We Know: How to Buy a Residential Lot

What is a Residential Lot?

Generally, land that is being sold will be designated as being zoned for commercial or residential use. Commercial use means that the land will be used for businesses and commercial interests, while residential use means that the land will be used for dwellings. If you are interested in purchasing a lot to build a home on, it is very important to find out about the local zoning laws upfront. This information should be  verified with the local government.

Why do People Buy Residential Lots?

A residential lot is usually purchased for either house building or investment, with the expectation that its value will rise. Some buyers build a home for personal use, some build a home with the intention of selling the land and home for profit, and some people purchase the land and hold it, hoping land values will rise.

What Should You Look For in a Residential Lot?

If you are planning to build on the lot, make sure that you have the plan of your home in mind when you survey the property. It is a good idea to prepare a checklist of items ahead of time. to ask about, such as sewer line access or septic tank zoning, city water access or well access, roads, power lines, school districts, flood zones, earthquake faults, building and zoning restrictions, etc.

You want the lot to be deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the size of house you are planning to build. Remember that there are often zoning laws that require your house to be a certain number of feet away from the edges of the lot, so take that into consideration as you measure. Walk the entire length of the property, getting a feel for the changes in elevation in the land and making sure that you won't have to do extensive leveling. Also, take note of any trees on the property. If they sit where you plan to build, you will have to deal with the expense of removing them.


What Things Should You Avoid When Buying a Residential Lot?

Before you purchase a residential lot, make sure that there aren't restrictions on the styles or types of residents that can be built on it. Are two stories allowed? Are certain materials not allowed? Is there an association that has to approve things like landscaping or paint colors? Also check to see where the fire hydrants and mailboxes will be placed in the neighborhood. A fire hydrant right in front of your house will limit parking and a community mail box at your curb will mean lots of traffic in front of your house.

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