Land Buying Checklist

When you purchase a piece of property, your decision of where and what lot should stem from more than its natural beauty and pristine views. By knowing the land’s history and the condition of its surrounding areas before you buy, you will have a more accurate depiction of what your budget and timeline for construction will be. Here are some things to consider when looking for that ideal piece of land to build your log or timber home upon.

Is the Land in Proximity to Necessary Services?

While mountain style homes and rugged locations often go hand-in-hand, it is good to be aware of where the closest amenities are. For instance, how far are the nearest police and fire stations? Will a grocery store be close by? How about a gas station? Even if your goal is to get away, it is still important to check how far away you will be from these services.

Are Utilities Accessible? 

Are there accessible utilities for your location? Is it in an area where public water, sewer, and electric are available or will you have to pull those sources to the site? Will you have to dig a well and septic system? The cost and effort expended to supply utilities to your site will vary depending on your location.  Before you purchase, you should check with the area’s utility providers so you can better understand and be prepared for what is involved.

Does the Land Have Road Access?

Does the property have a main road leading to it or will one have to be made? How far away are the major roadway systems? If there is no road to the site, you will have to consider not only how much it will cost to build a road, but how long it will take and also what the impact the site might be.

Is the Lot on Federal or State Lands?

Many couples building a log or timber retreat are often looking for a location where they can get away from it all. If you are looking for that undisturbed piece of property, look to see if your land falls under federal or state protected land rules. While these lands can have a pristine quality, they may also have rules that can affect how you will use the land. For instance, if you are looking at a waterfront property that is also a protected waterfowl habitat, you probably won’t be able to have a boat house or dock.

Do You Know What it Costs to Build in the Area?

Property costs don’t actually impact or reflect building costs, but your location does. In fact, the cost per square foot to build can vary from location to location. By checking into what it costs to build in your area, you can evaluate how much these costs will affect your project’s budget and timeline.

Are You Aware of All Codes and Covenants?

Many communities across North America have covenants or codes that put stipulations on what exactly you can do on your property. Design and construction factors like how high you can build your home and what trees can be cut down on your property can be determined by the area’s codes. It is important to be aware of all codes and covenants before your begin your project.

What are the Zoning and Density Requirements?

You may love the secluded value of your lot, but will it always be this way? By checking with the local building department you can research your area’s zoning and density requirements to see how nearby developments could affect your views, construction, and noise levels, now and in the future.

Would You be Building by a Fault or Floodplain?

Is that piece of property you are looking at located near a body of water or in an area that is known for earthquakes? Check to see if you fall within the area’s floodplain or fault zones. If your lot is within these zones, you will want to alert your designer so that they can make the necessary adaptions to your design before you begin construction.


It is your dream to build a mountain style home that will last for generations. By following this checklist, you can make a more educated decision on where you should build this home.

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