Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: Vacant Lot Myths ... Northern Nevada Land

Vacant Lot Myths ... Northern Nevada Land

Vacant Lot Myths ... Northern Nevada Land

It has been quite awhile since we've seen this segment of the market moving In Northern Nevada with any regularity, but vacant lots are finally starting to sell.  Since it's been awhile since lots have sold, we thought it appropriate to review common myths about vacant lots.

Beware of the obvious.  Utility poles don't automatically mean you have power to your lot or in sufficient quantity to service your home.  Be sure to check with the utility companies to be sure that they are available to your site.  Another utility factor is where you locate your home on your lot.  If you have a larger lot that affords you the opportunity to set your home a long ways off the road, you might have to install a transformer, extra pole, etc.  This can add significantly to your building costs. 

Fence lines don't always indicate the property line.  Be sure to look for actual corners, a monument that you can find. Lathe near a corner is not your corner.  It can help you find it, but it is not the physical corner.  Corners set since the 1980's have plastic caps with the engineer's license number on them.  If a corner appears to have been tampered with you might want a surveyor to verify the corner for you.  There will be a cost for this service, but it is good insurance for you, like a physical inspection on a residential home purchase.  If you are getting a building permit you will need to have the corners identified for the Building Inspector. 

Some areas may be predominately well and septic served, but over the years water and/or sewer lines may have been run nearby.  If you are within the minimum distances from those lines you will be mandated to hook up to them.  This is not always detrimental, but it can affect your intended use of your property.  If any portion of your property is in a FEMA floodplain you will at the very least have increased engineering costs for getting an elevation certificate proving your home is sufficiently above the floodplain when it is constructed.  There are also specific construction methods for some floodplain designations.  Be careful as there are many lots in our area that have floodplain designations on them even though it looks like it is in the middle of a desert. 

Land in Caarso Valley, NevadaMake sure your lot has legal access.  An old road leading up to it doesn't mean you can get there from here.  There are many roads in Nevada that have been used historically, but not legally.  It is legal to have a landlocked property in Nevada - be careful.  Look your title policy over carefully, not just for access, but for easements (there are many varieties), deed restrictions, etc. 

Our Advice: When looking at vacant land always take a map with you.  Some lots are irregular in shape and the fences aren't always on the property line.  It is important that you look at the property you are buying to be sure there aren't any deficiencies that would be a detriment to your intended use, or that will require extensive and expensive clean up.  This can be as simple as an innocuous pile of debris in a corner that is concealing a hazardous waste problem, i.e.- where a prior owner discarded old oil and batteries.  Walk the land. 

Some lots are just plain unbuildable economically or physically.  Write your offer with a Due Diligence period so you can study the property and understand what you are buying.  Don't fret over buying vacant land - get good engineering, title and real estate professionals on your team to protect your investment and maintain your peace of mind during your acquisition and construction process. 

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs... Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472., 


Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine are the authors of this blog.  Lisa, Jim  and Jessie are experts in Carson Valley , Carson City and the tri-county area of Douglas County , Carson City and Lyon County.  Call our team anytime at 775-781-5472 or 775-781-3704.  To Search for Homes go to: Carson Valley Listing Book  or visit our website at

Comment balloon 2 commentsLisa Wetzel • April 02 2011 10:04AM


WOW Lisa and Jim, your post is full of some great information! And what is the cheapest one bedroom condo I can purchase in Carson City?

Vegas Bob ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz about 9 years ago

Hey Bob!  There are some pretty rough condosin the $35,000 to $55,000 range.  A few hovering around $75,000 and they go up from there. 

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 9 years ago