Many people who want to build their custom dream home choose to purchase undeveloped land that's for sale and then build a house on that land. This affords a level of customization that's simply not possible when purchasing an already-built house. If you want to purchase land for a building a house on, use these tips to identify which piece of vacant land will suit your home well.
Talk with a Contractor Beforehand
Before you make an offer on an undeveloped parcel of land for sale, first talk with the contractor who will be building your house. Their experience will give them insights that you probably don't have unless you work in the homebuilding industry, and these insights can have a major impact on development costs and what can be done with the land.
For example, a contractor should be able to tell you where a house can be build based on the land's grade. They'll assess water flow and levelness to give you an idea of where your actual home could be placed. This can help you visualize the property before purchasing it, and it can show you what can and can't be done on the property.
As for potential additional costs, a contractor might point out anything from trees that have to be cleared to rocks that will make digging difficult. Expenses like these should be taken into account as you assess what to pay for the property.
Check the Property for Liens
During the purchasing process, check to see whether there are any liens against the property. Liens are outstanding debts that the current property owner has against the land, and these will have to be cleared before ownership can transfer from the current owner to you. You won't be able to begin developing the vacant land until you obtain full ownership.
Liens shouldn't be a deal-breaker if you find a piece of undeveloped land that you like, but you do need to be aware of them. Going through the additional steps of paying off a lien will make the purchase take longer, and you don't want a lienholder delaying closing with a surprise lien claim.
Get Estimates for Utilities
Make sure you get estimates from any utilities that you hope to run to your new home. You'll want to know how much connecting electricity, water, sewer and cable will cost if you plan on using these public utilities.
There is a lot to take into account when looking at property for sale. To learn more, contact real estate agents in your area.