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Buying land and building a home is the dream of many renters, as this often comes with endless possibilities to customize your space and have a property in your preferred location. But as reality has it, this can be a costly ordeal if you do not understand buying land or building a home. Before diving into any of this, consider using the following tips for buying land and building a home.
Hire a Surveyor
Surveys form an essential part of buying land, as they will help you identify if the stated area falls within the right locale and if the seller’s land advertisement details are true or falsified. Due to this, a surveyor’s services will be crucial, making this the first of our discussed tips for buying land and building a home. A surveyor will help you identify aspects such as the locality of the land and the size of the property instead of relying on old surveys that often include formerly requested land details that are specific to former sellers or buyers, which may be different from what you are looking for. By sticking to updated details, you can avoid any boundary disputes with future neighbors, allowing you to have peace of mind when building your home.
Consider the Readiness of the Land
Different land pieces will fall under various categories of readiness, with the most common being build-ready, raw and unimproved. Unimproved land means that the land has no utilities and will require significant investments in converting it to a home. On the other hand, build-ready refers to land located in areas with the required building permits and utilities, meaning you can start building as soon as you purchase it. Last is raw property, which means that the land is generally used for investment, with most buyers opting to hold it for speculative returns rather than building purposes. Based on these differences, building a home on build-ready land will prove easy as it comes with the least risk, followed by unimproved and, lastly, raw land. If you settle for unimproved land, keep in mind that this means getting new home builder experts for installing utilities such as gas, water, and sewage.
Consider Tear-Down Properties
Build-ready land may not always be an option for city dwellers, a factor that may leave you with only tear-down properties. If you find yourself in such a situation, consider placing an offer on this land. Homes in need of demolitions often go for low prices, along with the land that such properties sit on. This makes it a good investment if you are looking to save on building costs since all you need to do tear the property down after your purchase, after which you can turn the land into your dream property. A new structure will improve your new compound’s aesthetics, driving its value up and helping you sell your house quickly once you decide to move to a new area.
Do Your Research
Research is another of our essential tips for buying land and building a home. For starters, get information about the zoning requirements of the area that your preferred land sits on. Zoning will help you determine if your future home falls under any development limits, such as the height of your buildings and other construction requirements. Zoning also outlines land use and will dictate if you can utilize your home as a rented space or for vacation purposes. It is also worth considering if any major infrastructural developments could jeopardize factors such as security or pose future environmental risks for your home.
Get Ahead of Trends
Trends have the power to blow property values out of proportion, with land located in trendy development areas often sold at exorbitant market prices. Consider looking into your City’s Planning Commission 2035 Comprehensive Plan to get ahead of such development trends. This guide showcases areas slotted for enormous building projects, allowing you to gauge your needs based on your risk-taking inclination. Risk-averse buyers may find it better to avoid such areas due to the hassle of negotiating prices, while risk takers may dive in to buy pieces of land in such places due to the incremental land prices.
Consult Building Experts
Building experts may seem like an unlikely option to consider consulting when buying land, yet they are some of the most overlooked professionals that can help you save money in the long run. Before settling on your preferred area, have experts from construction companies scope out the site. This means assessing aspects such as the slope of the land and the surrounding area’s positioning concerning light and views. Considering these factors, a builder will help you identify if the land poses future challenges for land preparation and any issues that may affect quality roofing, giving you room to ponder whether it is a risk worth taking.
Consult a Reliable Real Estate Broker
While you may have the skills to negotiate a cheap deal on a piece of land, certain terms in your agreement may prove difficult to grasp, causing you legal trouble down the line. This brings us to the next of our crucial tips for buying land and building a home; consulting real estate brokers. Ensure that your broker also possesses real estate experience, specifically in relation to buying and selling land. This means at least 5 years in the field which should be matched with good reviews from customers. By relying on such experts, you are assured of quality work in your deals, facilitating an easier time while getting building permits.
Check That the Land Is Clear of Liens
Next on our tips for buying land and building a home is checking for liens. If the property you are interested in comes with liens, it means that any unpaid party can claim part of your newly acquired property upon purchase. Since this is an aspect that is often well-hidden by unreliable sellers, practice due diligence and perform a search on your property before buying it. Alternatively, you can use the services of a professional such as an attorney who will help you stay clear of any breach of contract.
Assess Land for Hazards
Based on the locality of your land, your property may be prone to various hazards, top of which include flooding and earthquakes. To avoid any unforeseen emergencies, assess if your land falls under the country’s listed hazard zoning areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, for instance, offers a flood map on their site, allowing you to determine if your chosen land rests in a flood zone or a flood plain. In addition to this, other tips for buying land and building a home also include utilizing basic observation skills. For this, identify the layout of the land and check if you can spot any sloping. Land in such areas is prone to flooding and mudslides, an aspect that could leave you with property damage during rainy seasons. If your property is in such an area, make it a point to get flood insurance, as it will go a long way in helping you recover from any damage resulting from such risks.
Consider Home Values in the Surrounding Area
The 10th of our tips for buying land and building a home is assessing the surrounding area’s home values. Whether you are looking to purchase land for investment or simply need a place to build a family home, it pays to consider the value of properties around you. This especially comes in handy when you need lenders to finance your home. Financiers often rely on the value estimates of a given neighborhood when lending to homeowners, as it ensures that they can recover the full amount from sales of the property when you default. Surrounding home values also come in handy when getting compensation from insurance companies, allowing you to get the most out of your policy. Rather than settling for neighborhoods that may cause challenges for your lenders or your insurance payouts, consider switching to areas that match your desired value.
Consider Homeowners Association Restrictions
A homeowners association can prove a hindrance when trying to customize your home, as they will generally have restrictions on how to build on your lot. This especially proves tricky to navigate in build-ready lots, meaning buying land in such a place will come with a defined building guideline. By settling for a property in such an area, you may have to part with expensive membership fees and rules restricting the type of fences to use on your home. Go through these restrictions prior to purchasing land to ensure you are not stuck in an unfavorable neighborhood. These agreements are often contained in deed restrictions, which you can obtain at any time before a purchase is made.
Choose Your Non-Negotiables with Your Experts
The next step on our tips for buying land and building a home is identifying the essentials from the non-essentials. Every homeowner has a list of negotiable items that they are willing to let go of and non –negotiables that are a must-have. Make it a point to identify items in these categories before buying your land. These can include the size of your outdoor space, the design of your new kitchen, or the number of floors in your home. Based on your non-negotiable list, check if your permits have room for these items since some aspects, such as easements, may mean getting legal help. Your home should be a haven of comfort and serenity, meaning every detail matters in your purchase.
Get Environmental Testing Done
Land slated for developmental use often requires environmental testing, a factor that can go unchecked when buying bare land as most buyers are rarely aware of this aspect. Environmental testing helps reveal if the land has any contaminated soil and water. These are often the most affected where land was previously used as a landfill or gas station. If such land is found to possess these contaminants, it will likely be declared as a health hazard, meaning you cannot build a home here. By performing environmental testing, you can avoid any inconveniences down the line, so keep it in mind to check if your land also has any eroding pipes that could jeopardize your building process.
Focus on Functionality
Having a property in the most popular neighborhood may allow you to enjoy the amenities that come with it, but it defies its purpose if you have to travel for miles to and from your workplace. Before settling for land and building a home on it, outline its functionality based on your needs. This includes checking for access to local transport if you do not have a vehicle, the distance to your children’s school, and accessibility to local stores. In addition to this, consider the interior of your space and the benefits of each area. Consider building various rooms to maximize your family needs, such as ample entertaining area if you love hosting family and friends and your windows’ positioning for any work at home areas. In addition to this, you can also consider having spare rooms to use for overnight stays, helping you get extra income when you are out on vacation. Focusing on functionality will help you get the best out of your property’s interior and exterior, helping you have a long-lasting place to call home.
Have Your Finances Ready
Last on our tips for buying land and building a home is getting your finances in order. The cost of purchasing land only amounts to half the expenses you will incur when building your home. With this in mind, have a proper financing plan that caters to the extra expenses that often come with building on a bare land piece. You should factor in costs such as the installation of residential septic systems, construction permits, and surveys, as well as labor for your construction team. In addition to this, be prepared to have a significant part of the down payment ready for the loan that you will require.
Buying land and building a home is a significant investment for every homeowner and will be one of the most important journeys that your family takes. To rid yourself of any hassles during this process, consider utilizing the above-listed tips for buying land and building a home for a smooth journey.