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How to Find the Perfect Lot

Finding the perfect lot for your dream home is just as important as the house plan itself. Some customers like to buy a plan and then find a lot that fits their dream home. Others prefer to find the perfect lot and then find a home design that works great with their land. If you have your plan and need land, or want to purchase your lot first, here's some great tips to find the perfect building site for your dream home!

We usually recommend purchasing the lot first. This will help you and our house plan experts find and/or modify the best home for your space. But just how do you find the perfect lot? It’s actually easier than you might think! By figuring out what you want and what to be aware of as you search, you can be on your way toward the home of your dreams in a location you love.

Where to Look

Finding land can seem like a monumental task. Luckily, many major home sites let you search for undeveloped or subdivided land for sale! Just put in your budget and desired location and you can quickly find what's available. If you're looking for land where there's open acreage, you can also use your local or county land records website to find who owns a plot you're interested in. Many times, these folks don't use all of their space, and they may be open to offers!

No matter what, the key is to identify where you want to live early on. We encourage you to do some research to zero in on the best exact location possible. Consider things such as:

  • Is there a homeowner association (HOA)?
  • What is the average price of homes in the area?
  • What are the typical styles in that area?
  • What are the typical lot shapes/sizes in that area?
  • Do the community's amenities (schools, resources, restaurants, transportation, activities, etc.) suit your needs?

You want to make sure that your location is suitable for your family, build budget, and the type of home you want. The house should reasonably fit in with its neighbors, not only so it doesn't stand out, but because it'll affect its property value. Consider taking a weekend to drive through the locations that interest you so you can get a feel for them. Being there, in person, will help you visualize yourself and your dream home in that space.

Look for Realistic Options

The number one thing that puts people in a bind when building is forgetting their budget. Your home will likely be the largest purchase of your life, no matter where you build. Don’t waste time looking at lots that are out of your price range. We recommend setting aside roughly 20% of your overall budget for your lot purchase. However, this number can vary depending on what you prioritize. For example, if acreage is your thing, then you could spend a bit more on land. If you aren’t that big into yard work and maintenance, then a larger lot isn’t for you; save that money and put it toward a bigger home!

Note the typical lot features in your desired area. A spacious lot in a city suburb will be rare and extremely pricey. You could have a hard time finding a perfectly flat lot by a lake or mountainside. Set your expectations along with your budget to make the search more efficient.

And be sure to scrutinize what you find! If a lot's price seems too good to be true for its location, that's probably for a reason. It could have poor drainage, difficult restrictive covenants, topographical challenges that will greatly increase the cost of lot prep, etc. Ask a local professional for an opinion on the land before making the purchase, because some things might be deal breakers, but you might be willing to work with other challenges if the location is perfect.

Matching the Lot and the Home

Once you have an idea of your budget and lot location/features, you can begin the best part... discovering and committing to your specific dream home! Whatever the challenges of your lot, or even if you have a certain feature you want to highlight, we can find the perfect home for you. We even have specialty collections to help make it easier, including:

  • Narrow Lot House Plans - For facades less than 50 feet wide. Many are even under 20 feet across! But don't worry—what they lack in width, they make up for in depth, so you can still get a home with plenty of square footage.
  • Sloping Lot House Plans - Many have walkout basement levels (finished or unfinished), or have a basement foundation as an option to help the house adapt to uneven ground.
  • Mountain House Plans - Similar to plans for slopes, this collection has homes that adapt to more rugged terrain than you'd find in most areas.
  • Courtyard House Plans - Perfect if you want a more private outdoor space! You'll find front, back, side, and even center courtyards included.
  • Advanced Search - Once you know exactly what you have to work with, you can use this detailed search function to narrow the options down by exact dimensions, square footage, garage location, and the specific features you want!

If at any point you'd like help finding the right house plan for your lot, or you have questions about what you should be looking for, feel free to reach out. Our house plan advisors have seen it all and know which houses are perfect for certain situations, and/or they can help you modify a plan that you love that doesn't quite match your lot as-is. In any case, think about what your lot has to offer and how your home can embrace it.