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Building On Your Land – What You Need to Know

Building On Your Land – What You Need to Know

The land we own can serve many purposes. Some buy land as a place to hunt or fish, while others plan to grow crops or start a farm. For others, it’s a place to build your dream home or vacation getaway. Regardless of your reason, if you’re planning to build a home, cabin or outbuilding on your land, there are a few things you need to know first.


Before building any structure on your land, you need to determine whether it’s actually legal to do so. Zoning restrictions and topography may dictate that a home or structure may not legally be built, or it will be required to be in a certain area of the property. Be sure to check with an experienced local builder to help you navigate any potential issues.

Finding a Lender

Once you have any zoning issues sorted out, your next step should be to meet with a lender that’s experienced in construction loans so that you can be pre-approved for a loan based on your financial needs. In general, a build-on-your-lot or custom home will require a down payment of 20% to 25% of the entire cost of building the home, including permits and site preparations. Most lenders are willing to finance construction for a year. When the home or building is complete they will require you to refinance into a permanent loan for the property.

Building a Home

There are three primary options for having a home built on your land. Choose the one that fits your needs and budget best:

Build-On-Your-Lot Builder – Most of these builders will have a variety of pre-designed floor plans for you to choose from. Oftentimes they can offer you a choice of specific fixtures and appliances for your home. This can save you money, but make sure these products match what you’re looking for.

Design-Build – These firms work with you to plan your new home from the ground up. It’s a similar process to working with a build-on-your-lot builder, except your home will be a custom design. These firms usually have in-house architects or a contract with an architect who will work with the construction company.

Architect – Of course, you can always hire your own architect to build your new home or building. The architect can create the exact home you’re envisioning using your ideas and their expertise. If you choose to hire your own architect, be sure that the architect and builder are willing to work together and can confidently meet your budget.

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