The first step to building your dream home is finding your dream spot. Buying property to build on is the first big decision you’ll make after deciding to build. You may already be thinking about the commute, distance from family, and ideal neighborhood or size. But what are the nitty-gritty details to buying land for your home?
Check the City’s Zoning Conditions
Don’t accidentally buy a charming spot by the hillside only to discover you can’t build there! Each city has different zoning conditions. Double check on your city’s website to see what’s available where. Make sure to look at the building guidelines to see what home features are allowed, local water and sewer codes, or if there’s a limit on building size and materials.
Location, Location, Location
This goes beyond the surrounding neighborhood and the commute to work. For example, if your property is at the end of a dirt road or an otherwise difficult-to-get-to location, it’s going to cost more to bring builders, contractors, and supplies to the construction site. When shopping, think about how a semi truck will get to your home.
A good property to build means more than finding a spot that looks pretty. How level the ground is, the quality of the soil, or what vegetation needs to be cleared will all affect the building process. Before you, consult your land-buying checklist:
- If your land is near hills, is there a possibility of sloping over time?
- Is the land on or near a protected habitat?
- What’s the ground like?
- Will it be rocky or hard to dig up while building?
- Can you easily hook up with other sewer and utilities in the area?
- Are there any natural hazards?
While this might be a no-brainer, buying land with an existing structure when you want to rebuild is pricey. Depending on the property, you may have to bring in professional demolishers to level and haul away the structure. Make sure you decide if and how this would fit in your budget.