Finding the perfect home can be challenging for a lot of people, especially a more specific type of home like a log home. This is when buying land and building your dream log home can sometimes be the best option. Buying land to build a home can come with a lot of challenges though. This shouldn’t steer you away from this option, but it’s important to know what you are getting into when buying land. Here are some tips and recommendations that we have when it comes to buying the perfect piece of land to build on.
Water Sources and Utilities
Make sure to find out the water source of the property. If there is not a water source on the property, you would need to find out about drilling a well to have access to water. This is something very important to be aware of since having a well drilled can come with a hefty price tag. Make sure to add this into your building budget if it is something that you will have to have done. If there is already a well on the property, make sure to have it tested to ensure that the water coming from it is safe to use and drink. Along with water, an important factor is utilities such as electric, gas, and sewer. Have a plan for these factors in place when looking to purchase property.
Type of Land and Soil
An analysis of the soil that you’re going to be building on, is another consideration. When building, there will obviously be excavating that needs to be done, and it will be good to know if that is going to be an easy task or if you might encounter difficulties, such as having a lot of bedrock in the soil. This does not make building on the land impossible, it will just likely increase the time and up the cost of your building project.
Depending on where your land is at, there may be certain building codes and covenants that have to be followed, or certain permits that need to be obtained. This is something you need to be aware of and also the contractor doing the work.
Have a Survey Conducted
You may not think this is a necessary step, and while it is not required, it is something that will be incredibly handy. Even in cases where you think you know the lay of the land, you might be surprised to find out that exact property lines were not where you expected them to be. It is much better to know these types of things while preparing to build, versus once the build has begun or has been completed. This could bring up conflict with a neighbor so be prepared to have a conversation, especially if it turns out they have been using any of your land. Once you’ve established property lines you can decide things like where to have a property easement. Easements also stay with the property, not the owner so in many cases even if a neighbors easement is technically on your property or you need to put an easement on what might be someone else’s property, make sure to keep conversation with neighbors open and honest, and hopefully a mutual agreement can be met.
Insurance for log homes is a little bit different from traditional homeowners insurance. Find an agent who has experience in insuring log homes. Also be aware that some property might not be eligible for some insurances. Such as, property in forests in California where wildfires tend to be common.
Building a home is a very exciting time and of course you want it to go as smooth as possible. A contingency contract with the seller is something that you might want to consider. This would give you time to get the lay of the land and establish if it is going to be buildable. Preplan and enjoy the process!