When it comes to California real estate, one of the best ways to get the home of your dreams is to buy a residential lot and build it yourself. The ability to customize your property in any way you see fit and choose the plot of land you live on represents the ultimate freedom. That said, there are some crucial considerations to make before you build your house in the sunshine state. You’ll need a comprehensive survey, soil sampler, and professional guidance.
Get a Survey
When you meet with the landowner, one of the first queries you make should be to ask for a survey. This shows you exactly where the boundaries of the property are and points out any potential issues with the land. Markers or stakes are usually in place to show you where the land boundaries are, but they’re rarely entirely accurate.
If the landowner doesn’t have a survey, you can ask them to buy one or purchase it for yourself.
Use a Soil Sampler
The type of soil is a significant factor in determining whether you can build California real estate on a piece of land. If you intend on planting trees, a lawn and flower beds, you’ll need to make sure there isn’t too much clay in the soil.
Building on clay means you’ll need bigger, firmer footings to prevent cracks in the foundations and might have difficulty maintaining a dry basement. Soil sampler equipment can help you to determine the type of land you’re working with.
Developed or Undeveloped Land?
You must pay attention to how much development is required to make the land suitable for building your own piece of California real estate. Developed land will usually cost a little more upfront, but the costs of doing it yourself can quickly mount up. Electric lines, phone lines, sewer lines, water, and street lights aren’t cheap!
Avoid Sloping Land
Be very careful if you choose land that has a slope. Even what looks like a small incline might mean you need to do extensive grading work. The most accurate way to measure a hill is to use a tripod and viewfinders. While it is possible to build on a slope, it makes the entire process longer, harder, and more expensive.
Don’t Forget the Perc Test When Building California Real Estate
A percolator test sounds more complicated than it is. Essentially, you need to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water to see how well water drains in the soil. If the land isn’t suitable for a septic tank, you might need to spend a significant sum of money on replacing the ground.
Start Building California Real Estate Today
Now you’ve learned the basics about how to start building California real estate, find an independent builder to confirm that your plot of land is suitable for the type of home you want.