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Choosing the right lot

In our last post, we discussed the various types of custom homes typically available today. From ranch to split-level, tract to total custom, having the opportunity to create the right home for your family is the best part of custom home building. However, what many home builders don’t realize is that finding the right property to build on is very important, too. Building lots come in various shapes, sizes, and orientations. The first step is  determining whether your style of home fits the lot correctly. To do so, you have to understand the different types of lot orientations:   Level Lot Essentially, a level lot is one that resides on flat ground. The most attractive aspect of considering a level lot is that it will work for any style home. Other Details: •Problems with drainage, as there is no elevation change for water to run-off. •Require sump pumps.which can frequently fail due to power outage during storms.   Down-slope Lot These lots are the most advantageous for home builders, even if only sloping 2-3 feet from front to back, due to the natural drainage system. Other Details: •Allows for daylight basement and walk-out door. •Solves drainage problem with footer drain to grade.   Up-slope Lot This style is a case where the home style has to fit the lot, sometimes making customization difficult. These lots work well for split-entry homes, but otherwise require a shelf to be cut out to accommodate other home styles.   Steep down slope Lot (often waterfront) Since homes need to be built on virgin (unmoved) soil and  because of the steep slope, the rear foundation walls are often twice the height of normal, requiring extensive additional concrete.  It sometimes even requires a second foundation under the first.  

Developed vs. Undeveloped Lots

In the most basic sense, developed land has been fully prepared for homebuilding while undeveloped land has not. Sometimes, custom home builders are quite eager to build their dream home and, rather than waiting for developed residential areas to open up, they build on larger plots of undeveloped land in rural or semi-rural locations instead. Though all land requires a certain number of costs (such as driveway construction, hole, water, sewer, electric), other factors can come into play when deciding between developed and undeveloped land. For example, if you’re thinking about building your home on undeveloped land, be sure to consider the additional preparation work and expenses involved, such as permits, clearing of land, well-digging, septic issues, excavation, etc. Most importantly, never, everbuy property without a percolation test, regardless of the property size! If you have any questions about building lot styles, developed vs. undeveloped land, or any other custom home building issue, feel free to contact us or join our conversation on Facebook. Thanks for you interest. Our next post will discuss custom home financing.

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