You may be a homebuyer who’s tired of competing for highly desired homes in the neighborhood you want, or maybe you just don't like the idea of living in an older house.
Either way, you have options if you'd prefer to live in a brand-new house.
Whether you’re planning to buy a teardown and/or build a home on the perfect plot of land prepare for a process that differs from purchasing an existing property.
Here’s your guide to purchasing that flat of land for the home of your dreams and what it’ll cost you to get there.
Buying Land to Build a House
If you’re starting from scratch, the first thing you need to do is buy land, which can be a simple process – or prove fraught with problems if you fail to do your due diligence. Be sure to follow these steps before you close on a plot of land. Starr Real Estate has land for sale & we can help you with the due diligence process.
Check the zoning and condition of the property.
Few things will be more disappointing than buying the perfect plot of land for your dream home, only to find out that it’s not OK to live on, either due to zoning issues or soil contaminants that make living there a hazard. Check the zoning, grade and soil quality, as well as other details specific to the area that may keep a house from being constructed on the land. Even if there’s an existing home on the property, it’s important to check, as zoning or soil quality could have changed since that structure was built.
See if utilities are hooked up.
Undeveloped, vacant land or a dated house may need additional work to enable it to reach utilities, including electric, gas and plumbing.
If utilities are not available or old plumbing needs updating, factor the additional work into your budget. This can be pricey: A sewer hookup, for example, may even require construction on the street in front of the property, which requires additional permits and more money.
Demolishing an existing structure.
If there’s a house or other structure on the property that must be demolished, you have a couple of options. A mechanical demolition with excavators and heavy machinery will take a house down the fastest but cost more, while a smaller-scale demolition by hand will be cheaper but require more time.
Before you demolish anything, it’s best to select a team of professionals to build your house. In many cases, a design-build firm may want to retain a portion of the structure and can help oversee the demolition.
You may need to hire a separate contractor who specializes in demolition as well. A contractor can manage details to ensure utilities are shut off for demolition, you've secured the necessary permits and you've notified the local fire department.
How much does it cost to buy land to build a house?
The cost of land varies widely based on the size of the plot, where you live and if there’s already a house there. When a house exists on the property, keep in mind that you typically won’t be able to pay the land value only. The existing structure, regardless of its condition, is considered an improvement on the land and is factored into the overall value. That said, a seller desperate to close on a deal will likely consider lower offers knowing the property is a teardown.
At the end of the day, demolition of any kind is a big project that can come with a hefty price tag. The average house demolition costs $18,000, according to HomeAdvisor, but it depends on the size and location of the property as well as the experience level of the contractor.
Information retrieved from an article written for U.S. News by Devon Thorsby. realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/the-guide-for-buying-land-building-a-house-or-buying-new-construction