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Essential Tips to Consider Before Building on your Lot

Front exterior of modern house at sunset

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Building a home can be exciting! Meeting with the architect and contractor to choose how your home will look and function for you and your family is a milestone in anyone’s life. Although, before you get excited about what is on the interior and exterior of your home – how about where it will be located? The property lot you choose can make or break the deal of how much you enjoy or dislike your home. Before you think that choosing how your physical home will look is the last step before construction, look at these tips for choosing the right home building lot for your dream house plan!

Visit your potential property site in person:

While it may not always be possible, try to visit the property site of where your home could be placed. For many homeowners the “inconvenience” of having to travel to the property site could seem like a waste of time. Walking around the property, observing views from different vantage points, and seeing potential neighbors and how your future neighborhood will look can be extremely beneficial.

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Consider bringing a “second set of unbiased eyes” with you when visiting

While you may think you and your architect can remember all the fine details about the property, bring along a civil engineer or design professional for their opinion, just in case. While you may fall in love with the aesthetics of the property a professional can cite issues with drainage of the site, soil erosion and other microclimate issues that you may not be aware of. Ask your architect for recommendations of good professionals to bring along side your visit when choosing a site.

Plan on visiting your local building department office beforehand 

In most cities the land will be governed by the local building department who will have historical data, current geographic and construction that is going on in the area, as well as planned communities for the future. Consider visiting your local building department and scheduling an appointment with an official. At this time you can show them the property or area you are considering for building your home and they can give you insight that can be helpful for you and your architect/contractor for the present and the future of your home.

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Experience your potential property at different times

Regardless of where you’d like to live the property, climate, local characteristics of the site and neighborhood can all have dramatic differences when experienced at different times. When choosing a property lot, visit during the morning, midday, evening times and if possible in different seasons. A rustic home in the mountains may seem ideal in the summer months, but once the winter snow arrives that you’re not used to maneuvering, you may rethink if this property is right for you!

Weigh the pros and cons of choosing with multiple property options

You could have your heart set on just one lot, but like everything else in life, it helps to have choices. When looking for a property ask your Realtor to provide you with several options to narrow down the good and bad of each property. There are several factors that could sway your thinking from size, location of property in the neighborhood, walking distance to resources in the community, views, and obviously the price point that can create factors to consider viewing more than one property at a time. If you are having a challenge narrowing down your list, ask your architect who has your building plan to take a look and they can tell you which one your home will fit on, or will compliment the design best.

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Consider the local resources when choosing a lot

Many times the thought of choosing the immediate property is considered without much thought of the location of the neighborhood to local resources. These resources can include schools, churches, shopping centers, commuting to work, hospitals, parks and other amenities your family uses daily. While it is important to be happy with your building lot, choosing a neighborhood that the lot is contained in can be just as important. Most realty websites list the local amenities to the neighborhoods when searching online – this can become very useful if searching from out of town.

When choosing a lot determine how much outdoor living space you’d prefer

It’s easy to get caught up in the nostalgia of building your home. Envisioning your children or dogs playing on the lush expansive front lawn and having a pool party in the backyard could be in your dreams. Although, if the reality is more in-tuned with you don’t’ like to do any yard work and the thought of having to hire a landscaping professional weekly to keep your outdoor home manicured, you may need to give yourself a reality check. Corner lots usually have a wider circumference of lawn and will require more landscaping. Lots in the middle of a street could have more narrow lots but also will require less landscaping.

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Think about your lifestyle when choosing the right lot

If you have small children or prefer a quiet, out of the way street, building your home on a cul-de-sac or dead-end street could be ideal. While if you prefer to stay indoors and have the view of the city life from inside your urban brownstone, a busy city street can suit you just fine. Look to your own family lifestyle to determine what type of lot and street configuration would work best for you. Also consider the age groups of neighborhoods when considering moving. Some communities may prefer more mature residents with kids for a quiet neighborhood, while young families may do better amongst other families with children playing and allowing the adults to converse and grow up together.

Freshome readers we’d love to know what factors you considered before choosing the best property lot for your home!

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