Rocky land

Hello - I’m currently in contract to purchase 1 acre of land in the south for about 35-40% market value. The land is in a very nice and desirable area. DOM are low for this zip code. My concern is when my agent, (she’s sold several properties of mine) said there were some rocks and boulders on the land. It also has a slight slope from the road. The property would absolutely need a septic system because it has gravel road access but no sewer line at the road. Should I require a perc before I close (I’d pay)? Or perhaps explain my concerns to the seller and offer less? Here are some pictures she sent me. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


thoughts: are there homes in the immediate area that have successfully installed in ground septic? call a neighbor to discuss or ask the realtor to talk with a neighbor for you. There’s a good chance the soil is the same and someone has already paid money to find out everything you want to know before purchasing this property. they’ll know installers, cost, options, permitting, etc. If you learn that conventional septic is not an option for whatever reason, find out cost of an above ground (mound) system—these are probably going to be the most expensive in any area, including yours. might not even be allowed, so you have to check with the building dept. Oh yeah, check with the building department first—you might find an incredibly helpful county/city official that will have the answers you need to proceed or back out. Search online—tons of info available on septic system options. You can always get a perc test—if the profit is worth the risk of spending the money but not getting to close, this is just the cost of doing business. Much better than being disappointed later after you own the property. You be the judge on the Seller, but yes, absolutely consider negotiating the offer. You have a lot of judgement calls to make along the way.


@sean-callahan and don’t forget about calling a builder that’s built homes in the immediate area—probably be happy to help and will know more than you need to know about septic installation on your prospective lot.

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@sean-callahan Thanks for your insight!

@sean-callahan I’ve called around the county this morning. Unfortunately I got a lot of voicemails and left messages.

Here’s a picture of the surrounding area. There are homes and there is a church directly next door. Do you agree this is more proof that it will likely perc? Or do you think the homes are too far away?

Thanks again!!
round hill rd.png

@melody-rauber i’m not sure which is your subject property in the png file you provided. Regardless, I wouldn’t hazard a guess anyway in answering your question. potential next steps:

  • if you already have a relationship with a local realtor, see if they might have any insights and if they would provide you the contact info for a local builder. If you don’t have a local realtor already, find some that sell land on landwatch and/or zillow and start cold calling.
  • you can always skip the realtor and just find a local builder via google.
  • contact the builder, tell them you are considering purchasing this property and are wondering what it would take to build on it (including septic).
  • or, the most certain way: skip all the above if the deal is potentially worth it and the percent chance of a successful deal are high enough for you: pay for a perc test.

@sean-callahan if the deal is lucrative enough, you should consider doing all of the above: talk to a local realtor that does land, speak with the County building and permit department, talk to a local builder, and get the perc test.