Tips on Buying Land to Build a House

You want to build a custom home, but do not own a lot to build on yet. Buying land to build a house is your first step, an important one that needs your thought and careful planning. But don’t let the idea of buying property intimidate you. By following the tips provided below, you can make the process easier and soon become a land owner ready to build your custom home.

Determining Your Budget: Loans to Buy Land & Build a House

Before you begin searching for land to buy, you need to know how much you can afford to pay. Keep in mind that you will also need a loan to finance construction for your new home. Discuss your plans with a qualified loan officer and learn about different types of loans that meet your needs. When you’re ready, prequalify to determine your budget.

A Single Loan for Your Land & New Home Construction

If you are buying land to build your house now, you may be able to include the cost of land in your construction loan. For instance, [LINK]Colonial National Mortgage[/LINK] offers a single close construction loan that could cover the cost of purchasing land you have under contract in addition to your home construction costs, if the home will be your primary residence. At completion of construction, the loan converts to a permanent mortgage loan. This type of construction loan is convenient for both you and your custom home builder. Read more about financing new home construction.

Determine Your Preferred Location

You may already know the general area of where you want to buy land and build. If not, take some time to think about it. Consider the following:

  • Where do you want to live? Do you prefer inner city living, a suburban community, or a more rural area?
  • Daily commutes. Unless you are building a home for retirement, strongly consider daily commutes. In the excitement of buying land and building a home, a long commute may not sound too bad at first, but after months of doing it you might really wish you lived closer.
  • Is a quality school district important? If you have school-aged children, or plan to in the future, don’t wait until after buying a lot and building your home to learn about the area’s schools.
  • What resources are important to you and your family? Think about your lifestyle. Do you prefer to live near upscale shopping, dining and entertainment venues? Is the idea of living by a golf course appealing? Have you dreamed of a living in a home with a scenic waterfront or hill country view?

Once you know your budget and the general area you want to buy land in, you can begin your search for available properties . Before you get started, make a list of the features your ideal property must have, as well as those you would prefer. Consider the following:

How Much Land Should You Buy?

What is the minimum size property you would consider buying? Think about the size of the custom home you plan to build, including outdoor living area. If privacy and space between your neighbors is important, know that a 1-acre heavily wooded lot can provide more privacy than a few acres without trees and brush.

Begin Your Property Search

  • You can conveniently start your search for land online. Try a search using “residential lots for sale in Houston TX,” “land for sale in San Antonio,” or something similar. Replace “Houston TX/San Antonio” with the area you hope to buy property in.
  • One easy way to find land for sale when building a home is to talk to your builder. Often builders work with realtors specializing in land searches.
  • If you are interested in buying property in a specific area, drive through and look for ‘For Sale’ signs. If you see a lot you like, note the phone number on the sign and call to inquire about it.
  • Work with a real estate agent specializing in land sales.

Selecting Your Lot

Selecting the best land for your custom home involves more than just finding a lot in your preferred area that meets your budget. Find out if the land is in a flood plain. Make sure it has proper drainage. The type of soil on the property matters when building a home, so it’s a good idea to get the soil tested before signing a contract. You will also want to learn about any Restrictive Covenants, homeowner association dues, and more.

Will you need a driveway installed? A septic system or water well? What utilities are available on the property? Getting answers to these and other questions will help in your selection of property.

Buying Land to Build a House with Design Tech Homes?

If you are buying land to build a home with Design Tech, check out the services available for a home built on your land. Additional site selection and planning tips are also provided. You can also contact Design Tech Homes for assistance.