A Look Into Building Your Own Home

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 01 April 2015 01:45

Both new and experienced homeowners know that the housing market can be quite the maze to navigate through. Typically, people buy homes that are either pre-established or in brand new communities. There is a third option that allows buyers to select plot of  land where a new home will be built. Like any other housing option, custom building your own house has its share of pros and cons, which are based on many different variables such as the size of the plot of land, or the type of house you are looking to build.

Developed vs. Undeveloped

You have a choice between two types of land: developed land and undeveloped land. Developed land means that the lot has been fully prepared for home building. On a basic level, developed piece of land has already been inspected for any environmental issues, has authorization from the local government as being suitable for building, and has access to basic amenities such as water, electricity, gas and sewer services. Developed lots also are more likely to have roads that are directly connected to a main road, or one more regularly traveled. Buyers who purchase undeveloped land are required to fulfill all of the aforementioned conditions.


Developed land is usually part of what developers refer to as housing communities, or subdivisions. Subdivisions are created by dividing land into pieces, which makes it easier to develop for erecting residential buildings. The developers form homeowner associations, or HOAs, to market, manage and sell homes and lots in the formed subdivision. Property owners pay fees to these HOAs for upkeep of the community, such as repairing roads and maintaining parks. More often than not, no such requirements come with undeveloped land, because it is rarely part of a housing community or subdivision and much more likely to be in a more rural area. Along with the freedom you find with undeveloped land comes greater responsibility.


According to Wade Architectural Systems, building on a plot of land within a community means that you have to abide by the rules and regulations of that community. While undeveloped land does hold more responsibilities for the owner, it comes with more flexibility as well. Looking for a site backed by trees? Don’t want trees at all? Do you want to build a traditional brick-front Colonial or have a series of interconnecting cabins? The choices are limitless with undeveloped land, since it is rarely bound to the oversight and management of an HOA.

Cost and Financing

Whether your land is developed or not, you have to figure out how to pay for it. Depending on the cost and your financial capability, you can buy it outright or pay in installments. Some construction companies offer the option of a payment plan that combines the land price and construction cost. Developed land, in particular, is usually more expensive, since it already has fulfilled the requirements necessary for building the house. Although undeveloped land is less expensive, you will have to consider the expense of preparing the land for suitable home building. In some cases, the overall cost might even exceed that of land in subdivisions. Another thing to consider are mortgage packages, the financing company usually demands a comparatively higher down payment; it is not uncommon to put down up to 30 percent.

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