Are the neighbors neighborly?

One day, I drove out to Lot B, to walk around and dream of building our home. As I was walking back toward my car, an  old pickup truck was coming towards me.  I thought he was one of the neighbors, stopping to chat.   “You’re not buying this property.” He said without a smile.  Perhaps he had a dry sense of humor, I thought.   He went on to tell me, that he was the father of the woman who was selling the land (he lived two houses down).  He had given her the land.  “I’ll, just buy the land from her, if she’s going to be so hardheaded.”   It was evident that this land was a sore spot that was causing some family issues.     Before buying a piece of land to build a house on, talk to the neighbors.  They will be able to offer you  insight into the area.  If they are rude, remember one day you could be living beside them.     If there is a rezoning sign nearby,  see why the land is being rezoned.  You might have found a beautiful piece of land to only find out that the neighbor is trying to have their land rezoned for commercial use.  Check out the night life.  Drive through the area after dark.  This will help you get a feel for the area. Check out the lot after a heavy rain.  Does it flood?  We once found a lot in a subdivision and was  considering  purchasing it.  It was one of the last undeveloped lot’s in the subdivision.  The real estate agent told us it did not need much prep work.   I spoke with the neighbor and he gave me the whole scoop.  Years ago, the builder had pretty much deemed the lot useless to build on and sold it to the people next door.    When it rained much of the water in the subdivision was being drained to the side of the lot.

Will the design of your home work?

Every lot is unique.   At first, we considered building a cape code style home.   It offered the interior that we thought we liked.  We tried to make it work but felt if we built it, it would overpower the lot.  Though we have four acres, our lot width is narrow, so we needed to find a home design that would complement our lot and not work against it.   We built a Foursquare, that is only about 31′ wide (without the garage).   This home design complements our lot.     There are two way’s to approach it.  You can either have a home design picked out and look for a lot that will complement the home.  The other option, is to find a lot and then build a home that complements the lot.   Do not look at the home and lot as separate but as a package that should be in harmony with each other.

Check with the  experts.

Have professionals come and look at the lot.    Research the area.  Call codes and get the history of the lot.    Ask questions.  Do not expect the real estate agent to do the homework for you.  They work for the seller and their motive is to sell the lot.

The outcome.

Sure, we loved  Lot B, but there would be to many hoops to jump through to make it happen.  We felt that it was God’s way of telling us that it was not meant for us.  So, we settled with Lot A and a few months later began building our house.