Finding The Right Site

There is a lot that goes into deciding where you want to live, where you want to raise your family or where you want to retire.  You might want to be close to great schools, your work place or perhaps the golf course.  Once you have ranked your criteria for an area, we recommend looking at a map to determine your boundaries.  What area is acceptable, what area is not?  From there, you are ready to start focusing on individual Home Sites within your desired area.  

How do you find Home Sites? 

Home Sites come to people in lots of different ways.  Some are easy to find, others not so much.  Either way, you will reach the “Ah Ha” moment when you pull up to a home site and say “this is it.  I like it here.”  Congratulations!  

How can Heartland Builders get you to this point?  What sources exist for finding sites?  

  • Contact us!  We drive around a lot and see and hear of sites available.  Realtors and Sellers not represented by a Realtor will send us information about sites.
  • The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a great source.
  • Your local, friendly Realtor.
  • Craigslist.
  • Driving around the area you want to live can often be the best way to find a site.  You may see a For Sale by Owner sign, or a home owner in the area might be out in their yard and know something about a parcel for sale.  Home sites come to people in many different ways.  Be a sleuth!  

What do you do when you find a Home Site you like?  

  • NEVER buy a site without asking a builder to assist in evaluating a site.  This is not a self-serving comment!
  • What will your Builder need to know to help you evaluate a site.
    1. What is your vision for your home and site?  
    2. Do you want a ranch or a two story home?  
    3. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?  What other rooms are important?  
    4. What is the approximate square footage or home size that you want? This will help determine if the site will fit the house you want.  
    5. What else do you want on your site such as an outbuilding, a pool, a garden etc.?
    6. What is your total budget for land and home combined?  You do not want to over spend on one and under spend on the other.  

Evaluate the PRICE of the site vs. the TOTAL COST of the site  

  • What are the site improvement costs
  • Site Clearing  / Preparation
  • Municipal Water & Sewer ($4,000 to $12,000) VS. Well & Septic ($10,000 to $20,000) 
  • Soil Type
  • Site Contour – Do you want a walkout, daylight or full basement?
  • Utilities – where will they come from and at what price
  • Water – where will it go (run off)

Some things to consider: 

  • Know the property corners (survey)
  • Is the development a “Site Condo”?  If so, YOU need to review the "condo. docs." 
  • Know the Restrictions of the development or Municipality
  • Setback Requirements 
  • Look at the neighboring homes, site contours and features
  • Utilities – where they will come from, location and cost
  • Water & Sewer location (or potential well depth "guesstimate")
  • Septic System - if have - soil conditions / potential location of drainfield
  • Water – where will the run off go / drainage
  • Tree Clearing or other clearing
  • Do any easements exist on the site? 
  • What else?  Contact the municipality and ask them about the site.  
  • Site Improvement
  • Length of Driveway 
  • Surrounding Zoning 
  • Do any easements exist on the site

Please, actually pretty please, Do Not ever buy a site without the following:

  • Survey
  • The corners of the site staked by a surveyor - If you don’t, your builder may require it to be staked at a later date 
  • Health Department Well / Septic Evaluation (if not on municipal water / sewer)
If you ask us to assist you in evaluating a site, we will ask the questions above, we will visit the site and share with you our thoughts.  Please know that our evaluation is preliminary.  It is based on a visual inspection of the surface of the site.   We can do more invasive testing, but that requires a contract and is not often required.  
We can also provide you with a list of contingencies that we would use if we were buying a site.  We are not lawyers.  We are not Realtors.  We are builders that have purchased sites for ourselves.  The list is not intended to replace your Realtor, your Attorney or your own common sense.  We just think there are some things you should consider when buying a site.  
Lastly, if you have read this far you are serious about finding the right site for your home.  That is exciting!  Relax, have fun.  There is a site out there for you and we want to help you find it.   Please email or call us today.