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Old 05-15-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


my wife and i are considering the purchase of a lot to build a home. the lot is a subdivided parcel of a larget plat. the lot is 1.25 acres and is served with municipal water and sewer, as well as natural gas and electricity.

the lot is located just north of denver colorado

the listing agent stated that the water "tap fee" is 22k
the tap fee for the sewer is 8k

from what i understand the "tap fee" is just for the right to use the service and it does not include the pipes and install to the house. the home is setback 115ft from the curb (where the utilities are located).

does anyone have a general idea of how much it woudl cost to get these utilities to the house? maybe a generic price per linear foot?

i need to know if we are looking at 10k 20k 30k? i have no idea, just wanted to be a bit more educated before we consider an offer.

p.s.
the electricity is already buried so we would not be putting in an overhead line.

Last edited by cobra5laddict; 05-15-2012 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


You are asking a very area specific question. I would talk to a realtor or someone local to get that information.

"How much will it cost?" Asking for price estimates here.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


$22,000 to hook up your water??? That's ridiculous. You could drill a well for a lot less.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


Call some local contractors who know your area. Is it just digging and laying pipes or is blasting likely to be involved? It could easily be 20-40K.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


Sounds like you need a Realtor to do some due diligence for you. Find one you trust. Preferably not the listing Agent Also, call the local planning dept at Town Hall. There may be more involved that they want to ding you for such as trees that conform to the neighbourhood and sidewalks
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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$22,000 to hook up your water??? That's ridiculous. You could drill a well for a lot less.
from what i understand 22k is only the right to tap into their infastructure.

Quote:
Call some local contractors who know your area. Is it just digging and laying pipes or is blasting likely to be involved? It could easily be 20-40K.
from what i have seen the land is flat without rock outcroppings etc. would i be on the 20k side? for elec, water and gas?

Quote:
Sounds like you need a Realtor to do some due diligence for you. Find one you trust. Preferably not the listing Agent Also, call the local planning dept at Town Hall. There may be more involved that they want to ding you for such as trees that conform to the neighbourhood and sidewalks
thanks for these ideas, the street (cul-de-sac) is asphalt and no curbs exist nor do trees. from what i have been told by the listing agent, curbs and sidewalks are not required (2 other homes have built across the street without curbs. trees / landscaping will have another placeholder / allowance in my budget.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


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Originally Posted by cobra5laddict View Post
my wife and i are considering the purchase of a lot to build a home. the lot is a subdivided parcel of a larget plat. the lot is 1.25 acres and is served with municipal water and sewer, as well as natural gas and electricity.

the lot is located just north of denver colorado

the listing agent stated that the water "tap fee" is 22k
the tap fee for the sewer is 8k

from what i understand the "tap fee" is just for the right to use the service and it does not include the pipes and install to the house. the home is setback 115ft from the curb (where the utilities are located).

does anyone have a general idea of how much it woudl cost to get these utilities to the house? maybe a generic price per linear foot?

i need to know if we are looking at 10k 20k 30k? i have no idea, just wanted to be a bit more educated before we consider an offer.

p.s.
the electricity is already buried so we would not be putting in an overhead line.
Basically, you should call a contractor to get some rough pricing.

I will shed a little light on those buy-in fees. In a typical subdivision that gets developed, all utilities are serviced to the property line and would be included in the cost to buy the lot. My guess in this situation, is that the water and sewer came in by means of petition. Basically, everyone in the area got together and decided they wanted these services. The Municipality would have agreed to this, and constructed the services by means of local improvement. In short, everyone has to pay for the servicing. For your particular lot, considering there isn't a house there, the municipality would have serviced it at the time, with the intent to recoup the initial capital cost whenever someone decided to build there.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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I will shed a little light on those buy-in fees. In a typical subdivision that gets developed, all utilities are serviced to the property line and would be included in the cost to buy the lot. My guess in this situation, is that the water and sewer came in by means of petition. Basically, everyone in the area got together and decided they wanted these services. The Municipality would have agreed to this, and constructed the services by means of local improvement. In short, everyone has to pay for the servicing. For your particular lot, considering there isn't a house there, the municipality would have serviced it at the time, with the intent to recoup the initial capital cost whenever someone decided to build there.
you hit the nail on the head for my particular situation. theis was rural acrage 10+ acre lots that have been subdivided. some of the adjacent farms still exist and would have been serviced by individual wells and septic systems prior to the utility improvements
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


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you hit the nail on the head for my particular situation. theis was rural acrage 10+ acre lots that have been subdivided. some of the adjacent farms still exist and would have been serviced by individual wells and septic systems prior to the utility improvements
It's very common.

Your next step will be to get some estimates. I offer some suggestions:

1) Find out how deep the sanitary is. This will serve a few purposes. Your price will increase the deeper the contractor has to dig. It also may rule out a basement bathroom (without pumping). It may also dictate the location of the house in proximity to the road (again, unless you plan to pump)
2) Find out if your municipality allows poly pipe for services. If so, a contractor can easily plow or chain trench a poly line 100' long with little time and effort. Copper will cost alot more.
3) You say the services are installed at the curb? Do you mean the actual concrete curb, or the property line?


BTW, I'm shocked the water buy-in is more expensive than the sanitary.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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1) Find out how deep the sanitary is. This will serve a few purposes. Your price will increase the deeper the contractor has to dig. It also may rule out a basement bathroom (without pumping). It may also dictate the location of the house in proximity to the road (again, unless you plan to pump)
2) Find out if your municipality allows poly pipe for services. If so, a contractor can easily plow or chain trench a poly line 100' long with little time and effort. Copper will cost alot more.
3) You say the services are installed at the curb? Do you mean the actual concrete curb, or the property line?
great advice.
1. would the city and county have record of this? the install was completed in the past 5-8 years.
2. i will check on Poly piping with the city and county
3. services are at the property line.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


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great advice.
1. would the city and county have record of this? the install was completed in the past 5-8 years.
2. i will check on Poly piping with the city and county
3. services are at the property line.
They should. It's called a service locate sheet.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:43 PM   #12
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


it appears that my city allows high density polyethylene piping between meters and private residences.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:17 PM   #13
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


In my area the power company will run the main line under ground for free.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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considering buying land to build, question about utilities


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Originally Posted by cobra5laddict View Post
it appears that my city allows high density polyethylene piping between meters and private residences.
Directional boring might be a cheaper option then a 115 foot trench. Certainly can be used for water line. I don't know if it is an option for the sewer but doesn't hurt to look into it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:23 PM   #15
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Directional boring might be a cheaper option then a 115 foot trench. Certainly can be used for water line. I don't know if it is an option for the sewer but doesn't hurt to look into it.
Directional drilling is a good option if you don't want any restoration. I know a lot of contractors that could plow a 1" poly line over a hundred feet in less than an hour. Or, if your municipality doesn't have minimum separation requirements for the services, you can install them both in a joint trench by open cut.

Directional drilling 'can' be done for sanitary service and in fact I have spec'd the method on many occasions. Some things to consider:

1) How much grade can you provide the driller. On a 6" hdpe (the fused material they use) I wouldn't recommend anything less than 5% although we have done it with 2% but we were stuck with no other options. Drilling on grade is do-able but difficult and the more grade you can provide the better the chances of success.

2) Drilling on grade is easier in dense clay. I refuse to paint a driller with a bad brush, however, in my experience, if the drill fails to deliver the desired results, it will be anything but the drillers fault.

3) In my area, drilling a 6" pipe on grade would run approx. $400-500 per metre. Open cut methods are typically around $200 per metre at approx. 8' depth. Cowboy contractors may work for less. The advantage with drilling is saving money on restoration.

4) You will likely be required to install cleanouts every 50'. The contractor would need to excavate the drilled pipe to install the cleanout.

Happy to help.

Last edited by psilva8; 05-15-2012 at 09:26 PM.
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