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How to Buy Land to Build a House

So, you’ve decided to build a custom modular home for the first (or maybe the fourth) time. When it comes to building a custom modular home, the design possibilities are endless, especially when you work alongside an experienced modular home dealer.

If you’re someone who has been daydreaming about a custom modular home for a while, you can probably picture the modular home layout, colors, materials, and floor plan you want. However, there is a lot that has to happen before building a modular home. You’ll have to ask yourself a few tough questions, like: 

How much does a modular home cost?

Can I afford a modular home?

Do I need a two-story modular home for my family?

When it comes to these basic questions, our custom modular home designers are here to help you every step of the way. However, there is one question that only you can answer.


Where are you going to put your modular home?

Yes, that’s right. Before we can begin building a modular home, it’s essential to find land to put your house on! By now you’re probably wondering exactly where to begin. After all, isn’t it possible to find some empty plot of land and contact the owner of the property?

Sadly, not exactly. There are plenty of strategies you could take, like hiring a real estate agent or driving around looking for the perfect neighborhood. But, rather than wonder how to buy land to build a house on, we’d like to help you avoid common home buyer mistakes and snag the perfect property for your family.

While there is a lot to consider before you buy land for your house, we want to simplify this entire process from start to finish. If you’re wondering how to buy land to build a house, so you can start designing the custom modular home of your dreams, we have a few suggestions that are bound to help.


Things to Consider Before Buying Modular Home Land

There is a lot to consider before you buy land to build a house. After all, this is where your dream home is being built, so it’s not the time to overlook details and miss out on the most important aspects of your property!

When buying land to build a house, it’s important to consider a few different factors, like the condition of the land, the surrounding area, and the atmosphere of your property. With all this in mind, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your home and your family.


The Local Area

Before buying land to build a house, it’s important to think about the surrounding area. If you have a young family, examining the local school districts is a wise choice on behalf of your kids. However, if you’re looking to downsize the size of your home due to retirement, then these types of factors will no longer impact your family. On the other hand, if you've inherited land, you’ll have to decide if this plot of land is best suited for your family’s home.

When picking a plot of land, think about what you’ll value most over the next ten years of your life. If it’s a quiet place to settle down to enjoy retirement, perhaps a rural area or small neighborhood would be best. However, if you have a family, evaluating the school districts, local activities, and clubs is going to enhance your family’s living experience.

When it comes to buying modular home land, you have to consider the local area before anything else. This is the time to ask yourself if you want to be in a particular neighborhood, or out in the country. For some families, they might just want the perfect piece of land, regardless of location, but for others, the local area means everything. 


The Location of Your House

Once you’ve assessed the local area, now it’s time to consider the physical location of your custom modular home.

One of the best things about modular homes is that they can be assembled off-site, which means they don’t be on your property until the final phase of modular home construction. However, it’s important to consider the location and condition of your land before assembling your home. 

Ask yourself whether or not you’d prefer an urban setting versus a rural setting. Rural areas are going to require more land development compared to urban areas. Purchasing a plot of land in development or near a gated community means your home will likely have access to city water, and utilities should be fairly easy to connect. A rural area might require your home to have access to a well, which will need to be dug accordingly.

While the location of your home is extremely important, it’s a good idea to consider how much work you’re willing to do to the property before you move.


A Local Community

Before you buy a piece of modular home land, it’s a good idea to think about the surrounding community, and what exactly you’re looking for. Are there certain organizations you’d like to be close to? Do you want to reduce your daily work commute? Do you need to be closer to church, the local parks, shopping centers, or extended family?

While the community might not seem like the most important factor in how to buy land when building a house, it does impact the total experience you’ll have once you’ve moved. A community can be a key element for many families, so if this is a must-have, you’ll want to find land accordingly.


Ask Yourself the Right Modular Home Land Questions

When buying modular home land for a custom-built modular home, there are a few key questions you’ll have to ask yourself before purchase. Picking a lot to build a house on can be time-consuming, but by asking yourself the right questions and prioritizing your family’s needs, you’re sure to set yourself up for success.

Outside of personal preferences, like location and community, there are a few more practical decisions that must be made before you can buy land to build a house. 


How Much Prep Does Your Modular Home Land Need? 

Because modular homes take less time to build than stick-built homes, your custom modular home will probably be ready for on-site assembly 4-6 months after you pick a floor plan. With that in mind, consider how much preparation your land will require before your home is ready for assembly.

If you are buying land in a fairly residential area, it shouldn’t take too long to prep the space for your home. Outside of prepping the space for a basement, or sealed crawl space, the external grooming of your home should be rather manageable.

However, if you want to place your land on vast acres in a rural area, then it’s going to take a little bit longer to get everything ready. In addition to pouring foundation or creating a crawl space, you’ll have to get the proper landscaping done and find out if there are specific zoning laws for your location.


Is the Land Zoned? 

Within every county, different zoning laws apply to industrial, commercial, and residential properties. In most instances, developers that have already purchased land know the local zoning laws and have zoned their property accordingly. If you were to purchase a parcel of land from someone who knows the zoning restrictions, you’ll be able to find out how your house will be assembled, and if the zoning requirements are within reason.

Instead of banking on the possibility of the land being rezoned, find a plot of land that has zoning regulations that meet your personal needs. Remember, you can’t change the square footage of your home, so the zoning permitted on your purchased land must be followed. 

If you need help understanding zoning regulations in your county, our team can help explain why they are such an important part of building your dream modular home.


Does On-Site Prep Match Your Modular Home Construction Timeline?

Ultimately, the most important factor when you're buying land to build a house comes down to time. It’s important to make sure that your modular home land will be prepped and ready by the time your home is pre-built. Luckily, working with professional modular home builders in NC is going to eliminate any communication barriers or concerns about time. At Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington, we take your modular home construction requirements very seriously and want to ensure the home of your dream is built exactly where, and how, you want it.

Now that you know more about what to look for before purchase and construction, it’s time to look at how to buy land to build a house.


Search Locally For Modular Home Land

Depending on where you live, or would like to relocate, search locally for modular home land that fits your preferences. If you know you’d like to be in the suburbs, narrow down a few neighborhoods and spend some time driving around looking for available land. This is a great way to get a genuine feel for the area and make a confident purchase.

If you’re moving too far away for a day trip, take a virtual drive around your new town before you visit. Use Google Maps street view feature to view available land, and see what the surrounding areas look like as well. If you see empty plots that catch your eye, simply search for the address to find out if it’s available to purchase.

Once you’ve found your desired location, plan a trip to visit the desired land, and take pictures. Also, use this opportunity to see what the surrounding area looks like!


Find Land For Sale

If you decide not to work with a realtor, check your local real estate listing websites for available acreage. You’ll have to sort through regular real estate listings, but you might stumble across a gem in the process. If you find a piece of land that you love, contact the realtor or owner to see the land in person.

Additionally, search for special listing sites that exclusively market land for sale. These sites will often let you filter results by acreage, budget, and location. It will be easier to make a list of all the possible home locations you can visit, and whether or not these listings match your qualifications.


Work with a Real Estate Agent

If you’re unsure where to begin, choose a realtor that specializes in locating land for residential building purposes to get started. When you work with an agent, they’ll be able to:

  • • Show you land which may not be included in local listings
  • • Verify the land’s history and applicable building codes or restrictions
  • • Negotiate on your behalf when you find the right plot 

Who you work with really makes all the difference in the world! When it comes down to how to buy land to build a house, work with reliable real estate agents, and modular home dealers who care. Together, they can help you find the perfect plot of land to call home.


Consult with Modular Home Dealers

When in doubt, it’s best to speak with local builders. For example, Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington will gladly work with you and/or your agent to help find land that’s a good fit for your custom home. We don’t just believe in building modular homes - we believe in creating an environment that is perfect for your entire family.

A home is more than just a roof over your head - it’s also the land you live on. Whether you want to build a modular home deck off of your home or have a spacious backyard for your kids to play in, your modular home dealers will be able to advise you accordingly, so you can have every aspect of your modular dream home complete.

There are many advantages of hiring custom home builders, but when you work with Carolina Custom Homes, you’ll have a partnership with the most reliable modular home builders in NC. We’ll make it part of our goals to help you find the perfect plot of land for your family home.


Remember, building your dream home starts with the right plot of land. So, take your time, work with the professionals, and you’ll be ready to put in an offer when you find your perfect property. If you want to feel extra prepared before shopping, read our guide, 4 Things to Consider: A Guide to Buying Land. Once you have your perfect land, contact Carolina Custom Homes to get started on your perfect house.






Carolina Custom Homes

Written by Carolina Custom Homes

Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington was founded with a mission to provide customers with an alternative, greener way to build. We partner with North Carolina’s top manufacturers to create both practical and luxurious designs for your home. We maintain a low operating overhead, which means that more of your money goes towards designing and building your perfect home. We provide you with high quality, custom modular homes at an unbeatable value.

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