Developing land question

6 Replies

I have come across some great deals for land that are already perc for 7,000 a piece. My plan is to buy a few of these and have my business partner help me finance the single family homes to be built. My question is how and who do you call to get the land cleared? Thanks

Generally, before you can clear land you have to get a surveyor.  Then, I think need an engineer who draws up blueprints to take to your building department for approval. You can't just get a bulldozer and start knocking down trees and move dirt around.

Usually, before a person buys land they make an Offer To Purchase and the closing of escrow is contingent upon getting building permits and your building department's approval to develop the property. You don't want to buy the land and find out there is one Blue Butterfly on your property that is the last one of an endangered species, or the property was once a dump site and your are your new house will be resting on top of a ticking methane gas bomb.


By 'perked' I am assuming you mean an engineer did a percolation test (how fast water seeps (drains) into the soil) to see where and what size septic tank needs to be installed for sewer waste.

As stated in my first post, the tree situation depends on where you are building on the lot. It is certainly much more expensive to remove trees and then have to plant new trees. Maybe, a tree about 20 to 30 feet tall will cost $500 to $1,000 to cut down, grind up and haul away. I've seen tall pine trees that cost $5,000 to cut down and recently had an estimate for $18,000 to cut down one tree behind an existing house.

Usually, more builders leave as many existing trees as possible and you have to remove only the trees that are necessary. 

You need to hire and rely totally on an architect and engineers for advice. I think what you do with the trees is insignificant to all the other decisions you have to make.

Originally posted by @Jack Orthman:

By 'perked' I am assuming you mean an engineer did a percolation test (how fast water seeps (drains) into the soil) to see where and what size septic tank needs to be installed for sewer waste.

As stated in my first post, the tree situation depends on where you are building on the lot. It is certainly much more expensive to remove trees and then have to plant new trees. Maybe, a tree about 20 to 30 feet tall will cost $500 to $1,000 to cut down, grind up and haul away. I've seen tall pine trees that cost $5,000 to cut down and recently had an estimate for $18,000 to cut down one tree behind an existing house.

Usually, more builders leave as many existing trees as possible and you have to remove only the trees that are necessary. 

You need to hire and rely totally on an architect and engineers for advice. I think what you do with the trees is insignificant to all the other decisions you have to make.

 Wow, can't believe how expensive tree work is in your area. Tall pine trees around here would typically run about $200 to $500 depending on what they're located near. A 20' tall tree around here would be about $100

Guess I need to relocate our tree service business to the west coast.

Regarding the land situation, holding the lots shouldn't cost all that much so I think as the previous post states, there's lots of other questions that need to be addressed besides tree removal. Another consideration is that septic systems need a large cleared area so probably a lot of trees need to be taken out. It would best be handled by a track hoe/excavator that can push down the trees and dig out the stumps. Land clearing contracting companies are pretty common and should be easy to locate once it is determined what needs to be done.