Do you own raw land? Do you want to own raw land?
Land can be a great investment but it’s not easy to find good land.
There are a lot of factors outside of your control that determine if your land is a great investment.
The most important factor is sewer.
That’s right, where your poop goes matters.
And it matters a lot.
Let’s dig in but first let me explain what sewer is.
What Is Sewer?
When you construct a building, you have two options to deal with human waste.
Option 1 is a septic tank. With this system, you flush your toilets into an underground storage tank.
The storage tank then slowly leaches the waste into the soil.
That sounds pretty gross doesn’t it? That’s because it is gross. Just wait until you have an issue with this system.
Option 2 is sewer. With sewer, you flush your toilets into sewer lines that run to a treatment facility own by your local government.
The treatment facility filters the water and puts it back into the environment.
This sounds gross too now that I think about it.
You want to have access to sewer and I’ll get into why next.
Why Do You Want Sewer?
This is the million dollar question.
You determine the value of your land by what you can do with it.
So let me ask you a question in return.
Which land would you pay more for: 1 acre of land where you can build 1 home or 1 acre of land where you can build 4 homes?
That’s a no brainer. You’d pay more for land where you could build 4 homes.
I bet you’d pay 4 times as much for the land with the ability to build 4 homes.
Side note: an acre is a measurement for the size of land. It’s 43,560 square feet.
Well you can’t build 4 homes on an acre of land that only has septic. Your local government won’t let you.
You need sewer to do that.
That’s why you want sewer. So you can build more buildings.
How Sewer Will Quadruple Your Land Value
I have a confession to make.
This statement isn’t true. Sewer can actually more than quadruple the value of your land.
But the title “How Will Sewer Septuple The Value Of Your Land?” didn’t have the same ring to it.
For simplicity though, let’s look at our home building example and use quadruple.
If you only have septic and can only build 1 home on an acre, a home builder will pay you $40,000 for the ability to build 1 home.
The home builder will determine that he can pay $40,000 based on the price of the home he can eventually build and sell.
How he determines that price is an article for another day.
If you have sewer and can build 4 homes on your acre, a home builder will pay you $40,000 for each home site.
The price of the home he is going to build and sell didn’t change.
But the number of homes he could build did change.
That’s a big difference.
Go ahead and ask your next question. I know it’s an important one.
How Do You Determine If You Have Sewer?
This can be tricky and will require some digging.
But thanks to the internet and your phone, you probably won’t have to get out of your chair to do it.
You ultimately need a map of sewer lines in your area.
This is different for each area but your local government runs your sewer.
It could be your county government or city government. You’ll just have to do a Google search.
Type in “(Your local government) + water and sewer department.”
And call your local water and sewer department office and ask them for a map.
They should be happy to assist you. After all, you pay their salary as a tax payer.
Even if it’s not the right place, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Most governments don’t have their sewer maps on the internet yet.
If you don’t have sewer, don’t bet on getting it. There’s a reason you don’t have it and it’s a dangerous assumption to assume you will get it.
Who would have thought how you handle poop could be so valuable?
I didn’t until I started dealing with land.
But it can add significant value.
I didn’t even get into more complex examples with commercial developments.
Have run into an issue with septic tanks?
If so, let us know in the comments below.
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