HTC Guide to Buying Land and Building
Building a house on land you have chosen can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it can also be very rewarding. By following these steps, you can make the process as smooth as possible and end up with the home of your dreams!
Purchasing Land To Build On
- Talk to your lender of choice about your plan to purchase land and build a home. Obtain a pre-approval for a loan. This will give you an idea of how much money you can borrow and what your monthly payments will be.
- When you find a plot of land that may work for your needs, evaluate the accessibility of utilities. You will need to determine if the land has access to water and sewer (see more info below), electricity, and gas. If it does not, you will need to check into costs of having these utilities installed by professionals.
- Find out if you need a septic system or if you can hook into city sewer. Contact your local water and sewer utility company. They will be able to tell you if there is a public sewer line available in your area and if you are eligible to connect to it. If you are not eligible to connect to public sewer, then you will need to install a septic system. If you are still unsure whether to install a septic system or connect to public sewer, consult with a qualified professional. They can assess your specific situation and help you make the best decision for your needs.
- Find out if you can connect to city water, or if you will need to drill a well. Contact your local water utility company. They will be able to tell you if city water is available in your area and how to connect to it. If the potential land is in a rural area, it is more likely that you will need a well. City water is typically only available in more densely populated areas.
- Once you’re satisfied with the land, you can make an offer.
- Once your offer is accepted, you’ll need to have the soil inspected and get a survey done if necessary, and then close on the property.
The Building Process
- Hire a builder. Get quotes from several builders and choose one who has a good reputation and is experienced in building the type of house you want.
- With the help of your builder, create the building plans and submit them to the bank you will be working with. Banks will need to review and approve these for loans related to construction.
- Get the necessary permits. Check zoning and permitting requirements with your local governing body. Make sure that the land is zoned for residential use, and that you have obtained the necessary permits before beginning construction. Your builder may help with this.
- Clear the land. This may involve removing trees, brush, and other debris. You can hire a professional service to do this, or your builder may help with this.
- Level the ground. Once the land has been cleared, you will need to hire a professional service to level it so that it is ready for construction. This may involve grading the land or adding fill dirt. Your builder may also help with this.
- Start construction. Your builder will work with you to create a timeline and budget for the project.
- Once construction is complete, you’ll need to get a final inspection from the building department. Once the inspector has approved your house, you’re all set to move in.
- Do your research. Before you start shopping for land, take some time to learn about the different areas and what they have to offer. Consider factors such as proximity to schools, work, and other amenities.
- Be prepared to compromise. It’s unlikely that you’ll find the perfect piece of land that meets all of your wants and needs. Be prepared to compromise on some things, such as size, location, or price.
- Get everything in writing. When you’re buying land or hiring a builder, be sure to get all the agreements in writing. This will help protect you in case any problems arise.