Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on Jan 23, 2018 7:57:09 AM
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If you have decided that you want to build a new home but you do not yet own land, one of the first steps is finding a suitable lot. While it’s true that you can start planning your home design while you are in the process of looking for land, it can be difficult to make any final decisions because of unknown factors. For example, the price of land might influence your home budget, or you could decide to buy a narrow lot that will limit the size of the floor plan.

Finding land isn’t always easy, especially if you are looking to buy in a popular area during a time of high demand. However, we have some tips for how to find land that go beyond a standard internet search.

How to Find Land for New Construction

Decide which Neighborhoods are Acceptable

Start the process by determining where you do (and do not) want to live and why. Write it down so you can refer to it later. This might seem like an unnecessary step if you already know where you want to be, but having it in writing can be very helpful when you see good deals in other areas or find yourself with multiple options. Of course you can always change your mind, but if you can easily refer to your list of criteria, it will help you make better decisions, especially if the process is moving quickly.

Look for Mobile Home Lots

Many people think of raw land or empty lots when they start the search for a new home site, but lots with mobile homes on them are actually a great starting point. The existing home can be readily removed at relatively low cost—or no cost, if the owner decides to move it—and utilities are already connected to the site. Of course, purchasing land with an existing traditional home is also a possibility, but for many buyers, the cost of demolition is too high.

Look for Lots that Can be Subdivided

Larger lots may be able to be split up into two or more smaller ones, freeing up land that wasn’t previously available. In fact, your own family or friends might have land that is subdividable, so start there if it’s an option for you.

Ask Owners to Sell

Just because a lot isn’t listed for sale doesn’t mean the owners aren’t willing to sell it. If you find land that you like, determine who the owner is and reach out to let them know you are interested in buying it. If they are willing to sell, one of the greatest advantages of this approach is that you don’t have any competitors offering a lower price. You can also look at expired listings to find owners who didn’t have success in the past, but still might be trying to sell their land.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

An agent who has experience with land listings in your desired area can help you with all of these approaches and more. Real estate agents also have access to listings that you may not, and they may be aware of land that is available but not yet listed. Many agents are also willing to write and send letters to people in a particular neighborhood asking if they want to sell their land. While you could do this on your own, an agent will have more of the necessary resources readily available. It’s important for the agent to have experience in the local area and a strong focus on buying and selling land, as the market is often different than existing home sales.

The path to building a new custom home requires land. If you are struggling with how to find land in Washington, Oregon, or the Treasure Valley, Adair Homes can help. Contact us any time and we’ll connect you with one of our trusted realtor partners.

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