So you want to build a new home on your lot in the country? Many people inherit family farm property, while others have an opportunity to purchase a tract of land in the country. It is always exciting to build a home away from the city, and there are many advantages to owning your own rural land. The process is a little different for building on your own lot in a rural area.
It is almost unbelievable to those of us who have always lived in rural areas, just how many restrictions are involved in building on subdivision, and city lots. There are setback ordinances, stating how far your house has to be from the street, so that it conforms to your neighbors. There are restrictions in some developments saying your garage must not face the street, but rather extra land is included to actually turn a corner so that your car my enter from the side or back. This however interferes with how you place the rest of the house. There are also maximums and minimums for square footage that prevent adding on to an existing house. In general there is little choice compared to actually having your own acreage.
While you will be subject to building codes, and perhaps a few zoning ordinances in some areas, you will be able to select the spot on your acreage you wish to place your home on. You will be able to plan your landscaping, your driveway, and your home plan. You can start small and build on, which is a tremendous financial advantage. You can live in an old mobile home on your property until your home is built. In general a rural lot means you can do what you please as long as your home is determined structurally sound by a building inspector. It is important to learn about local codes and ordinances before you begin construction.
If you intend to borrow money however, there may be additional restrictions imposed by the lending institution. Often the bank will hesitate to loan large sums on an unusual house. It is however much more likely that you can build a home without a loan, with a small personal loan or with a smaller 15 year mortgage rather than a traditional 30 year loan. This is a huge financial advantage.
On a rural lot you will need a well and septic tank. It pays to research well and septic maintenance and care by talking to people who also have well and septic. There are many advantages to having your own private well and septic though. Water quality from a deep well is usually much better than city water. It’s like getting bottled water straight from your tap. While putting in a well and septic is a direct up-front expense, you will never owe a water bill. Many cities are increasing the charges for water to unbelievably high rates. In the long run owning a well will save you money. Before a septic tank is installed you must have the land tested to determine if it will perk and where. An expert will help you place your septic system in the most advantageous place.
Having your own land makes solar much more practical. You’ll have plenty of space to install solar panels, and the opportunity to build a green home with maximum efficiency. With enough solar panels and an energy efficient home, the electric company will be paying you! Consider building a solar farm in the back yard. Most subdivisions are not going to be open to alternative green materials, or building a solar farm.
Green materials, unusual structures, and unique buildings can be built on a rural lot much more easily. In addition combining business and residence is also possible.
• Having your own land makes Solar much more practical. You’ll have plenty of space to install solar panels, and the opportunity to build a green home with maximum efficiency. With enough solar panels and an energy efficient home, the electric company will be paying you! Consider building a solar farm in the back yard. Most subdivisions are not going to be open to alternative green materials or building a solar farm. but farmland is perfect for a solar farm too.
• You can build a woodworking shed or auto repair shop on your property. Running a small business on your property can be very profitable, save on travel time to work, and lend to a much more pleasant lifestyle. Rural land is perfect for small cottage industries in or next to your home.
• Keeping livestock and keeping a garden can be a huge plus in today’s economy. Rural land affords a lot of freedom to be self sufficient in raising your own food, and also in keeping horses, or other livestock for your enjoyment.
• Green Materials such as insulated concrete panels can save you a lot of money on construction. Homes incorporating train cars or shipping containers can be built at amazing savings, but it is unlikely that a subdivision would allow such a thing. By owning your own land in the country, you may find it easier to get away with these money saving ideas.
• Build very small and add on later. Building a home of 500 square feet or less can be quite affordable and quick as well. Plan the home so that an addition can be added later, once you’ve saved enough, or have paid off the first part. Building in phases can save you six figures on interest, and a lifetime of debt.
• Unique architecture and materials you already have. Many people have access to a cheap non-traditional building material. Fabulous A-frame homes have been built incorporating old railroad rails. The steel beams made from the rails were much stronger than lumber, and for those owners, saved tens of thousands of dollars. Not everyone gets an opportunity to buy old railroad track for cheap, but for those who do, it is a huge bonus. There are many other non-traditional materials readily available to people with the right connections. Using your imagination can save you a lot of money when building on a rural lot.
While many people consider the cost of a well and septic cost restrictive, the fact is that compared to complying with a lot of restrictions, it’s virtually nothing. If you can think outside the box, a rural lot can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest, and actually pay you in the long run. Consider creative ways to save money or earn income when you decide to build a new home on your lot.