You've found perfect house, but land it sits on isn't quite what you have in mind. Or maybe you've seen a great piece of land, but house doesn't fit your needs. If nothing really says home to you, it might be time to consider building.
Buying land may seem intimidating at first, but it really isn't difficult at all if you plan a course of action and stick to it.
Know Your Budget Talk with a loan officer to find out how much you can afford. Both down payments and interest rates can be higher for land than for homes, so it's important to get facts before you go shopping.
If you plan to build soon, loan officer should explain construction loans, including closing procedures you'll encounter while house is being built.
Building Costs Talk with area contractors to determine average price you can expect to pay per square foot for type of home you wish to build.
Include estimates for building a driveway or road to homesite.
Don't forget estimates for well digging and septic installation if your home will not be connected to community water and sewer.
How will it take to construct home?
To find maximum amount you can spend for land, deduct building costs from your total budget, then deduct a bit more for unexpected expenses. Target A Location If you've already looked at homes in area, you may know where you want to build. List locations by order of preference. If you're undecided, become more familiar with area by driving around, reading newspapers, and talking to locals.
Your Wants and Needs Make a list of all features that would exist on ideal piece of land. Review list, highlighting your must-haves, such as a great view, privacy, or a waterfront building site.
How Much Land Do You Need? What's minimum size lot or tract of land you are willing to consider? Keep in mind that a heavily wooded, 1-acre lot may be more private than a 3-acre lot that's all lawn. Tour a variety of neighborhoods and pay attention to settings.
Land Use Considerations How will you use land? If you plan to build a duplex, you must choose a site where zoning or other restrictions allow multifamily dwellings. If you know you want a manufactured, consider only tracts of land where those structures are allowed.
Consider Restrictive Covenants Developments are governed by guidelines called Restrictive Covenants. I know of one development where cats are not allowed, even if they are indoor pets. Some prohibit metal roofs, which are very popular on log homes. Some dictate paint colors or have an architectural review committee that must approve your home plans. Study covenants carefully to determine if you can live with them.
Start Your Search
Look for 'For Sale' signs as you browse area.
Search for properties on Internet.
If you see interesting tracts of land, note their exact location. A visit to county tax office is usually all it takes to find owner.
Find a real estate agent who likes to work land sales. Talk with agent about all of categories above, and any others that might help her locate perfect tract. Does Land Suit Your Home Plans? Ask a builder to accompany you to your top choices, to offer advice about best building sites, and to suggest home plans that will work with topography.