Buying Land

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Motomom34, Nov 30, 2018.


  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator

    I am looking at buying a few acres of land. This is an undeveloped lot. They say there is electric that I can hook into but water/well and septic is on me. I did not see a soils report but I think that is important when buying land in the Rocky Mountains. Have checked the map and the land is not land-locked but I need to check ownership of the dirt road. I have spent years gather knowledge as to what to look for and ask about when buying and existing house. Any advice on what to ask or look for when purchasing vacant land would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    Testing the soil and water is probably the most important. after that you would want to check things like temps year round, weather, how much sun it gets, etc.
     
  3. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    Sweet hope it all works out for you
     
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator

    There are no trees on this lot but some brush growing along what could be a natural drainage area and some Aspens headed towards the property. I looked at plot that was forest but there was so much beetle kill on the land and surrounding forest that it screamed forest fire potential. After the CA fires, I look at how dangerous a plot would be and if it would be hard to evacuate from.

    Great sunny lot with million dollar views.
     
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  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Some things to check:

    Are there any deed restrictions? For example you may find the property has been restricted via the deed prohibiting any commercial activity which would kill any home based business.

    Percolation test to see how well land supports a septic system. If poor percolation then you may need a mound system and hauling in sand and maybe dirt too can get expensive. Plus you need to consider where.

    Well. What do neighboring properties have for water? Well? If so how deep? Cisterns?

    Any “wet lands” on property or anything that could remotely be considered “wet land?” If so, that can open the door to a bunch of crap with Corps of Engineers and EPA.

    What are zoning restrictions?

    What permits are required to build and what are costs and ease of securing those? Typical ones: building, septic, well, landscaping, electrical (to bring in power).

    What would be costs for utilities connections/installation that you might use? (Power, water, gas, phone, internet, sewer)

    Are there liens on the property? Any other legal restrictions?

    What are the taxes?

    Have fun and good luck, hope it works.
    AT
     
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  6. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Get your Perk test for a septic system. This may be what Enloopious was meaning . Ask neighbors about their wells , how deep do they need to drill , this could affect drilling price , water quality , hard or soft . Good luck.
     
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    airtime covered most of what you need to find out.
    "They say there is electric that I can hook into" Who is they and what will it cost. A place close to me has been for sale for years and some kid's Dad bought it for the kid.
    Problem was that they had to fork out $25,000 to run a line down that road.
    Now of course I have power at a beggers cost of one pole on my property.

    Take all this information given and start a spread sheet. Check off each item and by all means get yourself a Real Estate Agent.

    The Real Estate Agent will do all the leg work and be able to fill in the blanks. And has LEGAL Obligations to you.

    As in my deal above there may be a reason you need to look closely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    What are the wind and solar potential ?
     
  9. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Might also check out water and mineral rights.
     
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  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Do you need 4wd to access the property at any time of the year?
     
  11. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Congrats! It's good to find a piece of property that may fit your needs. So many a person looks at don't quite.

    Check on mineral rights as well as water rights. Take a good look at the deed that will be used to transfer ownership of the property (that is, have it translated by your atty) .

    Check the title insurance, which should follow the ownership and legal transfer of the land right back to its original manufacture.

    Make sure the access road is either public property or a permanent easement. An easement would be recorded with the land description of the property the road is on.

    Fire hazard is only when the weeds are unchecked. You can mow them to a safe height.

    See if the zoning allows living on the property in a RV or temp housing while the house is being built.

    Check the amount of annual rainfall, and the average wind speed for the area.

    Find out what the taxes are, both now and after the land is homesteaded with a residence.

    Water depth and flow is very important, and easy to check when considering the well.

    Find out if any endangered species live on the land. They might prevent all development of the property.

    Make sure it has never been designated as either a graveyard or a bird sanctuary. (You never know!)

    Basically, you want to eliminate every unknown about the land to prevent the possibility of future problems.
     
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  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator

    Thank you all so much. This is the stuff that I needed. There are 3 plots I have been looking at, ranging from $2,000 to $8,00 per acre. IMO the price does tell a story. The one I really like could be sold in a few years at a gain. Colorado is booming and in 10 years, people may be building second homes in the area. But currently it is a semi-isolated area.

    They would be the real estate agent. That is what they have in their advertisement. I have an appointment to speak with him later today. I do have a real estate agent but I haven't signed all her paperwork to represent me. I have found they get really pushy to get one to buy quickly. I dislike that.

    Solar and wind are a positive with this property. I am hoping buy it, camp then build a cabin then maybe a house and all your info above has given me the correct questions because that plan may not be an option. Thank you.

    Protected species.... that is a good one @UncleMorgan that could stop construction permanently.
     
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  13. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Is water available for the well? By that I mean, the water is the property of the State - this is true for most of the West. So, a permit to divert is required. How much is such a permit?

    I went thru this on our Ut property - would up paying a was of cash to someone else to buy some of their water. The well itself was $5K - this was back in 1986, I'd hate to think what it costs today.....

    Is road access year-around? Maintained by who? You, the County or by contract.? Gravel, dirt or surfaced?

    You should look at the well logs of any nearby wells to get an idea of what you might have to deal with for putting in a well.

    Deed restrictions are a big. Buddy bought some land outside of Denver - 'a screaming deal' he said. Until he found out the prior owner had put in the parcel into the Land Bank, his hands were tied for the next 20 years. It was a deal alright, for the guy selling...

    Goof luck.
     
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  14. sdr

    sdr Monkey

    I looked at quite a few pieces of land before purchasing. Started getting fed up. Everything in my price range was too hilly, bad access, no trees ECT. Finally told a realtor what I wanted and at what terms. He did the leg work and a few months later found an ideal piece. It wasn't on the market. Just a foreclosed piece that a broker had.
     
  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Where is the electrical at?
    Utility access can roughly double the value of the land.
    Looks like for sure no water or sewage for the forsee able future.
    The main deal maker or breaker is electric.

    I have a 16 inch well and 3 phase service available at the well. I hear that well being useable increases the value of the land by at least $20,000. If I put a pump down there and can demonstrate it can pull 100gpm no problem it's worth even more.

    I hear wells in most of CO are deep, like 300 to 400 feet. Deep wells are expensive.
     
  16. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    You without question want and need either a buyer agent or real estate lawyer working for you in any real estate deal now days. The sellers agent is working for the seller and their own interest. As mentioned Zoning and Restrictions would be very high on my list... Getting harder and harder to find unincorporated counties with no zoning. Mineral rights are getting to be a very rare thing to own a plus when they are owned and transfer but not a deal breaker for me if they aren't. Future development is always a risk and a concern for me, but I am the guy that does not want a neighbor closer than 1 mile and preferably 5 miles out. Every property I have ever owned has been at the end of a dead end road fer a reason :) Check for USDA contracts on the land the most common around my area are CRP, Wetland and Timber Management, if any of those are in place you can do NOTHING with the land until they expire or you buy the contract out........ Buying a CRP contract out = you have to pay the USDA everything paid out on the contract + a 20% penalty on what was paid out and what would remain to be paid out. I would not get overly concerned with the septic system as the aerated units are just as affordable or less than the old septic and leech field systems. Unit I had installed last spring came in at $3270 installed and is rated for a household of 12 occupants. Septic and leech field would have been $6,700 and a Spetic Tank and Lagoon $4500. Course those same units in other areas people are paying $10,000+ for but as the contractor explained at $3270 he is making a $1700 profit for a 4 hour install........... "How much money do I need to make off of one job?" System passed the Health Department and IL State Plumbing Inspector inspection (Had to have the State Inspection because the commercial kitchen is hooked into it.)

    Electric service billed as "Electric is available" can translate to a whole lot of money or very little money. If the electric has to travel past anyone elses property YOU will have to get easements signed by the property owners. Some folks can be real pricks about that. Once you have easements to run the electric line the cost depends on the service provider and terrain they have to either trench for under ground or install poles on. It is very common for you to have to buy every pole and them suckers ain't cheap. And once the electric is to your property you then are usually on the hook for the cost of the transformer and meter base. In my case it cost $13,000 to run electric underground 1 mile and $5,000 fort he transformer, box and meter base.......... actually $10,000 for the transformers boxes and bases as I had a 200amp and a 400amp service installed. The cost of electric service being installed varies VERY greatly from area to area and power company to power company. A friend 1 road over and in another power companies turf had a nearly identical system installed minus the 400amp service and it cost her $37,000 and some change. If you have Rural Water ran instead of a well (Often more affordable if possible, than a deep well) it can cost as much as $40,000 per mile and $7,000 for the water meter base. And then there are phone lines (Land Lines) that range between $10,000 and $35,000 per mile. Not trying to discourage just make you aware of what the cost of *Available* utilities can get into in rural and remote areas. The first property I bought back in the late 80s had Water and Electric available to the property.............. that ended up costing more than the 80 acre property.......... Course that 80 Acres only cost $350 per acre back then :)

    Also as mentioned IF there is zoning and restrictions for that property, those restrictions can greatly restrict every thing you want to do on *Their* property. Their property is how I view areas with zoning. In the more restrictive zoned areas they can literally dictate where and how you can park yer vehicle on yer property and you will need a permit every time yer dog drops a turd or buries a bone. VERY WISE to learn these things before signing the purchase contract!
     
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  17. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    And that's why land without utilities is so cheap.
     
  18. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    Be very wary of anything the state or feds could consider a wetland! I had inherited a beautiful 45 acre parcel in the northern Catskills of NY. Split off from the farm my parents owned. There was a seasonal wet spot the state decided they wanted to call a wetland. Most of the year, except during the spring melt you could drive on it. The "wet land" designation meant I could rule out a building, graded driveway, or a septic system within 1,200 feet of the margins of the wet spot. A direct result was that the land became unusable except as a wood lot. No one wanted to buy it with those restrictions either.
    Ended up letting it go to the state for taxes, immediately followed by my leaving the Peoples Republic of New York. It's still a wooded parcel, but over grown and cluttered with dead wood making it a fire hazard now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  19. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    In Beaurgard parish the motto is
    Property Rights Matter
    May get an inch of snow every 5 years
    Water is shallow, Mineral rights are yours basically after 7 years or the ceasesation of production.
    Water rights is not contested
    I pay very little in property tax as ours is classified as timber
     
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  20. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    You may also want to look into this. This is how to get absolute title to your land. This will allow you to keep your land free and clear of all debts, encumbrances, liens, etc. I have done this and if you have any questions I can probably help.

    Do you own your Land?
     
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