Before Buying Land

Define your goals and expectations

  • Privacy
  • View
  • Cost of land and development/improvement
  • Location in regard to schools, services, ferry, etc.
  • Open land or woods
  • Functions (house, garden, pasture, shop, orchard, woodlot, pond, etc.)

Look at the land and note features

  • Slope
  • Soil consistency
  • Signs of erosion
  • Vegetation
  • Wetlands or streams
  • Condition of bluff
  • Wind patterns
  • Water table
  • Surrounding land use (neighbors, potential clearcuts, potential developments, zoning, etc.)

Consider Costs

  • Water: Be sure there is adequate water for your needs. Determine total cost of obtaining water (hook-up to existing water systems, well installations)
  • Utilities: Power and telephone
  • Septic Systems: Require a soil log (perc test) to help you determine the probable cost of an on-site septic system.
  • Surface Water Drainage
  • Easements: Make sure you have necessary easements for access and that you are aware of any limiting easements which might exist.
  • Clearing and Grading: Determine the costs of clearing for view, house-site, etc. and road construction and grading.

Before Building Consider

  • Property Lines: Make sure you know where property lines are.
  • Legal Building Site: Be certain that you have room to build given possible constraints such as wetland or stream buffers, bluff setbacks, or local covenants. Check zoning.
  • Access Permit Requirements: Contact Island County Permit Center for requirements if your access is from a county road.
  • House-site: Consider the position of the Sun in the winter and if the site will get enough light.

Available for download as a PDF.