Buying a Lot to Get a Custom Home Designed

Deciding what lot to purchase to get a custom home designed can be intimidating and stressful. Some things to consider to help make it less so.The lot of course has to accommodate whatever is desired in the design. There is some leeway here as a custom home design is like a puzzle with different size pieces. The way those pieces fit together determine the width and depth of the house. Sometimes room orientations are flexible and the shorter dimension can be in the width resulting in a narrower house. That is one of the reasons why it is important if the house is to be custom designed to fit the lot that it be purchased first.The easiest way to ensure a house of the footage you desire will fit on the lot is if there are similar houses of that footage already on lots in the subdivision. If not then it is usually a matter of taking into account what will be different and how that will affect the width or depth. Some differences simply might not work however for some lots. If you want a garage that you enter from the side the distance from the property line is preferably 30′ and may not be achievable. Another major consideration is a pool. A simple rectangular pool will require about 30′x15′ not including whatever deck area there is. Unique shapes and elaborate landscaping can greatly impact the space needed.Building lines and easements need to be considered. Most subdivisions have restrictions which spell out the minimum distance, building lines, from the property line a house or any structure including a pool has to be. There may be easements for utilities on specific lots that can not be built on. While it is rare there may also be height limitations so be sure that neither the restrictions or the city will disallow what will be necessary for your design. Once again looking to what has been built can help answer that question.Some cities or subdivisions will not allow trees of a certain diameter to be cut down. Not that you would want to but if a tree is in the area where the house would have to be then a choice has to be made. Typically the root system will extend to the canopy of the tree. Many a tree close too a house has never caused foundation problems but many have. It is not a chance you want to take.Determine if the lot is in an area that floods or is subject to the flood plain map. It may be a required that the house be built a minimum height off the ground.The other consideration is orientation of the lot. For energy efficiency in warmer climates ideally the front of the lot will face north. The main objective is to have the sides of the house with less windows with an east and west orientation. The rear of the house facing south will usually have some porch to protect windows from the southern winter sun. However while this is advantageous it should not be the main criteria of a lot choice to the point it will compromises the house design.Hope this knowledge helps take some of the intimidation and stress out of the equation!

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