Thinking of Buying Land?

What to Know and Consider When Purchasing Undeveloped Property

With the current shortage of homes for sale in the area, buying land has become even more enticing. Whether you're considering an investment in land or looking for the site of your future dream home, purchasing undeveloped property certainly has its benefits. Most of us have heard Mark Twain's adage: "Buy land, they're not making it anymore." It rings true with the current growth we are experiencing in Grand County. As the area grows in population and vacation homes, the available acreage for building remains the same. Not only is land a strong investment, should you choose to build, constructing your home from the ground up gives you the ability to create the space that best suits your needs and preferences!



Land shopping comes with many important considerations. Lot size and characteristics, sun exposure, location, soil composition, road access, and connectivity are just a few factors to examine carefully when looking to buy undeveloped property.  Equally important is access to utilities like water supply, sewage disposal, and connection to the electric grid. Does the property have connection to city water and sewer? Or will you need a well and on-site wastewater treatment system? How accessible is electricity? The process for bringing electricity to your home can vary widely in terms of complication and expense. Checking with Mountain Parks Electric prior to purchasing can help you get a better understanding of the cost to connect to electricity. Xcel Energy can determine the process and cost for gas connection. Cable and internet access can be inconsistent in our rural community, so checking with internet and cable providers to determine if they serve your location can help you avoid surprises down the road. 

Homeowner's Association

A majority of properties in the area have some form of Homeowner's Association. If the property you are considering has one, it is important to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and policies of the HOA. Design requirements, structural restrictions, membership fees, and community regulations should all be available to you when considering your purchase. Make sure you are comfortable committing to the covenants, conditions, and restrictions before buying your property.


If you're not sure where to start or look, that's where we come in! We are here to help you navigate and research it all, using our years of experience and knowledge of the area to ensure your new land purchase gives you peace of mind that comes with full understanding of your unique property!


The cost of building a home is more than simply building supplies and labor. There are several other costs associated with new construction:

  • Well ≈ $20K +/-
  • Septic ≈ $20K +/-
  • Tap fees (dependent on town/subdivision) ≈ $7,500-$10,000 for each water + sewer
  • Soils test (used to determine the composition of the soil for foundation/drainage recommendations + septic design) ≈ $4,000 starting cost
  • ILC: Improvement Location Certificate (addresses encroachments, legal description, easements; may be required by title or mortgage lender; not sufficient for building plans) ≈ $2,500 starting cost
  • Survey (required for building + design/architect) ≈ 4000+ starting cost


The price per square foot can vary greatly as numerous factors influence costs:

  • Construction techniques and complexity related to our extreme climate
  • Property specifics (soil, topography, access to utilities, etc.)
  • Design details (size, complexity, style)
  • Systems options (heating, mechanical & electrical, etc.)
  • Exterior and interior finishes

According to the Grand County Builders Association, the estimated current price to build for ground-up construction typically falls into the $400-$800 per square foot range, dependent on factors listed above, labor costs, and supply chain access. Should you decide to build, we can help connect you with builders that can give you more specific estimates for your unique build. 


Investing in land and building the home you've been dreaming of is an exciting prospect, and we would love to offer our expertise to  support you on the journey. Reach out today, and we can embark on the adventure together!

Posted by Angela McDonough (Sandstrom) on


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