5 Tips to Finding the Best Lot to Build a Home

 In House

The construction lot is where it all begins when it comes to building a house. The choices you make when buying land will play a large role in how much capital you have to build the physical property.

It’s not always easy to find real estate that suits your needs and fits your price range. However, as experienced home builders, we have some tips that may help. Read on to find out how to choose the right vacant land for your dream home.

Check out the so-called “undesirables”

The perfect lots are will often cost more if you have conventional preferences. Expect to pay more if you want a corner lot with a great view.

If you want to spend less on the location and save more for your new construction, you may want to consider going for the less desirable lots. These lots aren’t always worse than the premium-priced lots. Sometimes, they’re just overlooked. You can avoid problems by exercising due diligence when buying properties.

Lots that may be considered too narrow or uneven won’t sell so easily, so you’re likely to get a nice price for them. The right design for your new home can alleviate some of the problems with lots. For example, if the lot doesn’t have a great view, building your home higher can allow you to access the views you want from the upper levels.

You can also change the land of the home site, itself. With the right general contractor handling the landscaping, a so-called “problem lot” may not be much of a problem, at all.

If you want to find overlooked deals, look for:

  • hillside lots
  • fill-in locations
  • oddly-shaped locations.

Clever landscaping can bypass obstacles and leave you with a great location.

Consider all the “water-side” lots

Everyone wants a house on the beach, but many of the people who buy up these lots know that they’re going to be spending a fortune for the location alone. 

Beaches are highly desirable, but sometimes risky too. For example, storm damage is a more serious risk when there are no obstacles between you and the ocean.

Building codes tend to be stricter near oceans, and that can also come with unwanted extra costs. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid storms, your insurance policy may charge you some additional costs in the form of increased premiums. You may also find that warranties are less comprehensive near oceans if you don’t have a storm-proof house.

You can still have a water-adjacent property without paying ultra-premium prices for your building lot. Consider searching properties near a lake or canal. These are locations are more affordable and safer investments. At the same time, you still have the convenience of building a home near the water.

Go for the combo deal

Choosing the right lot for your building site can be difficult, especially when the current homeowners offer a huge plot of land at a high price.

You may only need a section of that land to accommodate your floor plan. Unfortunately, many property owners aren’t keen on dividing up what they have to offer, as this knocks down the value of what they have left.

A way to get around this is to find someone to co-pay with you on a larger piece of land. This is an arrangement where partners agree to complete a sale by dividing up the land between different buyers. Effectively, you’re acting as a broker to help the property owner find buyers for the parts of the land you don’t want.

Carefully consider zoning requirements before you pay for the property.

This way, you can acquire this desired lot and then divide it with your co-payer. It’s a great way to get a fantastic section of land and especially useful if you have a willing family member or close friend to join you in the investment.

Be aware of site preparation

When looking at potential lots, be aware of natural obstacles and challenges to the construction. This could be anything from trees and boulders to ditches and mounds. Think about hauling in the dirt, planning septic tank locations, and doing extra work to ensure water drains in the right direction.

Always consider if a lot will take too much site preparation. The type of home you prefer may need to take advantage of a larger lot. The more prep that needs to be done, the more costs you’ll incur before you even get to the building phases.

If you find a lot you like, which needs a reasonable amount of site preparation, carefully consider a plan of action to get everything ready in time for building. 

If not planned ahead, site preparation can slow down and drag out a construction project, causing huge increases in costs. You don’t want to run into these avoidable consequences. Plan ahead as much as possible.

Check out the neighborhood

If you want your future house to fetch a high resale value, be aware of where that house will be situated. Look at the houses around it. A big McMansion surrounded by much smaller properties won’t get a fair resale price. Context is very important.

Neighborhood qualities should always be considered. What’s the community like? What are the income levels and crime rates?

Houses, no matter how lavish and amenity-filled, simply won’t be as attractive as similar properties located in safer communities. So, don’t get so hung up on the lot, itself. What’s around the lot can be even more important.

A lot could be considered the most essential step to the homebuilding process. After all, it’s where it all begins. Because of this, don’t rush into buying a lot; look at all the options, and then some.

A good philosophy is to organize your priorities. Think about what you absolutely require in a property and what aspects may be open to variation and flexibility.

Different lots will likely have their own pros and cons, so be willing to practice some pragmatism and creativity. The more thorough you are in your search and the more thoughtful you are in your approach, the more successful your homebuilding venture will be from the very outset.

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