Selecting a lot to build a house on can be a huge decision. There are many aspects of the lot to consider. Location, eye appeal and emotional instincts all play a part in your decision. These things are important, but there are features that you may not be able to see. It is a good idea to get a few expert opinions before making your final lot selection.
Selecting a Lot to Build a House: Location
Location is the most important element in real estate. Of course you want a home within reasonable driving distance of your job. You will also have a preference between a rural lot, a subdivision, a suburb, or a city location. You may even have a choice between a few small towns or cities that would be equally convenient.
The school district is a huge issue for people with children, or people who plan to have them. Even if you have lived in your area a long time, be sure to research the schools. Check test scores, and talk to students of each school system. Find out about the share of funding each school gets as well. Funding for schools is rarely equal, or fair.
All neighborhoods are different. Demographics such as the median age of home owners are important, but more importantly, what are neighbors really like? It is a good idea to meet neighbors before buying a lot. Drive through the area at different times a day to check for wandering stray or loose dogs, kids playing, and people walking around. Everyone has a different view of these types of things, but it is important to make sure you know what the daily routine of your prospective neighborhood is.
It is also important to investigate and read all the rules and regulations associated with your lot and neighboring lots. Zoning is important, as are rules about the size and placement of your home on your lot. Some people like a lot of rules to keep their neighbor’s lots nice and boost property values, while others find a lot of rules uncomfortable. Look at the rules carefully and see if there are any you find invasive or problematic.
It’s easy to feel an impulse to buy when you ‘feel something’ while standing on a lot. Many places on earth evoke emotions for a variety of reasons. These feelings are important, and usually a good sign, but be sure to consider practical matters as well. Your new lot should feel good to you though, so do not discount your emotional or spiritual reactions to the property. Examine them, and discern what you felt. Make sure you want to feel that as long as you live in your home.
When selecting a lot to build a house be sure to consider the elevation of your lot compared to other lots. It is a good idea to pick a lot on a hill or high ground, so that the water will run off when it rains. Mountain lots are beautiful, but watch for erosion, and consider the extra cost of leveling the lot enough for a house. It is much cheaper to build on a flat lot than a hilly one. Flash floods can be very problematic in low potentially swampy land. Creeks though picturesque can be a serious flash flood risk as well. Another thing to be on the lookout for are underground springs. One of the major causes of structural problems in new homes is underground springs under the house. Consider water drainage, as a top priority when choosing a lot and gather a few experts to examine the lot. Have your home builder inspect the lot carefully before you buy.
Buying a lot is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in the building process. Make sure you have all the information you need, and have consulted experts on drainage before purchasing. When selecting a lot to build a house it is a good idea to consider your choice carefully and not buy on impulse.