Building your own home comes with many advantages, such as energy efficiency, monetary savings and the ability to customize everything, but there are also many pitfalls to watch out for. One potential hazard to avoid is building your home in a bad location. How do you know if your chosen lot is a good space to build on or not? Here are five questions to consider before breaking ground.
Utilities like electricity, water and natural gas are essential for any home, but don’t forget about luxuries like cable, internet and phone service. If a desired utility is unavailable, there may be a work around. For example, a well can provide water or you can use satellite for television or internet service.
Access to your lot is important both during the construction process and for living in your home after it’s built. Look for safe, well-maintained roads with wide lanes and smooth surfaces. Reconsider building if the roads leading into your lot are narrow, rocky, overly congested or have a lot of pot holes.
Building your home on unstable land can lead to disaster and enormous financial losses. Protect your investment by consulting a geotechnical engineer before you begin construction. They can not only alert you to any potential problems but also design a sturdy foundation for your home that is perfectly suited to the soil beneath it.
Most homeowners desire at least a couple of mature trees on their property, but clearing large trees to make room for construction can add extra building costs. Old and decaying or very tall trees can also present a hazard if they fall onto your roof or get hit by lightning. Look for lots that have trees on the edges of the property only or consider planting saplings on a bare lot after your home is completed.
Many new construction subdivisions are governed by a homeowners’ association, or HOA. These associations have both advantages and disadvantages. An HOA usually assesses fees and has strict rules that members must adhere to. However, they also protect property values by preventing eyesores and misuse of property.
Although problems with your chosen lot can present obstacles, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still build your dream home there. Many issues can be overcome with a little effort. You can also consider selling your lot and purchasing a more suitable one.