Q. There is 70 by 200-foot vacant lot adjoining the lot where my home is situated. It's the same size as ours and has been for sale for eight years. The owner is asking $12,000. The lot is bordered by a small natural creek and teh zoning laws restrict construction of a home because of close proximity of the creek. If a building permit can be obtained [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] if a retaining wall is put up. This would add to the cost of building a home, of course, but I feel sooner or later the lot will be sold.

My wife and I have considered purchasing the property, but many questions come to mind concerning taxes and sound investing. Should we: A) Purchase the lot and keep it as is ;B) Add it to our existing lot;C) Add it to our existing our lot but then partition it, adding some of our existing lot to make it more attractive as a home site; or D) Forget the whole idea.

A. o solve your problem adquately would require a mini-feasibility analysis, at least. Essentially, the question turns on your goals, your financial position, and the lot "economics." Assuming your financial position and the lot "economics" are sound, the questions you want to ask yourself are: Are we seeking more living area - a larger lot? Are we seekint to make some money (profit) - a capital gain?

If you're simply seeking more living area, then (assuming the price of the lot is not exorbitant and your financial position is sound) both A and B are logical. If you're trying to make a profit, again assuming the price is not exorbitant and your financial position is sound, C is logical. The last alternativie, it seems to me, is logical if you don't mind what happens to the lot next to you and you're not seeking to make a profit. It is also logical if the price at which you can buy the lot (not necessarily the askisng price) is unresonable.

If the lot has been on the market for eight years without attracting a buyer, you probably don't have to rush to make up your mind. Examine your motivation (goal) and the buying price in terms of your income, capital and probable economic, future. Seek professional real estate help if at any time you think you're getting in over your head.

Earl A. Snyder answers questions only in this column. His address: 14909 Kalmia Dr. Laurel, Md., 20810.