Home Buying in 12590>Question Details

Natalie, Home Buyer in 12590

Questions about buying land to build a home on.

Asked by Natalie, 12590 Thu May 27, 2010

My fiance and I are looking to build a raised ranch with an attached garage and a bonus room above the garage. He is a carpenter, we have a lot of friends in the industry, my father and I paint, so a great majority of the work will be done ourselves, almost everything except plumbing and electric.

It seems we have a lot figured out about the actual house, but almost nothing about the land.I am confused by price jumps - for instance one lot we saw was 1.5 acres for $65,000, and a few minutes down the road, the same size lot was $130,000. Why the price jump? How do I find out what we are actually permitted to build on the land? How do I go about getting a BOH approval before purchasing the land? How do I make sure the land is not on top of solid rock before purchasing? Basically I need any and all info about purchasing land to build on. I know it's a large question! I am scared of purchasing land and finding out it's unbuildable!

Help the community by answering this question:


In addition to the good advice given below:

Once you and your agent have found a parcel you desire, I would recommend making your offer subject to board of health approval and building permits.

Of course, you are going to do your homework in advance and talk informally with the building department before making an offer. But to ensure you are not stuck with a property you cannot build upon to your satisfaction, making the offer subject to those terms is a reasonable way to go and not uncommon.

The risk to you is that you will be laying out the cash and time to obtain BOHA and drawings, etc.... But that will pale in comparison to losing it all if the land cannot be built upon.

There are some tell tale signs of a poor lot. One example is a steep slope. Many towns have rules about building on steep slopes. It's not impossible, but can be very costly to you. It may be a cheap sales price, but you will make up for it in the amount of excavation and infrastruture work involved. It's also generally not desirable for re-sale.

So go find an experienced buyers agent and start building your dream home! Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 28, 2010
There are many reasons why there can be a big price difference in the price of 2 lots the same size.

If one lot has views such as mountain views. or a pond on the property it will certainly cost more.

Some parcels requires fill for a septic system. or possible a raised bed in which case the lot is less expensive but could cost you more in the long run.

Then again if the lot is already BOH it will be more expensive.

Most of all Location is alway key.

To determine where to build you will need the assistant of a surveyor/engineer who would consider the topography.

The wise think to do would be to work with an real estate agent who would then be able to help you locate the professional help needed to put this all together.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 27, 2010
What you need is Buyers Agent that has experience in Land Development. As a former contractor and excavator for 20 years I can tell you that though there are a number of agents that have sold raw land, few know how to actually develop it.

To give you some idea as to why prices vary: FIRST we look at location, SECOND we look at topography and THIRD we look at utility services followed by BOHA.

If you are interested in working with a Brokerage that has this kind of experience, I'd be happy to assist you personally. Our web site is : http://www.slpnyct.com. Feel free to call or e-mail.
Web Reference: http://www.slpnyct.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 27, 2010
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