Land Selection For New Home Construction
Land selection for your new home is very important and can cost you greatly if not taken seriously. It goes far beyond just choosing a location to live. Often the excitement of moving to a new place or sometimes leaving a recent location causes us to overlook very important decisions. Just because you feel happy to be moving to Tennessee for example doesn't necessarily mean anywhere in Tennessee is a fine place to build and live. If you have read through my website or know me personally, you know that I like to see the lot before we discuss your design. I prefer a personal visit in person or at least a survey and pictures to help me help you with your design. More often than not the home design that folks have in mind does not fit their land and must be edited to some degree.
The good news is if we consider this during the design stage we eliminate or at least address possible design needs and cost issues. I have seen customers have to cancel their project not because the actual home was out of budget but because to get the home to work with the land structurally and fit the cost was far too expensive for their budget. I typically have about 15% of my customers each year that sell their lot and start over which often means more design costs for the new location. The other route they take is to sell their lot and then buy a home already in place. In many cases, this means they must lose the money they have invested in the home design along with often taking less for the lot they are selling due to needing the money sooner than later to purchase a home.
For the past 5 years, I have been offering an initial consult for a fee then I deduct the cost from the home design services cost if you use me to design the home. It has worked out great so far. Those who have capitalized on having the cost put back into their plans have been very happy. Honestly, those who have not used the money toward design services say that it has been worth the cost to help them make better decisions on whether to buy the land, sell the land they have, or at least try to pick a starting design path that fits their budget. The consult fee is usually between $250.00 and $500.00 depending on whether I travel to the lot or evaluate online with pictures and surveys.
A quick example in closing. I recently met an elderly couple at some property for a consult. They liked the cost of the property and the view but had some necessary requirements. These included easy access and close parking due to health and mobility needs. The property we looked at together was on a hillside and meet the goals they needed to have a functional home for their lives, it would mean lots of retaining walls, driveway entry, and parking issues. This cost was going to be in the estimated range of $40,000.00 to make this land work for their home and required needs. Long story short, although the lot was $10,000.00 cheaper than other lots they had viewed, it would cost much more in the end for them to build there and be happy. They were more than happy to pay for the consult and replied that I would be able to design their retirement home in the future. Most of the homes I design are in mountain and lake land areas. These sometimes steep mountain type lots can cost more than the client can budget. Please visit the blog again soon for more information on land and location recommendations for your upcoming project. I plan to cover lake lot issues, mountain lot issues, and discuss crawlspace vs. basement foundations in the future. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me to discuss your home design, lot location, and future home design needs by going to my contact link on the website.