With the real estate market at or near the bottom, now may be the perfect time to buy the land for your future dream home. It’s important to do your due diligence before making an offer on any piece of land. You don’t want to end up with an asset that is a hassle, doesn’t meet your building requirements or that causes you unforeseen expenses. As a home builder, I have a checklist that I go through prior to purchasing any piece of land. Let’s go through some of these as they can save you a bundle of money and help keep you out of trouble.
Check Zoning: The zoning basically tells you what can be built on the property and what can be built around it. Obviously you want to make sure you can build a house on your property so it should be zoned residential. You will also want to check what the zoning is for neighboring properties as you don’t want a big industrial building being built next to your home. Your real estate broker can typically give you this information. If not, it is readily available at the local zoning or building department. The zoning will also tell you the distance required between your future home and the lot lines (called setback requirements) and any height restrictions for the home. Once you have the zoning setback requirements, you can start to get an idea of what size home you can build.