There’s more to think about with your custom home build than just how many bedrooms and whether what you want the backyard to look like. You also need to think about what type of land you should be looking for before building the home. Not all land is equal and you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’ve built a beautiful home on a lot that actually had some issues.
Learn about the potential pitfalls of a piece of land before making the decision to buy it for a custom build. Take a look at what you need to look for in a property before you have a custom home built there.
Choose the location carefully
One thing you cannot change once you’ve built this home here is your location. You need to put a large consideration on your location because it’s permanent and the things surrounding you are not likely going to change much.
What side of town do you really want to be on? What school district is this location going to put your children in? Are you close to professional services, entertainment, grocery stores, and recreation?
There is much to consider when choosing a location but you want to make sure you are going to be happy with things like a nice view, proximity to the schools you want to send your kids to, your commute to work from here, and how far away are things you enjoy like restaurants and outdoor recreation.
What are the setbacks of this piece of land?
Every piece of land is going to have some sort of setbacks, whether it’s lacking a great view, it’s too big of a plot to ever have close neighbors, the type of soil doesn’t allow you to grow your favorite plants, or it’s near a flood zone.
When you start by surveying a property, you can walk the land with a seller and find out everything about the property. You’ll want to learn as much as you can so that you can determine if it’s suitable for building a home here.
Some lots are going to be well-suited but will require some work like clearing some trees or grading some hills. If you plan to install a septic tank or create a power hookup, you’ll need to know about your options for this plot of land. This is the time to ask all of the questions you have for your intentions with this property to make sure it’s a good fit.
Zoning and restrictions
You can then stop by city hall to talk to the health department about local sewer and water codes and then stop by the planning commission to find out the details on zoning restrictions. You may be able to see the chain of title to see what the land was worth previously by talking to the town clerk. If you happen to have picked a property in a landmarked district, you’ll find out what the rules are going to be on materials, size, style, etc.
The most important information will come from the assessor’s office where you can find out about flood-zone boundaries, wetland proximities, tax information, restrictions imposed on by a previous owner, and if you’ll need an easement from any neighbors to access part of your property.
What about utilities?
If everything checks out, you’ll also want to find out how you’ll be getting utilities to this property. Not only will you need essentials like power, water, and waste, but you’ll likely want to set up phone and internet services. You may also need gas from a utility company or a propane tank.
Can you build a well here for water or do you have access to a utility company? Some pieces of land are great but it’s too remote to access municipal utilities.
Make sure to factor in these considerations when looking at property for your custom home. Don’t forget to consider what this neighborhood may look like in 5 years or 10 years to better assess if this is a place you’ll want to live when that time comes!