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Do I Need a Lot Before Finding a Builder in Houston, Texas?

Modern-Contemporary Remodeled Home in Houston

When you’re getting ready to build a custom home in Texas, you face a lot of questions. Is it better to buy the land before beginning the design process? Do I need to hire an architect or designer before buying the land? What is the land purchase process like? How do you locate the perfect lot? All of these questions need to be answered before you can start the building process, and Southern Green Builders is here to help.


Should I Buy Land Before I Hire a Builder?

Sometimes, you will find the perfect plot of land long before you find a builder. If you’re looking to build your custom luxury home in an area where land sells quickly, you will want to secure your location as soon as you find one you love. On the other hand, if it’s possible to wait to get a builder to assess the lot you’re interested in before you invest, this is the best option. The land may have hidden issues that aren’t easily recognizable by someone who isn’t a professional in the field. This can result in your land costing way more in the end to get it to a point where building on the land is safe and within regulations.  

If you are buying in an area of Texas where there are potential issues, like land in a flood plain, you will want to hire a surveyor to take a look at it if you don’t have a builder. The land may have environmental issues where abatement is necessary, or there may be other issues that will hinder your home design goals to a point where your new custom home doesn’t meet your family’s needs.


What Happens When You Hire an Architect or Builder First?

When you hire a design professional or builder first, you have another set of experienced eyes to help evaluate potential lots to ensure that the one you choose is going to work for the home you want. This includes factoring in the size of the footprint for the house, local building codes, site conditions, flood requirements and similar concerns to be sure that you can build the home you want, where you want.

An experienced local builder will know great locations in the Houston area you might have overlooked, and they also know what site conditions will make the home-building process less stressful. They will also have a network of industry professionals, like realtors, that can aid in this process.

10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Land in Houston (1)

Remember, buying your land is just one of the first steps in getting ready to build. You also must have the land prepped for the build, and that can add to the cost of your custom home. When you hire a custom builder first, you may be able to save some money on the construction process. The cost of connecting a lot to sewer, electric lines, and other utilities can be between $4,000 and $40,000, depending on its location. Thus, the lot you choose has a direct impact on the cost of your custom home build.

Preparing a home site for a new home build takes work. The builder will be able to help you find a site that requires less preparation for your custom home and avoid draining too much of your budget on prepping the land.


Can You Buy a Lot and Wait to Build?

Sometimes, those who are hoping to build a custom home may not have the finances to do it all at once. They may choose to buy a lot and then wait to build a home. However, this plan does have some potential drawbacks.

First, when you are ready to build, you may end up discovering problems with a lot that you didn’t notice at the beginning, such as drainage issues or grading that has to be addressed. If you buy at the same time as you build, your builder will help with these right away. Or, your surveyor or builder will be able to assess the land and keep you from making a costly mistake. 

Second, you will pay property taxes on the land while you own it. While this may not seem like a dealbreaker, do you really want to pay a substantial amount of money every year for land that you aren’t using?

Finally, there is always a small possibility that the Houston Planning Department or HOA requirements will change while you wait to build. This could affect your plans for the custom home you envisioned. If possible, buy your land close to the time you begin planning your custom home.


Do I have to Pay Off the Lot Before I Build?

In short, no. There are several financing options that enable you to pay your builder and buy your lot all with one loan. This is what many people who are building a custom home in Houston will choose to do.

That said, if you have the funds to buy the land with cash, and then start building, you will have more collateral when you apply for your mortgage. This can help you earn a lower rate or decrease the down payment required for the construction loan.


Find a Reliable Resource for More Information

The complexities of building your own custom home can be a bit overwhelming, but the right partner to guide the process can make for a smooth experience. Southern Green Builders is here to help you understand your options and make informed choices as you prepare to design and build your custom luxury home in the Houston area. Contact us today and learn more about our custom home builders and our building process.


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