Finding the perfect place to build your home can seem daunting. But here are Bean Builder’s top six tips for finding the perfect land for building your dream home! 1) Identify where you want to live first and foremost. A neighborhood? Lake? Woods? Acreage? In town or out? A main or side street? Does the school district matter? All of these options will dictate where you should begin your search. You can search for available lots on many real estate sites and Zillow, if you are looking for undeveloped or subdivided land outside of a neighborhood. If you want acreage or land that is more rural, check out your local or county land records. We have many times encountered land owners who have been willing to sell off portions of their property when asked. 2) Find the lot before the house. We usually recommend that you find the land before you settle on a house plan, just because it is much easier to marry a house plan to a lot than a lot to a house plan. But often our customers fall in love with a plan and they just need somewhere to build it! Bean Builders has a knack for finding land that maximize the home's vision, curb appeal and family’s long term goals. Keep in mind if the lot is particularly narrow or slopes, for example - these things will dictate what kind of home can be built on it. After 35 years of residential building, we have seen it all and can help you with which houses are perfect for certain situations; and even help you modify a plan you love, so it will work on a less than ideal lot, if it has to.
3) Hire a professional real estate agent or builder before you buy.
Land can look perfect online and in a drive by, but we suggest you call us before you make an offer. A builder can help you avoid any unforeseen pitfalls like flood plains, drainage issues, building restrictions or covenants, well/water or electricity issues and local zoning laws. Are utilities and services such as gas, telephone, water, electricity, and sewer systems available? Many times these unknowns add increased costs due to necessary prep work before the building begins.
4) Stay within budget.
Land can cost roughly 20% of your overall home building budget. This percentage can vary, depending on a number of variables such as how much acreage you want and where it is. But keep this in mind as you begin to search and don’t waste time on land that takes your overall budget beyond reach. Be realistic with your expectations, so your land search is not overwhelming. What you prioritize, such as lot location, views, and size of the lot will drive its cost.
5) Know the value of homes that are nearby.
Your home will hold its value longer if the total cost of your home is similar or slightly less in value than nearby homes. While your custom home should be uniquely you, its design style should ideally fit in well with nearby neighbors - not only so it doesn't stand out, but because it affects the surrounding homes’ property values. Think long term! Consider the resale value of where you are considering building and the long term plans/growth for that part of town.
6) Spend some time on the land to get a feel for it.
Again, internet photos and drive bys are great, but walk the lot with your builder so you can get a true feel for it. Walking the topography, seeing the sun exposure, getting a lay of the land and its views, etc. is critical before you decide on a purchase. A builder can also foresee any setbacks the lot would have for certain plans that may not be readily visible to you.
No matter what you discover as you search, Bean Builders has probably already found a way to make it work. If at any point you'd like help finding a lot or the right house plan for a lot you are considering or already own, or even if you simply have questions about what you should be looking for, feel free to reach out.