There are over 6,000 Realtors in Santa Clara County. 90% of them buy or sell less than 3 homes a year. 98% of them have NEVER bought or sold land. So chose who is going to represent you carefully. Buying land without an agent would be like having a family of 4 with two cars without health care or car insurance. Buying land with the intention of building on it, especially in the Santa Cruz Mts. is perhaps the riskiest Real Estate transactions possible for all parties involved.
If you are buying land to build on knowing in the end it will cost you the same or even more than buying an existing home, but doing it because you are willing to take the time, risk & cost because in the end it will be your home, built the way you wanted... then find yourself an excellent Realtor and together find some building site options, and work toward getting the several aspects of buying land, financing and building that must be lined up to increase the probability of a "happy ending".
However, if you are looking at buying land because you think you will be able to build a home for less than you can buy an existing home, I'm here to tell you... not likely. Why? Here is an estimate of typical costs based upon my experience with VERY similar projects other clients have been involved with
Land - $250k
Building "Kit" from Pre-Manufacture Home - $200k
Construction Costs, foundation, decks, garage, home - $150-$250k+
Permit Costs with County of Santa Clara - $75-$100k+
Improvements - well, water storage, septic, electricity to to site, driveway - $75-$150k++ **
Low end estimate $750k
Moderate estimate $950k
Possible with ** special site issues $1.2mil+
All the above assumes the project doesn't hit some unpredictable show stopper, like a "spotted owl or salamander", not those specific issues, but that same concept.
Buying a parcel and building your dream home on it, can be one of THE most fulfilling experiences in your life, so I am not trying to discourage you, but it is critical you go into it with eyes wide open, because the risk are at least 10x's that of buying an existing home.
One thing that can mitigate both the above risks and costs is IF you yourself are a licensed AND experience home building contractor.
If you want to find a parcel to build on, call me.
** special site issues that can dramatically increase the cost of building
- site approval for driveways involves requirements of that the fire department will have for turning around, width of road, etc... which can dictate a plan which could very from 10's of $1000 to $100's of $1000's.
- finding water especially in the Mts can be a hit or miss issue, it could require drilling 100 feet, 500 feet or more. It could mean having to give up on a well site drilled to 100's of feet and attempting another location. So the cost can very from $25,000 on the low end to well over $100,000
- the MLS description for this parcel indicates that it the soil has been perk tested, so that may not be an issue here, but this is another "infrastructure" cost that could range in best case scenarios to worst case scenarios by a factor of 2x, 3x or more in cost.
- getting electricity to a site is much easier to up front know the cost of, ONCE the subject has been researched thoroughly for a specific building site scenario. The estimated #'s for cost to build that I provided above assumed a fairly straight forward, low cost scenario for getting electricity to the home site, but the reality could be 2x, 3x or more in cost.
There is only one main house build-able site on this property so it is not something you can think of splitting. Even though it is theoretically large enough to split, the planning department will find ways to prevent you from doing so. Most notably, most of the parcel is too steep for allowing a road to a level spot or additional leach fields. All that said, you MIGHT be able to put in a secondary dwelling on the property.
As far as types of structures, there are several that can go there in addition to Lindel Cedar. Although Lindel Cedar is quite beautiful and would be a good choice. If you would like to meet and go over different types of homes for building in the area, that would be fun. I can talk with you about the various challenges the building department likes to mount to development in the area so you can get an idea of what is realistic and what is not for the area.
So to answer you question, this is a single building site that was graded and approved. there are many fees involved but roughly speaking it will cost more than $500,000 to build this home in Los Gatos. I have some recoomendations, so please call me when you have time, 1510=992-3873