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Things to Know Before Buying Land: Tips 6-10

Last month we started our series of tips for things you should know before buying land to build a home. One way to ensure a good site that a Grand Forks ND home builder can work with easily is by choosing one of our areas of land available in Grand Forks and Devil’s Lake. Whether you choose our land or another site, here are some more tips to ensure you get the best site possible.


  1. Drinking Water & Sewage. Both are absolutely necessary. Ideally, you want your land to be close enough to town to access a municipal water supply. Otherwise more costly options include drilling your own well and setting up your own pump system. With sewage, you’ll need a septic tank if you can’t access the local sewage system. If you don’t go with a septic tank then you’re looking at composting toilets and a gray water pit, which is considerably more work.


  1. Electric Grid Access. One of the big reasons to choose a site that is already zoned for building and not far from town is the access to the electrical grid. You could find a beautiful, remote site that offers privacy and natural beauty, but if access to the electrical grid isn’t there, you’re going to face problems that will prove costly. If you’re not too far away from existing electrical grid poles, you can try to get the power company to install poles at your land, but the more remote you are, the harder it is. If that’s not an option, then you’ll have to turn to your own power off-grid sources such as solar and wind. However, these are expensive and sensitive to location and typically require back-up generators.


  1. Cell and Internet Service. Along similar lines, you want a piece of land that can provide you with a strong signal, because these days, it’s almost impossible to live without internet or cell phone service. If your signal is weak or non-existent, you could face serious trouble in an emergency. You also face big costs if you can convince a company to expand their service to your area.


  1. Road Access. Ideally, there should be a public road maintained year round that leads to your lot. You’ll then need to scope out your lot and determine the best spot for a road or driveway. Keeping it maintained is important throughout the seasons, whether you leave it unpaved or paved, and you’ll need your own snow-removal equipment, especially if you’re looking at a large lot of land and a long access road to your home.


  1. Soil Depth. This is important for determining the home you build, as well as the type of road access you choose. Shallow soil is more likely to drain quickly during heavy rains. However, if you choose a site with bedrock just a few feet below the surface earth, you won’t be able to include a basement in your home and you will probably have to pave your access road to avoid having to drive through large puddles regularly, not to mention the issues with ice. You should also check the composition of the soil, particularly if you want to have a vegetable garden, but even if you’re just thinking about landscaping.


Next month we’ll look at some less obvious factors to consider when looking for land that a Grand Forks ND home builder can work with properly. The more work they have to do, the more it’s going to cost you, not to mention some things may be beyond their purview, leaving you to deal with getting access to important features such as water and power. Still, by thinking about all of these factors, you’ll be better prepared to make an affordable and sensible choice in your lot of land.

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This post was written by Crary Real Estate

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