When we considered rebuilding for ourselves, location was the prime determining factor. We loved the neighborhood we lived in and didn’t want to stray too far from it. Since there were no remaining lots for sale, we decided to stay put. But…one night while out running, a little red FOR SALE BY OWNER sign popped up that wasn’t there the evening before. I called right there, made an offer and took the sign down (shh). I ran home, told my husband and we gave the deposit the next day. Sometimes things just work out! Now we are starting the process of rebuilding just down the road!
If you’re just joining us, this is the third installment of a year long series documenting the building of our personal dream home. We started off with INSPIRATION ( here), then tackled FLOORPLANS (here). Now let’s dive into LOCATION.
So, if where you build is just as important as what you build, how do you decide? Here are a few tips!
When looking at properties, consider the following:
- The size of the lot and closeness of neighbors
- Slope/flatness of land
- Direction the lot faces (Where will the sun be?)
- Natural surroundings (forest, field, water, etc.)
- Trees (Remember – tall, old trees can’t just be planted)
- The style of other houses in the neighborhood
- Access to resources (Will you need a well? Septic tank? New power, phone or cable hookups?)
Talk to a Professional! Although it is not necessary, having a professional such as a contractor look at the property you are interested in may save your some headaches down the line.
Once you find a lot you are interested in, research the property.
- Find information on the zoning, wetlands, septic connections, energy code, etc. These all affect what you can do. For example, zoning can affect the required setback distance from the street, the height of your house, and whether or not you can build an in-law suite.
- Is the lot in a historic district? If so, there may be additional requirements or restrictions on how your home must look and what materials it must be built with.
- Look into home values in the surrounding neighborhood. You may not want to build a $2 million house in a much less expensive area.
- Speak to the neighbors. This is one of the best ways to find out if the area is a good fit for your family
- What is the school district?
Keep all of these things in mind, do your research and enjoy!