Building a new home? It’s exciting stuff I know! However along with all of the excitement and fun that comes with designing and building your new home, is the initial nitty gritty detail of site and lot selection. It may sound like a minor aspect, but in reality it’s a major first step to your overall home building process. I’m going to share with you 6 key components for you to keep in mind throughout.
Wants vs. Needs
1. Your Priorities
Remember this new home belongs to you, so it’s very important that before you go scoping out potential locations to figure out what you really want to gain from the location. Is your commute going to be an important factor? Or would you rather have amazing site views from your new home? Go through your particular lifestyle and decide what exactly is a must, and what things could fall a bit further down the wish list.
2. Site Evaluation / Current Conditions
Once you’ve determined what features are most important to you and you’ve begun looking at locations, be sure to really evaluate the site for what it is. Look at the current conditions of the land and note how much upkeep it would initially require to bring the lot up to your standards. Note what kind of native vegetation is there, considering if there are any rare plants or animals in the area.
3. Zoning / Buildable Area
Zoning is actually a big deal in this business. It’s crucial to know what exactly comes with your piece of land and being aware of the rules and regulations that come with it. You wouldn’t want to accidentally overreach into your potential neighbors or city property. That often leads to future headaches dealing with legal matters, so to avoid any mishap it’s always best to know what belongs to your land and what you’re allowed to do with it. Also knowing what your buildable area on your site is major. There are codes and setback laws that essentially set up rules for how much you can legally build on your site. Getting familiar with those initial conditions is a huge benefit, prior to purchasing the property.
4. The S’s: Slope, Sun, and Soil
Slope is a critical piece of information in any building project. The steeper the slope, the costlier it will be to construct on it. There are so many things to consider, especially cost which comes hand in hand with how well the site will play with your design. Building a safe structure should be the first priority in any design build project, therefore being certain that the slope of the selected site is capable of building your newly designed home. Sun exposure is a huge component in every design. By considering the sun angles of your site will help enhance your gains from the design. Your new home is designed to either keep heat in or out depending on the time of year, so by analyzing those angles, it could really help cut costs on your heating and cooling bills throughout the coming years. An energy efficient home has many benefits but they all come from how well your design and utilize the opportunities presented with your site. Soil conditions of your site is another driving factor of construction cost. Whether your new house will rest on a bed of soft dirt or hard rock, preparing that land for future construction is a costly process. In addition, you want to design a drainage system that is strong enough to handle the water runoff on the existing soil. Scoping out these details are a crucial part of selecting your building site.
5. Outlook for Future Growth
When considering building locations for your future home, think about your selected neighborhood. Are there any good school districts? What businesses prosper here? What’s this area going to look like 5 years time? Are there solid opportunities for future growth? These aspects will all affect your cost and overall value of your future home.
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