Eight Things to Consider When​ Choosing Land for a New Home


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Looking to build your dream home in the wide open spaces of Texas? Finding the right piece of land requires a great deal of research so be sure to do your homework. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Prioritize Needs and Wants
The first thing to consider when looking for a piece of land is the location. Ask these questions as you begin to think about where to build:

1. Where do you envision yourself living? Will you feel most at ease closer to a town or city, or are you seeking the seclusion of being farther out?

2. Are you building a home in the right price range for the area? Examine the area you are interested in to be sure that the homes close by are of comparable value to what you desire to build. Over building or under building can make it difficult to finance your new home.

3. Will you feel comfortable with the daily commute? Make the drive from your property at the same time you would normally travel to or from work.

Get Familiar With the Land
When you’re looking for a piece of land to work for your home, try to gather as much information as possible. Take time to evaluate the terrain you will live with every day and if your desired floor plan fits appropriately.

4. Topography. ​Look at the surface terrain, or topography, of the property. Topography affects construction costs. While rolling, hilly land may provide a beautiful setting, it may be less expensive to build the same house on flatter ground. Experts suggest that you visit the property several times and in more than one season. A piece of land that looks great in the summer may look completely different in the winter months.

5. Make Sure Your Home Will Fit. ​Another consideration is the home you want to build. Typically, you will not want to make a final decision on a piece of land before ensuring that it adequately accommodates the size and floor plan of the home you are considering. Most builders will work with you before purchasing your property to help assess if the house you want to build fits on the land you’re considering.

Know the Boundaries & Covenants
Some of the most important reasons to buy or not buy a certain piece of land is who has access to the land and how it’s used. You can get most of this information from the title company but make sure to cover your own financial investments as well.

6. Title Insurance. ​You need to make sure to purchase an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy. This ensures that you are able to gain a clear title to the property. Without this insurance, you may purchase property with ownership disputes or liens that you are required to pay. Order your Title Insurance Policy as soon as you sign an earnest money contract so you are fully protected against any hidden title problems when you close on the property. This document also discloses easements and other restrictive contracts or conditions for the land.

7. Survey of Property. Make sure you obtain a survey of the property.​ ​The title company should also supply the surveyor with information such as right of way, building setback lines, future zoning plans, and any other pertinent property data. Knowing the easements, the​ right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose, and boundaries gives a better picture of how the land you are considering will be used by yourself and others. You also need to find out who maintains the roads or what your pro rata cost for upkeep might be. ​A title company can order the survey for you or refer you to a reputable surveyor.

8. Utilities. Access to utilities such as water is extremely important. In some cases, water rights don’t “run with the land” and mean you would be unable to dig a well. Figuring out the composition of the ground is important as it is much harder to work with rock than soil for most installations. Researching different companies to provide electricity, internet, cable, and phone service to your property is also a top priority. This can be costly if they are not already set up nearby. Other considerations could be whether you will need a septic system or if you would need to install propane.

Building a home on your own land is an exciting adventure. Use these helpful tips to find the perfect plot of land so you can start constructing your dream home.

Nidia Vega is a new home consultant for Tilson Custom Home Builders, a family-owned builder in Texas for more than 85 years. See more of their helpful tips and learn about their homes at  www.tilsonhome.com.

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