The plot upon which you build your home should never be looked upon, as often happens, as a purchase of secondary importance. The same amount of thought should be given to the selection and purchase of the plot as to the home itself.
It is advisable to have a home in mind –a type, a style, a price bracket-before you get into the open plot market. Don’t buy the plot and wait months or years before putting a house on it; if you do, the cost in taxes for carrying the plot and the amount of interest you could otherwise be earning on the money will ear into your total cost substantially, and it can’t be considered money well spent.
With the size and shape of your prospective home in mind (even if you have just a tentative type in mind), consider the plot. Is the shape and size and topography of the plot in proportion to the home? Is the drainage away from the intended home site? Is the topography such that it would lend itself to interesting landscaping? Is the price of the plot in sensible relation to the price of the home you will construct? Architects usually figure the price of the plot as representing ten to fifteen percent of the total estimated cost of house and plot.
Observe the surrounding homes. Would your home stand out in an unorthodox manner from among them as regards size or styling?
Look into the ground itself. We have mentioned drainage. How about the cultivation qualities? Is the soil rich enough for proper landscaping and that bit of gardening you have in mind? If it would seem to require much excavation, investigate the price of such a job; an expensive filling of digging operation might easily offset the low price of so-called “bargain” land.
The size of the plot is part of your future. Consider your future plans. If your plan to build a garage in the future rather than attach it to your new home, you must have room for it. Perhaps you may be planning to expand the size of your home some day, you’ll need enough land to do it. Shape of the plot is important to privacy; not how your home may face neighboring homes, and whether the plot will give you the space for out-of-door activities, such as dinner on the patio or a play area for children.
The plot may be pretty, but is it livable? Scenery is one thing, a building plot another. Modern living required services which so often are taken for granted that they are overlooked when it comes plot-buying time. Be wary of bargain plots for this reason. Often a plot is cheap because nothing goes with it aside from the land. After all, you must have water, gas, electricity, trash removal, fire and police protection, street lighting and internet service, so be sure before you buy the good provision is made for these in the purchase (in writing).
The neighborhood is very important. Both a week day and weekend inspection is important before deciding upon your purchase. Factories or lands which you might not even suspect were in the neighborhood can throw fumes or smoke over the entire area. If they were closed up on a weekend, you’d never discover this until you moved in. Take a good look at the homes of your prospective neighbor. If they keep up the lawns, maintain the paint or their homes and generally deport themselves as people whom you would like to make friends with, the indications are good you are in the right place. Also, see what sort of industry supports the community and check, if you can, on any proposed expansion of industrial activities. Industrial expansion may affect your property value for good or bad, depending on the type of people it brings into your community and also on whether or not the specific industrial activities have an effect on your area.
You’ll want a convenient location. That dream of a place in the country can become a nightmare if it’s inaccessible to religious place (Temple, Mosque, Church, Gurudwara etc.,) school, shopping, transportation or recreation. If you area commuter, one of the very important things to calculate is the time involved in getting to and from work, together with the cost of transportation.
The lady of the house must be considered when it comes to shopping, and the children shouldn’t be more than a half mile from their school unless buses are provided. You’ll want to investigate the community resources in respect to schools. In many growing communities nowadays, schools are overcrowded. You will want to know if they are overcrowded, not only for the sake of your youngsters, but because it often means the future holds a bond issue for schools, which may affect your taxes.
Sidewalks and street are integral to your home. How the streets lay out and what are are the conditions of sidewalks and streets? Geometrical layout may look fine on a road map but it lends a static unappealing look to a residential area. If you have rambling, curved streets and the plots in the neighborhood are contoured and even oddly shaped, it is all to the good. Curved streets prohibit traffic from proceeding at a fast, dangerous-to-children clip and also have great eye appeal.
Drainage and paving are also important for streets and sidewalk. Good paving and drainage will add to your property value. Curbing and street lighting must not be overlooked.
Don’t let very wide streets fool you. If they are wide for good reason, wonderful. Otherwise you may be paying a higher initial price for the plot or heavy taxes, just for the expensive whim of the development builder.
Get an appraisal of the plot before signing anything. Any local bank or savings and loan company will give you a competent appraisal for a nominal fee. This is a good check on the purchase price, and the information will acquaint you with the good and bad points of the property. If you’re having an architect plan and build your home, by all means have him look at the property to see if, in his judgment, it is the best site for your home.