Whether you want to be near the ocean, the mountains, or in the center of one of the country’s largest tech hubs, Washington is an excellent place to build a new home. Like any other state, you have choices when opting for new construction. You can choose from a limited selection of styles in a preplanned development, or you can build a custom home on your own lot. If you already own land or are looking for property in Washington, there are a few things to keep in mind before you build.
Understand Local Regulations
Every county has different requirements, and each municipality also has unique regulations. As you start to explore your building options, it’s a good idea to visit the building department in the municipality that governs your property. By visiting in person and discussing a specific property, you can get some valuable information about the scope of work that is allowed and under what conditions. Understanding the site limitations before you go too far down a certain path can save you time and money in the long run.
Have the Site Surveyed
No matter where you decide to build a new home in Washington, having your land surveyed is critical. Making this small investment up front can protect you from future legal issues that might arise. A survey will determine the boundary lines and can be a valuable tool when obtaining building permits. Although it is not necessarily a requirement, it’s always in your best interest to have your land surveyed.
Consider the Lot Size
The Department of Health governs wastewater and septic systems in the State of Washington. In order to prevent degradation of groundwater, the department has created rules about the minimum size of lots for building new homes. The current minimum lot size is 12,500 square feet; however, local health officers can issue permits for smaller lots that meet certain criteria. It is also important to know that your house, driveway, and on-site sewage system must all fit within the necessary setbacks, so consider this as you evaluate the property.
Comply with the State Building Code
The Washington building code defines the minimum construction requirement for the state and includes regulations for systems such as:
- Fire safety
- Energy use
While you don’t necessarily need to understand the code yourself, your new home must meet or exceed the standards, so selecting a builder that is familiar with the state and municipal codes is critical for staying on budget and completing construction without delays due to permitting issues.
Get Prequalified for Financing
If you don’t yet own land in Washington but are planning to buy, it’s a good idea to get financing approval before you even start a land search. In almost every instance when making an offer on land, you will be asked for financing approval. If you are already prequalified, you can make an offer as soon as you find a lot that you like. Properties in Washington are moving fast, so having the ability to make an offer immediately can give you an edge. After making an offer, you will have 30 days for due diligence. Use this time to determine the feasibility of building on the property.
Lynn Tribon, Director of Market Growth offers this advice:
“Once you have identified a property MAKE AN OFFER immediately with a due diligence timeframe of up to 30 days. Since properties are moving rapidly, the best way to secure land is to make an offer and then utilize Adair's free Site Visit to help determine the feasibility of building on the property.”
Adair Homes offers a free site visit with one of our Construction Superintendents. If you are considering a property, or if you already own land, we can work with you to evaluate the site and determine which of our custom home plans will be most suitable for your lifestyle and your lot constraints. Contact us today to speak with a Home Ownership Counselor and start the process for building on your own land in Washington.
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.