Before taking on a project of such magnitude as building your own house, you should research absolutely every aspect of the project. Selecting the property, on which you are going to build it, is one of the most important aspects of your project.
There are many things to consider, and may be a tremendous hurdle, depending on the cost, and your available funds. Building a house is an expensive process, but purchasing suitable property is also a major investment.
You should take in consideration:
- Climate & Natural Hazards: You have to pay more for a house built in extreme weather and climatic conditions – “special considerations must be made for building in flood, hurricane, intense heat, and frigid cold”.
- Ground stability: Houses in shifting sand, mucky soil or other unstable earth will be more expensive – “it requires special foundations or pilings”. Also, if the land is located near hills, how likely is the land to move? Some slab foundations can crack if the land is unstable. Find out if your parcel lies within the path of a potential landslide.
- Zoning Requirements: Check with local authorities (city, county and state) to determine zoning ordinances and whether you can build the type of home you want before committing to buying the land.
- Easements: If access to your land is provided by driving across an adjoining parcel, you should obtain an easement (a right given to another person or entity to trespass upon land that person or entity does not own) and make sure it is recorded.
- Easy access to utilities: Make sure you will have an easy access to the utilities such as: electric power, potable water, telephone etc.
- Easy access to services and community infrastructure: Select an area with good schools, shops, transportation, and close to public amenities. Don’t forget: “Location, location, location”.
*** If you don’t have to fund your project with a single loan, try to purchase your property before beginning your project. It is a good idea to have your land paid off before beginning construction on it. This will you to handle the grading, and possibly the well and septic system, before you obtain a building permit.
*** If you’re not planning to finance the land purchase through a conventional lender, which will require a lender appraisal, then obtain your own appraisal to determine an appropriate price before making an offer. Comparable sales are sometimes difficult to find when buying land.
*** Purchasing a property will be anytime a very good investment because it is a limited supply of land. In the right location, the value of the land will continue to increase. But don’t forget, this comprises only a small percentage of the cost of your investment. The building itself will decrease in value as it gets older and approaches the end of its lifespan.
Building on your own lot has its great advantages. You have the freedom to build the home you want, where you want, on the land you want. You can choose from a wide selection of floor plans and create a signature home that matches your wants, needs and desires.