Ready to build your dream home? Navigating your way through this process starts with finding a homesite that fits your needs, your dreams and your budget. I’m Brian Jackson, Land Development Manager at Van Buskirk Companies, and I am here to help! We currently have nine beautiful residential neighborhoods, including lakefront lots, with options of sizes, price ranges and locations, I am confident we can find just the right lot for you. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Location, location, location
Obviously one of the most important aspects of choosing a homesite is narrowing down where you want to build. Consider the following:
- Decide how close you want to be to your job, your favorite activities, extended family and your friends.
- Determine if you have a school district preference and if so, look for lot options within those district boundaries.
- Consider whether you want a rural feel or if you want a more urban location near shopping, dining and entertainment.
- Look on your preferred side of town but keep an open mind. Often people insist on a certain side of town and then change their minds when presented with the perfect location on the opposite side of town (or even in another town altogether).
Bring your plans
While not always possible, it’s ideal if you can have your home plan figured out prior to purchasing a lot. Here’s why:
- Know whether you will need a walkout, garden or flat lot.
- Figure your home size into the size of your lot and be sure to measure exactly where you want your home built on that lot—especially if you’re dealing with a narrow or pie-shaped property.
- Decide if you want certain rooms facing a certain direction. How about your driveway or your backyard? This often depends on how the sun will fall at certain times of day.
- Be sure your home fits within the covenants of the neighborhood so you can avoid disappointment later.
Know your budget
Depending on the neighborhood size and finish covenants will vary that can affect the price of the home. It’s important to know while searching for a lot the total amount you want to spend on a new home.
- Be sure your total budget includes the price of your lot, estimated price of your home and the costs of landscaping including things like sidewalks, if necessary.
- Will you take out a construction loan or will your builder? In many cases signing a construction and purchase contract with your builder and buying the home from them when it is completed, is a way to streamline the process.
- Check into the price of annual property taxes and any HOA fees that may be required so you’re not caught by surprise.
- If you have your heart set on something you can’t quite afford, consider creative solutions like finishing your basement later or even going without a basement on a flat lot, doing some DIY work or compromising on the extras (you can always install that outdoor kitchen in the future).
Understand market conditions
Many people are wanting to buy a lot now with plans to build “when the costs come down.” My advice:
- Watch the market. Interest rates are fluctuating, which could offset any cost savings that may occur if the cost of building materials goes down. Visit with your lender on how rate fluctuations may affect your payment, long-term lock options, or interest rate buydown.
- Understand experts are saying it is extremely unlikely that costs will go back to pre-pandemic levels. Pricing may be down, but savings can be offset by higher interest rates. Although, savings can be achieved in the case of a cash transaction.
- Wait to build and you are still responsible for property taxes on your bare lot as well as lot maintenance including mowing, weeding and keeping trash cleaned up.
- Planning to build a new home requires a lot more time than it has in the past. Most builders are scheduled out months in advance, and while supply chains for items such as lumber, garage doors and trusses have improved, many builders are still working on existing client homes to catch up from the pandemic supply chain delays.
- Before making a final decision to buy a lot and build a new home, visit with your builder about their timeline and nail down the budget for building your home. These two items can be surprising—and the last thing I want for you is heartache and disappointment.
I hope these words of advice help make the search for the perfect homesite more informed and enjoyable. If you have any questions or want to schedule time to talk, please reach out to me at brian@VBClink.com or call Van Buskirk Companies at 605-361-8211.