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Tips for Selecting a Residential Lot.

Location – Determine what is important to you?  Is it proximity to work, transportation, place of worship, recreational activity, family, friends or affordability. Before venturing out it is good to consider first location. 

Community Characteristics – Urban or suburban settings are only a part of the equation.  Do you want parks, hiking trails, friendly over the fence neighbors of a little distance between your nearest neighbors. 

Property Access – Access to land is critical first to get to and from a property, but also to allow emergency vehicles onto your property. Selecting and that fronts directly on or has vehicular access to a public road removes much of this concern. If it doesn’t, make sure the proper easements and rights of way are in place.  You may still not be out of the woods, because access to property may also impact the insurability of the property and any possible structures.  Before considering the purchase of any property talk to your insurance company.

Property Use Restrictions – Check your potential property’s use restrictions to ensure you can use the site or even build the home the way you want. Restrictive covenants, homeowner’s association rules (architectural review committees), historic districts and environmental conditions like wetlands all affect your use of a property. Determine restrictions related to front and side setbacks or easements that may restrict usage.

Utilities and Infrastructure – Water and sewage are first on the list these in’s and outs are very important. Make sure there are no hidden fees for connecting to water and sewer. If a septic system is needed, make sure it passes a “perc test”, which measures the absorption rate of the soil where a proposed septic system will be installed. If there is no public water, then a well will be required and the gallons per minute flow rate is very important.  Check with building department for acceptable rates. Is cable television and high-speed Internet a must? Do your homework.

Know the Property - Walk the entire property and consider where you would place your home on the lot. Consider any easements and setbacks and then walk off the proposed location of your proposed home.  Ask and understand that building cost will vary with the slope of the land, trees, rocks potential hazards (wetlands).

Consider your Neighbors – A major highway, railroad, farm may have an impact on desirability of property.  Noise or smells may reduce the value of a particular property.  Check it out; use technology such as satellite maps and understand the neighborhood.

Select your Builder – Talk to several builders, see the homes that they have built and talk to former clients. Learn about your builder and the type along with the quality of the home they build.  Communication is key and establishing confidence through your own do diligence is extremely important. Make sure to walk the lot with your builder to help level set and confirm build requirements and possible costs.

Work with Professionals – When it comes to the purchase a lot it is important to understand as much as you can about the property.  Consider the Real Estate Agent, Builder, Lender, and Insurance Broker to name a few.  Communication is crucial and talking with the professionals can make your lot purchase rewarding.


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What my clients are saying  

We are recommending you to everyone we know in the Auburn/Placer area as the realtor of choice for a fabulous, fast and trouble-free experience! Thanks again for all the extra things you took care of for us, all the times you stopped by to check up on various tasks and delivered all the vast amounts of paperwork! Jim & Jane


~ Jim & Jane

Chuck was great to work with. We were looking to move up from San Jose and wanted to find a house in the Auburn area. Chuck lined up a number of homes that met our criteria for us to look at when we came up for our two days of "house hunting" and worked with us long-distance to negotiate and close out the sale of a great house. This included arranging for contractors to bid on and start work on some changes necessary. I would highly recommend Chuck to anyone looking to buy a house in the area.


~ Cindy & Mitch

Never gave up, and checked each prospect to make sure they were serious buyers. He knew what he was taking about, knew what was needed and what would help sell and what would not. Friendly and frank. A pleasure to work with.


~ Will & Sue

We are very grateful to Chuck Townsend for helping us find a beautiful peice of property in Foresthill. Chuck provided excellent advice on how to evaluate the cost/value of raw land based on how much site work would be required (water, electricity, sewer/septic, etc) and referred us to a contractor to get a preliminary estimate on construction costs. We learned a lot in the process, and were able to make an informed decision. Thank You Chuck!


~ Peter & Pam

Chuck is a professional who knows the ins and outs of the real estate business. He knew exactly what we needed to do as a family in order to get us into our dream home. We are very happy with the service that he provided. He will get the job done for you! We highly recommend Chuck Townsend for all of your real estate needs.


~ Scott & Jennifer

“I must admit that I was blown away with the amount of work that Chuck has done to help us with this transaction. The property was originally offered at a price above market. Chuck did an amazing job of analyzing all of the comps in the area and preparing multiple documents that convinced the seller to move forward with our offer. He helped us resolve the hand full of offers / counter offer issues related to rent back arrangements and other details. He has also taken a huge amount of his time to coordinate all of the follow up activities (inspections, appraisal, etc.) so that the escrow can close without any hitches. If you do not already have an agreement with another Realtor, it would be worth your time to give Chuck a call to see if he can help you.” Thom & Suzanne Kay San Jose, CA


~ Thom & Sue

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