How To Buy Land For Your New Home And Save Money Along The Way
December 7, 2008If youve been in the market for a new home, you know that pricing can be completely insane. Even with the ups and downs of the economy, new homes especially dream homes certainly cannot be classified as cheap. One of the best ways to get the house you really want without paying a fortune is to build it yourself. To gain the maximum financial savings though, youll need to have your own land.
Dont worry! While this does open a can of worms, there are some economic benefits that can go along with buying property on which to build. There are even some reasonably simple tips and tricks you can follow to purchase a piece of land on which to build. Once you have the land in place, the doors open wide for cost savings throughout construction.
Why Owning Land Matters
If youre scratching your head wondering why you should purchase your own property to build a dream house on, you only need explore the options that become available when you do so to see why this is smart. When land is purchased outside of a subdivision and outside of a home/land package, you will gain the benefits of being able to:
Select exactly where you live Subdivisions are nice, but it seems the choice pieces of property are always taken. If you want a corner lot, a wooded lot, a lot with a view, going it alone can afford you the ability to be picky on this front. While you might have to invest some time looking for the perfect piece of land to buy, you wont have to settle for buying the house on the middle of the street if you dont want it.
Act as your own contractor When you own the land your house is going to be built on, you have the legal rights to call the shots during construction. This means you can act as your own general contractor and even do some of the labor yourself. The end result of going this route can add up to thousands and thousands of dollars in savings. While it does take some major work to pull off building your own home as an owner/builder, the money saved can be extremely appreciable. Just think of all the extras you could add into your dream home if you didnt have to pay a general contractor!
Choose your neighbors When you buy your own land, you can choose to have neighbors or not. Depending on the pricing of property in your region and your budget, you can guarantee that your neighbors wont be able to see through your windows each and every morning!
The benefits of building on your own land can be extensive. Not only can this move save you money, it can help you ensure your dream homes sits on property that suits your vision, as well.
What To Look For In Land
If youve made up your mind that owning your own land makes sense, youre on the right track for financial savings and seeing your dreams become reality. Now, you need to decide how much land to buy and where to purchase it from. If youre idea is to save money on a purchase and still grab a great parcel, youll want to consider these things when youre selecting property:
Location Where you choose to build your home can be almost as important as the structure you put on the property. Take the time to carefully weigh your options in regard to location. As a general rule of thumb, waterfront property will cost you a little more. Parcels within a town or city will also typically cost more for less land. If you go on the outskirts of a developed area, however, bargains are often up for the taking.
Size of the parcel This all comes down to personal tastes and how much you relish the idea of having neighbors on top of you. Some lots are so small that they are measured out in feet rather than acres. Depending on the location, going very small could save you some serious cash. Acreage, if you want it, doesnt necessarily have to cost a bundle. When you obtain a few acres on which to build, you will gain a little more freedom to situate your home as you want and even enjoy a buffer between you, neighbors and even a major roadway.
Availability of infrastructure This can be a very big deal if cost savings is important. If the land you buy isnt available for hookup to sewer, water, electricity, cable or even phone service, you could find yourself paying out through the nose to have these services run. While you can workaround some of it by using septic and a well, for example, some communities have banned the use of these systems. Find out about the availability of amenities and/or the costs associated with running lines. Even if the pipes run right in front of your property, you will have to pay to have the services run to your home.
Zoning The present zoning on a piece of property can be a big issue. If you want to build a home on a piece of land, be certain the law will allow you to do so. If the right zoning isnt in place, do take the time to make sure zoning can be changed with relative ease before putting on offer in on the land. Rezoning will cost you some money, but it can be worth it if the property is your dream. Just do be certain the obstacle isnt too great.
How To Find Property Without Paying Too Much
Now that you have a relatively good idea what to look for, you need to know how to look and keep cost savings in mind. There are ways to purchase land on which to build without busting your bank into unrecognizable pieces. Try these options for buying without paying too much:
Act as your own agent Do the looking yourself and even consider properties for sale by owner. When you go this route and the seller does too, you both cut out agent commissions. While you might want a real estate advisor or lawyer to look over a final deal to be safe, the actual sale can move through without extra fees tacked on.
Consider auctions Land auctions are a great way to purchase property without spending a fortune. While theres no guarantee you will win at auction, the savings can be worth a few frustrations.
Look at foreclosures Homeowners arent the only ones who deal with the threat of foreclosure. Landowners, too, can face this dilemma. Foreclosure sales, auctions and even pre-foreclosure short sales can net you the land you want at the price you want.
Consider scaling back If you have your heart set on 20 acres, but your budget says 10, consider scaling back a bit to get a great piece of property at a reasonable price. If possible, buy in an area with land for sale on either side. Its possible youll be able to scoop it up at a later date.
Consider moving further out into the sticks While you might not want an hours commute to work, a 30-minute drive might save you some serious cash on a property purchase. Generally, the more rural the area, the more reasonable the per-acre price.
Other Considerations When Buying Land
Buying land can be tricky business. This is especially so if the plan is to build a dream home on the property. To make sure you are getting a good deal, take the time to do these things before a purchase if at all possible:
Run a title search Your mortgage company will probably make you do this, but if not, do it yourself. This will help you be certain your purchase will be free and clear.
Get an appraisal This is the only way to be certain the price you are paying is really a good deal.
Get survey/geological work completed At least a cursory look at the property by a survey crew and even a geological firm is a good idea to make sure you will be able to build on the land you buy.
Buying land is the best way to save money on the construction of a dream home. Just take the time to make certain the property you buy is really worth the price of admission and suitable for the house you want to build.