Let me start by saying that the title is misleading. By Charlottesville I mean Charlottesville and the parts of Albemarle that are just outside Charlottesville (parts of Rio Rd, Pantops, Barracks Rd, Hydraulic etc.). If you’ve looked at the MLS to try and find land you’ll find that there is almost none available. The land that is available is probably not big enough or not desirable enough or too far out of Charlottesville to be really called Charlottesville.
But there are many pieces of land in the city and county that might be available if you are willing to look hard enough (or contact me and we can work something out). With this and some following blog posts, I’ll go through the steps you need to find the land you want. This works and that is how we found the land for our house.
In Part 1, I’ll cover finding land in the county that is close to Charlottesville. Part 2 will be about land in the city.
Step 1: Find neighborhoods
A good way to find neighborhoods is by going to the Nest Realty Group website. They have a very nice interface to the MLS by neighborhoos and they talk about the pros about each neighborhood. Once you have decided on the neighborhood, begins the search for land. I would like to warn you in advance that there are neighborhoods with no land at all so pick more than one and dont get too attached to any one neighborhood.
Step 2: The GIS
Once you have picked your Albemarle county neighborhood, it is time to go the the Albemarle County GIS to find empty land. Just follow these easy steps.
1. Search for the Neighborhood:
2. House # Sort – Most empty land doesnt have assigned addresses. So you need to sort the search result by House #. That’s it! Here is your list of all empty land.
3. Value Sort – Sometimes empty land can have an address assigned to it. These can be found by sorting by total value. You will have to actually click on the item to see the value of the land and the improvements. This is rare for the county but I’ve seen it a couple of times.
Step 3: Contacting Owners
A good place to find owner phone numbers is Whitepages. Often times empty land will have owners who are not local or PO Boxes. You have to get creative, google the name of the owner, do reverse address lookups but eventually you will generally be able to find a way to contact them.
Tips and Tricks
Google Maps shows plat boundaries for Albemarle county. A combination of looking at the plats and the satellite map is an easy way to eyeball for empty space and to verify if the land you are looking at is desirable or not.
Have Me Find Land For You
If you don’t want to go through this effort, I can help you find land. Contact me for more details. You land budget must be at least about $100,000