When selecting a lot in a subdivision, there are a few principles that may help save money and protect your future home. There are several considerations, including the size shape and elevation of the lot, the available amenities, lot restrictions, neighbors and privacy concerns.
Selecting a Lot in a Subdivision Considerations: Choosing a Subdivision
It is a good idea to drive around the entire subdivision many times, on many different days, before choosing to purchase a lot or deciding which lot you would prefer. Don’t just look at the vacant lots. Look at the homes that are already built. How many are for sale? An abundance of homes for sale could be a sign of lowering property values, problems in the neighborhood, or general discontent of residents in the subdivision. Are there still a lot of vacant lots? What seems to be the ratio of occupied homes to vacant homes or empty lots? Also take notice of the neighbors, if you see any outside of their homes. Are they young, or old? Are there children or pets wandering down the streets, or playing on vacant lots? Look for anything that could later become a nuisance to you.
If the subdivision is new, be aware that it is possible that all the planned amenities may never be built. In many recent cases, man made lakes, golf courses and pools were promised but have never been built, because not enough lots or houses were sold in the subdivision. There is a risk involved in being one of the first in a new subdivision. While being the first to choose a lot may offer a greater selection, you may be disappointed on the quality of neighboring homes, the characteristics of neighbors and absence of promised amenities. Building in an established subdivision has fewer risks.
Most subdivisions have rules, concerning the structure and location of your home on the lot. Be sure to consider all of these before purchasing a lot. Make sure that your house plan will fit onto the lot with the allotted distance from the property lines on both sides. Be sure that your home plan is consistent with the restrictions in size and design, and that their specified distance from the road is suitable to your lot.
One of the first considerations is the land itself. There are three features that effect construction, ground water drainage, grade, and underground springs. In most climates, it is better to choose a lot on a hill, or at least not in a low spot. Water drainage flows downhill, and low lying areas are prone to flash flooding. Hilly lots can be beautiful, but they lead to extra grading charges. If you are on a budget choose a flat lot. When looking for underground springs, it is often a good idea to have an experienced home builder with knowledge of the area to help you look.
Often lots in curves or on cul-de-sacs may be wider at the back than at the front. Pie shaped lots, with larger back yards can be nice, provided that your set back ordinances allow enough width for your home. Ask your builder to carefully compare your lot size, the setback ordinances, and minimum distance from the edges of the lot, with your house plan to make sure it will fit.
Choosing a lot in a subdivision requires careful consideration and plenty of time. It is generally best to view the lot more than once, and to spend considerable time observing the neighborhood before buying a lot. Always have your builder view the lot, and examine the lot maps before purchasing land for your home. For more information on selecting a lot in a subdivision and other homebuilding topics, be sure to download our 98 page free book, and read some of the other articles on this site.