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Should I Build?
By Rudy Cooks
Editors Note: Rudy is a Realtor with Howard Hanna Realty on the Islands and the mainland.
They say they are not building anymore islands… and they also say put an “Island In Your Life.” Who came up
with these sayings anyway? So, you want to put an Island in your life because they aren’t building anymore islands.
But there are so few options available in this market. A recent email asked me, Rudy… could you tell me about this
lot for sale? I’ve been looking at cottages for years and haven’t found the right one.
Have you been looking? Is everything too small? Too large? Too old? Too much work? Too expensive? Is
buying land and building the way to go? That depends…What is your price range? What is your time frame? How
much effort are you willing to put into it?
Buying a lot for $80,000 and building later may seem appealing. I mean after all they aren’t building anymore
islands right? Like building on the mainland, building on the Lake Erie Islands can be difficult, time consuming and
expensive. Only it’s typically all the above times two. There are often buildable lots available. There are even a few
right now. They typically range from 60-100k. Usually the less you pay the more legwork must be done. That means
clearing the land…carefully clearing the land. If you clear too many of the trees, chances are the health department
will not approve a septic system.
When people call or write to me about buying land, the first thing I usually ask them is what do you want to
build? Then I send them the Put-in-Bay Township Zoning guide. Most of your answers can be found within. No,
you cannot put a travel trailer, RV, mobile home, manufactured home, garage, barn or even a tent on the land. At
least not without building a home first. You will most likely need soil tests to determine if you can get a septic
system. You will need a septic system plan. Yes, you will need a toilet! You will most likely need a well and well
driller unless you are buying land within the Village of Put-in-Bay or on Middle Bass within The Burgundy Bay
subdivision where there is a water and sewer line. Most people will require a builder and an architect. I am happy to
assist you with all of this. But you will have to bring your own money and patience. And unless you have plenty of
the former you will need the right bank with plenty of options for land and new home construction loans.
If you are still with me then you might have the patience required to buy land and build over here. Many folks
have found building a new home on either island is well worth the wait because in most cases you get exactly what
you want, and it is new.
Please feel free to reach out to me and I am more than willing to help you determine if it is right for you. Please
email me at [email protected] with questions you have pertaining to real estate on the Lake Erie
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.
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