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Before you can build that dream home, you must first decide where to build it.

Buying a lot comes with a number of important matters that must be addressed. How do you know if you’re building in the right neighborhood? Is it convenient to work and good schools? Does the land have access to utilities? Are there any legal or environmental concerns?

That’s why it’s best to talk to an experienced contractor before buying land. A reputable general contractor will have the knowledge and relationships to help you select the best lot and navigate the purchase process with minimal headaches and without spending more than you have to.

Keep reading for a summary of the issues to ask about when purchasing a lot.

#1: Are You Choosing the Right Location?

Research the neighborhood and nearby amenities. Different concerns may arise depending on whether you’re building in an urban or rural location.

  • Make sure your new home is a good fit for the neighborhood. A new build of a similar size and style to existing homes will be more desirable to future homebuyers and more pleasing to current residents.
  • Find out if your property will be subject to any neighborhood covenants or homeowner’s association requirements.
  • Research nearby schools, fire protection, insurance rates and property taxes.
  • If you are building within city limits, make sure your location isn’t too close to noisy areas like busy streets or shopping centers.
  • If you are building in a rural area, how far will you have to commute to work, school, shopping trips and other activities?
  • Does the lot already have access to basic utilities like water, electricity and gas, or will those need to be hooked up? What about communication services like phone and internet?
  • Will you need to install a septic system or well?

#2: What Are the Legal Requirements?

Make sure your project is in compliance with all building codes and other regulations before you sign on the dotted line.

  • Consider zoning requirements. Even if the lot is zoned for residential construction, find out if there are any special restrictions your new home must comply with.
  • Check on easements and restrictions. If accessing your land requires passing through someone else’s property, you’ll need an easement. If neighbors will have the right to cross your land, make sure adequate restrictions are in place.
  • If there are preexisting structures on the land, do you have demolition rights?
  • Is the land subject to any environmental regulations?

#3: Are There Any Problems with the Land Itself?

Characteristics of the lot will impact the design of your home and requirements to ensure the stability of the structure. These factors will also affect your vulnerability to flooding, high winds and other natural disasters, and may increase your construction costs and insurance rates.

  • Type of soil
  • Problems with the soil
  • Presence of radon and other pollutants
  • Water drainage and risk of flooding
  • Erosion
  • Stability of the land
  • Flat or sloping terrain
  • Wooded or open lot
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Exposure to high winds

All of these issues will affect where you’re allowed to build your dream home as well as your budget. Consulting with a contractor before purchasing a lot will help you make the right decision, saving you time, money and frustration in the process.

Questions? Contact Mid-City Lumber today.