The Problems with Buying a Lot Before You Understand What you Have

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or have outgrown your current home, there are many appeals to buying a lot to build a new custom home on versus a pre-developed home. P.L. Lyons wants to give you all of the insider Pros, Cons, and other things to consider when building your home on a vacant lot. If you are considering buying a lot to build your new home on, take the time to know what you’re really getting so you don’t run into surprises along the way that cause delays in your building timeline, legal matters, or having to change the location of your lot entirely.

buying a lot

Physical Implications of Buying A Lot

Dealing with land as a homebuyer can be a challenge without the help of land experts and builders who know the proper ways to survey the land to ensure it is safe and logical to build on. Here is a list of questions and information when looking at the physical aspects of a lot before you build on it:

  • Is your lot considered an infill lot? And does that pose challenges?
  • The Distance from the street is very important. The farther away from the street the more expensive it is. Various Costs include: road, driveway, and running utilities from the street to the house.
  • Clearing of lots poses two downfalls: It’s expensive and Certain laws or ordinances restrict it.
  • Is there any waters on the property? Because it is protected. Link to Waters of the U.S.
  • Erosion control
  • You have to protect the trees during construction, no matter what. If there is a high number of trees on your lot? This could be an issue if you are wanting to use the space they are planted for other amenities.
  • You can’t build on parts of a lot. EPA

Laws, Restrictions, and HOA’s

Besides the physical elements you must take into account when assessing your lot before you begin begin building your home, there is laws and other restrictions from your neighborhood or HOA you must comply with as well. Here are potential questions you should discuss with your contractor before buying a lot:

  • Is your lot surveyed showing, easements, available utilities?
  • Build-ability: Flood zones, historic/overlays, restrictions, topography are all considerations to look at while building on a lot. (steep sites are more expensive to build)
  • You may know you have to put in a septic system but you may not know the cost, size, or how drainable your soil is.
  • You have to look at the orientation of home. Based on eco/passive solar, amenities, and HOA’s may all pose specific guidelines you have to follow during building your home.
  • Overlay districts may require additional set backs that aren’t on the survey.

Although it may seem that it is impossible to build your home on a lot the way you envision it, there are many benefits to choosing to to build your dream home on a lot. These benefits include:

  • The opportunity to create and design your perfect home
  • Direct Ownership
  • Less Maintenance
  • A More Affordable Option than a Pre-Developed Home

Our team at P.L. Lyons is dedicated to providing the best homebuilding services to our clients for the best price possible to get the home of your dreams. We recommend these final tips on the homebuilding journey when choosing a lot to build on:

  • Dont’s:
    • Don’t assume you can have the property rezoned
    • Don’t skip the survey tests
    • Don’t design a house before you buy a piece a lot- your expectations may not be met
  • Do’s: 
    • Do consider the value of homes in the neighborhood
    • Do work with a professional, like P.L. Lyons to ensure you are in the care of experts
    • Design a house to fit a piece your specific lot- this is the key to customizing your dream home!

If you are interested in beginning your homebuilding journey today, let P.L. Lyons build the home of your dreams with expert care and experience. We are eager to help you find the perfect lot and design your home to fit your specific needs with customized features. Contact us here for more information.

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