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Choosing Land For Your New Home - How to Select Vacant Land and Communities

Rebecca Groskreutz

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When choosing a lot, you should first decide on the area you want to live in. Find the center of the city or village that you have chosen as your new home, and work from the center out. Make sure the community fits your lifestyle and your needs as a family or single person.

Some additional items to consider are:

  • Are you particular about what/who you back up to? Consider if you don't mind having backyard neighbors, or if you are willing to pay a premium for a home that has no one behind it. Consider water/park views, as well as negatives like power lines/train tracks. All of these things can positively and negatively impact your home value when it is completed.
  • Transportation: Do you need public transportation to get where you need to go? Consider proximity to trains/busses/shopping when choosing a lot.
  • Schools: Do you have young children? If so, consider the quality of the schools that they will be going to. Verify school districts with your builder/realtor, and do your research. Are they highly rated? Are they over-populated? How far is it to the schools they will be attending?
  • Direction: Which direction do you want your home to face? If you are going to put a pool in, then go for a north/south facing lot for maximum sun exposure. Consider the placement of windows/rooms in your home should you choose a home facing east or west.
  • Grade: What type of home elevation are you looking for? Walk-out lots allow for maximum use of basement space and allow you to enter/exit from the basement of your home. Look-out lots don't allow for entry/exit, but will provide you with great natural light from the windows that will be installed above ground level. Even grade lots are great because they save you the cost of installing a deck, however, if you plan to finish your basement, you may not like the window wells that will be installed on an even-grade lot. Not only will walk-out and look-out lots cost more because they are considered premium lots, but the cost to build your home will be a bit more as well.
  • Community Restrictions: Most new communities now have covenants and restrictions that were put into effect prior to the construction of the first new home. They address such things as pools, fences, house sizes, pets, and landscaping. Make sure you receive a copy of these prior to purchasing the land in order to insure that there are no restrictions included that may impede the progress of your desired home.

Remember that the land purchase is just as important as the home and the builder. All of these decisions will lead to the completion of the final product, and you don't want to be surprised by costs or regulations that may pop up during construction. The best way to avoid stress and horror stories is to do your homework yourself. Don't depend on others to verify questions that you should be asking! Happy Homebuilding!

As a home builder, Rebeeca's passion for design and building shows in her knowledge and projects. She has personally built/designed/staged over $10 Million in real estate since 2005

She shares her new home building tips on her site at


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