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:

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!

Benefits and regulations around these multi-purpose suites

Can you guess the hottest accessory for spring here at Trilogy? Hint: It’s not those jelly sandals resurrected from the ‘80s, or polka dot bangle bracelets, or even those persistent fanny packs back for another season. It’s the ADU! 

What is an ADU?

Otherwise known as “secondary suites,” ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. These handy little buildings are located on residential properties and can be used as a guest house, a rental unit, a backyard office, and so much more.

Unlike main houses or cottages, they have a smaller footprint but still usually contain a kitchen, bathroom, and a sleeping area. ADUs usually fall into one of three categories:

Benefits of an ADU

Wondering why you should build an ADU? These little units are the Swiss Army Knives of housing. They can be multi-purpose and adapt to different uses and needs. Or you can build one for a dedicated purpose, like generating income or housing an aging family member.

ADU ideas:

Who can build an ADU? 

Luckily for homeowners, the State of California’s ADU guidelines have made building one easier than ever. They even offer a JADU (Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit) option for homeowners who want to build a small stand-alone or attached unit less than 500 square feet. 

What kind of ADUs are allowed in Butte County?

In Butte County, new ADU ordinances allow up to 3 units on a homeowner’s property, with rear yard setbacks of no less than 4 feet. For those interested in building an ADU in Paradise, the town even offers free building plans along with an Informational Guidebook to get you started.

Detached ADUs in Paradise can be:

Just keep in mind square footage maximums are limited by Septic and ADU zoning regulations.

Attached ADUs can be: 

Let Trilogy help you get started

At Trilogy, we always say “If you can dream it, we can build it.” This holds especially true for the ADU!

For over 50 years, we’ve been known as experts at building many different home types, including ADUs! So whether you want to have your very own “she-shed,” art studio, or other special space, we can help you make it happen. Contact us today to find out how! 

Your guide to how home prices react to the world around them

With all the recent ups and downs, the real estate market looks a lot like a rollercoaster. Rising interest rates and falling housing inventory can make the idea of homebuying seem like a wild ride. How do you know if it’s the right time to invest in a property to live in or rent out? 

After weathering decades of market changes, we here at Trilogy have learned a thing or two about the market. In today’s blog, we’d like to share some advice about investing in real estate. 

Low interest rates, high demand

While generally it’s recommended to buy properties when interest rates are low, it’s important to consider the inventory during this time, too. Low rates can heat up a market and drive home prices sky-high, like during the housing boom of 2020-2022. So while some homebuyers may have secured a lower rate for a mortgage, the value of the property may have been over-inflated, causing them to pay more than it was worth. And in some cases, competition could drive property prices beyond what certain homebuyers can afford. 

High interest rates, low demand

Conversely, when interest rates are higher, demand can be lower. This could force sellers to drop prices, and the potential for buyers to secure a good deal increases. When the interest rate drops later, refinance for a better rate. 

Let’s look at an example close to home—Chico. Our neighbor to the west just made a Top 5 list of cities where homes are selling more slowly compared to 2022. Because houses are sitting on the market twice as long as they were a year ago, there’s more bargaining power for buyers. 

Is a home in Paradise a good investment?

The short answer is: yes! Our little mountain town of Paradise is known for its resilience as well as its beauty. Building and rebuilding homes continues, with building statistics showing almost 3,000 building permits received and nearly 2,000 homes rebuilt. More and more people are returning to Paradise and investing in real estate here. 

Whether buying a property to be used as a home or as a rental, Paradise is a good investment. For investors, buying or building a rental unit helps defer capital gains taxes and provides housing for current and future residents. New homeowners can take advantage of first-time homeowner loans to help with a purchase. The Town of Paradise even offers a special deferred, low-interest loan to help bridge the gap between what a borrower can afford and what they need for a loan. Finally, the Rebuild Paradise Foundation helps connect residents wishing to rebuild with grants and other essential resources. 

Building with a higher value

If you’re thinking of building a home for yourself or a rental unit as an investment, contact us at Trilogy. With over 50 years of experience building on the Ridge, you can feel confident about the quality of our work. And our True Quote process shows you exactly how much the build will cost, ensuring your peace of mind.

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