Do I need a lot before finding a builder?

Well, this is a tricky question.  If you already have a lot or property, have your potential builder come by with you to look at the lot. This will give him/her idea of the lay of the land. The lot/property affects the price of the home because the builder will have to determine whether there is fall that would require extensive foundation work. If it is a flat lot, he can price it accordingly. If there is fall, he is better able to explain the increase in work needed and the approximate price of that work. This affects the over all price of the home.

Also, consider…if you paid $35,000 for the lot and it requires $30,000 worth of foundation work (above what would normally be charged for a foundation), then you basically have paid $75,000 for the lot.

If you have not purchased a lot, by all means get your potential builder to go with you (and your Realtor if you have one) for this same reason. Just because the Realtor says the lot is flat, he/she may not know the approximate fall. A builder knows what to look for and is better qualified to determine this. You do not want to make this mistake and be unhappy with the lot (and possibly the Realtor).

Another thing to consider is the plan that you want to go on this lot/property. The plan you want may not fit there. With lots there are setbacks and you may or may not know them. The builder does. When you are considering that dream plan, you have to remember not only the width of the home and the setbacks but the driveway footage needed for adequate turn around space and/or extra parking.

We also advise our potential clients NOT to purchase a home plan before the builder sees it. Often, we see that people get excited, buy a plan and either it won’t fit and it is not engineered for the area in which they are building. So, work with your builder, design or buy a plan that works and is functional.  Your builder should guide you by offering advice and thoughts/pricing info regarding a plan. He/she can make sure the plan is functional, doesn’t have wasted space and is cost efficient.

So, yes, do take your builder out there. And, most builders won’t charge you for this service. Don’t make a mistake that you may regret.

If you have questions about this topic or want us to meet you at the property you want to build on (or if you have property on which you plan to build), call us at either 251.621.1752 or 251.422.2709.

We are here to help you make sound, well thought out decisions. You won’t regret it.