You Bought Land, Now What?

You Bought Land, Now What?

What next? Now that you have found a buildable lot or land it is now time to write an offer and go into feasibility.

What is Feasibility?

Feasibility is a period that gives you, the buyer, the opportunity to study the land and see if it will work for your building project. This is where you can bring in experts if necessary. Remember if you have land that needs a wetland delineation, a bluff study, a well, a septic perk, or other more complicated studies, expert advice is highly recommended. You may spend one to two thousand dollars to get the answers you need. Spending the money upfront is wise. Spending $100,000 or more and then finding out the land will not work for you is not wise. Of course, we will get you as much information as possible before writing an offer so you can eliminate properties that absolutely will not work before investing any money in feasibility.
You should end your feasibility period by either sending a notice of approval or disapproval. You do not have to give any reason for either decision and if you send the notice to disapprove within the feasibility period written in the contract (normally 14 to 30 days) you will receive your earnest money back and you can move on to another property.

Next Step

Now that you have determined that your land is viable for your project you may want to start discussions with architects and/or builders. It is a good idea for the architect to see your land in person to give you an idea of what constraints you may have. For instance, how big is your footprint for a building? Will your desired home fit along with the septic field and reserve septic field? Where on the property will your home be placed? What setbacks are in effect? What direction will the house face?
What comes first the builder or the architect? This is an interesting question because some builders are one-stop designers/builders. This can save you some time. However, you will not be able to use their builder plans to get competitive bids. This option may not be good for either the luxury market or the entry-level, downsize, or first homebuyer’s market.
Let’s talk about architects. You can work with an architect or a designer. You will find that some architects and designers have different styles. Pick someone that matches most closely with your style and taste. Find out if they have time for your project. Some architects and designers are months out and your project may take longer than you anticipated. A rule of thumb is from the time you purchase your property to the time you move into your new home maybe two years or even longer.
Builders are also busy on Whidbey Island. We have some great builders that we can recommend. Find out how far out your builder is and where you will fall in their queue. Once you choose an architect or designer stay close to the builder and make certain that the home you are designing makes sense for the land you have purchased. Work with the builder on the placement and develop a site plan with the architect/designer. Your contractor/builder will do everything for you from the permit to move-in. Your job is to make certain you have all the materials, flooring, tile, fireplace, appliances, cabinets, etc. chosen so that you will not have delays in your building process and your move-in date stays realistic. Some items may be months out so check with each supplier to find out when the materials can be delivered and plan accordingly. For example, right now appliance deliveries maybe 4-6 months unless you take floor or in-stock items.
Some builders are limited service. You can save a significant amount of money using one of these builders’ but you will have to do much of the work yourself. You have to be very careful and vet the builder that you are contracting with. These builders also offer limited homes and floor plans and fewer options than a custom builder. You may have to work with the county or city to get your plans permitted. You will need a water verification certificate and your septic plan designed and submitted to the County for permitting. You will also need a site plan for your home and an access permit before submitting plans. We would not suggest this route for Buyers with time constraints or Buyers that are not familiar with the building process. The process is not for the faint of heart. Going with a Limited Service is not an option if you are considering a Luxury Home.
Whether or not you are using a Full-Service Custom Builder or a Limited Service Builder, ask to see examples of their work and talk to clients that have used the builder in the past. Get their phone numbers and addresses and visit the homes if possible. In other words, do your homework.
Building your own home can be both rewarding and challenging. We find it to be enjoyable. Relax and the process will not be frustrating. If the Builder tells you your home will be ready to move into within six months add another three months and be surprised and happy if it is built faster.
At Team Langley all of us are familiar with the remodeling or home-building process. We can help connect you with the very best builders or vendors.

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