If buying an existing home just isn’t for you, consider the alternative of buying land and building the house from scratch. What are the steps involved in finding land and building a home, though? Follow our guide below.
How To Buy Land To Build A House
This daunting yet rewarding process starts with one simple step: buy land. Be sure to follow this guideline to see this process all the way through:
Find Land For Purchase
Websites like Zillow and Realtor are typical places where potential buyers look to find available land. Research the land and area as much as possible. Some land may have been used for public purposes or foreclosed on. The next thing on the checklist is to figure out the total cost. Pricing of the land will depend on size, location and any existing structures on the property.
Zoning And Condition Checks
Don’t make the common mistake of buying a plot of land without checking into costs associated with zoning changes. At the same time, make sure to test for soil contaminants or check local rules about building projects to protect against any hazards. A full check of zoning, soil quality and other area-specific laws can keep a home from being built in your desired location.
Are There Any Utilities Hooked Up?
Undeveloped or vacant properties may require additional work to reach utilities. This will include any electric, gas or plumbing systems. If these utilities are unavailable or need updates, you must factor these extra charges into your budget. Of course, these additions or upgrades can be quite expensive. Something like a sewer hookup could mean construction on the street or front of the property is needed. In this case, you’ll need to acquire additional permits for the project.
Demolish Existing Structures
There are two options for any demolitions that may need to take place before the building of a new home. One is a mechanical demolition that is much quicker, but more expensive. The other option is a demolition by hand, which is much cheaper, yet a longer process. If you need any structures demolished, you may hire a home-building team that can take care of this request or you may have to hire a separate contractor.
Figure Out A Project Timeline
With few hiccups or weather-related inconveniences, it is possible to purchase land and have the new home built in just six months. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the entire process could take several years. You will be able to purchase the land a lot faster with cash, but if you need to secure financing for the land, it could take more than a month to do so. When major changes such as demolitions or zoning changes are needed, the timeline will depend on the county or municipality. Once ground is broken on the property, you can expect to wait several months until the home is completed.
Steps To Building A Home
Once the building process has begun, the homebuyers should take these steps:
Create A Schedule
This is perhaps the most important task to set up before beginning the long building process. Speak with a contractor of your choice to get a feel for just how long the build could take. In some cases the build can take upwards of a year to complete. Even with a tighter timeline, prospective homeowners have to be ready for the possibility of hiccups along the way. Inclement weather and other building issues can push back timelines. Prepare yourself for all best and worst case scenarios ahead of time.
Does the schedule you and the contractor put together match your current lifestyle? What about the entire design of the home – do all the features compliment your lifestyle currently and for the future? If you do not consider your current or future needs, it’s possible that you could make poor choices inside or outside the home, design-wise. Make sure your home allows you the space to conduct your regular activities and chores. Consider extra closet and/or storage space if you plan on sharing the home with a partner, eventually.
Beyond the usual points of moving somewhere convenient to your workplace and other needs, location scouting means knowing everything about the land you plan to build on. What kind of local building codes and restrictions exist in this area? Figuring out any sort of restrictions ahead of time could alter your plans for a certain location altogether.
It’s conceivable that this part of the process should be conducted even before a timeline is created. Crunch the numbers and decide what you can afford to begin with. Most of the time you will have to get approval from a bank or builder before starting the process. Other steps along the way must be taken, as well. Not all banks will offer construction loans, so talk to your banker to see if this would be an option. If your career is ascending, always consider possible expansion of the home or property in the future.
Finish Before Moving In
While this seems obvious, many homeowners could grow restless and move in a bit too early. Try to refrain from making this mistake. Rent a storage unit, if needed, while your home is being built. Try to do everything in your power to remain comfortable when waiting for your dream home to be completed. Homeowners that have endured this process, routinely advise others to wait until everything is finished before moving in.
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