Selecting the perfect lot to build your dream home on can be a nightmare. Here is a list of the top 5 things to consider before you break ground.
- Location – You’ve undoubtedly heard that there are three things to consider when buying property…..location, location, location. Obviously there is more than just location to consider but it is important. Ask yourself the following questions: What schools will your children attend? Will they be riding a bus or walking? Is the lot located near any of your friends, relatives or your church? What about shopping? Can you quickly run to the store if you suddenly discover there is no milk in the refrigerator? How long is your commute to work? Are you near parks, libraries, or other recreational facilities? How far away is the nearest medical facility?
- Neighborhood Attributes – As you drive through the neighborhood take note of the appearance of other homes. What are the ages of the homes? Are they well kempt? What is the value of the other homes in the neighborhood? You want to make sure that you do not overbuild for the area. How many homes are for sale in the neighborhood? What are the demographics of the neighbors? Are they young families or retired couples? And last but certainly not least, what is the average property tax rates for the neighborhood?
- Neighborhood Amenities – Does the lot include city water, sewer, and natural gas hookups? If not, what will it cost me to drill a well and add a septic system? What is the cost of maintaining a well and septic system? How accessible is cable television and high speed internet? What company will service my power?
- Lot Characteristics – As a rule, you should not pay more than 25% of the value of the completed project (house and lot) for your building lot. The exception to this rule would be if you are buying acreage or resort property. When you survey the lot you should be mindful of the lot shape, size, frontage, and topography. Will the house plan you have selected fit on the lot? Where would the driveway be located? With the topography of the lot in mind, how would you landscape and would you need topsoil or extra excavation? Are there any mature trees on the lot? Are there any easements associated with the lot?
- Restrictions – Take the time to ask about the zoning restrictions around the neighborhood. Is there high density residential near? Commercial? Does the neighborhood have building covenants? Is there a home owners association and what are the fees?
Don’t let this list be intimidating! Asking the right questions can help you narrow your options. Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to ask your builder for his opinion. The perfect lot does exist, it just takes a little bit of time and examination.