5 Things to Look for When Buying Land

Purchasing land or a vacant lot to build a home can be exciting but also a tricky process. Before jumping right in and buying land it is wise to learn everything you can about it, since unexpected development costs or information may lead you to a different lot or alter your building budget.

It is wise to have Dickinson Homes input since we can take care of most of the details for you and help you through the process when choosing to have a new home built by us. Here are some important points to consider when looking for land.

  • Zoning: Learn what the zoning laws are, they determine what type of home can be built on the property.  Knowing what the set back requirements are off the property lines, roads or water will enable you to know what size home you can fit on the property and where it can be placed.
  • Utilities: Find out what utilities are available at the property such as electricity, natural gas, city sewer and water, phone, or cable.  Know what the cost will be ahead of time to extend or connect them to your new home of if you will need to use alternatives such as LP gas, well or septic.  If a septic system is needed it would be wise to have a perk test done ahead of time to ensure your land will allow a system.
  • Survey: It is legally essential to have your land surveyed.  Even if one has been done it could be outdated and would be wise to have one done for you so all the corners and lines can be clearly marked.  Surveys can also determine flood zones, floodplains, wet lands, easements or other important information needed.  The topography of the land can be mapped at the same time.  This would determine if a walk out basement is feasible and if fill will be needed.
  • Covenants:  In some developed areas or sub divisions there may be covenants set that you as the buyer agree to.  Find out if there is a covenant and make sure you agree with them.  These can restrict the size of a home, height of the roof, landscaping and possible the finishing materials on the outside of the home.
  • Potential Costs: Calculate all of the costs involved to develop the land from permits, utilities, road building, tree clearing, excavation, insurance and taxes.  Sometimes the great value piece of property will cost more to develop over other options.  When comparing one lot vs. another it is best to consider all costs and not just the land cost.

All of these items play an important role in purchasing land and building your new home.  We want to help and be part of this important process – this is why we offer a complementary site visit service.  Since 1970, Dickinson Homes has helped homeowners find land or compare lots prior to building and offer our opinion and knowledge along the way.

Call (906) 774-2186 or click to learn more or schedule your site visit.

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