There is an American romance with what it is like to leave urban living behind and live outside city limits. Typically, rural acreage sees lower prices the further you move away from an urban hub. Clean air, more available space to live and the opportunity of building a new custom home on your homesite presents an attainable dream for many. The realities of purchasing a piece of New England for your custom home construction can add significant cost after closing on your property. Before jumping head first into the proverbial lake, please consider these potential issues.
The Realities of New Construction in New England
Choosing a home builder in the area you are looking to buy into, helps you by leveraging the builder’s resources for transporting materials and receiving delivery in an area that might prove more difficult in an environment where it is tricky or difficult to access. You can help assure that shipping and receiving costs dont spiral out of control, while trying to manage a myriad of vendors. Especially in sections where infrastructure might be a little less than neighboring communities. Give thought to your day-to-day lifestyle and the access that you may require to modern-day conveniences, like shopping for food, clothing and supplies. Many of these conveniences are available throughout the region, but service(s) can be unreliable. Also think about traveling the roads. if it snows for days in some rural areas and roads, those access ways might not see plowing or clearing for some time until such resources become available.
Before anything, check with the local zoning boards (City, County, State). Determine what are the local zoning ordinances for the area that you are interested in. Discover if there are any reasons you cannot build your custom home, before you make the commitment to buy property. Inquire about any future zoning changes as well. Are plans to put in shopping centers or airports?, or to alter nearby land uses that could de-value your land?
Pull a “natural hazard disclosure” for investigating potential soil problems. This type of disclosure will notify you if the land you are interested in is a protected habitat, which can (and does) prohibit building. Confirm that the area isn’t a known fire hazard, and know that in rural living, many homeowners maintain private ponds for fire related emergencies.
How likely the land you are interested in to move if it’s located near hills? This is something that you should find out about. Some mixtures for slab foundations can crack if the land shifts too much. Research if the parcel you are interested in lies within the damage path of potential landslides. To help withstand the surrounding land, You may also wish to consider having your builder provide a raised foundation. Talk to neighbors about their foundations, if the land was previously a wetland or swamp. If you construct near a body of water. Don’t forget to make sure you have flood insurance
Easements and Restrictions
Absolutely crucial to buying property is Obtain an easement and make sure it’s recorded if access to your land is provided by driving across an adjoining parcel. Find out who maintains the roads and what your pro-rata cost share might be for upkeep. Absolutely crucial to buying property is obtaining an easement to ensure that your property line demarcation is properly recorded. Especially if the access to your land is provided by driving through an adjoining parcel. Determine the rights of neighbors who may have reason to cross your land and who is responsible for road maintenance and what your cost share (pro-rata) might be required for your part. Verify that all boundaries are clearly marked. When you receive your title insurance, it will disclose any easements, restrictive covenants or conditions. It is advised that you order a survey of the land too.
Utility and Services
Water is important, and not all water is potable. Sometimes water rights don’t “run with the land,” which would mean that you couldn’t dig a well. Find out the depth of your water table and determine the difficulty of digging. It could present a problem if the ground is rocky. All water is not equal. Some water sources are not potable (suitable for drinking and preparing food). Also, the rights dealing in water may enable or prevent you from digging a well on your own land. It is important to learn these things in the process of finding that perfect piece of land. Modern conveniences (electricity, telephone, cable service) taken for granted in urban areas may prove costly to “run” to the property if they are not established in a nearby area. It’s also helpful to look into a propane tank and line as well as a septic system if you cannot connect to an existing municipal sewer. For rural homeowners it is wise to keep a generator(s) on hand as a backup in the event when your power utilities malfunction. Environmentally-conscious buyers who are more apt to use green building materials will want to consider wide-open areas free of tree shading to install a solar-panel array for energy efficiency.
There may be a chance that on your property, sits an existing structure that you would most likely wish to remove. The size of the structure/building must be taken into consideration and you may need to pull local permits which will be required and procure a professional contractor to remove the remains and haul off the debris. Make sure any connected utilities are turned off before proceeding. Issues like this are one of the reasons why using a home builder like Harbor Classic Homes is a sound choice. Many of these issues are taken care of leaving you to focus on the bigger picture of establishing your new home.
Consider the Services of a Land Planner
When you are ready to purchase land you would do well to locate a land planner that will keep on top of all of these issues mentioned above. Just as you would not buy a home without an inspection, you would certainly not with to purchase land, if it could not suit your needs. This is where the notion of using a local experienced home builder comes into focus. It is dedicated builders like Harbor Classic that know how to navigate the ins and outs of an area that you might never have heard of before, at least never in the context that is being applied now.
Do you have any questions about constructing a custom home? Please call us today at (978) 751-8257 to speak to someone at Harbor Classic Homes who can assist you.