Land Due Diligence

A proper due diligence study includes, but is not limited to, the following:

A. Complete review of preliminary title report

  1. Verify legal access
  2. Review any CCRs of the property
  3. Examine all easements burdening the property (numbered easements), pay particular attention to open space easements
  4. Examine all easements in favor of the property (lettered easements)
  5. Check for any covenant of improvements that need completion
  6. Obtain information on any road maintenance agreements
  7. Obtain information on any associations

B. Site inspection

  1. If septic

    a. Is layout current? Cost to update ?
    b. How many bedrooms does layout allow?
    c. Where on lot are leach lines approved for? Is pad size affected?
    d. What tank size is required?
    e. How deep do trenches need to be? How much rock required?
    f. Locate existing cut slopes on adjoining property to be sure a 5-1 setback ratio is maintained from any leach lines.
    g. Check for existing well

  2. If sewer
    a. Has property been annexed into sewer district?
    b. Has sewer permit fee been paid?
    c. Is main line and to property?
    d. Has lateral been stubbed to site?
    e. What is monthly cost of sewer in area?
  3. Grading
    a. If property appears steep or has environmental concerns call for preliminary site inspection with surveyor.
    b. Meet on site with grading contractor to discuss possible problems that may increase price (large rock formations, drainage issues, type of soil, need for import or export, height of cut, etc.)
    c. Be sure needed pad size does not impact approved location of leach lines
    d. Check location of leach lines for adjoining parcels to be sure setbacks are maintained from their leach fields
  4. Site access
    a. Determine location of legal access to property and potential location for driveway
    b. Driveway must be minimum 16′ (20′ for Riverside County), be sure adequate width is available
    c. If driveway is longer than 100′, call for meeting with fire department. Confirm slope if over 15% paved, if over 20% not allowed
    d. If existing roads near property are less than 24′ feet wide call for meeting with fire department.
    e. If no fire hydrant is within 200′, call for meeting with fire department.
  5. Utilities
    a. Cost, availability and size of water meter. Check for well issues if no meter.
    b. Cost and availability of electricity and natural gas:
    1. Are necessary easements in place.
    2. Overhead or underground service.
    3. Location of transformer and pull box.
    4. Size of service 200 or 400 amp
    c. Cost and availability of phone and cable:
  6. Determining house location:
    a. Location of septic field.
    b. Potential size of pad available.
    c. Need for future pool, guest house, outbuilding?
    d. Orientation to sun.
    e. Driveway access and grade.
    f. Adequate access to garage; at least 40′ is best
    g. Additional parking requirements.
    h. Consider the orientation of the house relative to view, neighbors, street, etc.
    i. Curb appeal of house
    j. Privacy issues
  7. Land Usage
    a. Existing grove
    b. Monthly expenses
    c. Income history
    d. Impact of future house

The preceding is only a guide (and not all inclusive) of what is needed to be looked at during your “due diligence” period. Every site is different and has its’ own variations on what needs to be done or not done.

It is the responsibility of the buyer/owner to do the above due diligence. DO NOT rely on any Information furnished by sellers or real estate agents, it is VERY important that you obtain ALL your information from each respective agency above, and obtain it in WRITING.