Buying Vacant Land in Idaho

  • 3 months ago
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Idaho is a wonderful area to buy vacant land! The rolling hills and gorgeous views for miles around make land in Idaho a precious commodity. There is a lot you can do with a parcel of land, and here a few things to consider before buying.

How Can the Land Be Used?
It is key to understand how the land you want to purchase can be used because not every parcel of land is eligible for building or hunting.

Zoning
Understanding how a piece of land is zoned will be key to determining if you would like to submit an offer. Zoning laws are typically designated by local ordinances that determine how land can be used and what restrictions exist based on that determination. Here are a few ways land can be zoned or categorized:

For agriculture or recreational reasons. This can include camping, logging, hiking, hunting, or fishing! It is important to note that even on private property, in Idaho you still need a valid Idaho hunting license to hunt on private land and you also must abide by season rules set by the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Click here for more information from Idaho Fish and Game.

For building. Many parcels of land include building permits that also indicate home sites where there may already be access to utilities like electricity, water, and sewer. Some parcels of land may not already have building permits, but they may be eligible for one (or more). To learn more about applying for building permits near Moscow, Idaho, click here.

For commercial purposes. This includes any plot or parcel used and intended to generate a profit. This can be anything from warehouse, industrial property, retail stores, parking lots, malls, hotels, office buildings or medical centers.  

Once you have a good understanding of what type of land use you are interested in, this can help narrow down your search.

Location
There are many areas in Northern Idaho where land is available, and each area provides its own set of pros and cons. Understanding the details of the location of the piece of property you are interested in, can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Location can greatly increase or decrease the value of a property as well. If you are looking to build or even sell later, this will be an important consideration. The location also determines where roads and access are, which may make or break a sale. An experienced Latah Realty agent can explain these aspects of a piece of land and help you make an educated decision.

Topography
Topography is also an important consideration, especially if your plan is to build on the land you purchase. According to Coveted Lands, “Good land typically has a nice water drainage feature whether that be the soil doesn’t pool up water or the property is slightly sloped, or the property is not going to end up in a flood zone.” Features like this can also affect how water runs through a property, either via a ravine or creek. Some property owners even utilize rapid water flow for hydroelectricity.

Flat is ideal for building and ranching and could be useful for growing plants if the soil is a good quality.

Spend some time reviewing the topography of the piece of land you are interested in purchasing.

Wildlife
Whether you are a hunter or just enjoy birdwatching, it is always useful to know what sort of wildlife might wander onto your property. Some common species that exist in Northern Idaho are woodland caribou, Canada lynx, grizzly bear, gray wolf, Townsend’s big-eared bat, wolverine, common loon, harlequin duck, black-backed woodpecker, flammulated owl, peregrine falcon, and boreal toad (USDA).

If you are a hunter, take some time to learn about the licensing requirements and what species are legal to hunt in your area.

Utilities
Whether or not a property has utilities on it varies by property. Some vacant land parcels are more developed than others. In some cases, owners may work to bring utilities to a property before the sale closes. Sometimes utilities are available prior to the sale and other times buyers are responsible for bringing them to the property. In Latah County. There are two electrical providers: Avista Utilities and Clearwater Power.

Utilities to consider are power, water, sewer, and possibly satellite television, internet, and cell phone lines. Here is a great resource to learn more about utilities on vacant land.

Surveys
Land surveying involves using “an intricate combination of law, math, engineering, and physics to work out and establish property boundaries” (McSteen Land Surveyors). Regardless of whether you are building on land, knowing where your property boundaries are is a must!

The Big Picture
There are many items to consider when purchasing vacant land, but do not be discouraged! Idaho property is some of the best land on the market, and our real estate agents are knowledgeable and ready to help buyers find their perfect piece of Idaho. To learn more about our agents, click here.

To learn about our current land listings call us at 208-883-1525 or email inquire@latahrealty.com.

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