Tips for Buying Lots to Develop


There's never been a better time to develop land for townhome construction. If you're thinking about buying land and building townhomes on it, there are some things you need to watch out for. 

It's an exciting time, but there are many things to be mindful of when purchasing land. Whether this is your first time buying lots and developing them with townhouses, Preston Wood and Associates will help you navigate the ins and outs of lot development. Below are several things you should keep in mind when buying lots: 

Deed Restrictions

Deed restrictions are the limits that are placed on the land and are different from region to region. The land may only be used for the activities that are spelled out in the real property records of the county in which you plan to build. The purpose of deed restrictions is to preserve the integrity of the neighborhood, usually by keeping out commercial or industrial development. Deed restrictions usually last for up to 30 years with many automatically renewing.  Deed restrictions can be obtained from the county clerk of the county you wish to build.

ROW (Right of Way) Issues

ROW or Right of Way refers to the land area that has been acquired for a specific purpose. For example, a utility company acquires certain rights to build and maintain a utility line along the property. ROW is often confused with an easement which is the permanent right authorizing the utility the use of the land.  Easements are generally perpetual so if you purchase land you’ll want to know about any easements and right of ways in effect.

Property Views

What is the best placement for your building? You’ll want to consider all angles, and any obstructions to the view when plotting your land. We can help find the most advantageous position for your building.

Lot Value

Lot value refers to not just the cost of the lot, but what is the real value of the lot. Things to consider include the neighborhood – is it up and coming or has it seen better days? If the property is multi family dwelling does it have a walk score? Is the property near mass transit? Consider all the amenities that make the location valuable.

Flood Plain

Is the property you're considering in the flood plain? The flood plain changes so you’ll need to be sure you have the proper permits if you’re building in one. 

Historical District

If the lot you’re interested in is in an historic district you'll have additional restrictions and rules you’ll need to follow when designing and building.  From type of dwelling down to the color of the paint on the exterior – if you’re building in an historic district these things matter – and we can help you find the information necessary to stay within those constraints.

Minimum Lot Size

It's important to know the minimum lot size if you plan on building multiple units or you plan to split the lot up. We can help you figure this out.

Block Face

A block face is a dedicated setback and can change from neighborhood to neighborhood. Finding this information can be challenging but it's necessary and can be a disaster if you don’t know it. You will need to know this information before breaking ground on your new project.

As you can see there are a lot of things to know when choosing a lot to purchase. It isn’t just about location (though, that is certainly important). We’ll work with you to make sure you have your ducks in a row before you sign on the dotted line.

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