You may have heard the term “Unrestricted Land” tossed around here and there, but what exactly does that term mean? When a landowner says they own unrestricted land this normally means that their land is free from restrictions normally defined and enforced by a homeowner’s association. These restrictions normally decide what type, size, and color house you can put on the land.
With unrestricted land, owners are more than likely free to build various styles of homes on the property. This includes less common home types such as mobile homes and tiny houses. However, though it is a common myth, the term unrestricted land does not mean that there are no restrictions on how you can utilize your land.
Even though a plot of land is classified as ‘unrestricted land’ there may still be deed restrictions, easement restrictions, and zoning restrictions placed on the land. These three types of land restrictions limit different aspects of land use. Therefore, when purchasing unrestricted land it is important to see if any of these restrictions apply. These three restriction types are explained further below:
- Deed restrictions are often implemented on land that is located within a community or development. However, deed restrictions also sometimes apply to home’s located on certain plots of land and within certain distances of other residences.
- Easement restrictions are associated with mechanical and electrical features in and around the property. Gas lines, building setback lines, power lines, sewer easements, street easements, traffic easements, and utility easements are all examples of easement restrictions that a particular plot of land would have to abide by. These restrictions can affect where homeowners can place certain features such as driveways.
- Zoning restrictions are the last type of restrictions that are common. These restrictions define how a certain property can be used and developed. Most cities and towns zone their property into areas representative of commercial, residential, and industrial uses. This means land residing in a residential zone will most likely not be able to be used to construct a new business even if the land is represented as unrestricted.
Effects of Deed Restrictions
Deed restrictions are by far the most restrictive of the three additional restriction types. Deed restrictions can control everything from your mailbox color to how many bedrooms you can design in your home’s floor plan. Deed restrictions associated with a particular housing community may restrict the color of a home’s mailbox, fence, and roof. These community set deed restrictions normally focus on architectural and design aesthetics to create a similar profile among houses in the same area.
Other deed restrictions not set by a housing community may place further restrictions on a piece of land. As previously mentioned, these restrictions could limit exactly how many bedrooms your house can have, but also can limit other property characteristics. Tree removal, animal use, and even the type of vehicles you can store on your land may be limited by deed restrictions. The latter may seem highly unlikely, but on some plots of land motorcycles and boats are restricted.
How to Utilize Your Unrestricted Land
While finding unrestricted land that isn’t limited by deed, zoning or easement restrictions is challenging, it is possible. After finding this land you may wonder what exactly you can use it for! The real answer is land that is truly unrestricted can be used for just about anything. Though in general, it is becoming increasingly popular to use unrestricted land for homesteading.
This is a popular use of unrestricted land because without restrictions on animals and use, homeowners can seemingly become self-sufficient by growing their own vegetables and raising their own livestock. Unrestricted land is also often used by individuals looking to live off of the grid or in self built tiny homes.
How to Find Unrestricted Land
Unrestricted land can be found in the same locations as other land for sale. However, unrestricted land is rare and normally sells very quickly. The term unrestricted land is normally used as a selling tactic, and will normally be included in the description or summary of a plot of land that is for sale.
If you are working with a particular real estate agent you may be able to ask them to use their connections to find plots of unrestricted land that have recently hit the market.
Moving Forward With Your Unrestricted Land
In summary, unrestricted land is a somewhat misleading term. While the term does indicate that a homeowners association is not likely, it does not indicate that there are no restrictions present on a particular plot of land. When purchasing land that has been defined as unrestricted it is important to check and see if any other restrictions have been placed on the land.
These restrictions could be set into place by deeds, easements or zoning laws. If you are lucky enough to purchase a plot of unrestricted land that is void of all other restrictions then there is really no limit to how you can use your land.
If you’re interested in buying or selling unrestricted land, check out the listings at Land.US today.