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    What to Consider Before Building on Your Vacant Property

    by Laura Mueller

    Building on vacant land is a great way to increase its value and get more out of your investment. But whether you are currently the owner of land that you want to build on or are looking to purchase land for future development, there are quite a few factors to keep in mind. The key to maximizing the benefits of any build are to find a balance between what you want to accomplish, what’s possible, and how much you want to (and can) spend. Below, we’ll go over six of the things that you should always consider when you’re thinking of building on your vacant land.

    1. Zoning

    Your building dreams can only stretch as wide as your local zoning rules allow for, so make sure that a meeting with your local Building and Planning Department is right at the top of your to do list. You probably read up on the zoning regulations around your property before you decided to purchase it, but it’s always a good idea to run back through the details before you figure out your building plans.

    1. Future development plans

     Check to see if there are any plans already in place for development around your land. If there’s going to be a new road, commercial development, residential development, or so on popping up near your property soon, you’ll want to consider if it will affect your building, and how.

    1. Existing utilities

     What utilities will your building require? What utilities are already available on site and what will need to be brought in? These are all huge questions to answer prior to deciding on the scope of your build, since they can have a major impact on the ultimate cost of your project.

    1. Budget

     Speaking of cost, solidify your budget early on, accounting for not just building materials and construction costs but permits, utility lines, and anything else that you will need to turn your blueprint into an actual structure. And as with all building projects, leave yourself some wiggle room in your budget, since unexpected costs almost always have a way of creeping in. 

    1. Financing

     How do you intend to finance your build? Financing works quite differently for land loans and building loans, so your path is going to look a bit different than it did for the land itself. Look at a few different financing options so that you can be sure to pick the one that will make the most sense for your bottom line in both the short and the long term.

    1. Topography

     The topography of your land, as well as the topography of the land around you, should definitely be a top consideration when you’re creating your building plans. Identify where land will need to be leveled, where water tends to gather, and what kind of soil you’re facing so that you can be sure to choose the absolute best spot on your property for a structure.

    If this is your first time building on a vacant lot, build a team around you—from your contractor to your loan broker—who have proven experience making it happen. The more expertise and guidance you have, the less stress it will take to make your building happen.

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