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Breathtaking Parcels of Vacant Land Fit for Summer Building

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Summer brings the real estate high season, with buyers out in droves in the warm weather to peruse open houses. But some picky buyers end up searching and searching for their dream home, to no avail, and instead decide to build afresh. For that discriminating set, here are five of the most impressive vacant lots for sale in America. Up first is the 1,199-acre Alder Ranch, located in the hills of Big Sur, 12 miles south of the idyllic California seaside town of Carmel. Though nearly three and a half miles from the coast, much of the ranch enjoys panoramic views of the Pacific, thanks to superior elevation. The staggering views might be a selling point, but those dramatic hillsides could make building on this $6M parcel a difficult, and pricey, proposition.

? A bit further up the California coast, this 14.5-acre waterfront building site lies in Tiburon, one of the Bay Area's most desirable suburbs. That desirability is reflected in the $39M price tag, which includes just the land and a tiny viewing platform. That price is furthered by 2,000-feet of San Francisco Bay waterfront and a rare private beach. Plans have been approved for the site that call for a 15,000-square-foot main house, a 2,200-square-foot guest house, and a 700-square-foot caretaker's cottage, all of which should have stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

? Nestled on a hillside opposite Snowmass ski resort, this "legacy ranch" overlooks Woody Creek and boasts jaw-dropping views of the Rockies. Technically the meadow-covered acreage isn't vacant, but chances are any buyer looking to spend $12.5M on 153 acres of prime Colorado real estate isn't going to be satisfied with the existing log cabin.

? In another of the Mountain West's finest locations, this Jackson, Wyo. plot has sweeping views of the Tetons, the Snake River—which it borders—and the surrounding pastureland. At just 55 acres, it is far from a ranch, at least by Jackson standards, but would make a near-perfect setting for a trophy estate. The views alone are probably enough to sell this plot for close to its $9.95M asking price.

? A 17-acre isle, just north of North Haven in Maine's Penobscot Bay, Oak Island has a small, one-room cottage, but chances are the new buyers will replace it with something befitting the $1.8M price tag. The trouble is, the listing doesn't mention anything about the island currently having access to shore power or fresh water. Those improvements could inflate the total cost of building big on this quaint Maine island.

· 0 Bouchers Gap [Zillow]
· 2800 Paradise Drive [Sotheby's International Realty]
· Legacy Ranch [Sotheby's International Realty]
· On the Snake River [Sotheby's International Realty]
· Oak Island [LandVest]