For almost a month now they’ve been digging on my mountain.
I think I mentioned before, but I’ll mention again, what you pay for your land is not the only thing to consider when choosing your land. Assuming you’re not building in a graded flat subdivision you’re going to have costs associated with putting your land into a buildable condition. In my case I bought the high point of the ridge and it needed to be brought down to where I could have roughly 80×120′ of flat area for the footings, patios, parking, etc. The driveway and front turnaround drive also had to be built up and leveled, a septic field built, etc.
I had looked at one lot that was cheaper than this, and way way way worse than this besides, but also it likely would have had 250k+ of excavation costs, making it, in the end, not cheaper. Additionally I toured a house under construction nearby where I was told they had a million dollars in site prep. They took a lot that was hardly flat at all, the peak of a little foothill that was all rock, and had to blast it apart (literally) to create a level surface (and a large one). Though they got tons of “free” rock to landscape with.
My lot is great by comparison. It was a high point, but not so steep or severe, and mostly soil, very little rock. Around 2 feet from subgrade we did reach a really compacted layer of almost-sandstone. Not quite rock, but not quite soil anymore. That has slowed us down and cost more money. All told it is looking like site prep costs of around $100k, if you include the tree clearing. Cheaper than other options, but still quite expensive. Of course, that isn’t the end of the earth costs, on the backend things will need to be put back into order, the foundation backfilled, the lot graded with soil, etc. Plus this isn’t including the long driveway, which I categorize under concrete, but which could also have been less (or more) with a different lot.