Buying a building lot / vacant land in Northern Colorado

This post has recently been updated for 2012-2013

One of the biggest choices when deciding to build a new home is where that home will be built.  It is still a good time to purchase land in Fort Collins, Loveland and surrounding areas.  While the price of building lots seems to slightly be on the rise again, there are still many excellent lots available at good prices.  Below are some of the key factors to consider when purchasing a lot:

  • Location – Do you know what you are looking for in a lot?  What are your preferences?  Would you love to have a view of the mountains?  Is a certain school district a must?  Do you want a small low maintenance lot in town or do you want 40 acres in the foothills where you are free to roam?
  • Water – Most lots in town or just outside of town will be on a public water system.  City water taps and fees will cost between $3,000 – $8,000 while water districts outside of city limits will cost $15,000 – $25,000 (Little Thompson Water District, Elco Water District, North Weld, etc.).  If you are outside of a public water district your only water source will be a well.  The cost to drill a well can range from $15,000 – $30,000+.  Locations where wells may be necessary include some parts of Estes Park, Drake, Glen Haven, Red Feather, Bellvue and other rural parts of Larimer and Weld Counties.
  • Sewer – Most lots inside of City limits will be on a public sewer system.  If you are building on acreage outside of town you will most likely have to install a septic system.  Septic systems do cost a little more than connecting to a public sewer system.  While septic systems do require occasional maintenance they have come a long way and are much more advanced than systems from the past.
  • Soils – Soils conditions can vary from one lot to the next.  One lot might have excellent soil for home building while a lot down the street or across town has highly expansive soil.  Problematic soils can require changes to the traditional excavation or concrete foundation process.  These changes can add up to $30,000 or more to your home building costs.  This is a factor that many people don’t consider until it is too late.  It is worth doing your research and even involving a geotechnical (soils) engineer before you purchase a lot.  There is a decent chance that the previous owner had a soils test done.  Remember to ask the seller or your Realtor about this.  This will come in very handy if they already have one completed.  Contact us before you buy that perfect lot and we will gladly help you through the process.
  • Permit Fees – Is the lot in the City or the County?  This will make a big difference in permit fees.  Permit fees and impact fees due to the City or County will range from $8,000 up to $40,000 when building your new home.  Click here to read more about Permit Fees.
  • Covenants – Most homeowners associations have architectural guidelines that must be adhered to when planning and building a home.  Many have size restrictions, including minimum square foot requirements.  There are usually Exterior finish requirements as well.  For example, the front of the home must be at least 60% masonry (stone, brick, or stucco).  There is usually an HOA approval process in which an architectural control committee needs to approve your home plans before construction begins.  You will also want to thoroughly review covenants for other restrictions.  If you planned on putting a pool in your backyard the covenants may or may not allow it.

As you can see there are many factors to consider when purchasing a building lot.  As for available lots… what you will find in Northern Colorado is a lot of smaller in-town lots ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet and then a jump to a large inventory of two to three acre lots outside of town.  There is very little in between.  It is difficult to find a nice ½ acre or ¾ acre estate lot.  A small in-town lot in Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, Berthoud or Timnath will range from $30,000 to $80,000+.  A larger estate type in-town lot will cost from $75,000 to $150,000+.  The best value and the largest inventory of estate lots are currently in Windsor and Timnath.  Fort Collins and Loveland have very few to choose from.  An acreage (two or more acres) will cost from $80,000 to $200,000+.   There are exceptions to all of the above prices, but these are the general price ranges you will find.

Below are some of the subdivisions where we could build your new home in Northern Colorado:

  • Loveland / Berthoud – Mariana Butte, Dakota Glen, The Overlook at Mariana, The Springs at Mariana, Waterfront at Boyd Lake, Alford Meadows, Crescendo Village, Kendall Brook, Thompson Crossing, Backbone Meadows, Hidden Valley Estates, Sedona Hills, Ellis Ranch, Warberg Farm, Soaring Peaks Ranch, Rainbow Lake Estates, The Preserve at Lone Tree, Belcara and Matthew’s Farm.
  • Fort Collins – Fossil Lake Ranch, Sanctuary, Lemay Avenue Estates, Hidden Pond Estates, Hearthside, Sunstone, Old Town North, Harmony Ridge, Richards Lake, Glenn Ridge, Sage Hill, Boxelder Heights, Boettcher Farm Estates, Waterford Hill, The Hill at Cobb Lake and Coeur d’Alene Estates.
  • Timnath - WildWing, Harmony Club, The Preserve at Timnath Ranch and Serratoga Falls.
  • Windsor – Highland Meadows, HighPointe Estates, Steeplechase, Belmont Ridge, Bison Ridge, Ridge West, Poudre Heights, Water Valley, Highland Ridge, Home Ranch, Soaring Eagle Ranch, Eagle Ranch Estates and Ventana.

Schroetlin Custom Homes can build your new home in these subdivisions and many others throughout Northern Colorado.  We are very familiar with the different subdivisions and available lots.  We have access to hundreds of available lots and can help guide you through the process.  Our in-house Realtor, Jessica Schroetlin, can represent you when purchasing your lot.  Take advantage of our expertise.  It costs you nothing!  Call Jessica at 970-691-2013 or Contact Schroetlin Custom Homes.

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