30. May 2009

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Home Building Lots: Part V

Fire Protection: At the fire department, find out if the land is within a fire protection zone. The fire department may want a test or inspection showing if your proposed house location is close enough to a fire hydrant and the water pressure and flow available at that hydrant. If you will have a long driveway or a private road, find out what the requirements are for fire truck access and turn-around.

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28. May 2009

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Home Building Lots: Part IV

Water Well: If you plan to put in a well, consider consulting a water witcher (dowser) or well driller regarding the best location and the cost. Neighbors who have put in wells can tell you about their experience, though it might not apply to your particular property. Some well water is over-acidic or contains contaminants such as bacteria or sulphur (which adds a disagreeable smell to the water). There are special filters available for these problems.

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28. May 2009

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Home Building Lots: Part III

Utility Hookups: Dealing with utility companies is similar to dealing with government jurisdictions, except that they may be privately owned. They usually have very specific rules, specifications, inspections,and procedures that must be followed. To find out what utility companies serve your particular property, first ask the Building Department staff. They can either tell you outright, or give you some leads. Some districts (particularly water and sewer) are very small and local.

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27. May 2009

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Home Building Lots: Part II

Before you buy, consider any of these factors that apply:

* Survey: Is there an existing survey? Ask if the seller has one, or check with the County or City to see if there is one on file, if not for the individual property, then perhaps a neighborhood survey. In some jurisdictions, the lot corners must be marked before the land is sold, but you’ll want to see where the corners are earlier than that, before making your decision.
* Reports: From the Planning Department, find out if you will need a geological hazard or engineer’s report. These are sometimes required for waterfront, steep slopes, slide zones, or other areas of natural hazard.

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