How to Find the Best Lot to Build Your Custom Home - Royal Homes
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How to Find the Best Lot to Build Your Custom Home

Planning Your Lot & Home


 

Searching for the perfect piece of land for your custom home? You’ve got an exciting journey ahead! Choosing vacant land to build on is a huge decision, but it’s worth the extra legwork to find a lot that fits the vision of your dream home.

Have patience and be sure to keep the following points in mind.

Research the Location

Are you dreaming of a growing suburb, a secluded country road, or a quiet piece of cottage country? When it comes to buying the perfect lot, you’re in the market for a community as much as for land.

You probably already have a general idea of the kind of place you’d like to buy a piece of land, but don’t forget to do research on community traits like schools access, nearby grocery stores and cultural spaces. You may not have children in the home, but the quality of the local school system is a big factor in the future resale value of your property.

Don’t limit your locational research to the web! Put on your running shoes and explore the neighbourhood in person at different times of day. If you’re searching years in advance of when you plan to buy a lot, visit the area throughout different times of year as well – you might be surprised how the character of the place changes with the seasons.

Examine the Topography

Ravines, valleys, cliffs, rivers…beautiful as they are, these topographical features can be a barrier to building your perfect home.

The topography of the land has a huge impact on where and how exactly you go about building your home. Keep an eye out for rock outcroppings, embankments or other physical traits that may reduce the buildable area of a property.

You must also research the flood risk of the lot. Land that sits next to a lake or river can offer gorgeous views, but it can also be flood-prone and more expensive to insure.

Consider Zoning and Other Restrictions

To put it simply, the perfect land is only perfect if you can actually build on it!

Local zoning laws will govern what you can and can’t do with a property. However, zoning laws aren’t the only restrictions on property – if the lot rests in a developed community, there may be a homeowners association governing the area as well.

If you’re seriously considering buying a property, you must also investigate covenants and easements on the land. An easement permits someone to use the land for a specific purpose – for example, a utility provider may have permission to run a power line. Covenants, which are private agreements between landowners and buyers, can also dictate rules for the property in question.

Think of the Pros and Cons of Lot Types

You might’ve always dreamed of living in a sleepy cul-de-sac or desired a secluded space in the country. But every type of lot comes with benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to think of it from different perspectives before you set your heart on one of the other.

Cul-de-sacs are quieter and generally safe, since there’s no through traffic and fewer vehicles overall, but nosy (or noisy) neighbours seem closer than ever. Corner lots receive more natural light and tend to be larger than neighboring lots, but they also get twice the vehicle noise, have twice the sidewalks to shovel, and half as much privacy (since the house is visible from two roads.) A lot that sits at a T-intersection may be more affordable, but you’ll have oncoming headlights from night time traffic.

You can avoid many of these drawbacks by building a house in the country, but you will have to investigate whether the lot has running water, electricity and sewers. Another concern in the country – wildlife!

Search out Sun Exposure

North of the Equator, any property will enjoy significantly more sunlight exposure on the southern portion of the land. For that reason, homes with a southern view tend to attract higher resale value.

Southern exposure is also important if you plan to grow crops or take advantage of solar energy. Homes facing the south will also benefit from faster-melting snow in the spring.

Invest in a Survey

Once you’ve found a potential lot, always obtain a survey of the land from the seller before you commit. Don’t rely on a survey from years ago, as it could be out of date by now.

Surveys can serve purposes beyond drawing lines: a construction survey, for example, can help you plan out the dimensions and floor plan of the home you want to build.

Additionally, if the land is not part of a suburb, it may benefit to check for soil contamination. Sites that formerly were home to gas stations or auto body shops, for example, will likely have contaminated soil and cannot be built on. Looking for inspiration? Take a virtual tour of beautiful custom homes in Ontario and beyond.

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We feel Royal Homes has done a good job. Their employees are professional and courteous and want to make sure you are happy with the finished product.Dawne
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  • FAQ

    Where can I get a price list or How come your website doesn’t show pricing?

    Prices vary geographically, depending on where you are building. With the amount of options available, price lists run into thousands of options. Prices change with the options you choose. The best way to get an idea on pricing would be to contact our Design Centre nearest to where you are building.

    What is your average square foot selling price?

    Prices for a complete home, including foundation vary from $200 sq-ft to over $300 because our homes are all custom built, we can design a home to fit your budget.

    Why should I buy from you over a conventional or "Stick-Builder"?

    The advantages of prefab include building in a climate controlled environment, using environmentally friendly products which reduces waste and a CSA monitored quality controlled program. There is less time start to finish, with less disruption to neighborhood. We also sell at a firm price.

    Do your homes include a foundation?

    Yes our homes include full foundation and basement.

    How long does it take to build a Royal Home?

    It takes less than two weeks to build a home in our factory, but the process from start to finish is very dependent on the timing of obtaining a building permit. For most of our clients the process from start to delivery is twelve to sixteen weeks with move in eight to twelve weeks thereafter.

    What size homes do you build?

    As a custom builder we can build any size home but generally the average size range is between 1300 and 3500 sq feet.

    Do you build garages?

    Yes. Garages are built on site after the home is delivered.

    Are the homes energy efficient?

    Building a prefab home in a factory assures the highest attention to sealing the building envelope and ensures that the cold stays out.

    Since your homes are so energy efficient and air tight, how do you get fresh air?

    All our homes have HRV heat recovery ventilator air exchanger to remove stale air, and introduce fresh air.

    Where can I put a prefab home?

    Anywhere in Ontario you like.

    Can I really customize my prefab home?

    Yes, we use state of the art custom design software, today no two homes are built alike.

    Do you finish the basement?

    Yes. We can customize your basement to the finishes you desire.

    Are Royal Homes built to code?

    All Royal Homes are individually designed to meet all provincial and municipal building codes for your specific lot location.

    Do you build stick-built or conventional homes as well?

    We are a custom home builder first and use prefabricated components wherever we can, because it is a better way to build. If you have a remote site or custom home design with large open spaces we would look at what makes most sense for that design and location. This could include prebuilt panels or partially site built specific rooms.

    What makes the building process environmentally friendly?

    Waste in the factory is separated and recycled, reducing the impact on landfills. This has less disruption in terms of noise and time at job site. Building prefab allows for higher energy efficient homes and reduced heating costs.

    How is your home delivered?

    Our home is delivered by way of custom designed hydraulic flatbed trailers and precisely craned onto the foundation.

    Can you make changes or custom design?

    Yes, clients are given preliminary plans to review and changes are welcome and easily accommodated.