Buying Land in Chatham County: What You Need to Know

When you’re building the custom home of your dreams, you want to truly make it your own. One of the best ways to do this is choosing your own homesite by purchasing your own vacant lot. Want a forested lot by a lake with no neighbors? Want to live on a hill with a great view? Buying your own land lets you choose these features rather than making do with a lot someone else chose.

But buying land also comes with its own set of additional challenges. For many buyers, those challenges are worth it, but it pays to know what you’re getting into.

Zoning Laws and Regulations

Zoning laws and ordinances can be very complicated. In Chatham County, they also vary significantly based on where you build. Some laws are as simple as “don’t build on the edge of the property” or “you need permission from a neighbor for an easement.” But some can be much more strict, such as restricting the number of floors in a home, or building far back enough from water.

Your realtor and builder will help you navigate zoning standards. Just be ready to make changes to your plans if they get in the way.

Loans and Financing

Buying land is very different from buying a pre-built home. Homes serve as their own collateral, whereas empty land has no collateral. As a result, banks typically need much more for a down payment, sometimes as high as 50%. Your loan terms will also be different, including a potentially higher interest rate.

Some credits do exist for buying land, especially in more rural areas of Chatham County. Your realtor can inform you of these and help you make a decision.


When you buy a pre-built home, someone likely already inspected the land before they built on it. When you’re buying your own land, that’s up to you. A professional inspection can spot serious issues with your land, including:

  • Toxicity and pollution
  • Ground stability
  • Water drainage
  • Wood-destroying insects

Some lots may also lack utility access. In some places, this can be a very expensive and difficult process, so make sure you know details before you sign on the dotted line.

Want to build a custom home on your own land in Chatham County or need help finding the perfect lot? Let Lisa Skumpija help! As an experienced realtor with a specialty in new construction and a background in the custom homebuilding industry, Lisa and her team are the ideal choice to navigate the process of buying land in Chatham County. Contact her today to get started!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.