Are you getting ready to have your dream home built by a professional contractor? Do you have your floor plans all drawn up, and are you now just looking for the perfect country setting before giving the okay for your contractor to start work? If so, here are 2 things you should be aware of before agreeing to any land purchase in rural America.
1. Conservation Easements
Conservation easements are parcels of land that are protected by the Nature Conservancy. Under an easement, the land owner retains ownership of his or her land but is given certain tax breaks in exchange for their promise to limit the development of the land which has been eased. Conservation easements are either purchased by or donated to the Nature Conservancy for reasons ranging from the protection of a certain plant or animal species, the preservation of natural landscapes, or the want to keep land open for agricultural farming.
As a future home builder, you should care about conservation easements because they generally remain binding even after the land they're on has been transferred to a different owner. This means that if you buy a parcel of land that has an easement on it, you may not be able to develop that land to suit your own needs at any point in the future.
The homeowner or realtor in charge of selling a lot may not disclose the fact that it has an easement on it; you've got to do your own research. You can find out whether or not the lot you're considering for purchase has an easement on it by contacting the county clerk in the town it's located in and asking to see a copy of the land deed. You'll find any easements on the property listed in the section titled "legal description of property".
2. Topography And Vegetation
In order for your contractor to start building your new home, the land you choose to have it built on will first need to be excavated and graded. Excavation is the process of removing all the trees and plants from the property, and grading is the process of making the land nice and flat so your new home's foundation sits level. If you haven't taken topography and soil type into consideration when choosing your lot, this is where you're likely to run into hidden costs.
Excavation costs typically range from $600 to $7000, depending on the size of the land to be excavated and the amount of vegetation that needs to be removed from the land. It usually costs between $50 and $150 an hour for the labor and equipment needed to grade a parcel of land, depending on the topography and soil type.
If you purchase a lot of land with loose, light soil and few trees, it's going to cost significantly less to prepare that land for your new home than it would if you purchased a lot of land with heavily compacted soil, ledges, and heavy vegetation. Since there are so many variables that affect the cost of excavation and grading, no respectable contractor will quote you a price until they see the land for him or herself.
Before you agree to purchase a lot of land on which you'll have your new home constructed, get a quote for excavation and grading services; this is the only way to know for sure if the prep work necessary for your new house falls within your budget.
If you've been working on designing your dream home and now must decide on the perfect location for it, play it safe by taking the above 2 things into consideration before agreeing to the purchase of a rural lot. For more great tips on how to choose a rural lot for your dream home, contact a professional new home builder like Lacrosse Homes near you.