Buying Land: A Guide to Getting Started

Over the past 12 months, we have seen a resurgence in land sales in Teton Valley like we haven’t seen in 14 years. This is big news! Of the 577 properties that have sold in 2021 so far (as of 7/28), 408, or 70.1% of these transactions have been vacant parcels of land. The median land price has also doubled from $75,000 in 2020 to $149,950 in 2021. Check out our full 2021 Q2 Teton Valley Real Estate Market Report here.

With a continued low inventory of residential listings in our area, buying land and building a home can be a great option if you’re planning to live in Teton Valley.

If you’re thinking about buying land, here’s a guide to getting started:

Loans:

  • If you’re applying for a loan to purchase land, keep in mind that there is typically a higher down payment requirement (usually 25%), and usually a higher interest rate on land loans compared to traditional mortgages. Land loan terms are often shorter as well – for example, we typically see a 5-year or 10-year loan with a balloon payment at the end. Be sure to check with your local bank or credit union, as some have been offering 20-year land loans with a 4-5% interest rate this year.
  • Today (August 2), the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate (for residential purchases) is 3.250% and the 10-year land loan interest rate is 4-5%.

Deed Restrictions:

A deed restriction is a legal document filed with the County that places restrictions on the use of a property.

  • Some sellers may add deed restrictions to a property. These restrictions can impact your plans and what you hope to build. We are happy to help research any deed restrictions, and we can help confirm if the property has building rights.
  • If you’re buying land in a subdivision, be sure to check the CCRs and any HOA requirements before planning to build.

Utilities:

  • Does the land parcel have city water and sewer hookups? If not, you may want to plan for a perc test (how quickly water drains through the soil), since when building you will be installing a septic system, and drilling a well. Well depths in Teton Valley can range from 80 ft to over 600 feet, depending on where you are in the area.
  • How far away are power and phone lines? Will you need to bring these closer to the parcel?

Other Building & Site Costs:

  • Is there year-round access to the property?
  • Will you have site costs beyond the typical costs? For example, tree grubbing, excavation costs, a long driveway, and any engineering that’s needed will certainly add to building costs.

Average building costs are still high right now in Teton Valley – but 99% of vacant land that’s purchased doesn’t have a timeframe by which you need to start building. This means you can buy land now and wait for building costs to come back down before building your dream home.

And remember, there’s more property coming on the market all the time, so make sure you’re looking for and buying a land parcel that works for your needs. Working with a real estate professional who is experienced with vacant land transactions can help you find your ideal property, understand the process, and have a smooth transaction.

Check out our current featured land listings here.

If you’re thinking of listing your property, we are still in a Seller’s Market – now is still a great time to list!

Do you have questions about buying land?
Get in touch any time – we would love to chat with you about the process. 

Related Posts

Teton Valley Team: The Distinction

Teton Valley Team: The Distinction

If you are seeking an ideal mountain property for the short or long term, or aiming to transition into the mountain lifestyle… …we are here to help you achieve your vision while customizing the buying and selling experience to meet your unique needs and goals. We’re...

read more

We're Joanne and Natalie

We work with buyers and sellers to help them achieve their short-term and long-term real estate goals.

Searching for more information?
Explore the options below.

JOIN OUR LIST

The Teton Valley Team Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest Teton Valley real estate news and updates.

Related Posts

Teton Valley Team: The Distinction

Teton Valley Team: The Distinction

If you are seeking an ideal mountain property for the short or long term, or aiming to transition into the mountain lifestyle… …we are here to help you achieve your vision while customizing the buying and selling experience to meet your unique needs and goals. We’re...

read more