Raw land is often found in desolate locations, which can make connecting basic utilities challenging, but how much does it cost for water and sewage?
Buying raw land can be a very attractive real estate opportunity, but if you are planning on connecting water and sewage to the property, you should be aware of the costs and logistics before you commit to the project. With that being said, there are a number of different factors that contribute to the cost of setting up water and sewage on raw land that can affect the final cost.
Connecting water and sewage to raw land can cost anywhere from $6,500 to $35,000 - with most people paying around $7,600 for municipal utility services. However, if you need to drill a well and install a septic tank, the cost for water and sewage on raw land can be as high as $35,000.
Real estate markets in the country continue to boom and acquiring raw land is more popular than ever. A raw parcel is any piece of real estate that does not have any kind of development or construction, which often results in these being some of the most affordable properties that money can buy. However, it is important to understand that raw land also implies that the property will not have any utilities connected. This is an essential part of any real estate acquisition if you are planning on pursuing development on the property. The most essential utilities that you will need to consider setting up are sewage and water, which can vary in costs depending on how you approach the project. To help you understand this further, we are going to break down the costs of connecting sewage and water to raw land in more detail.
After extensively researching raw land properties and construction logistics, I have been able to gather enough information to determine to costs of setting up basic utilities such as sewage and water on a parcel. My research has indicated that multiple different factors contribute to the final costs of sewage and water connections to raw land and you should weigh out the specs of your parcel carefully when calculating finances.
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Costs for Sewage and Water on Raw Land
You should expect to pay anywhere from $6,500 to $35,000 for basic utilities such as sewage and water on raw land. However, the truth is that the amount of money that you end up paying for sewage and water connections on your raw land parcel can greatly vary.
Each utility requires a specific kind of set up and there are a number of different ways that you can approach your connections. How much you ultimately end up paying will vary depending on whether you can connect to your municipality’s utilities.
If you cannot, it means that you will need to set up the utility connections without the assistance of urban utility services. Let’s dive into the utility costs of setting up water and sewage on your raw land.
Water is often one of the first utilities that property owners connect to their raw land parcels. The cost to set up water on your raw land can range from $600 to $12,000.
There is a huge spread in these costs due to the approach that you take with your connections. Your options are to either connect to a local water main or dig a well. If the option to connect to a water main is available, this is a much better route to take.
Connecting to a local water main is generally the most practical and affordable way to get water flowing to your raw land parcel. Your local municipality should be able to assist you with this by getting you connected to the local water supply.
The cost of getting hooked up to a water main is generally between $600 and $5,000. This will include the price of labor to have professionals help you with the installation, as well as the parts and materials needed for the work.
Drill a Well
If your raw land parcel is not located near a municipality, you will not be able to connect a water main. This complicates your water setup and it can greatly add to your final costs.
The cost of drilling a well generally ranges from $1,500 to $6,000. However, these costs can easily become as high as $25,000 depending on where you live and how deep the well needs to be drilled.
For a well to be dug, you need to hire a professional to come to evaluate your property so that they can determine exactly how deep the well needs to be. Just about every land parcel can have a well dug, but you need to be aware of local regulations before you commit to the project.
Given that most raw land is generally quite desolate and off-the-grid, drilling a well can be more costly than with other types of real estate. The best way to figure out the cost of digging a well on your property is to hire someone to evaluate the parcel and the conditions of your land.
Sewage connection on raw land parcels generally costs anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000. Much like with a water connection, setting up sewage on your raw land will vary depending on whether you can connect to a municipal sewage line.
If you cannot, you will need to install a septic system on your property. Let’s dive into the costs of setting up sewage on raw land.
If you are situated near an urban area, the best approach that you can take is to connect your raw land to your local municipality’s sewage line. This is easier, cheaper, and comes with fewer hassles and maintenance requirements down the line.
The cost of connecting raw land to a sewage line will be anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. This is usually dependent on how far your property is from the closest connection.
Septic Tank Installation
Septic tank installations can be a pain to deal with and, unfortunately, they are also pricier. If you do not have a local sewage line to connect to, this will be your only viable option for having a sewer system on your property.
Installing a septic system can vary in cost but $3,000 to $10,000 is the average. Naturally, this will be dependent on the size of the tank and how much work is required for the installation.
Factors to Consider
Now that we have covered the approximate costs that you will likely encounter when setting up water and sewage on your raw land, you must understand all of the additional factors that add to this price estimate.
At the end of the day, the cost to set up these utilities will vary from parcel to parcel and the best way to find out exactly what you will pay is to assess the qualities of your raw and hire a professional to give you a formal evaluation.
As I mentioned, your location will dictate your project in more ways than one. The amount of work required and the amount of money that you need to invest into your water and sewage connections will fluctuate based on whether you can connect to municipal utilities.
If the option is available, you should always opt for connecting to a water main and local sewage system. This is going to be considerably cheaper and it will also require less maintenance and work from your end.
The cost difference can make your investment much cheaper - with most people paying no more than $7,600 when relying on municipal utilities. Whereas, installing a septic tank and digging a well can potentially set you back as much as $25,000+ in some cases.
Every region will require you to obtain certain permits for installing your utilities. These costs are generally unavoidable but how much you ultimately pay will vary depending on your area, as well as how you approach your utilities.
Permits for wells and plumbing are reasonable and should not be severe to your final costs. However, some permits can cost considerably more - especially for septic installations which can be as much as $400 to $2,000.
Permits costs are different in each region. You will need to have someone assess your property to give you a final dollar figure.
Although most water and sewage connections do not require electricity, you may need to set up this utility in some situations.
If you can connect your raw land to basic utilities through your municipality, you do not need to worry about wiring electricity to your parcel. However, if you were not able to connect to a water main, you may need to have electricity for your well water pump to work.
If that is the case, you should factor in paying upwards of $1,000+ to set up electricity on your property.
DIY vs. Professional Services
The bottom line is that virtually all land owners need to rely on some professional services when setting up utilities on their property. With that being said, the more professionals that you hire and contract for the work, the more you can expect to pay.
You can mitigate the costs of your installations by doing some of the work yourself. For example, digging trenches for water lines and installing a septic tank on your own can result in savings that amount to thousands of dollars.
If you are on a budget, the DIY approach is always advisable, as you can ultimately end up paying a fraction of the amount that you would when working with contractors.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down because of COVID-19. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling