My Husband and I Made This Mistake When Buying Land, and It Cost Us Thousands of Dollars

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Don’t make the same mistake when buying a property.


Key points

  • My husband and I purchased land several years ago to build a new home in Florida.
  • It turned out that a small part of the driveway had to pass through an area classified as a wetland.
  • This meant we had to pay a substantial extra amount of money to put in the driveway.

Several years ago, my husband and I decided to build a new home in Florida. We carefully researched our options and looked for a property close to Disney. In the end we found land that was about half an hour away that would give us the privacy we were looking for as it was on several acres.

We did a lot of due diligence with the property, including making sure we could build the house we wanted on the land and could live within HOA rules. And we made sure it was affordable because we didn’t want to take out a mortgage because we weren’t going to start building right away and we didn’t want to pay on empty land.

But, unfortunately, we made a big mistake – and it cost a lot.

This is the big mistake my husband and I made

When my husband and I purchased the property that we will eventually build our home on, the big mistake we made was not realizing that our driveway would have to go through a very small area of ​​wetlands.

You see we bought a property that was 16 acres and had an old haul road and we thought we would be able to put our driveway where the existing haul road was so we wouldn’t disturb the wetlands at the front of the property. For various technical reasons, however, this was ultimately not the case and we found after we began to study the construction that we would be disturbing a tiny fraction of the protected wetlands as part of our driveway had to cross it in a small area .

This meant we were subjected to a host of costly requirements, including having environmental experts survey the area and determine the impact, and hiring an engineer to create a drainage plan with a culvert so that the water can flow under the driveway undisturbed.

In the end, it took a year to resolve in order to get a permit for the driveway and it cost us over $5,000 to involve the required professionals in the process. Wetland impact mitigation will also cost many thousands of dollars more and more than we have already incurred. And in the time it took, the housing market went wild, so we ended up not being able to find a builder and temporarily put the whole project on hold and move into a pre-built house. built instead.

While we plan to build one day, the mistake of the wetlands has undoubtedly cost us an incalculable amount of money and set us back years on the project.

How to make sure you don’t make the same kind of mistake

In order to avoid our mistake, it is important to have a survey carried out on any property you are considering buying and make sure you understand the impact of the survey. If you have wetlands, conservation areas or other protected land anywhere on your property, you should speak to the agency managing it to find out the rules and what this means for your future use.

By researching thoroughly, we hope you can find out the limitations and costs up front and can make an informed choice as to whether to go ahead with the purchase of the property.

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