Electricity, water, sewage, internet… Utilities make modern life possible. If you are looking to buy Texas land outside of major urban areas, then chances are high you’ll come across parcels of land that aren’t yet connected to utilities. While land that doesn’t already have access to utilities is generally cheaper than land that does, you have to decide for yourself if the cheaper price is worth it because getting utilities onto a piece of land will cost you time and money!
If you’re facing this decision, here are some things you should consider:
Do Your Research
The first piece of information you need is to know where utilities are located. The listing brochure might say that utilities are nearby, but make sure to verify this with the local authority or the utility company. It’s best to get information in writing or copies of actual plans of where utilities are in relation to the piece of land you are considering.
Count the Cost
Connecting land to utilities means laying cables and pipes, either underground or above ground. Distance is a primary factor that determines the cost of this work. Another factor could be terrain or the type of ground where the cables and pipes have to be laid. Laying pipes underground will be easier where there is soil, and the terrain is flat, compared to rocky or hilly terrain. Finally, it also depends on the local authority and utility company, as some charge more than others. Do try to get written quotations before making a decision.
You May Need Approval from Neighbors
If pipes or cables need to be run across a neighboring property, this will mean construction and digging on their land. Besides the temporary inconvenience of construction, they may also be affected in other ways.
For example, they might object to having visible electricity poles and wires running through their land, and underground cables and pipes might affect their future construction plans. Not all neighbors will readily agree, and you may have to adjust your plans to accommodate their preferences.
Consider the Alternatives
Instead of laying pipes to connect your property to a water source, it might be possible to drill a well on your property if the quality and quantity of underground water is sufficient. Instead of connecting to the sewer system of a nearby town or city, you could consider installing a septic tank. There are also alternatives to getting power, including solar panels or generators. Different alternatives come at different costs and have their advantages and disadvantages.
Expect it to take time.
If you will be relying on local authorities and utility companies to get utilities onto your land, you will have to work with their schedule. They may already be planning extensions to your area in the future, they may be working on other projects, and you’ll need to wait, and in very remote areas, it may just be that there aren’t contractors nearby.
If you are considering buying land that isn’t connected to utilities, make sure to do your research, and consider the costs and the time it might take. Having a professional land specialist by your side to advise you is even better! If you are ready to buy land near Austin, Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio, get in touch with one of our land experts!