When it comes to relocating your family - whether it's one street over or two towns away - you'll spend hours searching for the perfect house in the perfect location. In some cases, it just might not exist and you may investigate the thrilling prospect of purchasing land and building your dream home.
As with any major purchase, buying land requires much research. Using a local real estate agent will help narrow your search and locate properties with the qualities you need to make your dream a reality. It's always wise to consider resale value – be sure to find out if the lot is located near land designated for future commercial or industrial use. Try to get a ballpark figure on estimated annual property taxes as well.
Tap into the local knowledge of your agent to connect you with the municipality to ensure your dream home fits bylaw restrictions. Bylaws vary wildly between municipalities, so it pays to check before you buy. If you plan on building a hobby farm, for example, make sure you research all the restrictions on building barns, the number of animals you are permitted to keep, manure storage, etc. Waterfront properties often have their own set of rules, so look into this to ensure that you're able to execute your plan as envisioned.
Finally, be sure you understand all the costs involved with building a home. You may need a land survey and, if the lot is remote, you may be required to pay for electricity and water to be run to your house, plus well drilling and septic system installation. You'll also want to look into road access - lots on private roads offer a host of issues, so again, do your homework.
When it comes to financing your lot purchase and the construction of your dream home, a traditional mortgage with a higher down payment and great interest rate is a possibility if you have excellent credit, a high income and equity. If your means are more modest, you may consider a line of credit against your existing home and then turning to a more traditional mortgage once your dream home is complete. Or you can talk to a broker about other mortgages that may suit your needs.
With proper planning and the guidance of a professional, buying land and building your dream home can be one of the most exciting and rewarding events of your life!