2021 Market Conditions

With the inventory of existing homes available for sale in Sedona at historic lows, it is no surprise that sales of vacant land are on the rise. In fact, the number of lots sold in 2020 increased by 35% over the prior year, and the median sales price went up by 18%. The good news is that land is still a relative bargain. Even with the increase, median sales prices are still 40% less than they were in 2007.

Many people who call us about vacant land start with two questions. First, does it have good views, and are they unblockable? Of course, that is to be expected. The second most popular question is whether the property is in a Homeowners Association. Some buyers do not want to be bound by architectural restrictions, or by limitations on their ability to rent the home. And while these may be important considerations, there is much more to be concerned about.

As with a home, the purchase contract guarantees a due diligence period that will allow the buyer to fully inspect the property before closing on it, to make sure that there are no defects or other conditions that are unacceptable. What may seem counter intuitive, however, is that in the Arizona Purchase Agreement, the default inspection period for a home is ten days, and for vacant land, it is thirty days. But that is because problems with land are often less apparent. Here is a short list of other questions to ask:

  • What utilities available and how expensive will it be to get them to the lot?
  • How buildable is the lot?
  • What are the setbacks or building envelope?
  • If sewer is not available, will it perc for septic or require an alternative wastewater system?
  • Are there easements or encroachments?
  • Are there zoning restrictions?
  • Are there deed restrictions?
  • Is it in the city limits or unincorporated county?
  • Is access to the lot publicly or privately maintained?
  • Is it in a flood plain?

There are more, but I think you get the idea. If you are in the market for a place to build your dream home, be sure to work with an agent that can help you answer these questions.

Jan Bigelow

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