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Preparation Prior to Building Your Home

Things to Consider Before Building a Custom Home

Building a custom home can be an exciting experience, but there are several important things to consider before you begin. Firstly, it is important to establish a realistic budget for the project and ensure that it is sufficient to cover all costs associated with building a custom home. This includes the cost of the land, materials, labour, permits, and any unexpected expenses that may arise during the construction process (and there will be some!).

Location of the Home

Another important consideration is the location of the home. It's essential to choose a location that is suitable for the home's design and style while also taking into account factors such as accessibility, proximity to amenities, and potential resale value.

Additionally, it is important to research and understand the local zoning and building codes to ensure that the home's design and construction are compliant with local regulations.

Design and Layout of the Home

The design and layout of the home are also important considerations. Make sure you work with an experienced architect or designer to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing design that meets your needs and preferences. This includes determining the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size and layout of the living spaces, and any special features or amenities that you desire.

Choose the Right Builder

Finally, it is essential to choose a reputable and experienced builder to construct the home. This includes researching and comparing builders, checking references and credentials, and ensuring that the builder has a solid track record of completing similar projects on time and within budget.

By carefully considering these factors before building a custom home, homeowners can ensure that their dream home becomes a reality while minimizing stress and unexpected expenses.

Planning and Preparation

Finding and Purchasing a Lot

Finding and purchasing a lot is a crucial first step in building a new home or investing in real estate. It requires careful research and evaluation as you want to ensure the lot meets all your needs and preferences. In this section, we'll explore factors to consider when selecting a lot, evaluating its suitability for building, making an offer and negotiating the purchase.

Researching Potential Neighbourhoods and Communities

Engaging with neighbours is a valuable way to gain insights. Here are some tips:

  • Introduce Yourself: Politely introduce yourself to neighbours, explain your plans, and express interest in learning about the community. Seek Recommendations: Ask neighbours about the best features and amenities of the neighbourhood, such as parks, schools, shopping centres, and healthcare facilities. Community Involvement: Inquire about local events and associations to participate in, fostering connections and understanding community dynamics. Discuss Quality of Life: Initiate conversations about safety, noise levels, traffic, and other factors impacting daily life. Gather Feedback on Schools and Amenities: Learn about the reputation of local schools and inquire about nearby amenities that enhance lifestyle. Learn about the Neighbourhood's History: Discover insights into the neighbourhood's development, changes over time, and its unique character.

Approach conversations with respect and an open mind, understanding that not everyone may engage extensively. Even brief interactions can provide valuable information.

Use Social Media

Social media is a valuable tool for researching a neighbourhood before building a custom home. Here's how to use it effectively:

  • Join local community groups to observe conversations and connect with residents.

  • Follow local pages, influencers, and news outlets for updates and insights.

  • Engage in discussions to gain firsthand perspectives and experiences.

  • Seek recommendations for amenities and services from local residents.

  • Explore visual content to get a sense of the neighbourhood's aesthetics.

  • Follow event pages to stay updated on community gatherings and activities.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Lot

When selecting a lot, there are certain things that can affect the overall cost and feasibility of building your dream home. These include:

  • Lot Size: Determine the desired size of the lot based on your home's design, outdoor space requirements, and future plans.

  • Location: Evaluate the lot's proximity to key amenities, including shopping centers, schools, healthcare facilities, and transportation hubs.

  • Topography: Assess the lot's terrain, slope, and natural features to ensure it aligns with your desired landscaping plans and construction feasibility. The topography of the lot can also impact the design and construction of your home, as well as the cost of excavation and grading.

  • Orientation and Views: Consider the orientation of the lot to maximize natural light and views from your custom home. This includes knowing the sun's path over your future house. Where will the rising sun hit your house in the morning and evening?

  • Utilities: Verify the availability and accessibility of utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and sewage connections. Are city connections available or will your new property need a well and septic field? Is natural gas available in the area or will you need to settle for an electric fireplace?

  • Covenants & Easements: These determine what you can build and what you can't as well as how close to the property lines you're able to build.

  • Zoning Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the local zoning regulations and restrictions that may impact the type of home you can build, setback requirements, height restrictions, and any limitations on additional structures or features. Be sure to consult with local authorities or a qualified professional to obtain detailed information about the zoning regulations specific to the area you're considering.

Evaluating the Lot's Suitability for Building Evaluating a lot's suitability for building involves assessing the soil condition, drainage, and access to utilities such as water, electricity, and gas. It's also important to consider any potential environmental hazards, such as flooding, erosion, or seismic activity, that could affect the safety and stability of your home. Conducting a thorough site inspection and hiring a professional engineer or surveyor can help identify any potential issues and ensure the lot is suitable for building your custom home.

Making an Offer and Negotiating the Purchase Once you have found a lot that meets your criteria and evaluated its suitability for building, it's time to make an offer and negotiate the purchase. This involves determining the fair market value of the lot based on its location, size, and other factors, as well as considering any contingencies such as financing, zoning, or environmental assessments. You'll likely want to work with a real estate agent and an attorney who can guide you through the negotiation process and ensure that the terms of the sale are fair and equitable. Once the offer is accepted, you'll need to finalize the purchase agreement and secure financing before proceeding with the construction of your new home.

IMPORTANT! Whether you're constructing your dream home or building for resale, the land cost is a pivotal factor in the build process. Overpaying for the land can result in a finished house that exceeds its appraised value, potentially leading to financial loss.

If you're looking to build a custom home in Victoria BC, get in touch with us. We will work with you to build a better home than you ever could have imagined.

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