If you have a very specific goal in mind for your home, or if you’ve looked high and low for the perfect house but you just can’t seem to find it, building your own home may be the perfect answer. However, before you can start putting up walls, you’ll first need to find the right plot of land, and that can be tricky, too. Here are four important considerations when buying land for your new home.
#1 – Property Condition and Zoning
Before you do anything else at all – even before you go to look at a plot of land, make sure that you have checked out the zoning requirements and the property’s condition. After all, driving 15 minutes out of your way to go look at land that is zoned incorrectly for your home or that cannot be built on because of contaminants is just a waste of your time. If you are going to buy from a real estate agent, this information should be readily available. When buying from a private seller, you may have to do some digging. Ask about zoning, grade, soil quality, and more, and be sure you take notes.
#2 – Utilities
If you’re buying a plot of land that has had a home on it before – even if it was a lot for a mobile home – you might be able to save a great deal of time and money on the utility hookups. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying quite a bit out of pocket to get gas, electricity, plumbing, or even internet access on your new property. In many locations, the utility companies are only responsible for the costs associated with bringing the lines out into the road in front of your home. Anything beyond that – rather, anything from the pole to your home except for the actual meters – will likely be your responsibility. The further your home from the road, the costlier this can become, too.
#3 – Existing Structures
If a plot of land already has existing structures – older homes, mobile homes, garages, and other things – this is yet another expense that you will need to plan. You may be able to build around an existing structure or even fix it up for your own use later down the line, but if you want a full demolition, there are two options. First, you might want to hire a contractor to bring in heavy equipment and get the demolition done quickly. Second, you might choose to demolish the structure yourself bit by bit. The first option is fast, but costs significantly more. The second is very slow, but also more budget-friendly.
#4 – Cost
Cost is the final important consideration when it comes to buying a plot of land to build a new home from the ground up. There’s no set price per square foot that you can rely on since land in one location can cost triple the land in a location only five miles away. Larger plots of land tend to cost more, as do plots of land that come with any mineral rights – rights to oil or any other mineral that may be hidden within it. If you want to buy a plot with an existing structure, you will pay more, too, and this is true even if that structure will be demolished. It is still considered an improvement.
Buying land to build a new home is an exciting time in your life, but it is also a tremendous investment. It is vital that you take the time to consider all these factors and learn as much as you can about the land before you commit to anything. It could save you time, hassle, and a lot of money.