What to Know when Buying Land to Build a Home

[fa icon="calendar"] August 10, 2021 / by Home Services Expert

lot for custom homePurchasing a lot and building a home can be an exciting time. Getting to choose the location, setting, and custom home that will be built, can be a fun and rewarding experience for you. However, if the experience is going to be a good one, it comes with a caveat – a lot of planning is needed.

No one wants to buy the perfect lot and discover that their dream home won’t fit or the zoning laws don’t allow the desired construction details. You want to make sure all of the bases are covered, and while the following is no comprehensive list – it’s a start to get you thinking about some of the important things to consider.

Consider the Location

Location is probably something you already have in mind when thinking about purchasing a lot to build on. However, you may have to choose between several lots that you like. A good rule of thumb is to try and buy in an area that seems to be desirable or is likely to increase in value over the years. Of course personal preferences, such as how far out of town to be, will also guide your decision. Along with these considerations it’s wise to look at:

  • Proximity of the location to undesirable noise or smells (railroad tracks or a large scale animal farm would be two examples).
  • Being near a poorly kept property or junk yard.
  • Known future construction in the area that may change the value of your property.
  • Proximity to schools and shopping.


Size of Lot

Size of lot is important for obvious reasons: if your dream home is too large to fit on a lot, it simply can’t be built there. If you have a home size or particular plan in mind, make that a central part of your requirements when looking for a lot to buy.


Zoning Laws

Zoning laws are important when buying vacant land since they will determine what can be built in the future. You would never want to buy in a commercial zone and plan to build a house, for example. Save yourself a lot of hassle and avoid lots that aren’t zoned residential because there is no guarantee you can get any zoning changed.


How Build Ready Is It?

Some lots are more “build ready” than others. This can include terrain, how clear the lot is of rocks and trees, whether there is access to a road, existing sewer and power lines, etc. Considering how ready a lot is to build on is essential to know what you’re getting yourself into.


Cost of Preparing the Land for a New Home Build

The related question is: what will it cost to build on the land that you choose? At this point we’re not talking about the house specifically, but all of the preparation to get the land ready. The more you still need to do, the more time it will take and the higher the cost will be. On the positive side, the more work and money you are willing to put into land that is less build ready, the more choices you have to find your dream lot.


Required Permits

What kind of county or city permits are required to build on the lot you want? Will they be expensive? Finding out every last detail of the permit process in each area you’re considering will save you many headaches and make the process go much smoother.


Contact Us for Help!

These are a few of the important things to consider when choosing a lot to build on. At Experts In Your Home we recommend you give us a call if you’re considering building on your own lot. Our general contractors in Chico and Paradise can build predesigned homes or custom homes, and we can give you pointers in finding a lot that will be suitable for your dream home.

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