Buying land for a house, what questions do I need to ask?

Discussion in 'Michigan Homesteading and Home Improvement' started by MSUFW07, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. MSUFW07

    MSUFW07

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    We are looking to buy a small parcel, somewhere between 5 and 10 acres to build a house and possibly a pole barn in the future on. We have our eye on a 10 acre parcel that was once partially tilled at some point, but doesn't look like it was planted in the last couple of years. None the less, we are working with a realtor, who is my wife's cousin, she is new to real estate in MI, so I want to try to give her a list of questions that she can get answered before we move ahead with buying land.

    So I need help with coming up with any questions I should ask about the land. I know a few things like we want it to perk, so we don't have to have a engineered septic. I know neighbors on both sides have propane so NG is not an option out there. Beyond that I am clueless about buying land for a house, so any questions that might help me out just toss them out there.

    If it matters, this is in Ingham county, Onondaga township.
     
  2. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    Easements, known buried items, local well water depth, property splits, deeded rights (farming, timber or hunting), recent surveys, to name a few.
     
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  3. d_rek

    d_rek

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    • Easements and right of ways
    • Land survey / plat information / property boundaries
    • Perc test or well log. I believe a perc test is good for 1 yr.
    • Drainage, ditches, or landscaping permits
    • Any structures or improvements to property
    • Property zoning
    • Utilities available at road: electric, gas, and also cable/internet/land line
    • Ask/Talk to neighbors about water quality and what they do (or do not do) to treat their water
    • Township benefits ie: trash pickup, road grading, plowing, etc.
    • Driveway permit
    • Visit township hall to get instructions for site planning
    Drive around and look at neighboring properties to get an idea of how high above grade your septic/foundation will need to be. If heavy clay anticipate 36-48" above grade and to have to bring in a lot of backfill to achieve good landscaping and proper grade away from home site.

    Might want to talk to builders in the area about challenges of building in your municipality - whether it be poor site conditions or difficult township officials/inspectors. Talk to township building inspector and try to get on their good side.

    Call your utility (electric) company and see about getting a temp service panel installed before you start construction. Also ask about transitioning it to permanent service.

    If no nat. gas you will be either propane, wood boiler/burner, or electric (geothermal), or some combination of all the above. Ask neighbors what they are doing and see if you can't get an average monthly payment for utilities.
     
  4. Far Beyond Driven

    Far Beyond Driven

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    Good stuff above.


    Mineral rights.

    Property taxes.


    I have an easement for a train track about 70' from my house. Hoping they never cash that one in.
     
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  5. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    Review the township ordinances to verify you can build as you plan to. Barn size location etc
     
  6. Forest Meister

    Forest Meister

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    Or sell it to someone. The state likes those thing for lineal trails, anything from hiking and biking to snowmobiles and dirt bikes, or some combination thereof. FM
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  7. Waif

    Waif

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    Along with Far Beyond Drivin' s mineral rights ....Toss in oil and gas rights too.
     
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  8. tuckersdad

    tuckersdad

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  9. SteelShot

    SteelShot

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    Plan on a raised septic system. Ingham co is a pia for septic systems.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. tuckersdad

    tuckersdad

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    Might get lucky...I permitted a few deep cut conventional systems in that Township...
     
  11. MSUFW07

    MSUFW07

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    Thanks guys, it sounds like the property that we were looking at has an offer on it, which most around here get pretty quickly. So the search continues on that end. But thanks for the ideas about questions that we should/need to ask. Things I would have never thought about like easements, or mineral rights etc.
     
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  12. tmanmi

    tmanmi

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    Figure out who your neighbors will be, check court records and social media to see if they are dirt bags/a-holes.
     
  13. MSUFW07

    MSUFW07

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    I have a crazy b*tch of a neighbor right now, I just want a little more space between myself and the crazies. :) But that is a good suggestion, court records reminds me to look into sex offenders, I don't need that next door when my daughters are playing outside.
     
  14. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

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    Make sure the perc test and ability to find water at an acceptable flow rate withing a specified depth is in the purchase agreement. Then drill the well and do the perc test before closing. If it doesn't pass you are out some money, but not sitting on a piece of land you can't find water on. a few years ago there was a large, sweet parcel for sale in St Clair County, just a few miles from the lake/river than no one could find a decent aquifer on. Who would have thought?