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The Hildreth Group
Cliff Hildreth, The Hildreth GroupPhone: (661) 904-1194
Email: [email protected]

What You Should Know About Buying Land Before You Build Your Home

by Cliff Hildreth 11/16/2020

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Have you always wanted to design your dream home at a location of your choosing? If so, buying a plot of land to build your customized home on is probably your best option. Before getting started, you'll want to do your due diligence to ensure you're making a smart investment.

Find a Property to Build on

The concept of customizing your home is an ideal one, but the reality of finding the perfect plot isn’t so simple. You can check listings, but there are several other ways to find ready-to-build-on land.

  • Ask locals about available land in the community you’re considering.
  • Look at expired and withdrawn land listings.
  • Ask your real estate agent about land purchased by previous clients but never built on.
  • Investigate classified ads to find sellers listing property independently.
  • Check realestatesales.gov to see if the government is selling off repossessed land.
  • If you find land approved but not yet suitable for build, you’ll also want to take clearing and grading the land into consideration.

    Understand Local Zoning Laws

    Some municipalities are stringent about how land can be used. Before you buy, it’s critically important to understand local building restrictions and zoning criteria. Any number of scenarios might prevent you from building your home. Here are just a few.

  • Property is zoned for agricultural or commercial use.
  • Size of the house you plan to build exceeds the maximum size septic tank allowed to be built.
  • Parcel of land is designated an environmentally-protected parcel (i.e. wetland).
  • Someone other than landowner owns mineral or timber rights.
  • Easement or access rights are attached to the land.
  • Be certain to understand every possible building restriction or zoning requirement before you purchase land. It would be disastrous to discover you can’t build your dream home the way you planned.

    Utility Hookups

    Does the land meet local criteria or have the right terrain for these necessities to be installed? Utility hookups are a detail you don't want to overlook—ensure you'll have access to water, sewer, electricity, natural gas and Internet. If no public water or sewer lines exist, you’ll need to learn about wells and septic tanks.

    Understanding the Financials of Buying Land

    Obtaining funding to buy land is a little different than taking out a mortgage to buy an already existing home. You’ll typically have a few options including paying in cash or getting a loan. Types of loans include land or lot loans, construction loans and seller-backed loans.

    These loans are usually short-term and involve high-interest rates because lenders generally perceive land purchases a riskier gamble than home purchases. As with any major purchase, carefully evaluate your financial situation and consider future expenses and other contingencies before committing to a loan to purchase land.

    Building your home on a plot of land takes additional planning because there are numerous details to explore before you can even begin to get started. While building a home is a more complicated process than buying an existing one, customizing a new home is a far more fulfilling investment for many people.

    About the Author
    Author

    Cliff Hildreth

    Hi, I’m Cliff Hildreth, Broker/Owner of The Hildreth Group In Los Angeles, Ca.

    If you are a buyer or seller who lives near the Santa Clarita Valley, San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles Area or if you are looking to relocate to our area, I am happy to assist you! Real estate is one of the largest and most exciting investments one can make. I am here to make sure that your process is a fun and rewarding one!  I am a luxury specialist in our community and I would be happy to help you with all of your real estate needs!

    Throughout my website you will find many useful tools to assist with buying or selling a home. I am dedicated to providing the finest service available, and my website can be a great resource for you to use free! You can check out my Video Gallery for useful information about both buying and selling a home!

    Whether you are in the market to buy a new home or sell your existing home, I will take the time to listen to your needs and desires to help you fulfill your goals. 

    I continually work with people throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.

    Let me help you attain your real estate goals!

    All the best.