Lot or Acreage – Your Piece of Heaven!

Elvis Elvis

Have you chosen your lot or acreage yet? Perhaps you have, and depending on WHERE, you may have the option of FREEHOLD land, or LEASEHOLD land. The choice can be dependent not only on cost, but availability of location. Research your lot location and its implications VERY carefully. Once you’ve chosen your ideal lot … your piece of heaven, there are more considerations that will impact the style, type, siting and cost of building your new home.

“WHAT … specifically?” you ask? Well things such as building codes and by-laws, not to mention caveats that may be placed on title, architectural guidelines or even home owner association rules and regulations, development fees or DCC’s. All of these impact your choice of the style and type of new home you are going to build.
Architectural Guidelines are things often registered on title which have usually been placed there by the developer as a means of ensuring compliance with their view (“building scheme”) of the way they want the homes and often even the landscaping and fencing, to look.

These guidelines can range from very simplistic rules relating to the size and style of the home to complex rules. Such rules can include the number, style and size of windows, the style and type of chimneys, exterior finishes and colors, roofing types, styles and colors to corner elevations if a corner lot, and even style and type of driveway.

For example: let’s say you want to build a wonderful two story home on a corner lot in an exclusive neighborhood. However, even after you’ve selected your builder that is “allowed” to build in that particular subdivision and even after you’ve agreed on a price, you discover that there are architectural items that haven’t been included. You may well wish you had thought of this contingency sooner, as of course this is going to cost you extra.

Lot or Acreage   Your Piece of Heaven!

How much extra can be breath-taking! Now, because of its corner location, they want the sides and rear of the home to look/flow as architecturally and visually pleasing as the front of your home. You must have the side closest to the corner at a lower slope than the rest of the home, your front wooden step doesn’t please them, they want aggregate steps finished with stone accents. They want more windows with grills and with wider trims. They want your driveway to be stamped and dyed a sandstone color, with the edges dyed in a darker slate color, …. oh, and gee – to better please them – they want the house widened a couple of feet for better curb appeal… and …

You get my drift – you could be held hostage by the developers’ architectural controller. How is this possible? It isn’t only possible. It happens everyday. Quite simply – you won’t even be able to get a building permit if you don’t get their stamp of approval.

Usually the first specific application is free, with fees applicable for subsequent submissions. So, you want to get it right the first time. Ask questions, lots and lots of questions.

Last, but not least – if you’ve got your eye on a lot or acreage, also check out the type and availability of utility services to your property. You don’t want to have to pay ridiculous sums of money to get power, water, phone, internet service, sewer or septic to your home!