Advice for Buying Land for Your New Home

There’s nothing more exciting than building your own home. Instead of buying something “ready-made,” you get to design it from the ground up and control virtually every aspect of the process. The result, you hope, is the perfect home.

However, self-building is never easy. There are always challenges, one of which is buying the land you’ll build it on.

Feeling stuck? Check out this advice?

Scout The Location

You know what they say about housing: “location, location, location.” That’s because where you situate your house trumps practically everything else. It needs to meet your personal location requirements (such as being near a school or close to work), as well as local bylaws and restrictions on self-builds. After all, there’s no point buying a plot of land to build a new home construction in Chapin if you can’t get planning permission.

Check For Natural Hazards

You might think that “land is land.” But you’d be surprised. Some plots can harbor dark secrets that make building a domestic dwelling on top of them virtually impossible.

For instance, you might love a plot. But if there is a massive sinkhole a couple of feet under the topsoil, then constructing a home on top of it isn’t a good idea.

Similarly, some plots of land are contaminated with heavy metals or radioactive substances. Others were once dumping grounds for poisonous chemicals and not suitable for building. The area might also be a fire hazard, especially if surrounded by forest.

If in doubt, check the situation with local officials and surveyors. Get an expert to conduct a full survey and provide a report on the risks that you face.

Check Restrictions

Before you hand over any money to a landowner, find out more about any restrictions that might apply to the plot of land. Check for things like shared driveway access or rights of way across your land. Also, check for restrictive covenants that might prevent certain types of building projects. You don’t want to buy a plot of land, only to discover that there is a footpath that prevents you from constructing a property in your chosen location.

Learn About Existing Structures

Also, find out whether there are any existing structures on the site. Make sure that these buildings are not protected or listed. And ensure that the landowner includes demolition costs into the price if the structures are derelict.

Find Out What Utilities The Site Already Has

Ideally, you want a plot of land with gas, electricity, and mains water supplies. This way, you can keep the total cost of your new build construction down. It can be costly to pipe new mains lines to your home if they’re not there already.

In some cases, mains supplies may be so distant that you need to install your own supplies. If this happens, then you may need to find space for propane tanks, solar panels, and water butts.

Get An Appraisal

Lastly, before you make an offer on any land, always get an appraisal to determine the fair price for the plot. Lenders will usually do this on your behalf if you’re borrowing. However, you’ll need to organize this yourself if you’re paying out of pocket. 

If you’re planning a self-build, it’s imperative to choose a suitable plot of land. You don’t want to sabotage the project before it gets off the ground.

Chris Turn