by Robert John Stevens, October 26, 2017
Government regulations are the problem. For example, to build in Utah County it is highly likely you must build, pave and dedicate a road.
For example, a 3/4-mile road with the required 12″ of road base will cost $350k to $400k.
Dead ends, cul-de-sacs, dirt and gravel roads are not permitted. Roads must have a separate entrance and exit. Your driveway cannot, even for 1 foot, pass thru a private, interior road.
Expect to pay at least $27k for the required 9 acre-feet of water because monopolies monopolize, $25k for an at-grade wastewater treatment system, $8k to hook up your power, tens of thousands to bring utilities to your property, $9,500 to dig a 145-foot well.
Brigham Young urged young men to build a 10×10 home, and plant flowers and shade trees to attract a young lady. Now you cannot build less than 1,200 sq ft.
It is highly unlikely that you can buy raw land in Utah County, develop it, and build for under $350k.
Utah County is 2,144 square miles in which 2,003 square miles is land and not water; 96% is outside of the incorporated towns.
19th-century pioneers would have been denied settlement in Utah County.
Plenty of land but insurmountable regulations.
See also A. Scott Anderson: Time to act on housing affordability.