Good evening, Jack,
I just read your question and my Windermere friends' comments about your "no perk" lot. Their comments are realistic and appropriate. Various aspects to consider are: 1. When was the perc test done? How many tests holes were dug? How big is the parcel? What is the topography of it? How well do the lots or parcels adjoining the subject parcel perc? Are there houses built on adjoining parcels? If so, do you have a copy of their as-built diagram illustrating the size, date and type of drain field system installed? Does the parcel have a view of the water and/or mountains? Is the parcel heavily treed? Is it located within a home-owner's association plat? When did you buy it or inherit it?
Over the past 35 years I have been a Realtor working on Whidbey island, I have observed many instances where non-perc properties were sold because they "were not worth much/anything." The owner got tired of paying taxes, home-owners' association dues, etc. Within a decade or two or in many cases much less time, the lots "perced," because the soils in the property were good enough to qualify for implementing new on-site sewage technology. The new owner reaped the reward after having taken little risk; just did not know when.
I recommend you call Mike Trask, an experienced drain field system installer, at 3609147351 and ask him to review your site registration information; then fax him a copy at 3606750969 to review. He will analyze it for you and tell you his recommendation. It may be necessary to have the property re-perked.
In the past 10 years there have been very few new building lots being created in Island County, and it is probable this will continue. Therefore, existing marginal-perc or no-perc lots may become useable as new on-site sewage disposal technology is devised and endorsed by the WA State and Island County.
Time is on the side of the owner who can afford to wait. If the parcel is being taxed at the reduced rate because of its accepted non-perc status, then the cost of waiting is considerably reduced. If you own a lot with a home-owners' association, then that cost is a factor to consider, but then you probably have infrastructure such as roads and utilities already installed, the value of which could be greater than the lot.
If you do not need the money and do not want to wait until the value of the parcel increases as a result of new sewage disposal technology becoming available or are tired of paying the taxes, etc., gift it to a child or grandchild who has lots of time to wait. It could be a good speculative investment for them.
Experience: I bought 6-7 non-perc lots on Whidbey during the past 30 years (prior to 1990). I sold 4 within 10-20 years and all sold for 5+ times what I paid for them.
I hope this is helpful.
David G. Cohick, CRS