What to look for when buying a piece of land?

Buying a lot can be one of the most significant investments of your life, so it is important to be diligent and thoroughly investigate before making a final decision. Indeed, purchasing land requires special attention to certain aspects such as topography, soil quality, accessibility, location, and environmental factors.

In this article, our realtors in Rawdon will guide you through the key elements you need to know before buying a piece of land in Quebec. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

What you need to know about buying land in Quebec

Thinking you know everything about buying land and relying solely on your own knowledge could be a mistake. Just like any other field of expertise, buying a lot of land requires extensive knowledge and understanding. It’s like an iceberg, where the visible part is not as crucial as the hidden part.

That’s why we recommend you to seek the assistance of a real estate broker in the area of your interest. We will explain why!

The value of a piece of land, and the house that will be built on it, depends heavily on its location. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay close attention to the location, which is the first aspect we will cover.


When buying a lot of land in Quebec, one of the most important factors to consider is its location. This is because the location can have a significant impact on the value of the land, the quality of life, and the costs of construction.

Firstly, the location can affect the value of the land. A lot situated in a desirable neighborhood or a developing area may be worth more than a lot located in a less attractive location. Additionally, the location can impact the costs of construction since the costs of labor and materials can vary depending on the location of the land.

What you need to know about buying land is to take into account where it is, especially in which street.

The street

Selecting the right street is a crucial consideration when purchasing a lot in Quebec. The location of the street can significantly affect the land’s value and the residents’ quality of life.

It is advisable to opt for a well-situated street that provides easy access, has nearby amenities, and experiences minimal traffic to prevent noise pollution and enhance safety. Conversely, having neighbors with unappealing houses can work in your favor.

Beware of wetlands

When purchasing land in Quebec, wetlands can pose a risk. Wetlands can create issues with drainage and flooding, leading to potential impacts on the value and construction of the land. To mitigate any risk, it is crucial to determine if the land is situated in a wetland and to comprehend the restrictions and regulations in place. This step will aid in preventing any potential problems.

Field documentation

When you consider the purchase of land in Quebec, you must take into account the necessary documents. These documents include the certificate of location, cadastral plan, certificate of survey, and land register. While it may seem technical and daunting, it’s best to understand these documents and ensure they are current. A land surveyor or notary can assist in this process.

Once you have obtained these documents, review key elements to avoid any unwanted surprises. Know the property lines to accurately determine the size and shape of the land. Additionally, easements and rights-of-way can limit access to or use of the land, so their presence or absence should be investigated. Finally, development zones and use restrictions may impact your intended plans for the land, so it’s essential to conduct a thorough review.

Zoning laws

Quebec has strict zoning and land use regulations. Understanding these rules and ensuring that the land you are buying complies with the regulations is important. You must also obtain the necessary permits for the construction or improvements you plan to make on your land.

Note that regulations and restrictions may vary from one municipality to another. Therefore, you should check the local laws and regulations for your specific property. Regulations may include restrictions on house size, building height, distance between buildings and property lines, and parking requirements.

What can be built? What are the side setbacks, rear setbacks, front setbacks, etc.? These are all questions that a realtor can help you answer.

Evaluation of the quality of the terrain

Assessing the quality of the land can affect the value of your investment. Key elements to evaluate include soil quality and topography.

Soil condition

Soil quality can greatly impact a land’s ability to support construction and its associated costs. When assessing soil quality, consider the following factors:

  • Soil Type – Certain soil types are more suitable for construction than others. Clay soils, for example, may require more extensive work and a stronger foundation.
  • Soil Evaluation – It may be necessary to conduct a soil evaluation to assess its quality, including its density, porosity, and permeability.
  • Contaminated Soil – It’s crucial to be aware of the soil’s condition, especially if it was previously occupied by a commercial building. Contaminated soil remediation is mandatory in the case of resale, and building on contaminated land can render your property worthless and ineligible for financing.
  • Geological Hazards – Some areas in Quebec may have geological hazards, such as landslides or earthquakes, that should be taken into consideration before purchasing land. Local authorities can provide information on such risks. If the soil requires extensive preparation work, such as excavation or stabilization, this may result in additional costs.

If you want to buy a piece of land, carefully examine the soil.


Topography refers to the shape and configuration of the land, including slopes, ridges, valleys and plains.

Here are a few things to consider about the topography of a property:

  • Drainage – Topography can affect the ability of the land to drain water. If the land is located in a low-lying area or in a valley, it may be prone to water ponding or drainage problems. Smooth, even slopes can promote water drainage, while steep slopes can increase the risk of erosion.
  • Stability – Steep slopes may be more susceptible to slipping or slumping, while flats and flat land may be more stable.
  • Construction costs – Topography can also affect construction costs. Sloping terrain may require additional work for grading and foundation reinforcement, while flat terrain may require less preparatory work.
  • Land use – Sloping lots may be more difficult to accommodate certain types of construction, while flat lots may offer more design flexibility.


When looking to buy land, accessibility is a crucial factor to consider. It is important to ensure that the land is easily accessible for building a home or conducting business. Here are some factors to consider.

Road Access

Road access is essential for various reasons. If the land is located in a remote or difficult-to-access area, it can affect the value of the land and the ease of building. You must consider nearby major and minor roads, as well as the quality of the roads leading to the land.

Proximity to services

Proximity to essential services, such as schools, hospitals, and stores, is crucial to consider. If the land is located far from these services, it can make life more challenging for future residents. So consider the proximity to services and the quality of available infrastructure.

Public transportation

If you are considering living on the land, proximity to public transportation can be essential. If the land is located near bus lines, train stations, or subway stations, it can make travel more convenient. It is important to consider the frequency and quality of public transportation available.

Environmental factors

When we talk about environmental factors, we often think of air quality, water quality or consider possible natural hazards such as flooding or forest fires. If these are very important factors, consider the following as well.

Highway traffic

If the property is located on a busy road, it can negatively impact the quality of life due to noise and pollution. It can also make access to the property more difficult and complicate the movement of people and vehicles. Assess the traffic level, the distance from the main road, and the quality of the roadway to ensure easy accessibility and sufficient safety.

Noise pollution

Excessive noise can negatively affect the quality of life and health of occupants, as well as reduce the value of the land. Therefore, check whether the land is in a noisy area, such as a main road, railroad, or industrial area. Visit the lot at different times of the day to assess the noise level and consider soundproofing measures if necessary. Also, be aware of the neighborhood’s noise regulations and city plans to ensure that the land complies with current standards and to avoid any potential noise hazards.

Before buying a lot, take into account the quiet of the area.

The importance of using a real estate broker

The role of a real estate broker is crucial when buying a lot of land. They are qualified professionals with in-depth knowledge of the real estate market and can guide you through the purchasing process.

A realtor can help you find land that meets your criteria, negotiate prices, advise you on potential legal or environmental issues, and assist you in signing the deed of sale. In short, using the services of a real estate broker can save you time, money, and hassle.

Buy land in the Lanaudière region with Guillaume Tremblay and his team

There are many things to consider before buying land, and what we have mentioned in the article are only a few examples of the criteria to take into consideration. Consider using a professional to make the right choice.

If you are looking for land for sale in Lanaudière, do not hesitate to contact Courtier Immobilier Lanaudière. They are trained to help you make the right decision and love the region. Investing in Lanaudière is a great project, so contact us now to help you make it happen!

Share This