Building your own home gives you the opportunity to craft each room to fit your personal desires. Whether you’ve always dreamed of designing a home or are simply tired of viewing houses that aren’t the right fit, take the first step to your dream property today. Find out how survey equipment, a team of professionals and the right designs can all transform your chosen property into your dream home.
Select a Geographical Area
It’s all about location, so take your time in finding property in your ideal location. Just like existing homes, empty lots and land are going to vary dramatically in price depending on where you’re searching. There are different features to consider in different geographical areas. Check out the main considerations for rural, suburban and urban land. If you’re purchasing land in a different zip code, research the local climate and other seasonal factors.
Rural land is typically the most affordable. Unless you’re planning on purchasing acres of arable land, property away from the hustle and bustle of the big city is going to be more affordable. Rural land may require you to dig your own well and install your own septic system, so have your property inspected to see if it’s capable of these improvements.
Suburban land is also very affordable. You may not find more than a single or double lot, but it’s easy to find a quiet corner of a subdivision or side street away from busy traffic. The suburbs can be a great place to find friendly neighbors and a reasonable commuting distance to work and cultural activities. See if your chosen suburb is part of a homeowners association or has its own ordinances you’ll need to follow. Unless it’s a new development, ask your realtor if they know any current residents who are willing to talk about the advantages of their neighborhood.
Urban property is typically the most expense and comes with the most regulations. You’ll usually have higher taxes, more zoning regulations and more ordinances to follow in designing, constructing and living in your new home. There are, however, many perks to being right in the middle of your favorite city. Urban property makes walking or cycling to work a convenient possibility.
Set Your Lot Budget
Plan your land purchase just like a home purchase. Set a budget and identify your list of must-have features. Be willing to be flexible on either the price or some of the features if you can’t find an open lot that fits all your goals. Most lots and land are listed on the MLS, so work with a trusted real estate agent to find a piece that fits your dreams.
Look for Red Flags
Empty land may be a red flag. Unless you’ve found an opportunity to purchase a lot in a recent development, there may be a reason that your favorite piece of land hasn’t been built on. Work carefully with your real estate agent, the local building department and other professionals to inspect every aspect of your property. Here are some potential red flags to avoid:
- Crime in the neighborhood
- Poor drainage and flooding risks
- Proximity to an airport or train tracks
- Long commute
- Zoning issues
Perform Necessary Inspections and Surveys
Schedule a survey of your property before you purchase it. Professional survey equipment can help you identify your property lines and look at potential elevation issues. These inspections can find any drainage issues or other factors that need to be addressed in the construction process. A property without the right slope isn’t a deal breaker, but it can increase the time and cost of the excavation and lot preparation process.
Work With an Architect To Pair Your Dream Home and Land
An architect and civil engineer can help you pair your dream home design and your chosen lot. Some home designs need to be slightly altered to accommodate property specifics. Get the most out of your views by melding your home design and property. There’s nothing worse than missing out on stunning sunsets and other views because your home design doesn’t have appropriate windows.
Apply for Required Permits
Once you find your ideal property, you’ll need to apply for building permits. Your general contractor covers the application and approval process, but be aware that new constructions require more permits than remodeling or other tasks. Some empty land is zoned as commercial or multi-family, so you’ll need to petition to change it to single family property before starting your building process.
Stake Out Your Property With Professional Equipment
Use your own survey equipment to get a sense of the size of your home and the space available for your yard. Shop for a magnetic locator at Engineer Supply to find lot lines and stake out your home, porch, storage shed and other features in your property. Enjoy a successful and stress-free home building project with the right tools, the right professionals and these steps.