Should I Have A Home Builder With Me When Searching For Lots?
Yes. While everything you see may look perfect like views and location, there could be many cost impacting items that you’re not aware of. A builder will identify potential cost impacts and could even use that as a negotiating tool when purchasing the lot.
You may come across a lot you love – it has the perfect view, is sloped for a walk-out basement, and around the corner from the elementary school. But have you considered the potential costs of building on that lot? From a builder’s perspective we are looking for things outside of the school location (although we understand the value in that).
As your builder, we are looking for potential cost impacts that could make this particular lot much more expensive than you or your realtor may assume and more than a lot that is a few block further from the school but listed at $30,000 less. On the surface it may seem that the extra $30,000 is worth it for you and your family. But… what if your preferred lot has utility taps installed by the developer that are too shallow? We would have to pump your sewer waste up to it, creating a potential fail point down the road with a pump (ewww), as well as, adding more cost to build. And, let’s say this lot has a required build area 200 feet from the street on a flat part of the lot – there goes the walk-out basement and adds thousands of dollars in extra driveway cost.
On the flipside, the lot that is a little further from the school may have perfect tap locations, a favorable build site and is $30,000 less. Between the listing price, sewer pump and driveway costs you’re already putting $40,000+ additional monies into the build of your home. Examples like this, and many more, are why we strongly urge you to include your home builder in the search for the “perfect” lot.