There is a lot of land for sale in Kittitas County. But what can you do with that land? It depends! It depends on zoning, on access, on water rights, on septic systems, community rules and regulations and more. Although it can seem overwhelming, the key is to have a knowledgeable broker at your side, helping pave the way to a successful land purchase. Remember, my husband is a builder and I worked in that field (no pun intended!) for a number of years. I have a good understanding of what to look for.
Here are just a few things that I look for when helping my clients buy land:
- Water rights – The two biggest questions pertaining to land in Kittitas County are: “Does this parcel have water?” and “If so, do I have access to that water?” Kittitas County has compiled a map that answers these questions for each parcel by designating green, yellow, and red zones. If you do not have water rights, the property is unbuildable.
- Water Quality – Not all wells are created equal! Water quality can be a challenge here, so there are questions to ask the seller and tests that should be done.
- Water Quantity – Folks who have always had city-supplied water may not know the despair that comes when you are in the shower and your water has slowed to a trickle. However, during the summer when there can be a long time between rain showers or during the winter when we have a long frozen spell, groundwater may not be accessible or present. In addition, some areas naturally have more water than others, so you will want to keep this in mind as you are land shopping.
- Septic – There are different types of systems that are allowed in the County. If you find land that you are thinking of buying, let’s find out if a PERC test has been done which will let us know what type of system is allowed and for how many bedrooms.
- Access and Easements – Believe it or not, not all land has accessibility built in. A property can indeed be land-locked meaning you can’t legally access it from a public road. Unless you have a spare helicopter, in this situation you would need to gain access via an easement from whomever owns the property between the subject property and the road. This is a legal change to the property description that then becomes part of the title of both properties. As you can imagine, this will cost some money (IF the other property owner grants or sells you access).
- Road Grade – Access roads to the property cannot be over 15% grade due to safety guidelines including allowing emergency vehicles to access the property.
Remember, if you are searching for land online and find a piece of property with a very low price tag, there is usually a reason for it. Don’t speculate or wind up buying something that is unusable. Give me a call and let’s find out what we can before you sign on the dotted line.