It can't be understated how different it is to shop for an existing single-family home than a rural, unimproved parcel of land for building a custom home.
When you buy a home that's already standing, someone else has already done all the legwork for the building permits, dealt with zoning problems, paid the building taxes, and completed all of the other "fun" work that comes along with the homebuilding process. When you buy land for the purpose of building a future house, all of those "fun" pre-building tasks become your responsibility.
So that you don't make the wrong decision and buy a piece of land you can't build on, it's important to take the time to learn as much as you can about this type of real estate purchase as you can before you head out to shop.
To get you started, here are a few real estate industry tips.
Set a Realistic Budget and Don't Blow the Bank on the Land
Before you shop for land, make sure you set a realistic budget for your entire home building project and figure out how much money you have to dedicate to the land itself. It doesn't do you any good to find a really expensive piece of land and then not be able to fund the building of the rest of your family's home.
Do Your Research to Determine If There Are Any Potential Problems with Land in the Area
Not all bare land is created equal when it comes to buildability. Land zoned for residential building can still have serious problems with the following:
- High wind damage
- Slope instability issues
- Protected wildlife habitats
In addition, the groundwater may be too deep to drill a well into or seriously contaminated with natural minerals such as arsenic that will render it undrinkable.
When you purchase land to build a house, it's your job to do your due diligence to ensure you will actually be able to build the house and provide the utilities necessary for your family to comfortably live in the home.
Understand You Can't Change Your Neighbors
Last, as you shop for the land where you will build your dream home, make sure you keep in mind that you can't change your neighbors or how they choose to use their own private property.
For example, if the next-door neighbor's property looks like an automotive scrap yard or is full of farm animals, you will need to live with it if you choose to buy. Make sure you don't ignore the state of neighboring properties when shopping.
For more information, contact a real estate agent.