Updated: Jul 30, 2021
When we finally made the decision to build, the first step was to find the perfect lot for our dream house. While this sounds like it might be an easy task, there are many things to consider when choosing your future home site. Here are just a couple of obvious items to think about:
Before you even start visiting lots, research the pricing for lots in the area you want to buy and create a budget. Recognize that the cost of the lot will impact how much you have to spend on the home itself. (we were shocked when our first proposal was at the top of our budget and DIDN’ T include the lot cost!!) Lots are priced, not only on size, but also on slope, location, and things like whether there is access to public utilities. If your all-in budget is $300,000, but you spend $100,000 on the lot, you will be limited in the options and upgrades when you start to look at floor plans.
Yes, lots are priced relative to size, so considering how much space you want between you and your neighbor is something to consider. Often, lots in subdivisions are in the half acre size, so if you want something bigger and you want more space, look for lots that are at least .75 acres. The shape of the lot matters, too. A long thin lot may have great acreage, with large front and backyards, but you are likely to be closer to your neighbor than you thought!
Location is extremely important for a number of reasons. If you have school-age children, you will want to learn about the school districts in the area. Does the location have access to highways? What kind of commute time will you or your family members have to work? Are there grocery stores close by? Location also impacts whether you have access to public utilities. While this may not ultimately be a deciding factor, knowing upfront whether you will need a well or septic system is important to know. Traffic patterns are also another thing to consider, especially if you have children.
Many lots in neighborhoods or sub-divisions already have builders assigned. Check to be sure the builder has a good reputation and can build the kind of house you would like to build. Selecting a lot where the builder only builds modern homes and you want a farmhouse style can be an issue. Talk to the real estate agent and the builder before getting your heart set on a lot.
If you have a specific house plan in mind, make sure you talk to the builder about how that house will sit on the lot, or if the plan will work at all. You may be adamant about having a walk-out basement, but the slope of your lot may not accommodate that. The house might fit on the lot, but when you add the driveway and setbacks, you might not have enough space. Neighborhood covenants might also restrict you from doing certain things on your lot, so make sure you take a look at those before
The bottom line when purchasing a lot is to do your research. Talk to the builders, potential neighbors, your real estate agent. Make sure you have all the facts and have uncovered any limitations. Most of all, enjoy the journey! Good luck!
PS. If you are interested in asking questions about choosing a lot, feel free to log in to the Villa View community and post them in our forum.