Building a new home from the ground up is a wonderful opportunity to create your dream home. Of course, finding the right location is at least half of the challenge. Shopping for land is a very different experience from being in the resale or pre-built housing market. This is far from a comprehensive list of things to consider, but it’s a good start to prepare you for the market.
Searching for the right location to build a home is a bit different than finding a home in a desirable location. When you’re shopping for a house so much of what makes a location attractive is related to the existing homes and infrastructure. If you want to build a new home in an established neighborhood, you will have fewer choices in most areas. If you’re looking to be a pioneer and build a new home in an established area, you’ll have to rely on restrictions in place to know what your options to build are. Prioritize your want list so your agent can narrow the search for the right property appropriately.
It will be important to make sure you are only looking at property that will be zoned for residential occupancy. If you’re working with an experienced real estate agent you won’t need to worry about this. However, if you plan to have a solar panel or want to build a tiny in-laws home in your backyard make sure your agent is aware of this so that properties that would preclude that are removed from your search. You will also want to know what kind of flood zone your prospective property is in. This will impact your building options as well as your ability to get federal flood insurance.
You, along with your agent, will need to do some digging to be sure you review all deed and building restrictions. Some land will come with minimum and/or maximum square footage requirements for future structures. In some cases there may be restrictions regarding what style and building materials you’ll be allowed to use. If you have a specific style in mind this is especially important. For the first look the information provided to your agent is enough, but before you get serious make sure you – or your representatives – have reviewed the official deed restrictions on file with the county clerk’s office.
Before you can build you will need to know your rights of access – as well as mineral, timber, and water rights. This starts to get really specific to individual properties. If you are specifically looking for property with water access for a boat or ski dock this is the most likely to apply to you. That said, it’s an important detail to be aware of to be sure that your dream lot doesn’t have an easement too wide to build the home you’re planning just as an example.
Cash is always the easiest option to close a land deal. However, you will need to make sure that you have money that is accessible for a wire transfer to be sure your transaction goes smoothly. There may be some land-lease or owner-financing options available. However, financing is very different with land and new build homes than it is for an existing brick and mortar home.
If a lot of this sounds unfamiliar to you that’s okay! That’s why working with an experienced real estate agent is so important. We at The Drew Kern Team are Miami real estate experts. We are here to walk you through this process from start to finish.