There’s an art to scoring acreage property

Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Purchasing acreage property is great if you want to build a custom home, pursue hobbies, and create a second home.

But be warned: obtaining acreage property requires doing your homework.

“It’s a research-intensive process,” said Franz Diessner of Team Franz + Joe with Coldwell Banker Bain. “When the buyer is engaged (in researching), they end up with a much better result.”

Costs to develop the land might add up. Diessner and partner Joe Overland provide buyers with a laundry list of things to consider when it comes to acreage: access to roads, utilities, and water; whether or not to install a septic system; drilling a well; dealing with zoning codes; and environmental concerns.
John Kritsonis of Bellevue-based Kritsonis & Lindor said a feasibility study is recommended when purchasing raw land. It’s important to consult with a real estate agent with knowledge of zoning restrictions like wetlands, flood plains, and other concerns.

Still, although it can be an involved process to get it, acreage property is in high demand, said David Knight, a broker with Landman Inc. Knight has been with Landman since 1995; he is a part-owner of the firm. Landman specializes in land, homes on acreage, and farms in the Puget Sound area. He said about half of his clients are from the Eastside.

He often points interested acreage buyers north to Snohomish County or south to Pierce County. There’s not much to offer in the way of acreage properties in central King County.

However, if clients want to stay in or near the Eastside, but still be in the country, Diessner and Overland say land still is available in parts of Redmond, Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation, Snoqualmie, and North Bend.

acreagetheexperts, acreage propertyDiessner and Overland say clients who are interested in acreage property are often looking for places to build custom homes or are relocating to find privacy and tranquility.

“Privacy is the No. 1 driver,” said Karl Lindor. “They don’t want to be impacted by HOAs … they want to have control to do what they want to do on their land.”

That can be anything from horses to archery to shooting ranges.

“I think they try to remove themselves from the asphalt and the buildings and be out in nature,” said Lindor.

But if you want to build that custom dream home, be prepared to be patient, said Lindor. It can take 18 months to two years before you move into a finished home.

No matter where you go, land likely will cost a pretty penny. Those pursuing acreage property usually have two incomes and are well-established financially, Knight said.

A lot of buyers looking for land are hoping to have room for animals, or like to do a lot of outdoor activities. “It can be a broad spectrum,” said Diessner. “(But) downsizers are typically not looking for acreage.”

Costs can range from $150,000 up to the millions, said Diessner — it depends on where the buyer is looking, and what’s already on the land.

So why buy acreage property? “Not everybody wants to live either in a condo or an apartment or housing development where the homes are basically cracker-boxes next to each other,” Knight said. “Many people want to have a dog or two, or they have kids that want to have a yard to run around.

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of “425 Business.”