Finding a lot | New Homes Market Center
Here we outline the main concepts of lot selection and just some of the important questions to ask when choosing the right piece of land for sale. Keep in mind that because lot selection is critically important to the home building process, we recommend that you get the representation you need up front. We have experienced Realtors® who specialize in the home building process. Using a professional that does this for a living can keep you from loosing thousands of dollars or missing out on a dream come true.
The process of finding the right land for sale is more than just liking the way it looks or finding one with the perfect view, tree or topography. The process of lot selection is like putting all the pieces of a puzzle together and if some piece of the puzzle is missing when you purchase the lot, you might not get your desired end result. And, missing just one puzzle piece can dramatically affect the cost and difficulty of the building process.
Run a thorough feasibility study
Once you find land for sale that might work, it is important to run a thorough feasibility study. This type of study shows how some of the jurisdictional restraints and other lot setbacks may affect the initial home design. The land for sale of interest may require soil, environmental or toxic material tests. It may have zoning issues or require other lot specific inquiries. Some other things that may be important to look into are utility availability, drainage, access – which may include any easements, the ability to hire local contractors or the up charge for driving to rural areas. It can cost thousands of dollars to add utilities should the lot not have the required access.
Part of the feasibility study is to determine how well your home would work on the land for sale based on its topography. You may find a waterfront lot at a price that makes you want jump on it, but you pull the deed restrictions and the general topography of the lot itself may require the structure to be built at a higher elevation. Adding a thicker slab is expensive – and depending on how much slab it takes to raise the structure to the required amount, it may be cost prohibitive pushing you way over your budget making it a bad choice for your dream home. Or, on the other hand, maybe you decide the increase in cost is worth the incredible view, so you decide to reduce the square footage of the home and proceed with the purchase. Many people also find land for sale with the perfect trees and come to find out later that they have to be torn down to build their house or the city may not allow to build there because the tree is protected for some reason – sometimes this happens due to the age of the tree. Again, you may have to change your plans.
Ask about deed restrictions
Some other questions to ask relating to deed restrictions include are how far back does the house need to be from the street; will you have to pour a long driveway; are there minimum or maximum square footage requirements; can you afford the upgrade of the masonry required for the neighborhood; do you plan on using your residence for a home office – sometimes deed restrictions prohibit this use?
Standard deed restrictions are typically 30+ pages long and without a clear understanding of what they contain and how it might relate to your situation may end up costing you thousands of more dollars than anticipated. Our New Home Specialists know how to structure contracts so you can make your decisions safely and without any harm done should the lot end up not passing the feasibility study – of course, in the event this happens, we’ll be sure to help you find the lot that does make the grade!
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