Location, location, location.
The problem is, buying land often becomes an emotional purchase. And while the romance and aesthetics of a piece of property are important, those things need to be balanced with some more practical considerations.
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Just as importantly, avoid becoming excited about a piece of land before you know everything about it. If you fall in love with the physical attributes of the land, it will be all that more difficult to sort through the regulations that will affect how you can use it.
There are also development costs when building on a rural site. When buying rural property, you need to consider:
Water. If you can’t tap into a municipal water system, you’ll need to drill a well. This can add substantial cost to a project. You should also make sure the water is potable (fit to drink) and that there are no environmental issues.
Sewer or Septic. Although tapping into a local sewer system is ideal, it’s often not an option in rural locations. Before you set up a septic system, have a perc test done on your land to make sure the land is porous enough to facilitate drainage.
Power. If power lines don’t run near your property, you’ll have to pay to bring them to your site.
Surveys & Zoning Restrictions
Some of the more common ordinances regulate the maximum dwelling size or the materials you can use to build your home. You may be restricted to certain color palettes for roofing, siding or windows. Some covenants restrict outbuildings such as sheds, gazebos or playhouses. Water features like pools and fountains may be limited.
To get more information on buying land and see the Land Buyer’s Checklist, check out the July 2004 issue of Log Home Design Ideas.