What to know if buying vacant Land in the Venice Area
There is still land available in Sarasota-, Manatee- and Charlotte County. There are also prime lots on the barrier Islands (Siesta, Casey, Manasota Key etc.) availabe, but land is scarce on islands, and whatever is left will have a "premium" attached to it.
In Sarasota, land is more expensive compared to land in Venice. In the Gulf Cove (Englewood) or Rotonda area one can still get lots for a decent price. North Port and Port Charlotte has reasonable lots as well. But prices still vary from location to location. Expect to pay a premium for waterfront lots. Lots in gated communities include already the cost for the infrastructure of the community.
So, building your own dream home according to your specifications maybe an option. But hire somebody who is familiar with the area may be a good advice. The buddy from New York may is an excellent builder, but what does he know about the Gulf Cove or the Barrier Islands? Before he has made himself familiar with all the obstacles you may be as old as Methuselah.
Before you start digging, pay attention to a few things to make your project successful:
- Location, location, location is everything. If you do not pay attention to the location, you may later be in trouble.
- When buying waterfront: mangroves or dunes are usually protected. You may never get a permit to build a dock or seawall.
- Some trees may also be protected by law. You really cannot chop everything down. You may need a permit if you want to get rid of that huge oak tree. You may get permission, but only if you agree to plant a new one.
- Pay attention to the elevation of the property. If it is very low and in a flood zone, the flood insurance premium can "hurt" you later. If you are financing, a flood insurance may be mandatory.
- Check the impact fees (you don't need a surprise do you?). When on septic and well - are there plans for public water and sewer in the drawer? A mandatory hook-up can cost quite a bit of money.
- Setbacks and easements are equally important. Are there areas on the lot where you can not build? The setbacks will have an impact on the size and style of your new home.
- Are there any other restrictions? You want to build a workshop or a shelter for your boat? Better check with the building department.
Is that all you need to know? Probably not, but that is at least something to begin with.
Building Departments Websites
A word about natural "Pets"
We are living in a lush subtropical environment where wildlife is always in the picture, too. But among other endangered species, Scrub Jays and Gopher Tortoises are always protected. If they are on the lot, you may have to deal with nerve wrecking restrictions - or need to buy a second lot for them. Crazy? Check with local government if your dream lot is in a scrub jay area before you make a decision. We have written a Blog about Scrub Jays and what to know before you buy vacant land.