Where to build your dream home
Are you looking to buy property to build your ultimate dream home on? There are many things to consider other than location, location, location. There are many people that choose the country, and are fine living way out in the middle of nowhere in Anytown, America. But for many, not only do we enjoy the cultural melting pot that many large cities provide, we also must live nearby due to our line of work. This is something that many of us in the Bay Area spend a lot of time thinking about, and wondering how to get the most bang for our buck while living close enough to commute.
Before you decide to purchase an empty lot consult with a builder or project manager. If you were to build a school or a library the first thing you would do is hire an owner’s representative to make sure your build went smoothly. Having a good owner’s rep can save you in the long run, especially in places where building costs and cost of living are high, like San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Marin and anywhere else near the Bay Area. They can also tell you how realistic your project is. For example, you may have lofty Batman cave ideas for a piece of property with a steep slope on the side of a hill or mountain. A good project manager will be able to help you asses if your property is at risk of a landslide, how many stories your home could be, and placement of things like the front door and garage. Unfortunately many builders will try to cater to your dream home even if it is not the most practical and may not last.
Consider traffic. How many miles is your lot from the freeway? Have you driven around the lot during rush hour? How many ways to get to the freeway are there? Some people with flexible work hours may not mind a cramped, longer commute, but perhaps you want to spend as much time as possible enjoying your new home. If that’s the case, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic four hours during your day.
Building resources. This is important if you want to build a great home that lasts. You need to make sure there are quality builders and designers available to work in the area your are buying property. You don’t want your only option to be your neighbor’s uncle Jim, who you are pretty sure never had any formal training on how to build homes. Having people that not only know what they’re doing, but know the law, and can navigate through permits is crucial. You don’t want to get halfway through your project and have an inspector tell you the whole thing needs to come down and you need to start over. With a good design team comes access to good building materials. Paying more for a good building and design team will save you in the long run because they know what things you can and shouldn’t live without.
Neighborhood aesthetics. This may seem trite, but the last thing you want is to start out with bad blood with your neighbors. Let’s say you picked a plot in the middle of a residential neighborhood with nothing but wood houses, mostly single story carpenter style. You are probably not going to make a good impression by building a three story, modern, concrete home, and worse, you could be constantly fighting your neighbors in town hall meetings and even in court.
Buying a plot of land is exciting, and you can spend hours dreaming of its potential. Make the most out of your home build by carefully considering where you are buying, and talk to a project manager or owner’s representative for some sound advice.