4 Tips for Buying Residential Lots for a New Home

Debra Lopez

January 22, 2022


residental lots for your new home

How exciting! You and your loved ones have decided to have a house built. You’ve come to realize it’s the only way to live in your ideal home, exactly the way you’ve always wanted.

However, the first step is to find the best residential lot for your dream home. But how? You’d never make a big purchase, like a car, without doing some homework. The same rules apply when searching for a plot of land. It’s a complex and important decision, so take your time and do your research.

Before you sign on any dotted line, there are a few things you need to think about. Here are four important tips to keep in mind to find the best residential lot for your new home.


When it Comes to the Best Residential Lot, It’s Location, Location, Location

It may be an old saying, but it rings true. Location is important. Homebuyers may put untold hours into designing their floorplan, choosing tile, appliances, and paint colors, but the first important decision to make is where they want to live. Go for a drive and look at neighborhoods. Be thorough and evaluate several communities. Consider the distance to work, groceries, schools, and hospitals.

Shop for the land and the community you want simultaneously. Do you prefer to live in the city, the suburbs, or farther out in the country? Do you want a neighborhood with sidewalks? Would you like to be near a lake, a golf course, or parks? Will you prefer to be close to other houses with lots of kids and a neighborhood feel? Or would you like a big yard with no one nearby? The best residential lot for your new home will check all the right boxes.


Check for Covenants in Subdivisions

If the best residential lot for you is in a subdivision, find out if it includes covenants. Covenants list all of the dos and don’ts for your property. For example, the homeowner association may have to approve your house plans and have rules about fences, landscaping, and exterior colors. They might even dictate things such as how often you need to cut the grass, what kind and size of pets you can own, or where you can park your car. So, if you’re not comfortable with restrictions and rules, it may be better to find a plot of land elsewhere.

On the other hand, restrictions can also be helpful. The rules apply to everyone, so everyone in the neighborhood must follow them. If you find the best residential lot and it has a covenant you can live with, you’ll know the other homeowners have to conform to the same standards, too.


Do a Site Visit to View the Best Residential Lot for Your New Home

Before making a final decision on the best residential lot, walk around the entire property for a site visit. Get out of the car and get a feel for the land and the neighborhood. Are there lots of traffic noises with horns honking and trucks rumbling? Can you smell a farm or hear a factory nearby? Will you need to plant many trees to get the atmosphere or privacy you want? How is the land itself – do you see standing water? There may also be hidden environmental problems if you notice a large, bare area with nothing growing in it.

Determine which direction the house should face. What’s the best view? Is there enough space for a big front porch or a backyard deck? Learn as much as you can and take notes as you look around. Notice whether the land is flat or has a slope. Can you have a walk-out basement? Will you need to add more dirt or put in better drainage?

What about the surroundings? What’s nearby? Will an apartment complex be going up? Or more houses? Are there train tracks at the back of the lot?

Finally, visit your potential lot on different days of the week and times of the day. The visits may change your mind about it being the best residential lot for you after all. Take note of the traffic, whether other houses are well maintained, and if neighbors spend any time outside. If you see someone, consider asking them their opinions about the area. Find out what problems the neighbor notices and whether they’d move there again.


Choose Your Builder

Sometimes the best residential lot also comes with a builder. Other times, you have to choose your own. While you look for land, also check out potential builders. As mentioned above, talk to the neighbors as you tour neighborhoods and new subdivisions. What builder did they use? Was that builder easy to work with? Did the builder offer lots of options for floor plans and architectural styles?

Investigate carefully. Some vacant land allows you to work with anyone you want. However, the best residential lot for your home may restrict which builder you can hire.

Many custom home builders are known for particular architectural styles and house designs, construction methods, and options. Before hiring any builder, determine your budget. What kind of house style do you want (modern, traditional, a ranch or a 2-story, etc.), and how many decisions do you want to make regarding designs, finishes, and construction? Homes can range from a completely custom one-of-a-kind home created just for your family to a stock house plan with only a few options – and everything in between.

Before buying the best residential lot, talk to several builders and get their opinions. They can provide important insight, point out problems, unanticipated costs, and what improvements may have to be made before building. A good builder can also help you plan your budget, evaluate whether your house plan will work on the lot or if there need to be alterations.

You don’t have to hire a builder before you buy your lot. There are several opinions on that topic, both pro, and con. Which do you get first – the land or the builder? Either way, what’s most important is that you take your time.

Frankly, you’ll be amazed at how helpful home builders can be. Talking with a builder allows them to prove their abilities and develop a relationship with you. Remember, you’ll be working with them for at least six months, so get to know how they work, how they respond to questions, and if they know their “stuff.”

As you can see, buying the best residential lot for your dream home is not always easy. It’s also not necessarily a fast process. However, working with the right builder can make the entire process fun, exciting, and successful. To help you with your search, start with the award-winning Joseph Douglas Homes.


Joseph Douglas Homes

Joseph Douglas Homes sets the standard for custom homes with competitive prices, high-quality craftsmanship, and outstanding designs and floor plans. The staff can bring your vision to life while offering you a wonderful, stress-free home-building experience.

Founded in 1998, Joseph Douglas Homes can design a one-of-a-kind, custom home just for you and your family. They can also show you an array of floor plans to choose from or build your dream home from a design you already have in mind.

Joseph Douglas Homes builds custom homes throughout southeastern Wisconsin and knows what their customers want. Their houses are also constructed according to Energy Star standards. They use energy-efficient products to conform to the highest criteria. Joseph Douglas Homes cares about the environment and focuses on lowering utility costs by installing direct vent fireplaces, high-efficiency furnaces, energy-rated windows, and much more.

Joseph Douglas Homes is proud to bring their client’s visions for their dream homes to life. Contact Wisconsin’s best home builder today and build your new home in 2022!


Meet the Author

Debra Lopez

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