Regent Homes Blog

How to Transform an Empty Lot Into a Home

Posted by: Regent Homes, on June 25, 2015

your dream home

You’re in the market for a new home. You have seen a variety of houses in your city, and none of them match up with your idea of a dream home. Either due to location, architecture, or interior, these homes do not satisfy your ideal vision of where you want to live. If you reach this point, it might be time to think about building a completely customized home on an empty lot.

What is an “empty lot?”

An empty lot is a bare patch of land available for purchase. Think of it as a blank canvas – whatever you and your architect can dream up, you can build on this empty lot. This includes the house itself, stylish fencing, a summer-ready pool, a cozy fire pit, or anything else your heart desires (within your budget, of course!). Plus, it gives you new options in location that are not available with prebuilt houses.

What challenges exist when building a home on an open lot?

Building a home on an empty lot can be challenging. You must do your research to have an idea of what you want and need. You must have a specific budget in mind, and you must estimate your cost accurately to avoid pricey surprises. While it can be daunting, the end result will be the home of your dreams, so your diligence will be worth it. Here are a few highly important details to keep in mind when building on an empty lot:

Know the Location

Location is perhaps the most important aspect of your lot. Know if you want something urban or rural. Think about if you want to be next to a reputable school system. Visit and walk around the site to check and double check for potential problems. Meet the neighbors to see if you will get along.

Make sure a shooting range or a noisy equivalent will not be built next door anytime soon. Think about if you want to be on a hill for your walkout basement, or a flat plot for your in-ground pool. Know the size of your ideal property, and the size of the house you want to build. Be aware of local taxes and fees.

Developed vs. Undeveloped Lots

Developed lots are more expensive because of their convenience. They generally have utilities, sewage, and gas lines ready to go, and you will pay a premium to incur less risk in the further development of the lot. Undeveloped or vacant lots will require much more homework on your part to determine if it’s cheaper to pay for the development yourself, but it will also allow you more freedom in choosing a location.

Government Zoning Restrictions

Zoning laws are vital. They keep elementary schools away from factories, and shopping malls out of public parks, but they can also limit on what you can do with an empty lot of land. Fortunately, you can easily contact any county zoning office to see if your potential lot will have any building obstacles. Also, these zoning offices will have long term plans for government building, so you can steer clear of areas that may have freeways built directly in front of your dream home.

Finding Utilities

Though some people can live without certain luxuries, you will probably want your home to have electricity and running water. Depending on how far away you are from civilization, running water pipes and electricity lines to your future home is highly important, and must be included in your cost estimate. Also, don’t forget about sewage management and septic systems, or cable TV and high-speed Internet.

Homeowner’s Associations

Homeowner’s Associations are miniature residential governing bodies that can carry specific restrictions. For example, they can determine the type of mailbox you have, how often you must cut your grass, the type of fencing you can have, and whether or not you can build a pool in your yard. Their purpose is to create uniformity and aesthetic appeal to the neighborhood, but their restrictions may not be in-line with your vision of your dream home. Be sure to seek out HA rules before building on an empty residential lot.

Examining the Land

Have a Surveyor mark the property lines for you. Test if the soil quality is good for home building. Ensure that erosion will not damage your home’s foundation. Discover how the land handles water drainage during light and heavy rain. Make sure you do not build on wetlands, so your house will not sink or shift. Ask if there are any buried railroad tracks, bedrock, or antique underground piping. Gather as much information as you can about the lot and land to avoid any unseen building costs.

How We Can Help

Once you have selected and qualified your lot, then it becomes fun. The designers and builders at Regent will make everything much easier for you. We will do a site evaluation of your property, and walk you through our process. We will then sit down with you to determine exactly what you will want in your dream home, taking your personal style and needs into account. After the work you put into finding the ideal lot, our building consultants will do everything they can to make the rest of the process smooth and enjoyable. You’ll be relaxing in your dream home before you know it!

Categories: All Posts, Custom Homes, New Home Owner Resources