You must have land before your owner-builder program can move forward. Please read this section carefully, then take steps right away to find the site that's right for you.
You probably don't buy land every day. Most people don't. That's why we've put together this important information: to help you choose a home site you'll be happy with for years to come. Questions? BuildMax is there to help.
First, decide on your price range. Your New Home Consultant can help you determine how much you can afford.
The most critical factor -- in your happiness and your home's value
Where you choose to live will influence your lifestyle and raise or lower the value of your home.
You can never improve your location. Even the nicest house is worth less if it's in an undesirable spot. And you won't be happy in your house if you don't like your surroundings.
So, after deciding on your price range, and before looking at property, think about what's important to you and your family.
You might prefer:
- a country setting, far from other houses and commercial development
- a town or suburban location, with schools, shopping and neighbors close by
- an area close to family, friends or your place of work
- a location with easy access to highways or public transportation
Important considerations to include:
- Property taxes
- Recreational opportunities
- The quality of the school system
Do you have a good idea of what you want? Great. Now you're ready to look for land.
How to Find Land That's for Sale
- Newspapers - You can find available building lots through newspapers. Check out the classified ads in newspapers that cover the area you're interested in. Look under "Lots for Sale".
- Real estate agencies - Find them listed under "Real Estate" in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book. Agents you call may have properties listed or know of others with land to sell.
- Exploring - Drive around areas you like. If you spot a sign advertising a lot for sale jot down the number and call the seller for information. If a lot you're interested in doesn't have a sign, talk to neighbors or check land records at the town hall to find out who the owner is. Then contact the owners to see if they'd be interested in selling.
- Word of mouth - Tell family, friends and co-workers what you're looking for. They may know of available property or be able to direct you to people who do.
- Internet - Search the Internet for lot listings in your community.
Be a smart shopper
As you look at properties, be sure to pay special attention to these practical considerations:
- Can you afford it? (BuildMax can help you determine a general price range.)
- If you've already selected a house plan, is the lot large enough to accommodate its square footage? (Check local regulations regarding placement of houses on lots.)
- How do the houses already in the area measure up with regard to size, quality and condition? Remember, a superior house in an inferior neighborhood is a poor investment.
- Consider the general vicinity. A nearby mobile home park or industrial facility may make permanent financing hard to get and can reduce the value of your home.
- Are there wetlands or other features on the property that may prohibit it from being developed?
- Walk the lot, get a feel for it. Think about where on the lot you'd place your house, the swing-set for the kids, and your barbecue grill.
Now that you've narrowed down your choices, it's time to get more detailed information on properties you're still interested in.
If you are like most homeowners today, you may have a few things you'd love for someone to steal. Consider how great it would be if someone broke in and took your husband's bowling ball or that unsightly chair your wife refuses to get rid of. In reality, however, if someone did break into your home, they would go for the valuable things you don't want them to take like the new entertainment system you just installed, your laptop with all of your work files on it, and your jewelry. Taking time today to consider ways to secure your home is a great way to minimize the risk of being burglarized in the future.
Pretend You Are the Burglar
You may have never broken into another person's property in your life, but today you want to adopt the mentality of a burglar. Walk around your home and look for easy access points to enter your home. Consider what a burglar may see from your windows if he or she peaks in. Is your home easy to enter? Do you have a spare key where everyone else in the country has one – under the doormat or in a flower pot by the front door? Are there any deterrents like a locked back gate, sturdy deadbolts, and a security alarm? Do you have valuable and easy-to-take items visible from windows? Address any issues you find during your inspection.
Make Your Home Appear to be Occupied
Home invasions where residents are inside the house are far less frequent than burglaries when residents are gone. You can minimize your risk of being burglarized by always making your home look like it's occupied. Consider keeping a car in the front of the house at all times when possible. Turn on a few lights, or put lights on a time when you plan to be gone for a few days. You can even put the TV on a timer for a more realistic effect.
Install a Home Security System
A home security system is a big theft deterrent. Such systems will create a very loud, attention-drawing noise when they go off, and they will also notify police as well. Burglars would much rather attempt to enter a home that does not have a security system installed. The monthly service will come with a monthly fee, but this is one of the best things you can do to prevent a burglary today.
These tips can help you to reduce your risk of being burglarized in the future. After all, while you may want someone to steal your husband's bowling ball, you probably want to keep all of the other items in your house!