Imagine: You wake up in your dream house, and you go outside to find that your perfect house is also on a perfect plot of land that you picked out yourself.
Finding a plot of land to build your perfect house on is not only challenging, but also extremely time and energy consuming, after all, there’s only so much land, and only so many places where you can build.
Obviously, you want to find the best piece of land possible, but you also want to stay within your budget. The lack of availability, and the bidding competition over the few that are available can make finding the perfect plot of land a stressful nightmare in a world that’s already stressful enough.
Building your dream house should be fun! That’s why we want to share with you 5 professional tips sourced from West Michigan’s top rated luxury home builder, Eagle Creek Homes, for buying the perfect plot of land for your dream house, so that you can take a step back and enjoy the process.
#1 Define Your Dream Location
This seems like a no brainer, but it can often be something that’s left on the back burner in all of the excitement of building your dream house. Step number one should be defining your ideal place to live.
- Where do you see yourself in 10-20 years?
- Do you want to continue living where you are now?
- Are you going to move states or cities?
- Are you looking to live in a neighborhood or live in a more rural location?
- Do you want waterfront or do you want to live urban?
You are building your dream home. If you don’t build it in a place you love, you may find yourself selling down the road or settling—neither are ideal options.
Make sure that you get to know the area you’re looking in. You not only want to be in a landscape you love, but also a city you enjoy with the culture you’re looking for. Get to know the area you’re leaning towards. From then take advantage of online maps and listing websites that refine the search for you. Established residential neighborhoods frequently have more advertised listings.
If you’re looking to build around an already established neighborhood, you will need to consider building similar to the surrounding homes as this can directly affect the value down the road.
#2 Start With A Builder
When it comes to seeking out the perfect plot of land to build a house on, builders are already 10 steps ahead of you. It’s their job to have their eye out on potential plots, and to know what people are looking for in a piece of land.
Builders invest countless hours and resources to identify the best lots even before they are available to the public. This saves you a TON of hassle. Knowledgeable builders, like Eagle Creek Homes can look at a plot of land and visualize it’s potential because they know the best land conditions for building, and what modifications can be made per landscape.
As a bonus, if you choose to purchase a plot through a builder, they may offer rates that are lower than the bank, and because the builder already has an established relationship with a lender, the approval and inspection process are faster and streamlined!
#3 Check Out Planning Departments
While going directly to a builder has its benefits, there is another clever way to find your perfect plot of land, and that is to go directly to any planning department and ask them to see the Planning Register.
There you can find all applications (and decisions) from anyone wishing to get planning permission approval to build on a piece of land. Most councils now publish these public records on their websites!
If you go this route, make sure you are looking for recent applications, preferably outlined (not a literal drawing) for single houses. Ideally, the application has not been approved yet. This is the best case scenario because a plot of land will usually not be advertised for sale until the planning approval has been granted, because this enhances the value. This means that if you spot the plot early enough, you can make an approach before many others are even aware that it is going to be for sale.
Often, the person putting the application through approval is the owner of the land with intentions to sell. If the application is vague, that’s a pretty good indicator that they are planning to sell so as not to waste time coming up with a detailed plan to just to sell it off and have a purchaser change it all.
This isn’t a bulletproof way to find a plot, however, there is no reason why you shouldn’t politely contact the applicant and inquire.
#4 Beware of Building Restrictions &Land Banking
Whether you are renovating or building new, construction comes with all kinds of permits, restrictions, and HOA’s. Neither permits or HOA’s are voluntary.
Permits enforce regulations in order to maintain standards, quality, and safety of the housing stock. Whereas, HOAs are annual charges used to maintain your neighborhood’s preconceived level of quality and lifestyle, in other words, the money is used for upkeep and administration.
Make sure that you have all of the city permits and approvals you will need BEFORE you begin any type of construction. We recommend that you check with your local HomeOwners Association (HOA) to determine if your location is even worth building on.
You and your builder are responsible for understanding the rules, regulations, laws, and procedures that will affect your project. You don’t have the time or money to pay big fees for not doing things the right way and having construction stalled, so make sure you are thorough and you do everything the right way!
#5 Utilize All Listing Resources
Don’t use just one or two resources for finding land. There are many different resources, and you should use them all! After all, this is your dream house we’re talking about here, and you want to make sure that you leave no leaves unturned.
Make sure to check…
- Online real estate sites
- Real estate agents
- Newspaper ads
- Consistently search your area
- Ask family and friends
- Use legal plats through courthouses
Land isn’t infinite, and there are a lot of pawns standing between you and your dream plot. As they say, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, finding a plot of land you love will require a bit of elbow grease and determination.
However, by utilizing these 5 tips, you can successfully narrow down what you’re truly looking for in your ideal place to live. When making a final decision, remember to slow down and truly weigh out all of your options thoroughly!
Pro tip: Bookmark this post, and then when you go land hunting, you’ll have these handy pointers right at your fingertips.
What tip in this list helped you the most? Have any other ideas? Comment below and let us know!
Maybe leave out. Can cover a lot with building restrictions.