A Des Moines Custom Home Builder Blog

5 Things to Consider When Looking for Land to Build Your Dream Home

Posted by Don Brill on September 21, 2017

Home_under_construction.jpgYou’re finally ready to build the custom home of your dreams. Unfortunately, you don’t yet own a plot of land to build it on. If you're scouring nearby areas for the perfect piece of property, consider these five things.

This article belongs to the Construction Process Series 

1. Location

When shopping for basics, price might be the most important factor in your decisions. When choosing land for your home, however, location becomes paramount. If you have kids, what schools they would attend is probably a top consideration. Living close to your workplace would save money and give you more time to spend with your family and do things you enjoy. For older adults, proximity to friends and family, health care providers, and favorite entertainment locations may be most important. 


2. Neighborhood

Spend some time in neighborhoods you're considering. Get a feel for the sights, sounds, smells, and culture of the area to develop a sense of whether it's a good fit for you and your family. Talking to neighbors can help you get to know the personality of the neighborhoos. Pay attention to how close together the homes are built and how much privacy the neighborhood offers. If there is a homeowners association, make sure you understand all of the covenants and restrictions involved with owning property in the neighborhood. Some of them may surprise you and prevent you from making full use of your property as you would like . On the other hand, neighborhoods with homeowners associations can provide added benefits like private neighborhood pools and rec centers and added security. Regardless of the neighborhood you're considering, make sure to look into crime rates as well.


3. Utilities 

If you build in an established development, then connecting to utilites should be fairly simple. If you're looking to strike out on your own a bit more, however, you'll have to figure out how you would power your home and take care of water and waste issues. Before purchasing a plot of land, determine where and how you’ll get access to

  • Water
  • Sewer or septic
  • Waste disposal
  • Electricity and/or gas
  • Phone service
  • Internet service

If you're building outside of an established neighborhood or development, then you should be prepared to incur substanital additional costs to connect to these services. Make sure to include these costs in your calculations when determining how much you can afford to spend on your plot of land.


4. Zoning Requirements and Easements

Before buying a piece of property, you’ll need to know if it’s zoned for residential use. You might not want to end up with a car dealership as your next door neighbor. You also need to know if the land you’re interested in purchasing is zoned for more than one structure. This is especially important if you plan to build a barn, a shed, a detached garage, or a pool house in the future. Some areas may only allow certain sized homes to be constructed on lots. Also make sure you're aware of any easements that could limit your use of the land.


5. Natural Hazards

Obtain a natural hazard disclosure for any pieces of land you’re interested in buying. Look for any soil problems. A disclosure will inform you whether the land you love is a protected habitat or in an area of environmental contamination. You’ll also want to find out if the property is in a flood zone.


If you’re ready to build your custom home, Homes by Brill can help you find the perfect piece of land for you and your family. Contact us for a free consultation where we can discuss your wants and needs and determine if we're a good fit for you. 




Image by Rishichhibber (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHome_under_construction.JPG

Topics: Home Construction Process