Buying land? Trilogy helps you prep your parcel for a purchase

Use this land buying checklist before signing on the dotted line

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” —Mark Twain

Thinking about taking Mr. Twain’s advice? Been wondering, “What kind of land can I build on?” If you’re considering buying a little piece of heaven on the Ridge or in Butte County, make sure you check out Trilogy’s helpful parcel checklist first. 

Land Research Checklist

Some acreage comes with expensive or unexpected challenges. So before you sign the deed to a new property, it’s important to do your homework in advance. Otherwise, you could end up purchasing a problematic parcel with lots of extra costs or get stuck with unbuildable land.

Before you buy, find out what you’re up against by asking yourself these questions:

  • Have you reviewed a recent survey of the land you’re interested in buying?
  • What kind of septic/drainage is possible?
  • If you’re building in the city, what sewer and power connections need to be made?
  • Do you need to have a soil test done for a septic system?
  • How much brush removal clearing will you have to do?
  • Is the land on a slant? If so, how dramatic is the grade?
  • Will your new residence fit on the land with the appropriate setbacks, easements, and room for septic/sewer and well/city water?
  • Will PG&E and/or the water authority have easy access to the site to install power and water?
  • Is the property located in a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Fire area? If so, will the home design require special windows and other fire-resistant safety precautions? 
  • Does the property have easy access to roads?
  • Which regulatory authorities will need to approve the project?
  • Can you get gas or propane in the location if you need it?
  • How will the home be oriented based on the size and layout of the parcel? What exposure will it get, and how will this affect utilities and functions like heating and cooling? 

Challenges for developing sloped land

While it’s not impossible to build on sloped land, it requires a lot of planning. If the property is on an incline, you’ll need to either “grade” it or even it out with fill. Buying infill to add to the existing land can get costly, depending on the amount needed. Or you may need to build the house on stilts instead of a traditional foundation. If the house will be located at the base of an incline, be sure to investigate issues with potential water run-off, flooding, and mudslides.

Learn about building on WUI

There’s a lot of land in Paradise and the surrounding areas bordering Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) zones. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, WUI zones are where wildlands like parks or forests meet human development, like a town. In the event of a wildfire, fire can spread quickly to homes, so residences in these areas require special windows, home hardening, and other fire-resistant safety precautions.

Building fire-resistant homes in Butte County

Wildfires are a reality of life in Butte County. Many future residents wonder, “What kind of land can I build on and still stay safe?” The answer lies in being prepared, no matter where you live. You can do a self-assessment from CAL FIRE to see what your residence needs to withstand wildfires. To make your future home more fire-resistant, include items like in-house sprinklers, non-combustible siding, metal flashing, and firewise landscaping in the design of your future home.

Neighbors helping neighbors 

For over 50 years, Trilogy has been a good neighbor to our neighbors in Paradise. We’re proud to have helped so many members of our community build their dream homes. And after five decades of experience in the industry, we’re eager to share what we’ve learned with the next generation of homeowners. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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