How To Select A Lot: Tips From An Ohio Custom Home Builder

Picture 022-resized-600.jpgSelecting a lot to build a new home in Northeast Ohio can be a difficult task. Once you believe you have found the right lot, it’s best to confer with a professional, such as a qualified general contractor to avoid unforseen or unecessary costs.

You also want to make sure you don’t purchase property that you are unable to build on, which seems unlikely but is often a common issue home buyers run into.

Following are two lot options, and questions that should be answered before you decide to purchase your new lot:

Questions To Ask When Considering A Country Lot:

  • Can I get a health permit? (If you cannot get a health permit, you will not be able to get a building permit.) If you consider purchasing this lot, be surethat securing the lot is contingent upon obtaining an health permit.
  • Water. Does it have rural water?
  • If you are heating with gas, does it have gas?
  • What are the elevations of the property? Will I be removing dirt or hauling dirt in?
  • Lot clearing, will there be any tree and stump removal?
  • How far back is the house going to sit?
  • Where is the Water table? (Flood Plain)

All items listed above will factor in your home building cost. Additionally, it will always cost more to build in the country than it does in the city due to such factors.

Myriad other aspects or scenarios can arise. If you do not feel comfortable with contacting a general contractor, you may want to confer with a soil engineer or a professional surveyor. Contacting the local health department is also a vital step in the home buying process. 

Questions To Ask When Considering A Residential Lot (All cities require a topography and a plot plan):

  • Will this lot have deed restrictions?
  • What are the Tap Fees? Tap fees are a hidden expense that people often miss. In some cases, permits and tap fees can easily exceed $5,000 dollars.
  • Are all the improvements in? (Sanitary sewer, storm sewer, city water, etc.)
  • Again, will there be cost for lot clearing?
  • Dirt removal or dirt trucked in?
  • Lot Pricing. Two city lots next to one another does not guarantee prices will be the same. (One lot might be on a hill side, whereas the next lot might be on flatter ground.)

A general contractor will be able to help you with all these questions, or you can confer with a building department or city engineer if preferred. Note: Depending on location, the latter options may not be able to help you with any deed restrictions in your area.

A quality general contractor typically is more than happy to inspect the lot with you before your purchase, at no charge. Though all contractors seek to close the sale on helping to build your new home, a seasoned contractor realizes the homeowners may choose other options after an initial consultation.