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5 Factors to Consider When Building on Your Own Lot

Before you can begin building a custom home, you have to make a very important decision that goes beyond design aesthetics. Namely, where are you going to build your home—as in what section of Earth are you going to pick out and buy to put down roots.

Now, this might not feel overly complicated. After all, it’s just land, right?

Wrong.

The location of your lot is important, and you must consider some important factors prior to purchasing a piece of property. Truly, the spot you pick could make or break your custom home construction if certain due diligence is not performed in advance. Think about the following:

  • Location, location, location. This first rule, above all else, is probably the most important point we can make. Outside of simply considering the location from a macro perspective, for instance, the town you want to live in, you must also get on the micro-level. What does the view from the property look like? Are there issues with trees around the property? Is there a lack of trees? What type of sun exposure does the lot have—and how does it relate to how you want the home situated when built? If your house is in a community, what is going to be built around it? Are you in a picturesque area—or is your house going to border a highway or something else that could be unsightly?
  • What are the property’s Setbacks? If you aren’t familiar with this term, ultimately, it means the guidelines set by the state for how close to the border of the property that you can build. Local building departments will be able to answer this question and it must be asked. Why? Because depending on the setbacks, where you put your house could be impacted. And on a smaller lot, it could even dictate the size of the footprint.
  • Think about the dirt. No, seriously, we mean it. Is it going to take a lot to make the lot level? Are you going to be faced with having to haul off a lot of clay? It might not seem like a big problem, but the costs can add up. And while we are on the subject of dirt, also learn if your prospective lot has any natural resource rights on it held by a third party. This can come in the form of mineral rights, timber rights, water rights, etc. Ultimately, just because you buy a lot doesn’t mean it’s an automatic guarantee that you own the stream that runs through it or what might be present in the ground.
  • Learn about hidden costs and extra fees. While we are on the subject of costs let’s talk about impact fees. This is a fee imposed by a local government on a new development that is assessed to cover the cost of providing public services to that newly developed area. Impact fees help cover costs associated with an area’s growth—for instance, parks, roads, and other infrastructure needed.
  • Are utilities available and what will it cost? It is absolutely imperative that you know how your custom home will be powered, how water will be provided, how waste is handled, etc. You must understand how you will get access to water (either from a utility company or from a well), waste (septic or sewer), power, gas (via propane tank or from a utility company), and phone and Internet service. Yes, it’s true that anything can be bought, but if you have to bring utility lines out to your property, the charges can be hefty and really blow your budget.

Realize that it’s better to ask these questions and investigate up front, rather than buy a lot and get burned after the fact. And SeBern Custom Homes can help here. We are happy to work with you and consult with you—we know the questions to ask and we understand the intricacies that go into building a custom home. As a design build custom builder, we partner with our clients from the grassroots stages of your project—and today, we want to learn about what you have in mind. Contact us now to learn about how we can assist you in making your custom home a reality. It is our goal to ensure all of your logistical (as well as your aesthetic and design) t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted!

To set up a free consultation, call SeBern Custom Homes today at 630-377-7767.

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