Building in The Georgia Mountains

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If you are thinking about building in the Georgia Mountains lot selection and location is  a critical first step.  A while ago I wrote a blog about building in Big Canoe. Big Canoe is a gated community with many facilities. There are many communities gated and ungated that have the same characteristics as Big Canoe when it comes to building.  BUT building in general in the mountains carries with it additional concerns. The folks here at All Mountain Realty are the people you should work with during this first step. Here is why.

1 Lot price can be a deceiving factor when budgeting. If you think the less you pay for the lot the better off you are you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. In our mountains the taken for granted concrete can be very expensive. If the lot you by has a sharp slope you may spend an extra 40,000 plus for concrete retaining walls. Also depending on your elevation trucks may not be able to deliver full loads. You will however be charged for a full load and multiple extra trips will add up. All this is assuming that you do not have to bring in trucks of extra dirt to level off a lot. Or for that matter remove dirt to create an access that does not give you a nose bleed climbing a driveway.

2 Water and Electricity become issues. You may be coming from an area that has regular water and power. But in the mountains you may be faced with drilling a well. A well can go down as much as 300 feet or more if you are unlucky. So if you have that beautiful land add  $10,000 as a starting point for a well and equipment . Where is the nearest power poll ?  Electric companies will charge you based on your distance to hook up.  Also consider, strongly,  adding a generator for those times when the power goes out. Why ? Guess what runs your well and water. That's right electricity for your well pump. No water no drinking , and more no flushing !

3 The road you are on is also a consideration. Is it paved or gravel or dirt. Who maintains it? If it is private make sure your neighbors all have an agreement on how the road will be maintained.  You don't want to be the one at the end of a gravel road that ends up grading to get to your house.  Your road and water will also effect your insurance rates as the ability to get to you  or your home in the event of an emergency is taken into consideration by insurance companies.

4 Lot price is not the end of the story.You should insist on the level three soil test. For the most part your home will be on a septic system. So here you have 2 issues. First of all you are in the mountains. You may have heavy rock layers under the soil surface. Blasting is not an option but there are  septic systems that will work  in this situation. The rub is they are usually north of 10,000 dollars more than a standard system.  The second issue is water. A stream may be apparent but underground springs are not. There are strict regulations defining how far a septic system must be from water.  If you do not have the level three soil test you may find it is costly to build, or maybe restrictive as to the size of home allowed, or even worse your lot may be deemed unbuildable.

 I have come in after the fact with so many folks who are looking to sell a lot, usually at a loss , because after they bought the lot  they did steps 1,2,3 and 4 above and were unpleasantly surprised.  I am in no way trying to dissuade you from building in our mountains. But I think you should be aware of the issues you may have to deal with which are very different if you are moving from a developed area and looking for your slice of mountain heaven. If you are thinking about building in our mountains contact the folks at All Mountain Realty. We are  We will work with you and assist you in your lot selection. You can see a great number of pretty tracts of land in our mountains . Just remember Beauty is not good if it is only dirt deep.

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Charlie Ragonesi All Mountain Realty Big Canoe and Mountain Blog

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Dan Johnson
LiLi Lua, LLC - Savannah, GA

Very valuable info, Charlie.  Keep them coming.

Mar 01, 2016 05:21 AM #1
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Charlie Ragonesi

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