Post details: How to Select a Building Lot

02/17/05

Permalink 10:10:40 am, Categories: Articles, 531 words   English (US)

How to Select a Building Lot


The site you choose will play a major role in determining how much you enjoy your new home, and how much it pays off as one of the biggest investments of your life.

Narrowing the Field

FieldWhether you're planning a home in the country, the suburbs, or the city, be sure to investigate the area thoroughly. Drive the general area and walk the neighborhood at different times of the day and week. Find out the current and prospective locations for airports, train tracks, and heavily-traveled highways, along with the sewage treatment plant and landfill. Evaluate the area's outlook for growth. Although a fast-growing area offers faster appreciation of housing and greater choice of subdivisions and sites, these areas tend to suffer from growing pains. Infrastructure, schools, and public services can lag population growth.

Unless you work at home, consider your commute. Take a test drive during the work week at the times when you would normally be traveling to and from your job. Distance to stores, churches, and health care services should also be considered. If you have children or anticipate raising a family in the future, be sure to investigate the area's school system. Even if you don't have children in school right now, the quality of the area's school system is an important factor in the eventual resale value of your home. Communities with good schools are good places to invest. Quality parks and recreation facilities can also enhance resale value, as well as your quality of life.

Take the time to research the real estate taxes in the area. A little digging will uncover any planned assessments or increases, such as those needed to build new schools in fast-growing areas.

It's All About Location

LocationOnce you've settled on a housing subdivision or general area in which to build, personal preference goes a long way in choosing a lot. A lot that is close to a subdivision entrance will have more traffic noise than a lot on a cul-de-sac, but it offers quicker access in and out of the neighborhood. Secluded cul-de-sacs offer safety for families with small children, but their design makes snow removal difficult, and their wedge-shaped lots can have narrow front yards. If a lot is narrow at the front, a home's width may require placement farther back on the property. That also means a longer driveway. However, if you're considering a backyard pool, garden shed, or other structure, wedge-shaped lots that are wider in back can provide additional space.

Corner lots have traffic on two sides and are typically larger, requiring more landscaping and yard maintenance. If there are sidewalks on both sides, you've got more snow to clear in the winter. On the positive side, corner lots allow a side-load garage. They also bring higher visibility to a home, so you'll need a design with street appeal on two sides instead of just the facade.

Lots at the end of a T-shaped intersection must contend with oncoming headlights from nighttime traffic. Homes on these lots should be designed to minimize unwanted light in living and sleeping areas. These lots, however, are generally lower in price.

Better Homes and Gardens

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