In tough economic times, it sometimes becomes necessary for a government agency, local municipality or council to sell its property assets to meet shortfalls in its budget. This gives citizens the opportunity to own land that would ordinarily remain in public ownership.
Contact your local municipality property management department to check what local land may be for sale. You will also find information about municipal land and land that has been seized and is for sale by other government entities, in local newspapers and other sources of public information. Government land and property assets are generally sold by auction, which ensures as transparent and fair a process as possible.
Prior to purchase, ensure you know the specific land usage zone for the land and check the land register for any legal rights, requirements and restrictions. You will also want to know what roads and easements allow access to the land and what utilities are available. Check the zoning and development plans of neighbouring land. This could affect the value of your land in the future.
Before bidding on land at an auction, check what methods of payment are acceptable. Often, local councils only accept 100 per cent cash payments, due in full at the time of sale. Sometimes government agencies sell seized land in financed land sales, where you bid on the down payment and finance the remaining balance.