Not a week goes by that we don’t get calls from people looking for property to buy so they can build their dream home. They are hungry for information and want to know what is involved and the process to get their custom home built.
When looking for a vacant lot or land for sale, the following tips will help you make your buying decision. Considering these before you buy can save a lot of unwanted surprises later and make for a happier experience building your new home.
6 Tips When Buying Land to Build Your Dream Home
- Find out if the property is in a flood zone which requires meeting additional FEMA construction regulations when building your custom home. Your realtor should be able to provide this information.
If you’re feeling adventurous and know your way around the internet, you can look up the address on the property appraiser’s website, either the Pinellas County Property Appraisers website or the Hillsborough County Property Appraisers website depending on which county you live in. Or, you can ask us.
- Ask for a current Property Survey that shows the setbacks for that specific piece of land.
A property set-back is the distance from a curb, property line, or structure within which building is prohibited. Setbacks are building restrictions imposed on property owners. Local governments create setbacks through ordinances and Building Codes, usually for reasons of public policy such as safety, privacy, and environmental protection.
You want to be sure that the home you want to build will fit within the setbacks of the property you want purchase. It would be a shame to buy a property and learn later that the area you can build in is too small to accommodate your plans.
- If the land is virgin and has never been built on, check it for any endangered species that will require additional funding to remove or relocate.
A recent example was a property where the clients found Gopher Tortoises living on it. These require being relocated before building can start or the location of the home may need to be moved.
- Review the location of any trees that may need to be moved and the expense of moving them. This may require planting new trees elsewhere.
- Ask the realtor if you are close enough to city utilities to easily tie into sewer, water and electric. The property may be too far from the nearest city to use their utilities so you will need to add a sewer and a well.
- Depending on the road access into the property and the distance from the nearest fire station, building codes for the property may require sprinklers in the home.
Gathering the information for each point will give you much needed information to consider when making your buying decision. Each one, depending on the answer, require additional funding that would be added your budget.
Buying land and building a custom home is often one of the largest expenses people have in their lifetime. Having all the information you need to make an informed decision can help make the process of buying land and building your dream home less stressful and more delightful.
If the 6 tips above seem daunting or you can’t find land for sale in the area you want, there is another option that might give more property opportunities.
This option is finding a property where the home is in disrepair. You can demo the home and build your dream on that lot. You will already have sewer, water and electric.
These two blogs provide additional information you may find useful.
Finding the Perfect Land to Build (on) Your Dream Home On
How to Renovate Your Florida Home if You are in a Floodplain
Nelson Construction and Renovations, a family business founded in 2006, is a design-build company that specializes in high-end remodels, home additions, and custom homes. With our headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, we serve homeowners all over Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. We are an award-winning member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
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