Finding the perfect lot
Residential property purchases have various considerations apart from location and the view, and each buyer has different needs that can be identified in a quick list. Of course, your list may vary based on your needs and budget, but even with smaller pockets, there are still some definite no-nos for everyone. What exactly can we do to help make the best-informed choice? Here’s a part of a great list we found on buildingadvisor.com.1
- Are there nearby nuisances such as unwanted noises, smells, or hazards: a firing range, racing track or blasting at a quarry just beyond the trees?
- What schools are nearby?
- Distance to work, shopping, restaurants, etc.?
- Access – is your lot behind other lots? Can a fire truck or ambulance drive into your driveway or would they have to struggle to reach your front door?
- Property taxes
- Insurance rates – may be higher near water, in flood plains, in high-wind zones, or far away
- Cost of land acquisition
- Legal fees: title search, title insurance, and other closing costs. Also may include variance applications, challenges from abutters, right of way issues, etc.
- Are the boundaries clearly and accurately marked?
- Can the seller provide clear title for the property? This is important in case any properties are caught up in estate battles amongst siblings and other relatives who are fighting for the property.
- Is it zoned for the type and size of the house you are planning?
- Is there legal access by road or right-of-way? Who maintains the road?
- Is there adequate road frontage to build?
- Are there any liens, rights-of-way, easements, covenants, or other deed restrictions or encroachments on the property?
- Water and sewer connection fees (for municipal systems) – may cost hundreds to several thousand dollars
- Connection fees for other utilities: phone, electric, cable, gas
- Septic system (for rural sites): testing, system design, and installation
- Well installation: including drilling, pump, plumbing to house, pressure tank, and water treatment, if needed
- Land clearing
- Excavation, cut and fill, and final grading
- Road/driveway construction
- Is the land flat or sloping?
- Wooded or open?
- Shaded or sunny?
- Wind exposure/buffering
Some developments have covenants, and these covenants can sometimes be quite stringent. From scooping poop to party hours and visitors, you will have to comply with the rules. Make sure you fully agree with all of the covenants before you make up your mind.
The only consideration left is the prospective neighbours! Find out who your neighbours are and whether their lifestyles are compatible with yours.
Have any neighbours been granted a special exception or zoning variance and for what use –a pig farm perhaps?
For the full list, visit http://buildingadvisor.com/buying-land/land-buying-checklist/.