Tips For Buying A Residential Lot

Dated: 01/03/2018

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A home is the symbol of the American dream. For many (or even most) of us, we buy that home. But for those of us who dare to dream a little bigger, a lot can be the foundation of a unique, custom-built dream home. There’s nothing more American than settling unclaimed land and making your mark!

However, buying land is also a somewhat different ordeal than buying a pre-built home. Don’t go in blind: our guide can help you get started.

Understand Loan Differences

For a lender, having solid collateral is crucial for a loan. A beautiful house is its own collateral, but vacant land means a buyer could more easily walk away. As a result, banks are particular about who they give lot loans too, and terms are not as great. Down payment terms can be much higher, as high as 50%.

Of course, this depends on where you’re buying. Rural land, in particular, is a bit easier to buy: low-interest Section 502 loans are a government incentive that makes the journey a bit easier.

Environmental Testing and Surveying

That lot may look great on the outside, but there’s a lot going on under the surface…including stuff that could make it impossible to build on. Do not skimp on proper testing for the lot, and look out for weird areas: that patch of dead grass, ground that feels too soft.

Have a professional check the water table and toxicity levels in the ground, and don’t skip the perc test, which measures how the soil drains. Make sure to also check for recently filled land, which can be too unstable for a foundation.

Understand Zoning

With a house, all the zoning pageantry is usually taken care of. But when you’re building a house, you have to worry about it yourself!

Zoning regulations can run the gamut from the obvious (don’t build right on the edge of the property) to the less obvious (no second stories allowed.) There’s also the issue of access: if the property is landlocked, you’ll need to get permission from a neighbor to run an easement through their land.

Are you looking to buy a residential lot for your custom home in the Triangle? Domicile Realty’s unparalleled regional knowledge and trusted expertise can find the right lot for you! Check out our available lots in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Knightdale, and other great cities in the Triangle, and feel free to contact us - We would love to help!

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Kristine Sours

A native of New Jersey, Kristine attended Rowan University with a major in Early Childhood Education. After teaching kindergarten for one year, she discovered her passion for real estate and subsequen....

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