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Potential Problems When Buying Vacant Land

How to Do Land Due Diligence for a Vacant Lot in Middleton Idaho

Hey, Brian Freeman here, hey we’re out on a lot here in Middleton, Idaho and I wanted to show you a few things on this lot. It’s vacant land and there’s an old home on the lot that needs to be torn down, and I want to show you some of the considerations you would want to take in mind if you’re buying the lots we’re looking at for a client right now to see what they can do with it and if it’ll work for them.

Do Any Road Improvements Need to be Made to Get a Building Permit?

One of the things here is this thing’s got a big long easement road. I mean this is probably a quarter mile or more, maybe a half-mile, coming back in off the main road. One of the things you need to look at is if there are any improvements that have to happen on this road in order for the county, Canyon County here in this area, but we’re in Middleton zip code, so you’ve got to make sure that the county is not going to require you to actually improve this easement road in order to build a home in here to get a building permit. 

How Much Does it Cost for Road Improvements?

This particular lot actually has a building permit available which is great but there are also some other lots in here that are potential builds that have to get building permits, as soon as you exceed two on this particular road we found out that they’re going to have to improve the road. The cost for that could be anywhere from $100k – $200k to actually improve the road, so significant cost that you have to look at. So am I going to buy 1,2, or 3 pieces of land? If I buy the third piece and wanted the building permit you have to make sure that you have it in your budget to improve the road. 

Considerations for the Easement Road

Check in with the neighbors too to see if there are some issues with actually having that on the side of the road making sure you’re not encroaching on their property if you have to build up the road to get the width that you need for the fire department to come in. A couple of considerations here. Another consideration with the easement is this particular road up top comes in at an angle and turns, so when you look at a partial map, from the aerial parcel map it shows this easement is straight even coming through, it looks like it’s about 40 feet wide. 

How to Use the Power Poles to Locate Land Easements

One way to easily orient yourself is these power poles, a lot of times, almost all the time they’re in the easement, so whenever they can get them in a road easement they will.

This one has multiple power poles, if you stand between these power poles and look down and sight this you can see that line of where that easement is at, so it’s typically fairly close to the line, and then walk 40 feet, so on this property, if you’re looking at it there’s a structure that’s the old home that was here, it’s got to be torn down, but the actual 40 the easement comes and clips the corner of this old house, so this is not going to work, there’s going to be a setback off of this front yard setback that you’re going to have to abide by for building your structure. You have to make sure that this is not where you want to put the house. It’s not going to fit here plus it’s low here too so you’re probably better building the house up top. 

The other thing to look at too if you turn around and you look upon this pole you can see a transformer, power transformer, this is super good. We have power that’s on this property, you can see there’s actually a drop coming off of it, they have it coiled up or the other ones coil up on the other, there’s actually three of them on this property. If you look back over here at this old home, Idaho Power had already had an overhead drop coming to this house and had had power on this at one point in time. The home has been deteriorating for years at this point right now but the chance of getting power here is almost 100% based on that. 

Consider If You Will Need to Demo Any Structures on the Property

We’re going to look at the structure here right now so the one consideration you want to have is that, hey what am I gonna spend to demo the existing structure, there’s actually a barn on the backside too we’re not gonna look at that but it’s back there as well. If you come over here and look in here, this place is destroyed inside, it’s just destroyed, but you have it on a slab which is unusual for here in Middleton, most of them are on subfloors here. So you have to have in your budget to actually tear all this down, crush it and break out all the concrete, and then get that out of here or find a spot to put it in, you know fill an area with it.

How Much Should I Add to My Budget for Home Demolition Costs?

Demolition is something that you’re going to want to add $20,000 or more probably to demo this and the other structure that’s in the back. I will walk around so you can see the other structure, it’s old, I don’t how long its been sitting but it’s been here a long time.

Consider Getting Your Property Corners Marked

The other thing, we’re going to go over here just to stay out of the wind, that’s one thing too if you’re moving Idaho you want to make sure you like the wind so it gets wind a lot. So one thing on this particular property is you can see that there are some roads that go around it, these are like irrigation roads that go around the property. They’re not marked like we were talking about, you want to make sure you get the corners marked because those roads could be encroaching a little bit as far as the farmers that are going around the property so you want to make sure you get that marked out and is another reason to get your property corners pinned. 

One other thing is this particular property was the original lot that was out here, there were no other parcels here. What happened was they had their well punched it’s actually way over here on the other parcel now so if you buy this lot it had a well at one time and there are actually irrigation lines in the ground but there is no well here now. You will have to actually punch a water well in order to get your pot of water, drinking water, so there is irrigation that runs through the property still so you want to make sure you check your irrigation. 

Recap on Potential Problems When Buying Vacant Land in Middleton Idaho

Definitely some considerations, there are a lot of cleanup costs on this lot. Checking to make sure your easements are in the right spot, what’s the road improvements going to cost, make sure your corners are pinned so you know where your actual property lines are at and make sure there are no encroachments, so a lot of things to consider. We hope that was helpful to kind of evaluate and figure out what you need to do for buying land here in Middleton. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll talk to you again soon!

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