Building a house is a complex task, and there are many builders capable of doing a good job on that task. Developing land is another thing, and it's not a skill that every builder possesses. Honestly, it's not a skill the vast majority of builders possess. But more and more builders are advertising that they will build on your land because the number of available neighborhood lots is rapidly shrinking.
What a Home Builder Should Know
You have a vision of your dream home being built on the land you dream of living on. And you only get one shot to build on that perfect piece of land for your dream.
That's why it's so important to find a builder who understands all the important details of developing land. Here's a list of what a home builder who promises to build on your land should know:
- -Land title
- -Soil testing and foundation types
- -Hidden "gotchas" found on rural land that you won't encounter on neighborhood lots
- -Maintaining access during bad weather
- -Creating and maintaining proper drainage
- -Flood plains
- -Getting utilities to land that doesn't have electric, sewer, water, or gas
- -Preparing rural land for building
A Real Life Example
A friend of mine hired an Oklahoma builder he knew from church who said he was willing to build on my friend's land. The guy was a good builder with a good reputation.
However, when my friend met him at the land, the builder started to lay out the house without first finding out about any easements, drainage patterns, or flood plains that might be present.
My friend got a bad feeling about that and started asking some questions and doing some of his own research. He discovered that if he'd allowed the builder to clear the land where he had intended, the house would have been too close to a pipeline easement, which would have been a disaster.
My friend caught the mistake early, but the builder's lack of experience with rural land could have created a situation that neither he nor my friend could afford to fix.
That may sound like an extreme example, but it can easily happen when a builder isn't familiar with rural land and the extra details involved to prepare the site and get it ready to build. Be sure to ask plenty of questions of any prospective builder to be sure they have the necessary experience to build on your land.