Oregon is consistently ranked among the best states to call home.
It’s frequently praised for having a high quality of living, with beautiful natural scenery, low crime, happy and healthy residents, and plenty to see and do. It’s no wonder that many of our customers choose to build their custom homes in the Beaver State. Of course, building a custom home on your own land is a bit more involved than selecting a production home in a suburb or city.
For homeowners in Oregon, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind:
Once you find the ideal property, you’ll want to be able to make an offer immediately, especially in areas where land is selling quickly. That’s why it’s a good idea to get pre-approved by your bank, even before you start your land search. This will make the buying process faster and easier, and will help you ensure you don’t lose out on your dream location.
Lynn Tribon, Director of Market Growth at Adair Homes, recommends customers make an offer right away when they find the land they want. “It’s best to include a due diligence timeframe of up to 30 days with the offer,” she says. “This will give you time to use Adair’s free site visit to determine the feasibility of building your home on the property, while securing the land from other potential buyers.”
The size of your lot
Many Oregon counties have specific restrictions on the minimum size of rural residential land plots. Around certain cities, rural properties must be at least two acres. In other areas, that restriction is 10 to 20 acres. These rules are meant to help simplify future urban expansion.
For homeowners looking to build their dream home, these zoning requirements might impact the size of the property you obtain, as well as how you situate your house on it. Investigate these and other zoning constraints before investing in the land. Luckily, the ordinance does not apply to most pre-owned lots.
Availability of power, water and transportation options
If your land doesn’t already have power and water and is not accessible by road, it’s important to be prepared to pay more money during the site development phase. Site development costs vary widely depending on local fees and permitting costs, soil conditions and other factors; however, most homeowners can expect to an additional $10,000 or more if their property requires a road, utility lines or a well.
If your property needs extensive site development, it’s a good idea to partner with a home builder that works closely with you through the entire process. For example, at Adair Homes, our Construction Superintendent and Branch Administrator will help you to collect site-related bids to ensure you are getting the best price possible.
No matter where in Oregon you build, it’s important to have your land surveyed, which helps determine boundary lines, streamlines the building permit process and more. Ryan Angulo from Adair Homes explains, “getting your land surveyed can protect you from future issues that may arise, legal or investment wise.”
Finally, it’s important that you understand the rules and regulations that might impact a specific piece of land.
For example, buying property outside of the big city doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune to applicable covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Some areas are restricted to only custom homes, while others allow mobile homes, production houses and more. Certain locations allow homeowners to have livestock or chickens, while others are much stricter about animals, outbuildings and land use. These and other considerations may help you to decide exactly how you want to develop your land.
In addition, Oregon takes pride in its efforts to protect air, water and land resources, as well as the beautiful natural scenery that makes it so attractive to homeowners. Throughout the state, many urban and rural areas have specific rules governing how development—including homes—might impact the state’s abundant natural resources, according to the state’s Department of Land Conservation and Development.
For example, if your land includes running water or lakes, wildlife habitats, wetlands or certain minerals, you may need to adjust your building plan to accommodate these resources. Contact your local Land Conservation and Development office for more information on your local regulations.
To ensure that you fully understand any rules impacting your land, Scott Gaunt, Adair’s Regional Construction Manager for Oregon, recommends buyers visit the building department of the municipality that governs their property prior to meeting the Adair Construction Superintendent for the free site visit.
“By visiting these departments in person, and presenting the address of their proposed building site, clients can learn some valuable information regarding what scope of projects will be allowed, and under what conditions,” he says. “Many important site related issues and requirements can be covered as well. After attending this meeting, the customer can have a much better understanding of the scope and requirements of their proposed build site.”
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About Adair Homes
Adair Homes has been building dream homes across the country for the last 50 years. In that time, we’ve helped more than 20,000 families achieve their dream of home ownership, and we take pride in making sure our customers find the perfect home that not only fits their lifestyle but also fits their budget. For more info, get in touch with us here or call 1-844-518-7072.