This blog is part three in a four part series about purchasing raw land.

Every piece of land has their idiosyncrasies. The lot we purchased had it’s own challenges, and two of my clients also purchased very different lots so this is a great case study on the nuances of land.

Brian and Stephanie purchased 10-acres in Geneva

Part of Brian and Stephanie’s due diligence included figuring out what to do with the gopher tortoises that were found on their property. While super cute and slow, these guys are very protected and expensive to relocate, even if you’re able to relocate them onto another part of your property. Gopher tortoise relocation needs to be done by a biological environmentalist and there’s a specific procedure to follow. After the gopher tortoise relocation, Stephanie had this to say about the building process:

“The process has been going well! We broke ground a few weeks ago, plumbing was done last week and some electrical is being worked on. Soon the slab should be poured! As far as electrical stuff goes — that was more of a process, but other than that honestly for the most part things have been going pretty smooth!”

Stephanie is also working on finalizing finishes. Some buyers will enlist the help of an interior designer but others really enjoy doing it all themselves.

Sam and Carol purchased a beautiful and flat lot at the end of a neighborhood. Even when buying a piece of land that is seemingly uncomplicated, things may pop up after closing on the land. Here’s what Sam had to say about their experience so far.

“First unexpected speed bump was that the septic needed to be moved, which then moved the house on the lot, which increased the cost of the driveway because it got longer. Second – this is probably unique to us because we have to extend the road, [but] I submitted for permits and they came back requiring us to build a cul-de-sac so that fire trucks can turn around. I’m fighting that.”

When buying vacant land, there are things that you will only find out once you submit to the permitting departments, and you can’t do that until you own the property. This is a risk that is absorbed by any buyer when purchasing a vacant lot. When you purchase from a builder in a neighborhood, the builder/developer has already gone through all these steps and upfront legwork.

I will encourage you with this though…if you are not finding what you want on the market (you know because the inventory is at historic lows), and are a moderate risk taker and mildly ambitious, YOU CAN do this and I can definitely help you. From finding the parcel to testing it to make sure it’s suitable for building, to pairing you up with a builder that fits your style, if Covid has taught us anything it’s that we can do things that are beyond our comfort zone and we can do it well.