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~Since 4 weeks have gone by since my first property tour, I suspected the reason for all the feet dragging was that the permits had expired.
We still want the property. But I don't know who to talk to or where to go to get our land development plans approved.
I don't know if it's consider part of an agent's job to help us with this kind of stuff so I'm asking all of you. Plus, my agent hasn't responded yet to the two messages I left for him this week. :p
Would you buy 5 acres of land at 75% off the usual land price for your area without a guarantee of being buildable?
I'm 90% sure our plans will be approved(since the lot has previously been approved). The township stands to collect $3k a year or more in taxes from a built home than an empty lot.
Where do I go and what do I bring to get help with this?~
 

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Have you tried a lawyer maybe they can help, we have always dealt with a lawyer that specializes in real estate. They will know what to do next. Good Luck and let us know.
 

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Because it's a wetland, I would not move ahead at any price without approval to build. Just because it was approved before doesn't mean it will be again. Rules may have changed since it was previously approved.
 

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~I've already talked to a real estate lawyer and he recommended a guarantee of buildability be put into the sale papers.
Is it the seller's or buyer's responsibility to ask the township for approval to build? I know the final approval is the buyer's responsibility but is it ok for me to get the preliminary approval too even if I don't own it yet?~
 

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I would not buy without the assurance you can actually build there, AND assurance there is an approved site for a septic system. The way things are here, you can buy land and build on it but if there is no good site for a septic system, one cannot be built.

If the land is 75% less than other land in the area, that would raise my radar immediately. WHY is it that cheap? Nobody is going to discount something like land through the goodness of their heart, especially if it's sold on a contract for deed. CD deals around here tend to go higher than usual, not lower, because the seller is taking all the risk instead of being able to cash out and walk away. Also, the low interest rates on conventional financing have made CD deals rare these days, because there's not much money in it for the sellers. So again, that would make me wonder why they're so hot to sell that they'll discount the land AND offer to finance it.

I would start calling places to get the answers I need and not stop till I got the info I needed. Go to the offices in person to ask questions if you're not getting calls returned. If you're not contacting the right office when you call or visit, ask which IS the right office. Officials should be able to tell you. Anything that could end up being a drop-dead deal-breaker, get in writing, even if you feel like a fool insisting on it. It's the only way you can protect your assets and make sure there are no misunderstandings. It's amazing how many times we've been told after a verbal deal that WE misunderstood something when we knew darn well we didn't. Funny how fast the tune changes when you're able to whip out papers and prove YOU aren't the one who misunderstood.

It's going to be major work to build this place and this is the start of it.

Even if it's the seller's responsibility to provide documentation or whatever, I suggest you do your own research so you know exactly what the seller should be doing. Otherwise, how will you know it's all done, and done right?

Take good notes whenever you talk to someone. Note the date, who you talked to, what they said, their phone number, any numbers they give you for other calls, etc. Even if you think you'll remember stuff, trust me, you won't.

Good luck. It's complicated, exhausting, stressful, and sometimes frustrating to build, but worth it in the end.
 

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I agree, don't buy without building approval and perk test. Are you drilling a well? If so ask around for the a general idea of depth drilled. Build my own house with ex years ago and I remember the headaches all to well. It was very worth it in the end but we searched and searched for the right lot for over a year. We talked to all the homeowers within a few lots and found out about general well depths and other information. I personally went to town hall and checked map to make sure was never classified as wetlands. I wasn't about to let go of "my" life savings for lot without knowing every detail. Check and double check would be my advise. Make sure it is zoned for your personal interest. For example, on my road there can be no mobile homes or commercial buildings. Everything has to be stick build. Hope this helps.
 
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You may want to give some well drillers a call and see what they say about cost. Also ask if they will hydrofrack. That's pronounced just like it looks. If they'll frack once they hit a certain depth, it can help control the cost of a well if they have to go deep. Ours went to 450' and they still had not hit water. They fracked and we've had plenty of water since then. Without that 450' limit, they would have just kept going with no assurance of ever hitting water. Some people we know drilled to over 800' and never did get water. We were lucky they had started using hydrofracking technology, so we had a pretty good idea of the upper limit for the cost of our well.
 
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