Perfect Place to Build
Trying to find the perfect piece of land is a lot like trying to find the perfect mate. In both cases you’re looking for physical appeal, an easy going personality and financial demands that won’t land you in the poor house. If it turns out you’ve made an unwise choice, getting either one out of your life can be an unpleasant experience! Appearance is strictly an individual matter but, at least with land, any number of other considerations can be more easily identified.
What about location? Are you looking for a building lot in a neighborhood or for elbow room in a more rural setting? Is it convenient for work, school and shopping [If not, how far are you willing to travel for these things]? Do you prefer public utilities or are you comfortable with a well and septic? Hint: Be open to either option; both work just fine. If a well is in your future, be sure you’re going to find a source of good, potable water. Drilling companies in the area you’re considering can provide valuable guidance, as can your potential new neighbors. If you’ll need a septic system, make certain the land “perks” satisfactorily
Topographically, hilly property is more challenging than flat terrain for both building and future maintenance. Whatever the terrain, rocky areas frequently present problems. Small pieces of broken shale in the soil aren’t much to worry about … but those great big things are called boulders for good reason and could require expensive blasting! If the land is low lying or has nearby water, you can get into easements, variances or have flooding. Homes look terrific high on a hill or next to a babbling brook but sometimes there’s a price that comes with the scenery. If this is your cup of tea, be prepared to boil the water. You’ll, also, want to make sure there are no protected animal species on the property. These are all items that cost time, money and can eventually lead to disappointment if you’re not aware of them in advance.
Something people frequently forget to do is check area zoning and local plans for development. If your dream is to build a rustic, single family home, you won’t want the eventual view from your front porch to be a glistening new gas station or the loading platform of a giant, interstate trucking terminal.
Last of all, remember to ask about the taxes for comparable houses in the area to get an idea of overall affordability once your new home is finished. The town or county tax assessors can probably offer valuable guidance, while neighbors can sometimes provide the inside skinny. Add in your own personal desires and you’ll have a pretty realistic check list when you go ’shopping’.
Once you’ve established your criteria and your budget, establish a level of flexibility, too. Whether you’re considering a mate for life or land for construction, perfection is a concept that is both relative and elusive. Be realistic. Remember, the consequence for overspending on a tempting piece of property now, may be a shortfall in the home and construction funds you’ll need later. At times it may seem as though a place that meets all your requirements doesn’t exist. Believe us, it does.