Upstate 101: How to Buy Land

  |  July 16, 2013

Another post from local realtor Susan Barnett.

900564739  I’m getting a lot of requests for land lately. “Do you have anything with a stream, mountain views and decent solar exposure for $25,000?” Not much, unfortunately. “How about a parcel with a fixer upper for less than $50,000?” Not within forty minutes of Woodstock. Years ago I remember when you could find an abandoned farmhouse with a gorgeous piece of land for a song.  Most of those songs have been sung in Ulster County, sadly. These days there are fixer uppers with price tags ranging from about $110K to $200K. If the price is right, they tend to get snapped up quickly. Despite all the land in the Catskills, the amount that’s for sale is limited, and the price tags aren’t the bargain basement numbers buyers are expecting. But if you’re looking for a long term investment, and a chance to create exactly the house you want, whether it’s a summer camp or a Catskills mansion, land is the way to go. Here are some options. Another frequent request is for land with utilities already in place.  That one’s a real needle in a haystack, unless the house has burned and the owner decided not to rebuild, so that everything else is in place: water, septic, electric. Ask your broker if she or he knows of one like that.  One option I’ve been suggesting to people on a limited budget is buying land, then putting a pre-built house on it.  There are local companies that will bring a building on a truck, or even build a house for you on-site with pre-measured and cut components that fit together like Lincoln Logs.  My favorite idea is to buy a two story garage, put it on the land, live above the garage and, in time, add a house to it. You have to check with local regulations to make sure that whatever you want to build or install is okay with the powers that be, of course. Have you looked for land? Got any good ideas for ways to enjoy it without spending a fortune?

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