You might get lucky and find land that already has utilities on it, but you will most likely have to pay to install utilities on a vacant piece of land. Naturally, your next question is probably, “how much does it cost to get utilities on vacant and?” In this post, we will discuss the factors affecting the cost of getting utilities, how to get them, and computing the cost.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Utilities
One thing is certain — there is no fixed amount to cover the cost of the different utilities you’ll need on your property. You can spend less than $4,000 or over $40,000 on a single utility depending on different issues. Here are some factors that will affect the cost of getting utilities on your land:
Where your land is situated is a major determinant of utility costs. In most cases, if your property is near public utility connections, the amount of money you will spend will be lower than if you are farther away from these sources.
For example, you will need to pay extra for every foot of line extension from a power company for a power line to your property. In some cases, they might need to pass the cables underground — which is even more expensive than running cable overhead. Some companies quote around $40,000 per mile of power line extension. There are other sources of electricity if connecting to a power line is too costly because of your location.
The same applies for water — if you are far away from municipal water, you will need to pay extra to install the hookup you will connect to the water main. This is only feasible if you have access to public water. You might spend anywhere from $600 to $5000 to get municipal water to your property. You might have to dig a well if you can’t connect to public water.
The cost of well water digging is also location dependent. Where your land is situated will determine how deep you will have to dig for water. And obviously, the deeper you need to go, the more expensive it gets.
Depending on where your land is located, you might need to hook up your lot to a municipal sewer system or install a septic tank. You will need to pay monthly fees to connect your land to a public sewer main, and it might be more expensive than using a private septic tank.
The regulations in the area where your land is located will also determine how much you will spend on installing utilities.
For instance, some areas do not permit using off-grid power sources, which might leave you spending a substantial sum of money to connect to the grid.
How to Obtain and Compute the Cost of Utilities
Determining the cost of the basic amenities you need on your land is somewhat straightforward. First, you need to know the address of your property. If your land doesn’t have an address, you can use the GIS map of the county to determine the closest roads and addresses to your property.
You will most likely find “utilities nearby” on several listed properties, but know that “nearby” is a vague term. Buying land with utilities as close as a few meters away from the property will obviously be cheaper than one that has services two miles away. Although the realtor might have some knowledge about these things, it is advisable not to depend on such information. Do your due diligence yourself, to know how close you are to the needed amenities.
You will need to contact the local authorities to get the cost. Google maps can be your friend in this situation. For example, you can search for the power company serving the area where the land is located. Call the power company to determine how much they charge for line extensions. Then calculate the distance from your property to the nearest power line to know how much you will spend to get electricity.
If public amenities seem quite expensive (or are unavailable), another option is to call local contractors to give you quotes on the cost of the needed services.