Considerations for raw land purchase

2 Replies

What considerations should I be making before buying raw land to develop into a future homesite?  This would be mostly wooded land.

How hard is it have utilities installed?

How far out will water and sewer be run by the county?

Thanks BP!

Is this for yourself or as an investment? 

When we purchased land for our home, we had to find out what utilities were already on the road to the property.  It was only electric and phone, so we had to handle everything else in another way.  I don't know about your county but there's no way our county/utilities were going to run them down our road just for us, at least not without us footing the entire bill.  If you don't have utilities on the road, I would recommend you check with the utility companies about the process before you buy.  We  have electric but no gas, so we're propane.  No city water/sewer either so we had to dig a well and install a septic system. No cable TV obviously so you're talking DSL or Satellite internet and TV. Running the utilities back to your house once they are at the road will be on  your shoulders (labor and payment) and it costs a ton (depending how far back your house is from the road) so be prepared.

Other considerations are where the driveway will go, are there any flood concerns, is there a good building site on the land?  Another consideration is building codes.  We built in an area where there are virtually no codes, which made it easy for us to build and we built a very nice home without any need for a lot of permits, inspections, etc. but that also means that someone could plop a double wide on the property next to us and build a barn out of legos and house their cows in it. 

If you're not going to be on city water/sewer, septic is going to be a major issue and you should have someone come in and tell you where the best place for the septic will be, and what the local laws are.  Does septic have to be above ground?  If so, you have to consider where the "mounds" will be in relation to the house and how you want to orient the house so these are not obnoxious. If you can still do underground septic, you need to know where the septic field will be and orient the house accordingly.

No city water means a well, so you better do your research on how the ground water is in the area.  Our well water is awesome, but other areas can be horrible, full of sulfur and all sorts of crap, requiring major filtration to make it usable.  Location of the well needs to be considered so that the house can be placed accordingly.

Living in the woods is great, very private and lots of nature, but it was a lot of work to make it livable.

Wow thank you susan!  That is a lot I had not considered.  I still have many steps to go.  This would be for a personal home, not an investment. 

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