What to Look For When Buying a Lot


Buying a Lot – What to look for?

Buying land or a lot to build a home might seem like one of the easier parts of the home building process, but it can be deceiving. Just like anything, there are hidden traps and things you should consider before making that offer!
Don’t let us scare you off though. We can help you manage the process by looking out for just a few things! We’ve catered the below tips and advice towards the “Teardown and Rebuild” areas in Cincinnati, but keep in mind that this can stretch to any land!


You must understand the zoning and setbacks in each area! Research the codes and ask someone at the city/municipality for insight. Ask them to show you the zoning maps and be sure you understand the setbacks and how they effect you. Ask them “what should I look out for”. Once you understand the setbacks, you can then understand how much “buildable” area you have to work with. Then you can start to analyze floorplans that work with the lots you are looking at. And, as always, ask your White Box representative for help! It’s always a good idea to have an expert interpret the code or tell you what they already know!

Not all areas have public utilities run to each lot. If utilities are not run to the lots, this can get very costly and sometimes make building not possible in your budget. You need to call your public utility companies and ensure you have utilities on location. Even if it’s an established neighborhood like, you still have to check because the capacity, location and cost might not be ideal. And, if you need to bring utilities to a site, it can REALLY be costly. Try to avoid that situation if you can or at least budget for it!!

Site conditions:
Are there lots of big trees that have to come down? Are you in Cincinnati’s hillside overlay district? How is the topography? All of these items can become issues that add cost or make the build a challenge. This is where the builder and engineer earn their fees!

Your Team:
When reviewing any parcel of land, make sure you have a trusted advocate on your side. Unless you’ve bought and sold land before, you need to have an expert review the property. That can be a Realtor, Builder, Engineer, or all all of the above. In the end, most of those parties should be present during your build so it doesn’t hurt to kick things off right from the beginning.

Bonus Note:​ an adequate due diligence period is always a good precaution. When you put that purchase contract together, make sure you have enough time to be sure you have your I’s dotted and T’s crossed. 14 or 21 days should be enough to verify everything and give you piece of mind to move forward.
As you move forward on a teardown property in an established community or an acreage tract out in the country, be sure you check into all of these items! And, remember to lean on your Whitebox Coach. That’s why they’re here for you!

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