If the time is (finally!) right to start the process of building your dream home on your own lot, the first order of business is finding the perfect plot of land for you and your family. 

Big or small, rural or suburban, there are several must-do’s to keep in mind. 

Determine What You Can Afford 

Setting a budget (and sticking to it) is key to helping the process run smoothly. Generally, the cost of the lot should be no more than 30% of overall expenses, but that number has some give and take depending on what you plan to do with the land and when. 

If not paying cash, you’ll need to secure financing for land and construction. Plan to put 15-20% down plus cash for closing costs. It’s also good to guesstimate what taxes will be once the house is built and maximize any available exemptions or deductions. 

A variety of things can add to the construction budget, especially on acreage, and should be considered up front. These include having to bring in septic or a water well if not near public utilities, as well as land clearing and dirt work necessary to provide access and proper drainage. 

Have Representation 

Working with a buyer’s agent or other professional is like a shortcut through much of the process. Seller’s agents, after all, are obligated to serve the seller’s interest. Not the buyer’s. 

Your luxury custom home builder can often assist in this effort as they generally have established relationships with realtors specializing in land searches. A home builder familiar with the area in which you’re building can also connect you with surveyors, inspectors and other professionals who can make the process easier. These include drainage experts and soil technicians who can test for composition, pollution and viability for specific uses. They can also educate you on any flood plain issues. 

Decide How Much Space You Need 

While some people are seeking lots of room for kids, pets or other animals to roam in a space fairly removed from their nearest neighbor, others want closer community with block parties, play dates and a short walk or drive to work and school. 

Maintenance is also a factor in this part of the decision making, since more room to roam often means more mowing, fencing and overall general upkeep. 

Think About Your Regular Commute 

Proximity to important places like work, schools, hospitals, shops and restaurants can dramatically affect the desirability of a lot. Some people want these things nearby and easily accessible, while others are just fine with them (and the traffic that goes with them) at a safe distance. 

Whatever your preference, consider the style and value of nearby homes and existing commercial properties, as well as the potential for future development in the area. 

Know the Law of the Land 

Except in the most unrestricted of areas, the lot you are considering is likely to have some form of community deed restrictions or HOA. 

These are generally intended to maintain the appearance and aesthetic of a luxury community by designating minimum building standards and upkeep requirements, but they can also affect plans to build a barn, workshop or other outbuilding, as well as tree clearing, fencing and whether or not vehicles such as RVs and boats can be parked on property. If these are not issues of personal concern, you may consider what your neighbors will be allowed to do. 

Once you have selected the lot that meets your family’s needs and lifestyle, your custom home builder can guide you through the design process as well as advise you on the best placement of your new home to maximize both view and road appeal. 

With more than 40 years of experience building luxury custom homes in the Texas Hill Country, Flenn Custom Home & Remodeling is the ideal choice to build your custom home on your own lot. Beginning with our Dreamception Design Program, Flenn Custom Home & Remodeling will expertly guide you through the process from dream home to living the dream.