5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Own Land
August 20, 2018 | Lombardo Living
A new, beautiful homesite just went up for sale in the area you’ve always dreamed of living in. It’s the perfect spot to build your new Lombardo home: In a good school district, on acreage, surrounded by trees, and – best of all – within your land budget.
When selecting a homesite, most clients think about its location, size, and price. While those are important, there are other factors to consider, especially in regard to their impact on the overall price of the project. Below, find five questions to ask before buying your own land.
1) What utilities are available and where are they? Bringing utilities to a property and connecting to them can add significant cost. It’s important to factor in these costs, especially when you’re considering a larger homesite. There are a few utilities to consider:
Water and sewer: If public water and sewer are available at the property, that’s great, but you should look into associated connection fees.
Well and septic: Ensuring a well with sufficient capacity and ensuring soils “perc” for a septic system are crucial issues to resolve before you purchase the land.
Gas: Is natural gas available, or will you need to have an on-site propane tank?
Electric, phone, and cable: In some rural areas, these utilities may not be available at your homesite. You will need to investigate what’s involved in bringing these utilities to your site.
2) What about the soils? Your homesite may need to have soil hauled in or hauled out. If there is a high water table, it might impact your basement. If the soils are not strong enough to support the weight of your home, you may need to increase footing size or replace existing poor soils with good soils. These are just a handful of items that may arise in relation to the soils on your homesite.
3) Where will the driveway be located? The driveway location will determine the orientation of the home. The length of the driveway is something to consider, too – a longer driveway requires more concrete. On a homesite with a lot of grade (or hills), a steep driveway may be needed which may not be what you envisioned, especially in winter.
4) How many trees need to be removed? Maybe you fell in love with your homesite because of how wooded the area is, but in addition to clearing trees for your home and driveway, you may also want space for a deck, swimming pool, and backyard. Removing trees from your homesite, whether it’s the bare minimum needed for home construction or more, is something to factor in when selecting your dream homesite. Municipal requirements for tree preservation or tree replacement may impact your overall tree budget.
5) What are the other homes in the area like? Once you find your ideal homesite, drive around the area and see what the homes nearby are like. Are the nearby homes and yards well-maintained and free of yard clutter? Are they similar in size and features to the home you’d like to build? As a general rule, you never want to be the largest, nicest home “on the block.” Building a more expensive home than homes in the area may lead to appraisal issues.
Building on your own homesite can be an amazing experience. This option allows you to build the home of your dreams on the homesite of your dreams, with little or no compromise. However, as you venture into buying your own homesite, it’s important to understand homesite related items that may arise before you sign on the dotted line. This will ensure a comfortable, budget-friendly build process.
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