of construction of a house on a land. However, it is not essential if you wish to carry out projects other than building a house on the land.
Checking the basement
Checking the basement of the plot is also part of the precautions to take. Indeed, if there is instability on the ground, or if it is fragile, it may cause a slide and the destruction of any construction on the surface. To be sure, it is advisable to call upon professionals for a geotechnical study. They will be able to propose reinforcement solutions for the foundations.
Boundary marking of the land
Since we are talking about precaution, demarcation is a step that can be mentioned. Of course, this step is not mandatory, but it is recommended to facilitate the delimitation and to easily fence the land. This will avoid the risk of conflicts with the neighborhood.
2. The formalities
A few formalities must be followed to ensure that the purchase of a piece of land is carried out legally.
The offer to purchase
There are two types of purchase offer: the oral offer and the written offer. The first is not obligatory and does not commit either the buyer or the seller. On the other hand, it is wise to proceed at this stage, to show that one is decided to buy.
As for the written offer, it must be sent and accepted by the seller. Unlike the oral offer, it is binding on both parties. Neither of them can retract the offer under the penalty of paying damages. This means that before committing himself, the buyer should check the land beforehand while taking the necessary precautions.
Promise of sale
Here, the seller undertakes to sell his land to a single buyer and rejects any other proposal. The buyer must pay a deposit to mark the agreement and accept this promise to sell. This deposit will be kept by the seller if the buyer withdraws during the option period.
Signature and payment
To authenticate and legalize the purchase of the land, both parties proceed to the signature of the deed of sale before the notary. The notary will then collect the amount of the sale and the various expenses (transfer rights, provisions for transfer costs, emoluments, etc.).
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