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How to Purchase Land for Building Your New Home Plan

Jul 6, 2008
Location, location, location! Your lot will be an actual part of your new home and where you plan to live. Be sure that you're completely happy with it. If you have doubts about how you'll feel 1 year, 5 years, or 20 years from now in this location, you may need to search some more for your new home's location.

It is a much better idea to find the ideal lot before you finalize the design plans of the new home. The land can play a large roll in how the design plans will work. The style, shape, size, foundation type, width, and etc may all need to be adjusted to certain land features and criteria. If you have decided to purchase the plans first, be sure that you know what criteria to follow for the lot you select. Construction blueprints are non-returnable.

1) What are Your Family's Needs?
You should consider your personal preferences - and the requirements of your family - in the selection of your lot also. Do you want to live in a certain school district? Do you want to be close to a city, business district, your job, an established neighborhood, or in a rural area? Write these requirements down and refer back to them throughout the land shopping process.

2) What Impact Will the Land Have on Your Home?
There are building restrictions and protected covenants in many development areas. These are minimum standards for new constructions with more stable, controlled home values. If you want a large lot, consider the time and money it will require keeping it maintained. Be sure of the requirements on basements, crawlspaces, or slabs that you may choose to use as your foundation. Also, consider the orientation to the sunrise and sunset if you are concerned with interior heating and cooling consideration. If the requirements do not suit your preferences, it may be worth the extra cost to find a different location, even if it is more costly.

3) Buyer Beware! How to Protect Yourself from Bad Deals
Be skeptical of "bargain lots". If the price is too good to be true it quite possible is. If the price is much lower than the communities normal price range, there is probably a reason. Look for problem areas. Check the drainage; low spots where water can lay can be the result of poor soil conditions. This can affect drainage, foundation design, sanitary disposal, topographical problems, difficult restrictive covenants or easements, availability of utilities [water, sewer, electric, gas]. It may be beneficial to consult a local professional before making the decision to purchase. Be cautious, but be wise. It may be difficult to find a good lot, so if there are problems that you can work with or around you may still want to consider the purchase.

4) Are the Surrounding homes of Comparable Value?
Make the best effort possible to build in an area with homes that will be comparable. The surrounding homes will have a major impact on the resale value of your home someday in the future. You shouldn't overbuild and have a high valued home in an area with homes of much less value - as this will lower the value of your home. Even if you have built the most unique and most beautiful home in the area, it will be difficult to sell later since it does not blend with the neighborhood.

5) Look at the Survey
Look at the survey that was done on the lot. The seller should be able to provide you with a copy of the survey prepared by a registered surveyor. It should show all legal easements, setback requirements, baseline elevations, and possible wetlands, which you may not be able to build on. The last required step is to insist on and pay for a title search and title insurance. If there would ever be a dispute over the land ownership, the title insurance would be an asset. Most lending institutions will require a title that is 'free and clear' before they will negotiate on a loan.

6) Tips on Finding Your Lot
Use various sources during your lot search. You will have a better opportunity on finding the 'perfect' lot.

Sources to consider:
# Ads in newspapers of your local area, the area in which you want to be, or areas surrounding those.
# Online real estate sites, ad sites, and home sites. There are many search tools available online.
# Drive around the area and look for sale signs posted on lots. Jotting down numbers and calling those numbers may even lead you to other sites available.
# Real Estate Agents.
# Legal plats in county courthouses or your local town hall.
About the Author
Shop for custom home plans at TheHouseDesigners.com, where we give you a 5% refund if you find a lower price anywhere! We offer free shipping on all of our custom home plans. Our house design article resource provides a great resource for all DIY home builders.
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