Your Guide For Buying Land, Building a House or Buying a New Construction Home
Finding that one perfect house for you amongst the sea of houses can be an undesirable process. You may not always stumble upon the house of your dreams while your search is on, and might start considering the possibility of building your own home, brick by brick, or move into a housing development society.
After all, the charm of a completely new property is irreplaceable. But the whole process differs entirely from moving into an existing property.
Let’s look at some major points that you need to figure out before and after you start building your home.
When You Are Buying Land to Build a House:
Choosing a plot of land can be really simple or really tricky, if you fail to do your due diligence. Follow the steps below before you finalize on a plot of land.
1. Check The Quality Of The Land:
First thing to do when considering a land for purchase is to check for the viability to live there – are there any zoning issues or soil contaminants that render the place unlivable?
Many people in the highly populated area of Los Angeles, end up buying lands on hillsides, as most of the city area is already filled with houses, only to sell it later as they find out that they cannot build on it.
Check the zoning, grade and soil quality and other details that may hinder the process of building and constructing over it. The zoning and soil quality can change over time, so don’t assume the land is good to go ahead, even if there is already a house built on it, do your checks again. You can take the help of a real estate agent, if need be.
2. Check For Essential Services:
A vacant land may need additional work to bring it to the level of a regular house. Everyday utilities such as electricity, gas, plumbing, sewer lines, are some of the most basic essentials which cannot be compromised upon, so check for them.
Keep in mind the additional spend on making these services available, for example, if there is no sewer line, you will have to undertake construction on the street in front of the land, which requires permits from local authorities and obviously, more money.
3. Dismantle The Existing Property:
You have two options for dismantling an already existing property on the choice of your land – a mechanical demolition with excavators and heavy machinery will be quick but pricey, and a smaller-scale demolition by hand will cost less but will be time-consuming.
The best way to approach this is to select a team of professionals like a design-build firm for the task, who may even want to retain a section of the structure and oversee the demolition.
Similarly, you can hire a contractor who specializes in demolition, who will make sure all utilities are switched off before demolition starts, along with arranging local permits.
What is The Cost Involved in Buying Land ?
Several factors decide the cost of a land such as size of the plot, location and if there already exists a property there. If there is a property already built on your land, the land cost will be more as the property cost is also factored in, no matter what the condition of the property is.
It can also mean that the seller may accept lower offers for the land, in a desperate attempt to bid the property goodbye, which will be in your favor.
Demolition is a big task in itself, and an expensive one too. According to HomeAdvisor, the average house demolition costs $18000, but it also largely depends upon the location and size of the property.
Building Your House On a Vacant Plot:
There is a slew of permits that need to be taken before finally starting to build your dream house, such as approvals from the local municipality, including permits to build, approval of the size and placement of the structure and confirmation that the home plans meet local zoning and code ordinances.
Certain steps that should be followed are:
1. Hire Professionals:
Hiring a team of professionals consisting of an architect to design the house, a builder and sub-contractors is the first step, who will ensure that your budget is kept in check and guide you every step of the way to build your house.
Rather than hiring them all separately, opt for a design-build firm, which employs architects and construction specialists like electricians and carpenters, thus reducing the hassles further.
Do thorough research on the firm you want to take on board, ask friends and neighbors, research online and see the work of different companies, before you finally take the plunge.
Also, once you decide to go with a company, hold discussions specifically regarding the budget involved, design and material decisions to be taken, to avoid going overboard with the overall budget later on.
2. Deciding On the Layout Plan:
It is super easy to transcend into a world of great designs for your home, mixed with your personal styles and preferences, but it is important to remember that the design you choose allows for the home’s basic systems such as electrical and HVAC to run properly.
The layout and structure of the house has to be approved for construction in a blueprint. Consultation with an architect about building a sound home with solid structure should be done. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to hire an architect ranges from $2035 to $8270.
3. Municipal Approvals:
This is really important, and hence specified a number of times. Every city or country have their own local codes and zoning requirements which have to be adhered to, before you can even start the construction.
Once that takes off, there may be inspectors signing off at different steps to ensure details like the foundation was laid properly and electricity was installed correctly. This can take a single day or even five days, due to which the overall timeline of your project can get disturbed, but it is a step that you just can’t miss even if you wanted to.
4. Keep An Accommodating Schedule:
Decide on a timeline, but don’t be disheartened if the schedule goes a bit off-track.
Certain unavoidable instances such as unprecedented weather, accidents or labor shortage may occur which can hinder the progress of the project. It is easier to have a fixed date in mind, once project gains traction and is built step by step.
What Is The Cost Involved In Building A Custom House?
Factors affecting cost to build a custom house are labor costs, materials, size of property and location. According to HomeAdvisor, you can expect to spend anywhere between $3,50,000 to $1.5 million, depending upon the above factors and your own choices.
Cost of materials such as tiles can also vary. A tile that costs $15 per square foot may lead to a straightforward estimate, but when you factor in two stories and California earthquake codes needed in that installation, the total costs rises significantly.
The outflow of money is more frequent in building your own custom house as compared to buying an existing property. You pay for the property first and then you pay for project costs in installments.
Buying A New-Construction House:
A fairly convenient way to move into a new home for yourself is to seek a builder who has created a development in your area and purchase a home built to your specifications.
Let’s figure out certain steps you can undertake to buy home from a builder:
1. Check For Builders And Developers Around You:
You will need to check for national builders, regional builders and local builders and figure out the different floor plans they have to offer, home types and community perks, before taking a decision.
There may be master-planned communities and neighborhoods where builders can have a lot of inventory to be sold off or you can look for one online too. Other add on amenities such as clubhouse, gym, pool area, walking pathways are great and suggest a friendly, community culture, so factor in these too.
2. Check If You Can Personalize:
Since the floor plans are pre-built, there may be fewer options to customize the house according to your preferences.
In most of the cases, the design options are up-to date with the preferences of the public, displaying the latest materials used, fixtures and even paint colors.
3. Ensure Flexibility Of The Lender And The Title Company:
A new construction by a builder typically won’t start unless you enter into a contract with him, and you would want to invest in a house only if the house is fully built.
To work out a solution for this, make sure to deal with only builder preferred lenders and recommended title companies. Most lenders anyway don’t frequently work with new construction homes, because a completion date cannot be fixed with certainty.
4. Stay Flexible With Schedules:
Do not have a fixed timeline in mind, as it can go off-track, as in the case of building a custom house. Construction should be completed by the builder within the estimated month, once a community is established.
What Is The Cost Involved In Purchasing A New House?
Costs can vary largely, depending on the choice of builder, amenities, location and size. You may be able to save on construction costs, but still pay a hefty amount.
According to HomeAdvisor, purchase of a new house from a builder can range between $50,000 and more than $1.5 million. Personalisation and a desire for luxury will lead to even higher prices.
Make sure you analyse all the given options, in terms of price, convenience, time and energy, before choosing one that suits you best!