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Buyers will find an excellent selection of buildable land in the Adirondacks and the Capital Region and surrounding communities of Upstate New York.

Some definitions

Residential land is essentially residential property that can be used by individuals or families for private housing. Residential zoning differs greatly from commercial, agricultural, and industrial zoning in terms of use and requirements.

This type of land can be used for building both single-family homes and multi-family properties. That also includes condos and apartments.

The different types of residential properties are:

  • Low density residential – Single-family homes may be built on properties in low density residential areas. Such areas typically feature detached homes with private yards. There might be restrictions on how many homes can be built per acre of land, and the restriction often depends on the town’s population density.
  • Medium density residential – Properties that fall into this category are suitable for moderate density housing by way of attached or detached homes.
  • High density residential – Builders can construct a wide range of dwelling types on high density residential properties, including townhomes, condos, and apartment buildings.

Land in the Adirondacks

The protection of the state-owned land in the Adirondack Park – the Forest Preserve – is enshrined in Article XIV of the New York State Constitution, which states that they “shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.” These lands are classified as:

  • Canoe Area
  • Historic Area
  • Intensive Use Area
  • Primitive Area
  • Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers
  • Wilderness Area
  • Wild Forest Area
  • State Administrative Area
  • Travel Corridor

Of the Adirondack Park’s 6 million acres, 3.4 million are privately owned. These have different building density requirements depending on how they’reclassified. These are:

  • Hamlets (no building density requirements)
  • Low-Intensity Use Areas (1 building for every 3.2 acres)
  • Moderate-Intensity Use Areas (1 building for every 1.3 acres)
  • Resource Management Areas (1 building for every 43 acres)
  • Rural Use Areas (1 building for every 8.5 acres)

This means that land on Lake George, for example, will have different classifications according to their use, features, physical limitations, and so on. See the Adirondack Park Agency’s website if you’d like to learn more about land classifications.

Cost of buying land

When purchasing land, cost is a major factor. Buyers often underestimate the cost, which could result in delays in development or construction. Plan to factor in expenses apart from the price tag, such as:

  • Land survey
  • Fees and permits
  • Landscaping
  • Paving
  • Utility hook-ups
  • Septic system installation
  • Earthwork, which includes excavation, blasting, etc.
  • Legal costs, including title search and closing costs
  • Impact fees, which help pay for public costs associated with new development

If you’re buying land in the Adirondacks, Albany or Saratoga Springs, The Keir Weimer Team is here to help. Call them at 1.518.290.3032 or email keir(dotted)weimer(at)selectsothebysrealty(dotted)com to start exploring your options today.