Questions To Ask When Looking For Land

To enjoy the beauty, the privacy, and the satisfaction of owning your own acreage, you should first get answers to these questions:

Borup Yard

  • How much does it cost to drill a well?
  • Where do you get well drilling permits?
  • How many gallons per minute will your family need? What’s the best filtration system?
  • Where can you borrow the money for a land loan?
  • Why is the interest rate higher on a land loan than on a house?
  • Can you build your house before the land is paid off?
  • Are some parcels zoned so that mobile homes aren’t allowed?
  • What are the loan interest rates on “stick built” homes versus manufactured houses?
  • What are the County rules for placing septic tanks?
  • Should you have the soil tested for septic capability?
  • What is the County zoning and what uses are allowed? What uses require a use permit? How hard is it to change the zoning?
  • What is the General Plan designation?
  • What is the best way to clear brush to prevent the spread of fire and prevent soil erosion?
  • Do you need permits for grading or road building or timber harvesting? Will a “road encroachment permit” be required to connect to the County maintained road?
  • Who maintains the road?
  • Will the road need to be snow plowed in winter?
  • Are there any road or utility or drainage easements crossing the property that you can’t build inside of?
  • Can you put a gate across the road? Can you put a lock on it?
  • How does a neighbor obtain a prescriptive right to drive over your land?
  • If the parcel is covered with brush and trees, how can you use a topography map to determine where to build?
  • Is power available to your proposed home site? If not, how much will a rural line extension cost and what utility easements are needed?
  • If it is too costly to bring in PG&E, are solar electricity or generators and propane options?
  • Do you need a survey?
  • Can you split the property later?
  • Can you build two houses on the land?
  • What kinds of home occupations are allowed?
  • What is the response time from the nearest fire station?
  • Will your homeowner’s insurance be too high if you’re too remote?
  • Can your dog roam free?
  • Should you worry about mountain lions and bears?
  • What other pests are there? Mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, gophers, bats, skunks, deer?
  • What’s the most dangerous time to go hiking?
  • What are the best drought and deer resistant mountain plants to grow?
  • When can you burn debris?
  • Where can you still get garbage pickup service?
  • Can you get cable TV? Can you dam a creek?
  • What are you prohibited from doing on adjoining federal land?
  • How can you place decks, windows, and garages for maximum energy efficiency and fire safety in this climate?

Pine Tree

If you’re looking for land in Tuolumne or Mariposa County, talk to Lauree Borup at 209.628-4600. A local resident since 1977, and for 9 years Assistant (Land Use) Planning Director of Tuolumne County, Lauree knows how to find your land and help you avoid any nasty surprises. She wrote the subdivision ordinance, and has many years of site planning experience. The Borup’s bought 10 acres in 1982 and contracted their own solar home in 1985. There was no road, no power, and it was covered with thick brush, so they had to learn from scratch. After selling this property in 2006, they divided 157 acres near Groveland into 20 acre parcels. Since 1987 Lauree has been a Realtor in the Groveland area and helped many people buy acreage properties.

Vanessa Renkel-Meyers teamed up with Lauree in 2020. She owns 60 acres with a log home close to Groveland. She has been coming to this area since she was a child- hiking, dirt biking and exploring. She can operate a tractor, cut firewood, run a hip camp, and answer your real estate questions! Call her at 650.704-9973.

I am the basis of all wealth, the heritage of the wise, the thrifty and prudent.
I am the poor person’s joy and comfort, the rich person’s prize, the right hand of capital, the silent partner of thousands of successful people.
I am the solace of the widow, the comfort of old age, the cornerstone of security against misfortune and want. I am handed down through generations, as a possession of great value.
I am the choicest fruit of labor, the safest collateral and yet I am humble. I stand before every person bidding them to know me for what I am and asking them to possess me.
I am quietly growing in value through countless days. Though I might seem dormant, my worth increases, never falling, never ceasing. Time is my aid and the ever increasing population adds to my gain. I defy fire and the elements, for they cannot destroy me.
My possessors learn to believe in me and invariably they become envied by those that have passed me by. While all other things wither and decay, I alone survive. The centuries find me younger, always increasing in strength. All oil and minerals come from me. I am the producer of food, building materials and the home to every living thing. I serve as the foundation for homes, factories, banks and stores.
I have not been produced for millions of years yet, I am so common that thousands, unthinking and unknowingly, pass me by.
Who Am I? – I Am Land