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In Part 1 of this series, we looked at general considerations for building your own home. Today, we’ll take a look at land and site preparation considerations and costs.

First you need to find a suitable piece of vacant land which might be in-town or may be in the country.  Once you have that general idea and have selected a potential location, there are, as a minimum, many questions you need to find answers for such as:

What is the zoning on the property and what are the zoning provisions?  These are things like what uses are permitted, what are the required set back allowances, maximum or minimum frontages, buildings, etc.  This is very important!
Are building permits readily available?
Is the property under the jurisdiction of other bodies such as the Niagara Escarpment Commission or a local Conservation Authority in Grey or Simcoe?  If so, what are their requirements and zone provisions?
What is the zoning of neighbouring properties?  You might not enjoy having a pig farm or chicken farm across the road or upwind.  In town, that vacant land parcel behind you might be a convenience store some day or perhaps a gas station.
If the land is rural, is it on a school bus route and is it well-maintained in the winter?
What municipal services are available and at what cost?  It can be very expensive to bring in hydro if it is far from an existing pole or if you plan to set your home far back on a property.  What about municipal water and sewers?  If you’ll need to drill a well, how is the water table in the area both in terms of quality and quantity?  Would you easily be able to get a septic permit or will you need to have the site engineered and thousands of dollars of fill added?  Can you get natural gas for heating?
Is high speed internet available?
Is a survey available for the property?
Is the lot subject to flooding?

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The cost of buildable vacant land in our area can range anywhere from $40,000 to over $600,000 depending of course on the location but also upon the desirability of the lot for building and, the costs to prepare the site.  In addition to acquiring the lot, there are several other costs to consider before you put a shovel in the ground.

legal fees, land transfer tax and miscellaneous land acquisition costs
Survey, design fees and blue prints
Health Unit inspection/ septic permit application if applicable and potentially site changes to accommodate approved septic, may also require engineer study of the site
Well drilling and well equipment if applicable
Fees to connect to municipal water and sewers including hook-ups and meters
Building permit application (and several other permit fees)
Hydro servicing
Development Charges/lot levies.  These can be VERY substantial and you should determine these costs during a conditional period for due diligence when you make an offer on a property.  See links to municipal pages below to find out fees.
Fill.  Again, this may be a requirement of your plan based on topography however, it may also be required by the permitting authorities be it a conservation authority, the NEC, the Town or the Health Unit.  This can be a considerable expense.
The cost to put in the driveway.

To get an idea of costs, have a look at permit fees on the various municipal sites such as Collingwood, the Town of Blue Mountains, Clearview,  Wasaga Beach  or Meaford  Remember, all of these costs are incurred BEFORE you put a shovel into the ground. We’ll take a look at building costs next week.

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Go to Part 3: Building Costs

Related Posts:

Part 1:  Building A Home in the Collingwood  Blue Mountain Area
The Time Has Come To Build Green 

When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who’s ready whenever you are!

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Marg Scheben-Edey

Real Estate Broker
Market Value Appraiser - Residential
Accredited Green Broker™
(designated by the National Association of Green Agents & Brokers)

RE/MAX four seasons
realty limited, Brokerage
Each Office Independently Owned & Operated
67 First Street, Collingwood L9Y 1A2

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