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What to Consider When Choosing a Lot to Build a Home On

Choosing a lot for your new home is a crucial step of the home building process. You may have heard the phrase that the three rules in real estate are location, location, and location. The new home lot you choose will affect the design and features of the home, your convenience, and your overall quality of life. With that in mind, here are some of the main things to consider before committing to a space.

The Slope and Shape of the Lot

The slope of a lot affects how sufficiently water drains off the property. This is important to prevent problems with the foundation, footing, walkways, driveways, wells, septic tanks, and landscaping. Along with standing water attracting insects. Choose a lot that has good natural drainage.

The shape of the lot can greatly affect the design of your home. Two lots may have the same area, but dimensions can greatly differ. For example, a long narrow lot will be more constricting than a square-shaped lot. Or a lot on a cul-de-sac is pie shaped, and may have requirements for how far the house needs to be from the street.


The Direction the Front of the House Will Face

The direction your house faces can have a large impact on your everyday life. For example, south facing houses receive a lot more direct sunlight, resulting in a warmer climate and more natural light, depending on where you place your windows. More light and natural heat can be a good thing in winter, reducing your heat bill, but in summer you’re going to need to crank the A/C. Having a driveway south facing will help the snow melt in winter, as opposed to a north facing driveway which will have snow sitting longer with less sunlight hitting it. If you are considering solar panels, placement of your house will affect how much sunlight the panels can utilize. Even home maintenance is affected by home placement. If some areas receive more sunlight, therefore more weathering. However, strategic placement of trees, bushes, overhangs, and window treatments can greatly help with this.

Zoning, Building, and Developing Plans for the Area and Surrounding Lots

If the lot you are looking at is in an underdeveloped area, consider what could potentially be there in the future. Homes and business might move in, causing your street to be busier or new buildings impacting your view.

Make sure to check on the zoning regulations for things like how many pets you can have, how high you can build, HOA rules, etc.

Lastly, think about the surrounding lots. How could they affect your lot? Large trees blocking your view or sunlight? Water drainage into your lot? Potential for close buildings impacting your privacy? Streetlights are another thing to consider, would you rather be closer or further away from one?

Along with zoning regulations, there can be restrictions that determine what your house can look like and what activities are allowed on your property. Local building codes and restrictions could also impact your dream home vision.

The Proximity to Schools, Shopping, Work, Recreation, and More

Would you rather be close to the action and a five minute walk from your favorite places or out in the country away from anyone and everything? Whatever your prerogative, this is the big thing to keep in mind. If you have, or are planning on having children, what is the proximity to schools? Do you like that school system? How far is the lot from work? Are you willing to make the commute or switch jobs? Being very close to all these things may be convenient, but will likely mean more noise and traffic. But being further away will compromise the convenience.

Traffic Patterns Around and Near the Lot

What do the traffic patterns look like around your lot? Is it a 55 MPH road that could develop into a busy four-lane road? A backed up roundabout? A quiet 25 MPH neighborhood road? Cul-de-sac? Busy streets tend to be unattractive to homeowners due to noise and potential danger to kids and pets.

Amenities Available and Neighborhood Characteristics

How do the surrounding houses look? Are they well kept or look a bit run down? Take a drive through the neighborhood and decide if the area is desirable to you. What amenities do you have access to? Is the area you choose able to get the high speed internet or cable television you want? Do you have access to underground utilities, sewer or gas? Will you have your own private well or municipally supplied water?

Property Taxes

How are the property taxes in the area? Make sure this number is something you are willing to pay and have the budget to continue paying.


Make sure you are aware of the any easements the property might have, and if you are okay with that. Easements allow the others to access your property for things such as utilities. Be sure you know what easements there are, if any, and would legally be allowed access to your property.

All in all, choosing a lot doesn’t have to be stressful, let J&J Custom Homes help you every step of the way in creating your absolute dream home!

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