Choosing the best land on which to build your home is one of the most critical choices in the home-building process. And once you’ve found the land you want to purchase, choosing a custom home design that suits the lay of the land can start your journey to the days of heaven on earth you’ve desired in your dream home.
Buying the Right Vacant Land
Wise decisions in your choice of land can facilitate custom home dreams that flourish into reality. In contrast, poor choices in both features and location of land can cause nightmares including increased expenses and delays.
Get the home you want in the location you want by first choosing the right land.
- Consider hiring a real estate lawyer to check all documents before purchasing land.
- Do a title search to check for claims on the property by previous heirs, and previous legally binding agreements like liens or covenants. For added safety, get title insurance.
- Check on zoning or deed restrictions to verify you can build the type and size of home you desire on the vacant land.
- How will you get water onto the property? Will a well be dug?
- Where will a septic tank and septic system be built? This could impact where you build your home on the land, since well water and septic systems need to be separated.
- Determine clear boundaries. Hire an engineer to do a survey and provide a map displaying your boundaries.
- Discover any easements.
- Be sure you have permanent, transferrable, legal access to your property.
- Check on mineral rights (below the surface), timber rights (when you buy wooded land, be sure the timber rights are included), and air rights (how high you can build based on zoning laws).
How to Choose a Custom Home Design to Suit Your Lot
Each lot has its positive and negative aspects. Various lots accommodate specific features in a custom-built home. For example:
Even slight slopes can influence your home’s drainage capabilities in your basement.
If you want your dream home to have a walk-out basement, a lot without a slope excludes that possibility.
If a great view is something your home plans should highlight, mention it early during the design stage.
Corner lots— When two streets intersect, a home’s “front” faces two sides, making it quite visible from various angles. How can you make the most of design features in a corner lot? Design a side entry garage, giving two entrances to your home. Note also: easy access to the back of your home exists in corner lot homes.
Sloped lots— Sloped lots can help you avoid the possibility of flooding in your basement (better than flat lots). Sloped lots can tend to be more expensive to build on due to site preparation. There are three basic types of sloped lots:
Side sloped lot—The beauty of designing a custom home on a side sloped lot is the features it offers:
A walk-out basement
A side-entry basement garage
Two entries to the house: one from the street and one from the garage
A window or two on the side and back of the house, allowing natural light into the basement
Down sloped lot— A down site slopes down from the house, making it perfect for a walkout basement in the back of the house. Sometimes it’s necessary to walk down from the road to the house’s entrance. The down site may provide homeowners with an awesome view behind the home.
Up sloped lot— When the house sits up higher than the road it is on, it’s called an up site. Once the custom home is built, you have to walk up some stairs to enter the home. Often, the slope may continue on the back of the home. A front entry basement garage could be implemented nicely into the design.
Flat lots— Many people picture a flat lot as the ideal place on which to build their custom home. Flat lots work well for custom homes, but they can also present problems if you desire to build a basement. Flooding could become an issue, even with a drainage system in place. Look at where your flat lot lies within the neighborhood, and if it’s at the lowest point, be aware of flooding potential.
Lots with a view— When there are views to highlight from within your custom home, a custom design should be implemented to take advantage of the beauty just outside your windows. Create outdoor space where you can entertain and take in the beautiful view. Underdeveloped land offers beautiful views, but verify the view you desire to showcase will remain and not be developed. There’s nothing like a refreshing view of the outdoors, so seize the opportunity to take in the best possible view with the right home design.
Narrow lots— Many older homes in various inner-city locations are being torn down and replaced with smart looking, minimalistic homes for simple living in prime locations. When a lot is 45 feet wide or less, it’s considered a narrow lot. With the right design and builder, its space can be wisely utilized to create a beautiful, efficient home.
Consider which direction your lot faces and how natural light will affect you as a result. Your most frequented rooms should get the most natural light each day. North facing lots allow you to take advantage of the natural light, no matter what season of the year it is.
When custom building your home, keep in mind that someday you’ll likely sell the property. The style of home you choose can make a monumental difference in your resale value.