DON’T expect a conventional loan when buying land.

Banks and lending companies shy away from loaning money for bare land and lots because they can’t sell those loans on the secondary mortgage market to financial entities such as Fannie Mae. If the bank can’t sell your loan, they can’t recoup their money, which means the bank is at risk if you decide to walk away. To reduce the risk, some lenders may require a large down payment, up to 50 percent of the purchase price, but others may completely refuse to lend money for bare land. You may need cash to buy the land, or you might be able to negotiate a deal for seller financing, sometimes known as a “land contract,” which means the seller will often let you pay off the land in installment payments. Ref.

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