Over the last few days I have been looking at land in the area south of Alta Sierra and along dog Bar Road.
The properties in this video include a wide range of undeveloped land priced from $59,000 to $199,000. There are differences in topography that primarily impact the cost of development by limiting the location of the building envelope and the length and type of driveway that would be required to reach the building area. Most of these lots are so steep they would be not suitable for single story homes, and would require substantial grading to put in a flat area for a garage. There are many already developed lots in these same neighborhoods and home owners have mitigated every type of topographic challenge with grading, retaining walls, and homes that follow the contours of the land, but every mitigation has a price, and also restricts the functional character of the home that is built. You can’t build a single story home on a lot that has 20 degrees of slope for the entire property. It is not financially practical to build a home at the top of the hill, even if there are great views from the top of the hill, if there is no road to get there, and the property is not wide enough to allow the necessary switchbacks in the driveway.
None of these lots are easy to build on. 19711 Payton is the easiest to imagine putting in driveway and home, and it is listed for the highest price of the group, at $199,000 for 8 acres. The other lots seem like they would take extreme engineering and grading to make them workable for a home. That’s why I go out and look.