Prestige Homes - Blog - How To Choose Land To Build On
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How To Choose Land To Build On

How To Choose Land To Build On
Buying a plot of land to build your dream home on is an exciting prospect, but there are several possible pitfalls you should be aware of before you take the plunge. It’s important to do thorough research with the help of experts to avoid unforeseen complications down the road. Before signing on the dotted line, consider these helpful actions: 

Use a Realtor®
A real estate agent, particularly one with experience in residential land closings, can be a very valuable resource when it comes to finding, evaluating, and purchasing land for a new home. Keep in mind that the real estate agent who is working for the land owner has an obligation to the seller rather than to you as the buyer, so it’s advisable to secure your own agent. 

How To Choose The Right Realtor For You

If you do choose to go with a private sale, or you are buying the land directly from a developer, it’s wise to enlist the help of a lawyer to draw up the contract and transfer the title. Ensuring that your interests are protected and that the deal is done correctly is worth the expense.

How To Choose Land To Build On Seasons

Walk the Property in Differing Conditions
It’s easy to overlook problems and see only a little slice of paradise on bright, sunny summer afternoon, so make plans to visit the property at different times of day and in different weather conditions. A burbling creek might prove to be a rushing river after a rainstorm, or a quiet roadway may not be so quiet at rush hour. Also, try and envision the property in different seasons. Will it still be perfect when it’s buried under a mountain of snow?  

Look Below the Surface
Even after a close inspection, a piece of land might seem ideal, but you still need to know what’s underneath it. Ask the seller for the history of the property, particularly whether there is a buried swimming pool, old foundation, or oil tank. All of these things can cause issues when you start building, and it could end up being quite costly.

Depending on the past use of the property, you might consider having a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment done to check for environmental contaminants. This costs around $1500, but may well be worth it for peace of mind.

What is a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment?

What about Sewer and Water?
If you’re buying a property that’s not on municipal sewer and water, you need to determine that adjacent properties do not impede on the ability to put a septic field and a well on your land. It’s also important to have an expert conduct a soil or percolation test on the property to ensure it’s suitable for a septic system.

If there is a well and/or a septic system already present on the land, find out if they are in good working order. Make your purchase contingent on a satisfactory water test and septic inspection, and make the seller responsible for having the septic system pumped before closing.

How To Choose Land To Build On Research

Do Your Research
To avoid unwanted surprises when it comes time to build, make yourself familiar with your municipal planning rules. Find out about rules and restrictions around zoning, subdivision, and covenants before you buy. 

While you’re at it, check out the official planning policy document for the municipality to get a sense of what may be springing up around your property in the future. A beautiful field can turn into a superhighway!

Builder Site Visit
If you are considering building a modular home, it is very important that you check with your builder before you buy the land. While most land is suitable for a modular home, there are some things that can make it difficult (or impossible). The biggest consideration is access to the land. Trees or other obstacles can pose challenges or restrictions to get the home to the perfect spot on your piece of land. Narrow access roads, height restrictions caused by trees or bridges, and other types of obstructions on your land itself can affect delivery and placement of your home. And while most things can be overcome, it is always wise to meet with your preferred builder on your land before you make the purchase.

Homework Pays Off
One of the advantages to having your home constructed from the ground up is that you have the opportunity to be certain it’s built on a firm foundation. When making an offer on any piece of land, make sure that it is contingent on you having the right to inspect the property to your satisfaction. By doing your due diligence, you can avoid costly mistakes and start the building process out on the right foot.

People who read this post also read:

7 Ways To Avoid Stress When Building
6 Hidden Costs Of Building A New Home
How To Finance Your New Modular Home


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June 27, 2022