Most people are more daunted by the prospect of buying land than they need to be. You can learn the basics of how to buy land cheap right here.

Step 1: Know what the land will be for.

Are you planning to build on the land or use it to diversify your portfolio? If you’re buying land in the path of development as an investment for your future, you aren’t restricted by where you live (or where you’d like to live) – instead, you should focus on the location of the land and how suitable it is for urban development.

Step 2: Save up.

Whether you invest with cash or IRA funds, land costs money. Even though we’re discussing how to buy land cheap, you need to come to the table with some funding. You won’t be able to retire on one $5,000 investment so consider diversifying your cash and IRA now.

Step 3: Decide where you’d like to buy.

At this point, you should look for general areas, not specific parcels. Do some research on the land, finding out which industries are nearby, what kind of bodies of water are on or near the land, and what the topography is like.

Step 4: Follow up.

Call the agent or seller and ask about the land. What kind of structures are already there? Why are they selling? Can the land support a septic system? Using this information, narrow your list down to properties you’d like to visit.

Step 5: Take a trip.

An important part of how to buy land cheap is making sure that the land is actually cheap. Sometimes, you won’t know whether the parcel you’re considering is valuable unless you visit the location, interview a few neighbors, and even camp out overnight (or just for a few hours). When you visit, take photos, draw maps, and do whatever you need to do to remember the land.

Step 6: Homework.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list by paying visits to a few properties, do your homework. Find out about the history of the area, the exact boundaries of the property, and the kind of development permits that might be necessary in the future. Verify the acreage by obtaining a survey or hiring a surveyor.

Step 7: Write a contract.

You don’t have to write your own contract, but you should make sure it’s tailored to your situation. If you do write your own contract (or work with one provided by the seller), always get a third party to look at it before you sign.

Step 8: Follow up and close.

After review your discloser report, etc., you’re ready to close the sale! The property is yours. Make the most of it. That’s all there is – now you know how to buy land cheap.