In order to build a custom home, you usually need to find land on which you can build it. But how much does an acre cost? The cost of land can be a major factor in your final budget because the price depends heavily on a variety of factors. As a state where people are flocking for great weather and beautiful views, you have to watch the Utah real estate markets to know what you can expect to pay. Here are a few things to think about as you consider land options for your custom home project.
What Is the Average Price for an Acre of Land in Utah?
How much does land cost? If you ask the United States Department of Agriculture, the value of most land in Utah is $4,000 to $5,000 an acre. An acre represents about 44,000 square feet. Of course, as the 11th largest state in the country by landmass, there’s a lot of Utah to go around. It’s worth keeping in mind that all lots are not created equal. The Utah housing market has been trending upward for years. That’s why you’ll notice significant differences in cost depending on location, development, and other considerations.
As real estate experts love to say, location is the most important decision you’ll make for your future home. That’s why location affects the price the most. If you’re willing to live almost anywhere, you might be able to get land for the prices recorded by the USDA. But if you expect to live in a development close to paved roads and amenities, you’re going to pay more. As an area that’s fairly built-up and high in demand, lots in Salt Lake County tend to cost the most. You can expect to pay at least $10,000 for an acre there, but it could be well over $200,000 for 10,000 square feet.
As the fastest-growing county in the state, Utah County isn’t too far behind. The county’s population grew by more than a quarter from 2010 to 2020, which is a staggering pace compared to other parts of the state. So it’s not surprising that Utah County is starting to get more expensive, too. You can find pockets of land here and there for $10,000 to $30,000, but you’ll pay 10 times that for the best locations.
When you start to look at land for sale in Utah, you’ll notice that there’s a big difference in price depending on the level of development. It’s not difficult to find undeveloped land in Utah. What you have to do to get it habitable is the part that makes land cost so unpredictable. Buying a lot in a development costs more because the work to put in roads, electricity, sewer, and gas has already been taken care of. You’ll pay less for land that doesn’t have these features, but then you’ll have to put in the expense yourself.
Beyond the general location and the preparation work completed on the lot, there are a few other considerations to make. If the lot sits just outside the mouth of a canyon with stunning mountain and valley views, you’re going to pay more than you would for a tiny strip of land right next to the freeway. Similarly, the size of the lot affects the price. It’s more difficult to answer, “How much does an acre of land cost?” when most lots aren’t precisely one acre. In many cases, it’s cheaper per acre to buy several acres than it is to buy a half-acre or less, even in areas that you think would cost a fortune.
Not sure what goes into the custom home building process? We can help you.
Can You Get Free Land in Utah?
Although you can get land for very low prices in certain parts of Utah, you can’t usually get it for free. Utah was part of the land available for people to claim as part of the Homestead Act of 1862. These days, it’s better to ask a builder to help you find an available lot for your custom home.
How Much Are Property Taxes in Utah?
Property taxes in Utah average around 0.6% of the home’s assessed value. As a median for the whole state, that’s about $1,400 per year. Homeowners who live in counties with a higher cost of living, like Salt Lake County or Summit County, may pay $2,000 or more per year.
Thinking about buying land, but not sure how to get started? Check out our pre-construction process.
Is Owning Land a Good Investment?
If you’re considering the benefits of homeownership, you should know that owning land is a great investment. That’s particularly true if the land is ready for development, even if you’re waiting for a good time to build your custom home. Available land is at a premium in the most desirable parts of Utah, where existing homes on smaller lots are now selling in record time. Owning land offers you the most flexibility in determining how you want to build. It’s also one of the most important things to know before you build a custom home. At 10X Builders, we think it’s vital that you get the right land and builder for your custom home. Contact us to learn more or tell us about your project.