Steps to Building a House on Raw Land

As you may know, Madison Homebuilders is an on your lot home builder. We build your way, on your lot. So you’ll first need a plot of land that you envision your new home being on. When looking for a plot of land for building a home, there are some key checks and research to do both prior to purchasing the land and after you buy the property.  Below we discuss some of these checks so that the land you buy isn’t a huge headache for you to prepare for your new home.

Don’t forget: Madison Homebuilders does not require a down payment or a construction loan, and we pay your standard closing costs! Our financing offerings can help you save money, while getting the house you’ve always wanted.

Steps to prepare land for building a home may include:  

  1. Survey the Land
  2. Evaluate the Accessibility of Utilities on the Land
  3. Check Zoning and Permitting with the Local Governing Body
  4. Create Clear Expectations for the Land 
  5. Create a Plan of Action for Hiring Experts 
  6. Work with Your Homebuilder

Survey the Land and Have it Properly Evaluated

When buying land for a house, it helps to make sure you are not stuck with a plot of land that quickly becomes a headache and incurs hefty additional costs. Similar to a home inspection prior to purchasing a home, when buying land it is important to understand the details and history of the land by completing a land survey or land inspection before purchase. A site evaluation is also typically required for obtaining any permits necessary for building and utility access. Hire a licensed land surveyor or site evaluator. A land surveyor can assist in understanding the boundaries and property lines of the parcel of land. They can inform you of which features are part of the land for sale including trees, sidewalks, and other aspects within the property line and what may be encroaching on the land including driveways, fences, etc. A surveyor can also help determine what is possible on the land based on the typography of the land and its intended use: a new home build. Additionally, surveyors typically know about zoning laws and building restrictions which can help inform possibilities or limits for your home build. Ideally, a piece of land would have a current land survey and soil test completed, but if these tests for the property are outdated and even if they aren’t but conditions have recently changed, it is important to obtain an up-to-date land survey. 

Evaluate the Utility Accessibility of the Land: Check for Power, Sewer, and Water Access

Prior to your land purchase, it is also wise to evaluate if the plot of land has power access, water access, and sewer access. If you’re within a city or county, the land will most likely have access to each of these necessities, but it is best not to assume. Do some research prior to purchase to find out the utility access of the land. Talk to the seller of the land or real estate agent to ask if public water is available. If public water access is available, you should contact the water provider to determine how to connect to the water line and apprise yourself of the necessary  processes. This would include understanding the regulations and permits needed to connect to the water line. If public water is not available, it is helpful to see if it is served by a community well. You would then contact the entity of the well to find out how to connect to it and all of the processes associated with the connection. If neither public water or well water access is available, building your own well may be necessary which can be costly. 

Check the availability of sewer access also to determine if a sewer system is accessible or if you’ll need a septic system. If public water is available, there is a good chance that a sewer system is also available, but again, best to know prior to your land purchase. If a sewer system is available, check with a plumber or the governing body of the system to find out the processes necessary to connect to the sewer system. If the land uses a well for water, then it may require a septic system. A septic system typically requires permitting and may inhibit where your home is built on the land. 

Power access and other connections should be checked as well. Most of the time, in any populated area, power access will be available. However, check with the local power source to determine the power company’s policies and learn what is required to connect to the power line. 

Purchasing land that already has utilities installed can help you prevent these access concerns and save you time and money in the process. It helps to be informed of the land’s possibilities and current access. 

Check with the Local Governing Body for Zoning and Subdivision Laws

Check with the local government to see about the zoning laws and if the land is in a specific subdivision. When you have purchased a plot of land for your home,  get started by applying for building and zoning permits. Building and zoning permits may take time and you may need permits for utility access as well, so the sooner this process is started the better. 

Create Clear Expectations of the Land

Once you have done your due diligence and have started the process of applying for building and utility permits, it may be time to find a homebuilder and consider the steps of building a new home. It may be helpful to incorporate your homebuilder at this point in the process to determine what you may want built on the land and how you will finance your build. Take a look at our guide to help you decide the best homebuilder for you. Then figure out how that homebuilder fits into the process of land clearing. Can the builder assist in clearing the land or do you need to hire professionals before the home building begins? Consider the benefits of working with your homebuilder and what they can offer you to make the land preparation an easier process. 

Create a Plan of Action for Hiring Experts to Clear the Land

Based on the house plan you have chosen, and whether the homebuilder is part of the land clearing process, you’ll need to evaluate how to clear the land from the research and information you now have at your fingertips. While taking into consideration zoning and access to utilities, create a plan for hiring professionals for excavating trees, brush, and existing structures, the utility companies needed to establish access to utility lines, and hiring a land clearing or land preparation contractor. 

Now Your Land is Ready, It’s Time to Work with Your Home Builder to Build Your New Home

Now you own land and have gone through the process of preparing your land for your new home. There are so many benefits to building a new home and features to consider in your ideal new home. Download a free Madison Homebuilders home plan book and contact us at Madison Homebuilders today to talk with us about our 30+ floor plans, custom options, financing your build and savings, and working with us to clear your land and build your ideal new home.