Buying Land and Building on a Hillside or Critical Area, Yes or No?

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Buying land?

Remember the Mantra when buying land: Location Location Location.

Not all land is the same. Flat building lots command a premium in today’s market.

You may save money purchasing a lot with a little bit of a slope or wetlands or other critical areas, but be aware there is going to be an additional cost when it comes to planning, permitting, drainage, and developing the site.

That being said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing in purchasing property with a slope, although the foundation system may be more expensive, you will likely get the land significantly less than the cost of the foundation system. After all, most of the land left available has some environmental constraints. The easy lots are all pretty much gone.

Below is a great example.

A flat building lot in the West Pierce County area, assuming all utilities are available and all other factors being the same, a flat building lot could sell for $100,000-$150,000. While a mildly sloped building lot like this may sell for $60,000 – $80,000. The added foundation concrete may only add 3500-$5500*(Step foundation – not a daylight basement). That is a savings of $ 35,000+. Most landowners don’t know what it cost to develop the land so you can negotiate a bargain if you are armed with the right information.

So just because the property has critical areas, wetlands or a slope does not preclude the property from being a viable lot to build a single-family residence.

This is where a good feasibility study in concert with your builder is critical.

At Diggs Custom Homes we offer free site visits and feasibility information to help you make an educated decision.

We will put you in contact with the appropriate professionals to make sure everything is planned and permitted correctly and the entire project is strategically and carefully thought-out in advance before closing on the property.

We love land and we love helping homebuyers build beautiful new homes!

Please contact us for any of your real estate needs.

It is our pleasure and honor to help you.

Make sure you look at our home designs with over 50+ Exciting “new” floor plans here: Diggs Home Designs

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*The home in the image above is a 1300+sf home we are building in Gig Harbor. Slope %, the size of the home, location and other variables can affect pricing.

Author Details
Principal , Diggs Custom Homes
Don’s love of all things real estate has motivated him to spend the last 30 years in buying, building and selling, rehabbing, flipping, lending, Developing land and large scale plats and is a nationally recognized award-winning real estate professional.
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Principal , Diggs Custom Homes
Don’s love of all things real estate has motivated him to spend the last 30 years in buying, building and selling, rehabbing, flipping, lending, Developing land and large scale plats and is a nationally recognized award-winning real estate professional.
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