Monday, September 17, 2007

Confessions of New Construction, Part 2

Picking the Lot

So anytime you decide to build, one of the most important factors is location. Not only do you have to decide if the neighborhood will work for you, but you have to pick out the exact lot you want to live on. Many things can affect your lot decision:


  • Direction the House Faces - think about how the home will sit on the lot with regards to the sun. East-West facing means you will get direct sunlight in the morning and evening, possibly causing a larger energy bill in the summer to cool the house.

  • What or Who is Behind the Lot - Will there be other homes behind your lot? Is there vacant land like a corn field that could be built on in the future? Take into consideration whether you can live with what is behind you. Vacant land always has the possibility of being built on, so never believe when someone tells you it can "never" be built on. Zoning laws change over time.

  • Street or Cul-de-Sac - If you have children, living on a cul-de-sac might be more appealing for safety reasons. Look and see if the street carries heavy traffic during the day or during rush hour, which might require you visiting the house a couple times.

  • Trees or Clean Slate - Decide whether you want a treed lot or one that has been fully cleared. Many developers just cut everything down, but you can ask for them to leave select trees. Older trees add more shade and are already established when compared to new landscaping.

  • Builder Premiums - If the builder thinks a lot is more desirable, they might add what is called a "premium" to the lot. This can be anywhere between a couple thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

  • Size of Lot - some people want a small yard so they have less work. Others like a couple of acres to give them more privacy. One of the most important factors is if the lot is big enough for your home. Talk to the builder and look at the various possibilities on where the home will sit. Don't forget to ask about set back lines and any easements that might run through the property.

  • Lot Location - is the lot near any commercial businesses, does it back up to a retaining pond, does it sit off a busy road with lots of noise? Do larger power lines run along the back lot line? These are just a few things you should think about as they could affect future resale value.

Ok, so what did we do? This is a new home construction series about the home we are building after all. Well, check back tomorrow and I will run down the decisions we made. Don't want to make the post too long!

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