Choosing a Site for Your Custom Home
When you build a custom home, you have the opportunity to create a home that is just right for you. Everything from the layout and floor plan to the architectural nuances that give your space character are yours to determine. But one of the most critical decisions is the location of your future home. How do you choose the best site?
Consider Your Lifestyle Needs
Selecting the right location for your custom home not only increases your enjoyment, it can help contain land purchase costs, streamline the building process, ensure higher resale value if you decide to sell in the future, easily allow the integration of passive solar and natural ventilation features, and even inform the home’s layout.
The first step is thinking about where you want to live: where can you envision the home – and the life – you are building? Do you want a secluded spot with plenty of peace and quiet? A location in a thriving city where you’ll never lack for activities or neighbors? Somewhere in between that delivers privacy but closer access to amenities?
Remember to think about the practicalities as well: if you have children, for example, are there great schools within convenient distance? If you have an elderly parent, are there health services nearby? Is it easy to commute to work, or do you have access to transportation resources?
Decide What Type of Lot Suits You Best
Generally, there are three options when it comes to site locations for your custom home:
● Developed lots. These lots are ready: all you have to do is build your house! While they are exceptionally convenient, they may have rules and restrictions in terms of home size and even the color of your exterior and shingles. Before you purchase, look over the complete list of regulations. If they are a fit for your life, great!
● Undeveloped lots. Vacant or undeveloped lots need more prep before you can build, and you will have to take steps such as getting the soil tested, determining your options for utilities, and figuring out zoning regulations. The best course of action is to get an experienced custom home builder to walk the land with you and get some guidance about the next steps.
● The broader area. If you can’t find the right location in developed or undeveloped communities, check out the surrounding area. Again, think about the lifestyle, amenity, and convenience features you want (e.g. proximity to schools, restaurants, stores, utilities, public transportation, etc).
Evaluate the Property
When it comes to the land itself, there are several factors to keep in mind, including:
● The terrain. Geographical features can impact your layout and costs. For example, if your property is steeply sloped, it will cost more to build than one that will be situated on a flat lot. It generally also takes more time.
● Sunlight. If you prioritize natural light, or want to integrate solar technology, consider the amount of sun exposure that the location offers. In some cases, you can simply orient your layout differently to ensure there are southern-facing windows. In other cases, the sun may be blocked by trees, ridges, and other geographical features. Sun can also reduce your heating expenses, so figure out how important this is to you.
● Utilities. Can your custom-built home be integrated into the grid easily? Or will you have to have power lines, cables, and other equipment run? If your lot is undeveloped, will you need to drill a well or does town/city water/sewer extend far enough? If you must install utilities’ capability, it will increase your project costs.
● Environmental health. Don’t overlook soil conditions. For example, if the soil is especially wet, you may need fill to prevent flooded basements. You also want to have an environmental survey done to ensure that the land is not a pollution/health hazard.
● Legalities. Prospective lots should be surveyed by a registered surveyor. The deed should also have been approved by planning commissions, the municipal tax map department, and the health department. You’ll want to find out if there are any liens on the property as well. You don’t want legal twists to hold your project back.
Choosing the right site for your custom home can be challenging. When you have the right partner by your side, though, you can focus on the excitement of finding the perfect location for your forever home.
You want a home that’s built for life: the location on which it is sits is an essential factor. Talk to the team at G&G Custom Homes for guidance in making the right choice.