When buying a lot there are a few things you should consider. First is the lot size and dimensions. Is the lot size enough to accommodate your intended house size including the number of garages you want?
Second, watch out for new impervious area rules, in which cities now limit how much impervious area your new home will allow. Impervious areas are those areas that don’t allow storm water to infiltrate back into the ground, such as your roof, concrete driveway, patio, etc.
Third, is the title work – are there any recorded covenants, guidelines or HOA documents or easements. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a home owner ask to install a fence across a utility easement, even though the easement is clear in prohibiting that. Likewise, covenants usually detailed how to get your home design and layout approved by the design review committee.
Fourth, are there any requirements as to minimum house size or other unique attributes.
Fifth, consider the lot location; are you looking for a lot on a park or open space or golf course? Yes, they cost more, but they also hold their value well. Do you want a wooded lot? Corner lot?
Lastly, be careful not to alter the four corners of your lot in terms of the existing lot elevations. Usually those four corners are set in advance to ensure that storm water flows and drains properly throughout the whole neighborhood so not you don’t flood out your neighborhood.
Buyer beware! Ask your attorney and/or Realtor before closing about these details. It’s truly amazing how many buyers are surprised after closing that their Realtor or attorney did not fully detail or disclose the title documents and covenants.
Terrence R. Wall, Housing Developer
Former university lecturer and teacher of Real Estate Development
And creator of the first university level course in Sustainable Development
M.S. in Real Estate Appraisal and Investment Analysis from the
Graaskamp Real Estate Department, UW-Madison
11am-2pm at 5101 Hwy M, Westport
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Sales Office • 5101 Hwy M, Westport