Property Selection

Finding the right lot with the best view to fit your Custom Dream Home can be tricky. We can help you evaluate, plan, and select the right property for your home. Watch the video below to see how we can help you select the right lot for your perfect custom dream home!

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How to Hire the Right Property

Once you’ve learned how to avoid the costly flaws built into the custom home industry, as I detail in the Custom Home Guidebook, and you’ve created your On-Budget Pathway in my Dream Home Workshop, I’m going to help you buy the right property to align with and support your On-Budget pathway.  

In this video, I share with you a few problem areas to look out for when buying property for a custom home. 

First, boundary lines are crucial yet invisible restrictions on every property. But beyond the property lines are building setbacks. These limit the area on which you can build your home, and these are rarely shown on sales documents and developer plats that realtors provide you in the sales process.

Second, is topography, or the slope of a property, which is a major factor in what kind of home will best fit. For example, if you want a ranch home with everything on the main level, this will require a flat lot. However, a steep property always requires a basement, which in turn can require costly retaining walls. When it comes to topography, each property is unique, generating hidden costs that homeowners and realtors rarely understand and foresee.

Thirdly, another important factor is a property with an amazing view.  A “killer view” can handicap a homeowner’s ability to see costly issues hidden in the lot purchase.  For example, I’m currently designing a custom home for a couple who bought an amazing waterfront property on Lake Keowee in South Carolina, but the steepness of this property is adding nearly a half-a-million dollars in foundation cost alone. The steepness is also having a very real effect on the design of the home and the comfort of the driveway. It’s going to be a lot steeper than they’d prefer.

Now, I want to reveal some important aspects of five different property types that most dream homes encounter.

First is beach property. These are some of the rarest and, therefore, most expensive properties homeowners can buy. And because of their location, they almost always require expensive foundations because the soils are usually unsuitable for homes of any kind. Therefore, homeowners must be prepared to budget hundreds of thousands of dollars in special foundations just to start. Also, most beach properties are in hurricane territory, requiring costly upgrades to make the home withstand high winds and powerful storm surges. Therefore, all these costs must be accounted for in your On-Budget Pathway in order to make a beach home attainable without costly surprises down the road.

Mountain properties almost always have steep terrain that adds cost to foundations and driveways. But in the most exclusive areas like California, Colorado, and North Carolina, to name a few, many local jurisdictions have created extremely restrictive regulations in order to protect the beauty and water management in these areas. This often means that the buildable area for a home is much smaller and limited than most homeowners and realtors are aware of. I’ve heard of very expensive home designs being flagged as unbuildable by the local permit office because the realtor and architect were unaware of these restrictions prior to design.

River and lake properties many times have impervious limitations, which also drastically limit how much structure can be built on these beautiful and expensive properties. Again, these are extremely restrictive regulations that local jurisdictions have placed on properties adjacent to lakes and rivers in order to protect the beauty and water quality of these natural resources. I previously worked with a homeowner who had just purchased a wonderful river-front property in Atlanta. Unfortunately, I had to inform them that they could not build a single square foot of their dream home because of impervious restrictions their realtor and builder were completely unaware of. It’s crucial to work with someone who knows how to protect you from these potential nightmares.

In Metro areas, exclusive properties most often require tearing down an old and undesirable house. The problem again can be restrictive regulations that local jurisdictions have placed on these areas due to increasingly tightening environmental codes. I currently have a client who found an ideal piece of property with an old tear-down structure in the high-end district of Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. However, he discovered that if he were to tear down the existing home, the entire property would be unbuildable due to a new floodplain restriction placed on this property by the local zoning board. He can build a new home, but only on the existing footprint of the old home, which is far too small and restrictive for the price tag of this property. Once he discovered this limitation, he wisely passed on this property. 

Remodeling an existing home has its own hidden costs, as we so often see on every HGTV “Love it or List it” project. It’s uncanny how hidden costs always appear after the buyer is already committed to the project. Yet this is a reality of remodeling any existing home. The cost can quickly escalate with no end in sight. So again, it’s critical to harness the knowledge and expertise of experienced architects and builders to reveal as much of the unknowns as possible before you buy an existing home that you plan to expand and remodel.

So, who’s part of the process when buying an exclusive property for your dream home?
Well, as you know, there are always realtors involved, and as you also know, not all realtors are created equal. If you’re buying a property in a planned development, you will be working with the Developer’s Agent, who represents the developer’s interests. They’ll tell you all about the benefits of the community and the property, but most agents don’t know the local government restrictions, and they tend not to share any negative aspects of the property they’re trying to sell you. Their business is to sell property, and their allegiance is to the developer. 

Also, many homeowners seek out local builders while they’re visiting a community or property in order to discuss construction costs. That’s wise to do, no doubt, but it’s missing one very important factor. While builders can certainly speak to construction costs, that’s only one part of the dream home puzzle. As I described in the previous video, you need the entire game plan — the right property, the right designs, the right builder, and all of these under the right agreements.

So, how do you buy the right property to start the entire process correctly? We call it the Property Pathway, and it doesn’t start with looking at properties at all. It starts first by creating your On-Budget Pathway by going through our Dream Home Workshop because this will then guide your property selection process. Here’s how:

Your On-Budget Pathway will set all the cost categories for your eventual home, starting with your dream home wish list. It’s critical to do this first because all other decisions flow from your wish list — especially what kind of property and price tag will best fit with your wish list. I’ve seen many clients buy a property that drains their overall budget too much, leaving too little to work with for the home to be completed as desired. 

Our On-Budget Pathway will help avoid this pitfall, thereby preserving enough budget for a wonderful home design and finishes. And to be clear, this is about much more than just establishing a price limit for the property. I’ll help you clarify a whole series of characteristics your property must both avoid and possess in order to best meet your dream home expectations.

Once your On-Budget Pathway has revealed the characteristics and price of the property that will best suit your dream home expectations, then we go look for the closest property to match your On-Budget Pathway.  I’ll give you specific pros & cons of each property and its impact on your dream home plan. 

My utmost goal is to ensure your property purchase will support your dream home expectations and help you avoid costly surprises in the building process. I’ll help you gain peace of mind in choosing the right property. So, if this is something you’d like to explore in more detail, let’s jump on a call. Click on the SCHEDULE CALL link below, and I look forward to hearing all about your dream property real soon. 

Thank you!

Additional Services

Check out our other services to help you achieve your Dream Home goals
Guide & Workshop
Step-by-step resource and process to achieve your custom home on time and on budget.
Builder Selection
Comparing builders, costs, plans and more. Helping you make the best builder choice.
Architectural Design
Designing your vision for your custom dream home on budget and on time.
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