It’s imperative you know which lot services are included when buying a piece of dirt for your new home. When we talk services for your property, we’re referring to any road access, utilities, or waste disposal. We break servicing into 3 different categories; Fully Serviced, Semi Serviced, and Un-Serviced. On a un-serviced property, you will require both Primary Servicing and Secondary Servicing for Gas, Power & Water.
Let me explain.
When a power line runs along the road past your property it doesn’t mean your property has power service. To get a “Primary Power Service” Fortis has to take power from the main line to a transformer and then to a meter on your property. This can be a pole mounted farm service, or a regular home service. From this primary service meter, you have a secondary service that will feed into the house.
Natural gas also has a primary service and a secondary service component, similar to power.
The primary service for a Water Co-op is a tie-in, into the county water with a curb stop installed on the property. The secondary service for Co-op water would include a cistern, pumps, and water lines to the house.
This all might seem a bit complex, but if you don’t consider how your property is serviced it could cost you a lot more than anticipated.
Let’s have a look at these 3 different categories for servicing.
Road access to your property is your driveway from the sidewalk or street. Water, Storm, Sanitary, Gas, Power , and Tech are all secondary connections located on your lot. On a fully serviced lot you are only responsible for connecting the secondary services to your home. Power, Gas, and Tech will all be located at the property line and can be installed in a party trench at the time of excavation. Potable Water, Storm, and Sanitary are installed at excavation before the footings are poured. The cost of connections on a fully serviced lot is not typically broken out as a major budget item, as the cost is far less than semi-serviced or un-serviced lots.
The majority of well-planned acreage lots in the county, and smaller urban settings will be semi-serviced. This includes areas around Lethbridge such as Edgemoor Estates and other small acreage developments.
Access to your semi-serviced lot typically includes an approach or access from the road. On larger properties this could mean a gravel or asphalt driveway needs to be considered depending on the developer’s requirements. Potable Water, Gas, Power, and Tech will be at the property line. The “Primary Service” for these items is typically included with the property purchase and only secondary service connections are required. Sanitary will be either a treatment or septic system. Pricing for a semi-serviced lot will be determined by the length of the secondary service to the home and the size and type of septic system. This can range from $35,000 to $75,000.
This is most common on acreages and farm settings. Access needs to be established with an approach and driveway. Power & Gas will be somewhere close, however Primary Services need to be installed by the suppliers before Secondary Services can be connected. Potable water can be from a few different sources. Co-op water is the most desired when city services are not an option, but often wells or dugouts are utilized. With well or dugout water a filtration system may need to be installed to properly clean the water making it potable. Sanitary will be either a treatment or septic system. An un-serviced property will take the most planning and have the largest servicing budget, depending on the length and accessibility it may be as little as $60,000 and upwards of $100,000 or more.
Other factors to consider:
Fire Suppression – This is a common requirement on acreage developments in the county. As well in homes within city limits, that are outside of the fire department’s response range. This will require separate water holding tanks, pumps, or sprinklers throughout the home.
Irrigation Water – If you are connected to Co-op for potable water, it is not going to be enough to water a large yard. Lethbridge and area has a lot of irrigation infrastructure and often this is the water source for irrigating lawns and gardens.
When you look at purchasing your dream property for your forever home, be sure you understand the requirements for servicing. We are the experts when it comes to acreage development, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.