Choosing the right lot for your custom home can make a huge difference in your long-term experience after you move in. There are several factors to consider, when choosing a lot to build on.
Getting A Good Feel For The Neighborhood
It is important to get a good feel for your prospective neighborhood at different times of the day and week. A neighborhood can feel different in the afternoon on a weekday versus on a Sunday evening.
Instead of simply driving through the neighborhood, park at a local park and take a casual walk through the neighborhood. This approach will give you a chance to take in different aspects of your surroundings..
Commute And Amenities
Take the time to drive from your prospective neighborhood to your place of work during your normal commute time to see if you are comfortable with the drive time. Scope out the local supermarkets, banks, restaurants, and other places you frequent and time the drive.
Remember that what may seem like a tolerable drive can become cumbersome when done every day. Everyone has a different tolerance for driving times. Some enjoy a long drive to clear their heads, and some wish to get where they are going as soon as possible.
Access To City Services
If you are moving into a rural area, it’s important to know if your prospective lot will have access to city services. Water, sewer, and electricity provided by the city make things easier; but if you don’t have access to these services, there are work-arounds.
Is your area covered by local fire and rescue services? It’s not something one often thinks about, but it’s important to know in case of emergency.
Be sure to fully understand the minimum and maximum building standards of a neighborhood, usually set by the HOA or the developer. For example, you may be required to build a home of at least a certain square footage or price range. There also may be certain building materials or a particular style of home that is mandatory.
You’ll want to make sure the standards match your taste and budget so that you don’t find yourself in the uncomfortable position of owning a lot but not being able to proceed.
Some HOA’s or developers require you to break ground on your custom home within a certain time window. This can come into play if you are working on the “pay as you go” approach of buying some land first while you save for a home.
In addition, there may be a requirement to complete the construction phase within a certain amount of time. For example, in Tanglewood subdivision, you are required to complete your home within 18 months of starting construction.
Most lots may have certain restrictions on what you can do with the land. For example, will you be able to build a guest home or shed? Are you able to clear trees and brush? How close to the lot line can you put a structure?
Another restriction that could have a material impact on you build is size restriction. We discussed briefly above that there may be a minimum size you can build, but there also can be restrictions on the maximum size. For example, in Hunters Creek Village the first floor footprint can be no bigger than 25% of the lot size. If you are thinking of purchasing a lot that is 20,000 square feet the maximum square footage of the first floor would be 5,000 square feet.
All of these restrictions or lack thereof can make a difference. If you are the type of family that wants a lot of freedom to get creative with your lot, you may prefer fewer restrictions. If you prefer uniformity within the different lots of a neighborhood, you might like certain standards for the neighborhood.
One last tip… we highly recommend you identify the lot you want to build on before you start designing your custom home. Of course you will have ideas on size and features, but before you actually start designing the floor plan. The last thing you want to do is have a house completely designed and then find out you can’t build your dream home on your dream lot because of the lot restrictions.
Choosing a lot to build a custom home can be an exciting time. Make sure to do your homework and understand all the different aspects of your purchase before committing to it so that you can enjoy your new home for years to come.
Want to get a feel for the type of home that’s right for you in terms of size, rooms, amenities, and build time?
Most of the custom homes we build fall into four categories. Find out which category is a match for you based on your answers to a few simple questions. It takes less than a minute! Click here to get started.