Vacant land loans are similar to raw land loans, only the land may have access to utilities or there may have already been other improvements made to the land previously. Vacant assumes it is not actively being used, but with some improvements already in place it may be somewhat easier to obtain this kind of loan over one for raw land. Additionally, it may be easier to consider making other minor improvements in the near future.
In general they are very similar to raw land in that most major banks do not offer loans for vacant land. You will probably have the most success with a private lender who is more familiar with the local area and can better assess its anticipated value in the future. Generally, no immediate improvement plans are necessary to obtain this kind of loan, but they can certainly help the odds of securing the loan with the lender.
Some important factors these private lenders may consider are accessibility to the land, potential for zoning changes, the future plans of the local government in terms of other nearby development and infrastructure. Such changes can all influence the future value of the land until it is eventually ready to either be sold or further improved upon by eventually completing and using some kind of structure. Lenders will want to see a lot of documentation and planning on the borrower’s part and will likely want to go out and walk the property in addition to just seeing a story or plan on paper. These kinds of loans can carry great risk, but they can be obtained from the right private lenders if you have a solid investment plan and have an established credit history that will support your commitment to pay the loan back.