Cate, Land is almost scarce now days. I have a parcel I'm marketing for a client in Cloverdale and it has very little competition and much activity. On my blog below I have a "Market Snapshot" which allows you to search for comparables on your property. Check it out. One thing you need to remember--If you bring the property to market you must have the following done:
1. Percolation test: Not an old outdated test but a viable, "vested" test with system design in place. If you don't have this and face a "wet weather" perc then you've created a major headache for ALL parties to the transaction as so many inches of rain has to fall before you can test and if you miss the "perc" date then you're into the next year!! "Vesting" the system is the way to go. I'd contact the PRMD (Permit Resource Management Division http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/
). Actually this would be your first stop to determine many facets of your properties marketability including but not limited to: zoning, minimum lot size, density, land use, septic requirements, water zone, etc.
2. Water: If youâ€™re in Sebastopol you could be in a zone 3 or 4 water area. Zone 4 means you MUST prove water before you can build. Buyerâ€™s want to come in and have a complete package awaiting them. The two essentials are septic and well. Get these in place and you can move forward. Weeksâ€™s Well and Drilling are the kings of Wells in Sonoma County.
3. Surveyâ€”know your property lines. I canâ€™t tell you how many clientsâ€™ Iâ€™ve represented who bought their acreage years back and where told the â€œfenceâ€ is the property line!! Rarely is it the case! And remember, Assessor Maps state right on them for â€œAssessment Purposes Only!â€ I sold a huge parcel in the Sharps road area years back which was over 600acres on the AP Map but when surveyed came up 50 acres short!! I could go on and on about the lawsuits Iâ€™ve heard from Surveyors who are called in â€œafter the factâ€ to determine property boundaries!
4. Is the land plantable for vines? Soils reports? Just because the neighbor has vines doesnâ€™t mean yours will!! Donâ€™t misrepresent! And if you have plans for a home forget about the new owner giving them any value. Your 10 acres price and finished housing product push the overall estate into the custom built arena. Someone buying this property will want THEIR dream homeâ€”NOT YOURS.
5. Lastly, financing. Good opportunity for you to carry and try an installment sale. If not great financing actually exists for bare land. Will you be exchanging? Iâ€™ve heard rumors of IRS investigation into changing the â€œlike-kindâ€ status so you might want to get this puppy on the market and exchange while the exchange laws are still in place!!
6. And Listen to my local radio show: The Real Estate Hour, 1350AM, Sundays, 9 to 10am, KSRO. Thanks!