If you own a raw land, you can turn it to whatever you like, within the confines of the zoning code and your budget. Whether you like to create a small cottage, a big house or make something in between, you are in control of how you can improve it and what you construct.
If you are planning to improve raw land, there are some ways on how to do it:
- If possible, tour your land with an architect. You can hire a landscape architect as it can help you determine what’d be suitable for building spots on your raw land so you can have focus as you go through the process of improvement.
- Consider surveying your land. Surveyors will provide you a map, which clearly shows the boundaries and where problems exist that could prevent you from building in the areas. For instance, neighbors have the right to cross your land in a particular area, survey would mark that area off. Usually, surveyors map the place of the nearby utilities that can be beneficial. They can also let you know the places where you can access public roads if one operates by properties.
- Meet with the zoning commission or community’s planning. They can let you know of the zoning restrictions that could affect the ability to construct on your land. You will also require their permission to begin any work.
- Make sure to test your land to know if the place on which you like to build could support your plans. Depending on the community where it’s located and kind of land, you might have to do an environmental testing to see if your land is clean and safe to live on. To see if the land could support your building’s weight, you need to consider soil compaction testing. To know if you could install a septic system, percolation testing is important.
- See to it that your land is prepared and cleared for building. It can include both plant and brush removal and heavier earth-moving to make a buildable pad for your house. You might also need to construct roads and driveways.
- Let architects help you. Hire the best architect who can design your property in accordance to the building codes of your local area. If plans are completed, you can work with your architect to present them to the building department of the community and acquire building permits.
- Contract with the best local utility providers including sewer providers, water companies, communication providers, electric utilities, and gas companies to have the services that you require for your land. If the raw land you own is located far from the existing connections, it might be cheaper to have your own utilities. For instance, you may dig a well for water. For sewage, you can use septic system and for electricity, you can use wind or solar power for electricity. For your heating needs, you can use some fuels like propane.
Although the DIY approach for improving raw land is a good idea, it’s always wise to hire a licensed and qualified contractor to construct your house.
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What are the best ways to improve land?
Some of the best ways to improve your land and increase the value are adding utilities, clearing the land, having a land survey done and getting building permit approvals.
is a land survey necessary?
A land survey is not necessary but recommended if you are going to build on your land. A land survey can help prevent easement issues, land encroachment, utility issues and zoning classifications.
Is it worth improving land for value?
Improving land, meaning doing the work to clear it, level it or add some structure like fencing can increase the value of the land. However, that doesn't always mean you will get more money for it. If the land is not desirable, these improvements may go unnoticed. But in the same way fixing up a home increases value, so can improving the land. Clearing a heavily wooded lot is a good example, with nice open space a buyer will be able to visualize their use for the land way easier.
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