Building a new home is such an exciting venture, with many important decisions to make. One of the first questions you will need to answer in the construction process is where to put the new home! Once you’ve met with your builder and chosen your home plan, you need to obtain the lot for it.  Many factors go into choosing the right vacant lot for your new house. If you are building through a commercial builder in a particular community, your options for the lot may be limited by availability and the timeline for your move-in. When building independently, you will need to buy the land on which to put your new house. Here’s what you need to look for when making your decision.
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Assessing your Vacant Lot

  • Be sure to drive and walk around the community at various points throughout the day and week to get a sense of the area. Determine what the distance of your commute to work, school, relatives’ houses, grocery stores, etc. will be.
  • When choosing a lot in a production builder community, ask to see the master plan so that you have a sense of what the entire community will look like once it is finished. A lot that may appear to be on the outskirts of the community right now might actually be in the center by the time development is completed.
  • If you are buying your own lot, make sure the land is zoned for residential buildings. You should contact the utility companies to determine whether water, electricity and sewer systems are already in place or what needs to be done to construct them on the land. Large rocks and trees will be more expensive to develop than an open field since it will be more difficult to lay lines and foundations.
  • Understand where major landmarks like businesses, roads, sewage and stormwater systems, community buildings, and schools will be located relative to your desired lot.

Have your priorities and preferences for your lot already in mind when you approach a builder to choose your vacant lot. There are many pros and cons to each individual one, so it’s helpful to know what you need and what you may be willing to compromise on.

  • Lots close to the entrance will have higher amounts of traffic. If you have only adults in your home, this is likely not a problem; if you have children or dogs though, you may prefer a lot farther into the community.
  • A cul-de-sac gives you more privacy and less traffic, though they limit the space you have for parking and a front yard. Fire rescues can be more difficult on a cul-de-sac as well since it’s harder for trucks to maneuver.
  • Are there utility easements on the property? While easements generally add a bit of space to the lot, they also need to be kept open and free of obstructions for utility workers to use. If you’d rather have full control over who enters your property, this may not be for you.
  • If you love landscaping or houseplants, consider the sun exposure your lot and home will receive.
  • Corner lots are often larger than others, but they have traffic and sidewalks on two sides instead of just one.

When Lots Are Scarce

In some cases – as in the Sarasota area market – finding a desirable vacant lot is a long shot at best. Most were purchased by developers years ago, and the few that are left can be quite expensive. An excellent alternative for many is to find an old home on a desirable lot. Very often, the listing will indicate that the home is being sold for “lot value”, indicating there is not a lot of value in the home. Many buyers have found that purchasing the home and undergoing a large-scale renovation, or tearing it down and starting over – is the best way to go. although there is a lot of work in the process, the end result will be your dream home on a piece of land you love.

For help with renovations, remodels, or designing an entirely new kitchen or bath, be sure to call West Coast Design Build Florida. Our team of experts is here to not only help you design your new space but to provide professional installation. If you live in the Sarasota area and are looking to create your dream kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor living space – we are the call to make.