The Dirt on Dirt

Understanding the real estate Value of Vacant Land Property in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  While determining a value for a lot in the Carnelian Bay neighborhood of Agate Bay, I had some interesting discussions regarding the variations in value for seemingly similar pieces of land. Like residential real estate there are a number of factors that go into determining the value of vacant land. Numerous agencies have varying guidelines, regulations and restrictions for developing un-built land within the Tahoe Basin.

The best guide for determining the particular regulations affecting vacant land can be found on the Tahoe Regional Planning Association of TRPA’s website: Specifically Land Coverage and IPES Score lookup.

Not all dirt is the same. Looking at 2 other lots for sale in Carnelian Bay, the clients were questioning how their lot could be worth any less. I did my best to educate the clients about their lots unique characteristics as well as the implications that county and other agency regulations and restrictions and the effect these attributes have on the ultimate value. I am curious to see if they are able to understand why I determined the value I did and what they inevitable do with the property. I hope the information I passed along to them can be helpful for others as well.

IPES buy up = mandatory if IPES scrore is below 726
Coverage buy up = if allowable approx. $10-20 square foot based on hydrologic area
Total = $30,951 

IPES– To allow development on the lot additional IPES points need to be purchased. Either by you or the future owner. There needs to be 726 or greater IPES. Your lot has 693. The cost of buying up the IPES score will be $22,176 (33 points at $672 each). 

Coverage– The existing allowable coverage is 1,755 square feet (15% of the 11,700 square foot lot). Coverage is the surface area of the property that can be covered by any structure or impervious surface including the house, garage, decks, sheds, walkways, driveways, etc. The most your lot can have is 20% of the lot size, 2,340 square feet. An additional 585 square feet. Coverage typically costs between $10-$20 a square foot. To increase the coverage to the maximum will cost approximately $5,850-$11,700.  

Value – A lot in currently in escrow that is completely buildable, with over 3,000 square feet of coverage, level, bordering open space on 2 sides, with underground utilities in Tahoe Vista was listed for $220,000. 

There is a lot currently on the market on Agate Road (a couple of blocks from Clients lot) for $250,000. It is  completely buildable, with approx. 2,808 square feet of coverage, level access and level building area.  

The clients lot is in a GREAT location, but, there are still some challenges. Even maxing out the lots building potential it still doesn’t allow for as large a home as either of these lots and there is additional grading and access issues due to the upsloping frontage. 

List Price – $190,000-220,000 Based on the above comparison value approach with adjustments of (-$30,000) for mitigation fees.

Do you have an interest in selling vacant land in Tahoe or know what the value of a particular lot is? Contact me today for a free Current Market Evaluation. Liz Edmunds (530)414-0753

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm
Liz Edmunds | Posted in New Home Construction Tahoe, Property Lake Tahoe, Vacant Lots Lake Tahoe, Value Vacant Land |