As a build-on-your-lot custom builder in North and South Carolina, one thing we know for certain is that every site we build on is different. That’s why it’s crucial to conduct a property evaluation to understand the nuances of your property before anything else. Here are some key items our team evaluates.
The Key Items When It Comes to Land Assessment
Preparing the Land
A big part of evaluating a parcel of land is preparing and thinking ahead to potential obstacles. We want to see how the land will generally work with your preferred home design and where it would be best to site the home. It’s important to consider what trees and vegetation should be cleared or what to leave natural. Whether or not the lot already has a home or building on it will also need to be taken into consideration, so we can properly plan for its removal.
In preparation for the upcoming construction, the land needs to be cleared and relatively leveled. This is to see if it’s sloped for drainage as well as see where there’s room for the crew to access different areas. Some other things to consider are how to maintain the land during construction and imagine how the property will stand throughout the seasons of the year.
Checking the Topography & Soil Conditions
Before we build on your lot, we’ll take a closer look at the topography and soil conditions. Checking the topography will help us determine the characteristics of your land and whether or not it will need lot improvements. Is the land sloping? How steep is the slope? Is it rocky? This will also determine some of the details of how your home fits on the land and how it’s positioned for proper drainage. It’s recommended to have a survey done to get the dimensions of the property’s boundary lines as well as the lot dimensions to figure out the best size and placement of your home. Something else to consider is if any part of the land is within a FEMA flood map report. A topographical survey can be done to check if it’s safe to build on.
Different soil types can impact how challenging it will be to build on your land and can affect the type of sewage system you have. Soil types can range from extremely fine (clay and silt) to coarse (sand and gravel). We’ll check for the soil’s quality and condition to ensure it will hold the weight of your home’s foundation or if we need to fill it in with something with a higher load-bearing capacity.
Looking for Utility Connections
Figuring out where the utility connections (or alternatives) are will be important if you want to maintain a modern way of life with running water and electricity. That’s why during a land assessment and property evaluation we’ll look for utility availability to find out if utilities are already connected or if they’ll need to be added.
Depending on where you decide to build, there may already be existing connections like in an established neighborhood or an improved lot making it a whole lot easier to access utilities. However, an undeveloped location or raw piece of land will take a bit more effort, time, and cost. Our team will work with you to determine the costs of connecting to existing utilities or adding them. Whether you’re using well water, connecting to city sewer, a septic system, or a mix, each will have its own cost difference. Some important utility connections to consider include:
- Natural gas
- Phone, internet, and cable
Understanding Deed Restrictions, Municipality Requirements, & Other Restrictions
There’s more that goes into an adequate property evaluation besides looking at the land itself. As building experts, we make it a point to understand the specific city, county, and state rules for build-on-your-lot homes. We’ll need to make sure your land is zoned for building and how you want to use it. A deed restriction is a limitation on how you can use your property. Deed restrictions can limit what you do on your property as well as what you can build on your land. They often involve a homeowners association, which also has rules on things like the color of the home, minimum or maximum size, landscaping requirements, etc.
Some other restrictions we will keep in mind are setbacks and property easements. A setback is the minimum distance at which a building or other structure must be set back from a street or road, a river or other stream, a shore or flood plain, or any other place which is deemed to need protection. Knowing your setbacks will help determine the placement and size of your home. A property easement is a legal situation in which the title to a specific piece of land remains with the landowner, but another person or organization is given the right to use that land for a distinct purpose. Examples of easements include the use of private roads and paths or the use of a landowner’s property to lay railroad tracks or electrical wires. The good news is that these are not common, but something you should definitely be aware of.
Get a Free Land Evaluation When You Build on Your Lot with Value Build Homes!
At Value Build Homes, we take the process of building on your land seriously and want to make sure we’ve done everything to provide you with the home you want on a safe site to build. We’re here to help manage and explain the complex details including the key items mentioned above. Our team will handle navigating each aspect and ensure a great experience as your expert builder.
When you’re ready to begin looking at land for your future home, the team at Value Build Homes is here to help. We have a variety of floor plans for you to browse for inspiration or use to kickstart your build-on-your-lot adventure. Contact us today to learn more about building with us and our free land assesment.