Tips for Buying Land in Vermont

Buying Land in Vermont

Land for sale at 109 Pleasant Valley Road.
Can you see the forest for the trees?

Selling and buying land in Vermont can be more difficult than you might think, especially if the land is heavily forested and markings on maps are not clear. I remember the first time I showed land (as a rookie, many, many years ago) to another realtor. I had a map and he asked me, “Where are we on this map?” and I was thinking… “Right here???” I was clueless, but I learned many things that day.

Trying to imagine where a house might sit on a piece of land that has many contours and nothing but trees everywhere is, well, like trying to see the forest through the trees! In my many years’ experience selling land, I’ve learned a few things. Here are some tips for looking at land and selling land.

Tips for buying land in Vermont

  • Get a Google Earth shot of the parcel and you can actually have a “bird’s-eye view.”
  • Get a topography map of the parcel. It will tell you how the elevation changes and where a good building site might sit.
  • An experienced real estate agent will also have a tax map, which can demonstrate topography, a bird’s-eye view, and soils information.
Buying Land in Vermont

Visualizing where to build your house is easier when the property has open, rolling meadows.

Even with all of these maps it can still be difficult to visualize the best place for a house to be situated. Open land is much more obvious. There’s nothing like a rolling meadow with some natural mother earth landscaping to envision where you are going to place your house.

Other Things to Look For

  • Is there a septic design? If so, for how many bedrooms? Septic systems are regulated by the state (since 2007) and if there is one it will be recorded.
  • Where is the septic design located? Its location will determine your house site and well site.
  • Where is the access to the lot? Will it require a long driveway or involve a lot of work to get to the building site?

A good rule of thumb to consider is that the greater the site costs for developing and building on the lot, the less the land will cost. However, if it is that open rolling meadow, the access is easy, the soils will allow for a conventional septic, and power is not too far away, the price will be more.

Tips for Selling Land in Vermont

  • If you have a heavily forested lot it would be beneficial to actually clear the area for a building site to increase a buyer’s awareness of what the land has to offer.
  • Mark the boundaries with bright surveyor’s tape; this will leave no questions as to where the property’s boundaries are.
  • If possible, provide the necessary permits, such as septic and access. It will make an enormous difference, and you will get a higher price for the land.

I hope these tips will help you the next time you go to look at land, so that you can envision your new house on your new land and begin your building adventure.

When you are ready to buy land in Vermont, give call me at 802-858-9193 or email me. I’d love to help you find the perfect lot!



Posted in Land, Pleasant Valley News, Rural Vermont Real Estate.