First, think about proximity to the elements of your life that you need to reach (job, family, etc.). If you're ending up in an urban area, the land will be more expensive and have more zoning restrictions than a piece in a rural area.Then look into the local zoning to be sure you can build a house without needing to get a variance. You realtor should have that information. Once you have your architect in place, he/she will be able to get the other town requirements, which will be reflected on the drawings. But there are a few other things you might want to check out on your own.The local building department should be able to tell you about any intended development that might have an impact on your desired lot. Any nearby residential developments in the planning stages; shopping centers; enlarging roads for added traffic? I would ask the realtor these questions as well, but you're more likely to get accurate information at the building department.Next, how much land do you want? Wooded lot or open? Flat or sloping? Do you want a view? Maybe watch the sunsets? Think about the position of the house on the land. Then check out the location of the closest utility pole. Bringing electricity and telephone lines long distances can become very expensive.Always WALK the lot – at least around the perimeter. It's the only way to make sure you don't have wetlands, excessive grades, or other natural impediments to your intended construction. These issues will diminish the value of the property. So make sure you don't overpay. Comparison shop, like you would for a pair of shoes. This will take some time, but you shouldn’t rush into a purchase of this importance.Are the people in the local town friendly? Ask about any history about the area. Find out what the local taxes are like. Go around with realtors and see what's available. Buy a local newspaper and check comparable prices. I almost forgot - the internet will probably have some good information you can use. You might also get some information about what your house will be worth once it's built.Next, what's nearby? Parks, streams, a lake, an ocean, shopping, a library, transportation, a hospital, museums, - anything that might have an impact on your decision to buy. Transportation usually has a positive impact on the value of any land within walking distance. If you're not in a hurry, see the property during various seasons. It could look very different. These issues will help you organize your thoughts and prioritize your choices BEFORE buying land.