Questions to Ask When Buying Land to Build

  | 5 min read
what should you check when buying land?

Is buying land a good idea? Do you know what questions to ask when buying land? What should you check when buying land? Owning a piece of land can get overwhelming especially if you are doing the entire process from scratch and by yourself. Not forgetting the numerous stories about conmen trying to steal money from innocent land buyers.

As a first-time buyer, it is easy to get lost in the entire process of buying land. That is why it is essential to think about these important questions to ask before buying land. It will save you a lot of time, money and will lead you to make the right investment.

Questions to Ask Yourself

If you are buying land to build, you might be wondering which one comes first – choosing the design of the house or selecting the land. What are the main features you want in your house? Does the direction of the house matter? How is the surrounding area like? Are there any neighbouring developments that could increase the value of your land in future? How much time and money are you willing to spend on preparing the land to make it ready for building?

Who Owns the Land?

title deed search

Once you find the right piece of land in the location that you want, it is important to find out who is selling the land and if they own a title deed. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation whereby you pay for it then someone comes back to reclaim it or says they never sold the land in the first place.

This can complicate the whole process making you feel stressed out in the long run. The first thing to do is to ask the seller for a copy of the title deed. If this is not available, you can perform a land search by visiting the survey headquarters in Ruaraka where they will give you a map. Then proceed to Arthi House to do the land search.

Does the Land Exist?

We read stories in the newspapers of people who have lost millions after getting scammed by people selling fake land. A con can sell the same exact shamba to more than one person and you will never know. It is important to consult with others in the area about a piece of land you want to buy before you pay for it.
Most times, if someone is buying land without the help of anyone else, chances of being conned are higher compared to if you ask around or even buy it with friends. To avoid this from happening, do some prior research and speak to different players in real estate to seek professional advice.

Does it Have Clear Boundary Marks?

land boundary lines

This is one key thing you should always find out. It is important to know if there are markings on the property you want to buy. If you make the mistake of building or planting in someone else’s land, you might get in trouble.

How Do I Access the Land?

The road leading to the land is equally as important as the land you want to buy. Buying land in a satellite town or the rural area gives you privacy and tranquillity seeing that it is away from the chaos of the city centre. This means that you could be buying land in a place that is underdeveloped.

How you get to that piece of land is important. Places that have a good road network will naturally cost more than a place which hasn’t been fixed. If you find a place with no road, chances are you could be trespassing on someone else’s land. It is also good to find out who maintains the road leading to the land you want to buy.

Are There any Environmental Issues?

People tend to forget to ask if there are any environmental hazards that might harm the land itself or you when you decide to start building. Most of these issues are hard to detect with your naked eye. So long as it is not your property, you don’t know what was happening there in terms of chemicals in the soil, storage and underground pipes.

An environmental issue is usually costly especially when you start building on the land. You always want an environment that is safe for you and your family. After all, this could be your retirement home.

Other Important Questions

  • What permits do you require to build?
  • Is it easy to access construction material?
  • Does it flood in that area?
  • How much does it cost to landscape?
  • What are the property zonings; agricultural, residential or commercial?
  • Are there hidden costs when buying the land?


Is buying land a good investment? Totally! Investing in land to build a home is a dream come true for many people. The process of buying land can only run smoothly if you ask yourself the above questions and do your due diligence before parting ways with any money. It is not a process that you go through alone. You can speak to a real estate agent to help you figure out the whole process. This is a huge investment. Make the right choice.

Are you buying land? How was the process been? We would love to hear from you. 

Maureen Mbithe
Content Writer at BuyRentKenya