Consider the Floor Plan before Buying a Lot

Once you have purchased the land on which to build your new house, you are basically locked into the type of floor plan you can use. Unless the lot contains sufficient room to allow a multitude of possibilities, the size and shape of the lot will dictate the type of house you can build. 

Long thin lots may be acceptable for smaller homes or for those with more than one floor, but a long flat ranch house probably will offer a challenge. Remember that most communities have certain rules concerning set-back and side buffers that will shrink the size of available building space. 

Imagine a lot that is 60-feet wide and 100-feet deep, in an area with a 20-foot set back requirement and a 10-foot required buffer. Your lot now has an available building area of 70-feet deep and 40-feet wide. A typical two-car garage will eat up about 24 feet and if placed on the side of the house, will only allow for a house about 16 feet wide. This is not a common size for a ranch house.

A so-called city ranch, that is a one-level ranch style house with the floor plans turned 90-degrees are often built on this size lot, but even with a depth of 16 feet, is not considered large by most standard. A two-story colonial, or cape cod style home would be better suited to this size lot. 

If you have fallen in love with floor plans for a house that will require a half acre lot, then that is the minimum you should be looking to buy. It never hurts to have more land than needed on which to build your house, but not having enough can be troublesome. Always check local building codes about requirements for space needed between the house and the boundary line. Also, do not take the seller’s word for it as they may either not know, or intentionally misinform you to make the sale.

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