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Old 11-20-2012, 10:19 AM
155 posts, read 345,401 times
Reputation: 160


I was just looking at a 2.5 acre plot of land with some lovely views for around $20,000. After digging through house after house after house that I simply don't like, I wonder if it would be possible for me to build a pole-barn style house for a few bucks cheaper, in a much prettier area, for less money than it would cost to purchase a home and deal with updating it the way I want.

I have family in real estate, and my parents (I'm 25) just finished building their second home, trust me when I say I understand the emotional frustrations that come with it.

I'm solely asking from a financial standpoint. Would it be a better decision to have a home built? Or would that be more costly?
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:04 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,311 posts, read 39,574,242 times
Reputation: 23271
depends... permits / fees / availability of water / soil dozer costs / material costs / land costs.

I have a tough time imagining that you will find a buildable lot in CO with lovely views (and accessible) for $20k

I have built several houses, as well as had my kids each design and build their own Mtn houses while they were in Jr Hi.

My preference is to find a LEGALLY placed; TRASHED home or mobile home on nice acreage, then bulldoze it and replace with a repo Modular, or a shop with apartment. (low tax option)

By finding an established dwelling, you get well, septic, power, driveway, and permitted residence. (~$20k > $50k of infrastructure) (Impact fees in my area are far more than $20k, not sure if CO has them in many areas... Impact Fee is the levy to convert bare land to a residential lot... impact on services; bus, parks, transportation, fire, library, schools...)
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:49 AM
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I guess it would somewhat depend on the price range you're shopping in. A lot of bargains out there, but they tend to be in the > $400K range. Our current house cost over a million to construct and we got it for almost 1/2 of that. It was new construction, never lived in.

Do your home work before committing to buying a lot. If you have to build a drive way across wetlands, it's get VERY expensive and you have to buy back any wetlands you destroy - even though it's on your land. Talk to the army corp of engineers if you have any wetlands!!!

Also consider the direction the land faces. South is good, north with be cold and shady in the winter.

Don't forget to price out a well and other utilities. We just had a new well drilled (at sellers cost) and it was over $12,000.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:58 AM
155 posts, read 345,401 times
Reputation: 160
The plots I was viewing were listed at $19,900 and were about 2.5 acres each. It's in a rural area between CS and Denver. I did notice that there was a house just across the street from this plot of land, and other homes sporadically placed.

Here is the address to the plot I was looking at if it gives you any insight. Thank you for your help, I was thinking about septic, water, and electric (my parents even had to build a road to their ranch home in south east Texas, septic and electric were big deals). It's definitely something I worry about if we were to go that route.

13585 Woodmoor W Dr, Larkspur, CO 80118

Naturally, in materials I would probably make some easy decisions that we could change down the road that would save thousands. I was also looking at pole barn homes, or even a small barn home that could eventually be changed into a guest house later with a much prettier home out front. Colorado would make us pretty popular anyhow! Lol!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:48 PM
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,509 posts, read 2,215,132 times
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Make sure the covenants of the land you buy allows you to build what you want. You may find some of this information about the Woodmoor Mountain community on this website:

Woodmoor Mountain HOA | Wix.com
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:25 PM
352 posts, read 586,813 times
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Buying some plot out in the boonies is just the start. Finding reputable folks to build your house out there is another. My advice is to keep looking for an already built place that suits your needs.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:15 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,311 posts, read 39,574,242 times
Reputation: 23271
I avoid HOA's worse than the plague, they can be very restricting and always there is a 'difficult person' in charge to make EVERYONE miserable.

Fortunatley, the 10 + rural places I've had never were in or near an HOA.

I buy much used / surplus / habitat / restoration materials. My usual building costs are $35 - $50 / SF FINISHED all places with stone fireplaces and natural wood trim, fiberglass decks and several with 2 story garages (cars on 2 levels). I always do south face, incline with full daylight basement, and LOTS of windows. My costs are higher due to all being built in a national scenic area (Federal building control + County). But... you will find contractors quoting you $150/sf > $300/SF

Don't go there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:20 PM
66 posts, read 114,747 times
Reputation: 71
That's a nice looking piece of land. I have another thread going where I am describing a search for property similar to yours.

This might be the deal-breaker for you from the HOA's web site:

"No building shall be erected, placed, or altered on any Lot or Parcel until the construction plans and specifications and plan showing location of buildings on said Lot or Parcel have been approved by the Architectural Control Committee appointed by the Declarant (until such time as he feels the Association is capable and willing to assume responsibility for this committee) as to quality of workmanship, materials, and harmony of exterior design with existing structures, and as to location with respect to topography."

I am interested in following your quest and learning from your successes!

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