Everyone knows why the act of buying a house has spawned a sub-genre of reality shows. It’s a stressful experience where you often compromise between the neighborhood you want and the home you want because the two are never in the same place at the same time.
But, what if there was a different way?
Building on your lot gives you the best of both worlds. You start the process by finding a lot where you want to live — maybe it’s downtown, at the end of a cul de sac in a brand new subdivision, or up on top of a hill with a south-facing view — and you buy it.
And then, you hire a build-on-your-lot home builder like Arbor Builders to help you design the home of your dreams and build it on the lot that you own.
It’s that easy.
Finding your lot
Real estate agents will tell you that word of mouth is the best way to find a lot for sale. Ask around when you go to happy hours or other networking events sponsored by the local rotary club or chamber of commerce. These groups also run Facebook pages, so you can tap into their network without having to travel or make face-to-face contact in a pandemic.
Home buying websites like Zillow also feature a section where you can find the available lots in a particular real estate market. Make sure you look at all the listings — including the ones that have expired — so you can build a list of lot brokers who might have what you want.
It’s also important to know a lot about lots before you find the place where you want to build your house. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:
- Lot size — One of the biggest factors affecting the value of your home is the size of the lot that surrounds it. Having a little bit of extra space on your property gives you — or the home’s next buyer if this is an investment property — a chance to plant trees in your front yard, plant a garden in the back, or even build an accessory dwelling unit you could rent to a travelling nurse or a caretaker. But having too much space could backfire because it might deter future buyers who don’t want to worry about upkeep and maintenance..
- Zoning restrictions — Make sure you understand the zoning restrictions, homeowner’s association rules, and historic district guidelines that may dictate everything from how far the edge of your house has to be from the edge of your lot to the materials you use when building your roof and what color it should be.
- Utilities — It’s important to think about what your electricity, water, sewer, and natural gas bills will cost whenever you think about moving to a new home. It’s also important to know how these services will reach your new home and whether a big chunk of slate buried three feet underground will let you put a gas-powered fireplace in your master bedroom.
- Road access and traffic flow — It’s also important to know how your future dream home might be connected to the roads that connect you to the rest of your city. If your lot is on a public road, then you should have no worries. But if it’s not, then it’s time to negotiate an easement with your neighbor so you can build a private road. Don’t be afraid to ask how often the steep hill between your house and the nearest town gets plowed in the winter.
- Hazardous weather — Climate change is real. It’s also the reason wildfires are burning hotter and rivers are flooding their banks. Taking these risks into account could keep your dream home from turning into a nightmare.
When buying a vacant lot, the last thing to consider is what you’ll do with the property until you’re ready to build your house. Labor shortages, supply chain issues, and even a really cold winter could delay the time when the build on your lot home builder you hired to do the project can start. It’s also possible that you’re not ready to retire right now, which means you might not be ready to build your retirement home.
However, this doesn’t mean your property has to sit empty until you or the construction crews are ready to start. There might be trees you could chop down and sell for firewood or a sunny corner where you can grow fruits and vegetables to sell at the market. You can also use the property to store a recreational vehicle, a boat, a snowmobile, or a toy that only gets used for part of the year.
Call an agent at Arbor Builders today so you can learn more about building on your lot in Central Oregon and any other way we can make your custom home dreams come true. We’re happy to help you find the perfect lot and build your perfect home.
Advice from an award-winning home builder
This article is part of a series of blog posts that we at Arbor Builders are putting together to walk you through the home-building process. We are an award-winning home builder and would like to use this opportunity to highlight our recent accomplishments at the Central Oregon Builders Associations 2021 Tour of Homes.
In addition to receiving the Best in Show prize for homes in the $325,000 to $350,000 price category, our Canyon Rim Village model home won the awards for:
- Best Architectural Design
- Best Feature (fireplace)
- Best Interior Finish
- Best Kitchen
- Best Landscaping
- Best Master Suite
- Best Value
Don’t forget to call one of our agents today so you can learn more about these award-winning features and how you could feature them in your next home.