For many people, part of building a custom home is finding the right place to build. Perhaps you've been searching for a while and you're getting a little frustrated with the process. But then you find a great deal on the last available lot in a particular area. Lucky you! Or maybe not.
There's a reason that lot you're thinking about buying is still vacant. Your job is to figure out if that reason is a deal-killer or not.
When a land developer starts selling lots, he usually doesn't vary the prices enough to account for the real differences in desirability. As a result, the lots get cherry-picked, either by builders, the people buying the custom home, or both. Here's what that usually means:
The unsuspecting buyer who's looking to build a house on her own land comes along and thinks she's found a hidden gem. But it's highly likely there's an issue of some kind.
We once had a client with a lot he had just bought in a neighborhood that had been developed some 20 years prior. He got a really good deal. But then we discovered a problem. The FEMA floodplain maps had been redrawn in the interim, and the house would need to be raised seven feet above the existing level of the land. With costs for concrete, labor, fill dirt, etc., it was going to take $70,000 to make that lot suitable for building. That $20,000 lot became a $90,000 lot.
If you're looking at the last lot in a development, be sure to do your homework first.
A home builder for 18 years, Tim is the "son" in Turner & Son Homes. He is the CEO of the company and partners with his dad, Ben, who has been building since 1964.
The current home on our property has been in existence for over 80 years. We love our property, and made our decision to build our new house there. Turner and Son was the first company we considered and we didn't have to look any further.
The Wells family
March 9, 2016