Finding the perfect lot to build our home on was a fun process because it was the first step to building a dream home. In my head I thought of the lot as the “wrapping paper” and our home would be the gift. Everyone loves a beautifully wrapped gift right?
We wanted our property and yard to be as cozy as we imagined the inside to be. The yard needed to be an extension of the house. We didn’t want to have to walk down a whole set of steps to get to our “outdoor living area”. We wanted to have meals outside and live there as much as inside.
It had been over 18 years that we lived in our current home and neighborhood. It had been an amazing place to live and watch our kids grow up. But it was in a neighborhood that was getting very busy. When we moved there it was quiet and there wasn’t a house behind us for miles. Within a year what took 3 minutes to get to the freeway now took almost 20 minutes! The city had grown so fast and so had our family with it. A busy neighborhood was a great place to raise our family and there was so much we loved about it.
Now that the girls are older and two of them already moved out, we were ready to start the process of moving and finding a new area for our “later years”. We still consider ourselves “youngish” but we wanted a home that could be our forever home.
We didn’t really know what to expect on our search for finding the perfect lot, but we went into the process with a few important factors in mind.
Close to Nature and Large Lot
Bart was raised in northern Minnesota, and lived on a lot with a pond and some acreage. He spent his youth exploring the land and getting into plenty of trouble. He grew up with lots of toys: four wheelers, snowmobiles and dirt bikes. His dad now lives up north and in retirement spend his days making trails, cutting logs and playing outdoors. This is Bart’s dream, to have a lot like that and tool around in nature.
Another consideration for us was the trail and park system. We love to ride our bikes, hike and cross country ski. It was important that we were close to areas that would provide us time to enjoy our hobbies.
Did someone say swimming pool??? Having a pool was another priority because we wanted to provide our girls, their kids (someday) and all our family a place to hang out in the summer.
In addition, we LOVE having bonfires outside! Finding the perfect lot meant finding a place to have our outdoor fires. We wanted an area to have a huge bonfire and an area that we could flip a quick switch and have a gas outdoor fire pit.
We needed to make sure the lot could accommodate those things because we planned to spend a lot of time outside.
We wanted to be on water because we also love boating, fishing and ice-skating. We live in MN so you have to have an outdoor rink! Our budget wouldn’t allow us to live on a lake or river, which was our first choice. Alternatively we settled for a large pond and we think it should do the trick!
Having a wonderful view wasn’t high on our priority list, but it came with one and are we are so thankful it did! I never realized how important a view is until I had one. All our lives we looked out into other houses and didn’t realize what we were missing. So, add view to your list when finding the perfect lot.
Neighbors and Traffic
It was important to me that we had some neighbors, but not too many because we were ready for some peace and quiet and privacy. I am sort of a bug huge scaredy-cat so in order to feel safe I needed to know there was other humans close by.
We were worried with wanting a lot of land and for me to feel safe that buying that property to build on would be a tough order. Luckily we happened upon the most beautiful lot that met all our needs. The development was an old farmhouse, and they tore it down and created 6 lots. Each lot has about 3-4 acres and there are woods and hills and the pond. It’s gorgeous! We could have lived there in a tent and been happy!
There is very low noise, and barely any traffic. We are in the “country”, but still very close to civilization.
How close is Target?
When the search began my number one goal was that we had to live within a 5-minute drive of a Target. This was not negotiable for obvious reasons. I agreed to live in the country but I needed to know I didn’t have a long drive for groceries and shopping, or Target. Target has everything so I didn’t care about the mall, or restaurants, only Target. And let’s be honest, where there is a Target there is everything right?
Our lot is also in very close proximity to school and work, so those were bonus factors of course. But I would have been willing to drive further to work if it meant being closer to Target. Have I made myself clear enough? How long do you think it took me to convince Bart of this importance of this? Not long because her understands. Family, friends, Target.
Other Important Considerations
There are also many other factors we had to keep in mind. Even though the lot was absolutely perfect, we had to factor in price and getting the lot build ready.
There are important things to keep in mind that we didn’t even realize like soil reports (boring), taxes (yawn), topography (rocks and tress), septic and well systems. This is where Bart takes over and brings in his realtor friend and they start talking about bringing dirt in and negotiating the price.
I left at that point and headed to Target.
When I returned the house was finished!
Just kidding, but I dreamt it was. We were so excited to build our dream home and I wanted to get started right away!
We could not believe how lucky we were in finding the perfect lot. Truly it was exactly what we had always wanted and we had searched for over 10 years to find it. We had always found some ok choices, but never anything this perfect.
Holding out for the perfect lot was one of the best decisions we ever made.
Buying Property To Build On
Now that we found the lot, we had to purchase the lot. This wasn’t quite as much fun, but honestly every step we got closer to being in our home was exciting.
We were so nervous because we really just happened upon the lot by complete accident. It had barely been on the market a week and if we hadn’t made a right turn that day we would have never found it. We thought “this is way too good to be true”, for sure someone has already purchased it.
Lucky for us again it was available!
Involve your realtor
Our realtor was incredibly helpful at this point and we were so glad we brought him into the process. We truly could have not done it without him. He knew all the right questions to ask.
- Septic system
- Soil Reports
He also suggested we ask them to bring the price down because we were going to need to bring in a septic system and a lot of dirt to get the lot ready to build.
Buying property to build on was the best decision for us because it allowed us to be very creative in the next steps of building the home. Finding the perfect lot is long patient process but we loved every minute of it.
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