The Property Search
“Be happy with what you have while working for what you want”
-If you are considering building a home and time allows, research your target areas well in advance to see how often properties become available and for what prices they are selling. This will provide you with an understanding of the area and give you an indication of how quickly you’ll be able to find your perfect future home site.
When Michelle and I bought our home 11 years ago, we figured we would live there for 5-7 years before finding a home with more space, larger yard, etc. It’s now been over 11 years as it has been a very comfortable home for us. We have been looking online at available existing homes and vacant lots/properties for the last couple years. We have enjoyed taking drives through the country in our target areas hoping one day we would see our “dream” property hit the market. I have always said that I didn’t want to move into another neighborhood with small lots (still part of the “country boy” in me I suppose). We wanted a property where the boys had plenty of room to run and play, we could have a garden, keep our camper, and the possibility to have a detached barn/garage. To our dismay, nothing that fit our search criteria and was in our price range has hit the market that didn’t get gobbled up immediately. The properties that were available weren’t in our ideal area, didn’t have the desired layout/space, or needed a lot of money invested for updates.
Since we had been monitoring properties for a couple years, we knew that it was going to become increasingly difficult to find vacant property in the future. There is a country neighborhood that we have driven through/by on numerous occasions. This neighborhood was created approximately 10 years ago with the developer having the only home in the neighborhood for the majority of that time. There are only 12 lots in the neighborhood and they are all 2+ acres. The neighborhood has a large 2+ acre lake, storm sewers (unusual for a rural neighborhood), and buried electric/fiber optics. The only negatives are they require a well and septic system and the developer must approve your house plans before construction, which is why we never decided to pursue lots in this neighborhood.
During the last year or so, a couple more custom homes have been built in the neighborhood and two other lots have been purchased. These homes, coupled with the fact there aren’t many properties that become available in our ideal area, prompted us to give these lots some serious consideration. After weighing all the factors (current home nearing maximum value given age of neighborhood, the rising interest rate, etc.), we decided it was time to act. We drove through the neighborhood many more times and identified two of the remaining seven lots that we preferred. These lots would provide us with a large backyard with a semi-private back patio area. We selected the lot that we liked best based on its layout and orientation. It was GO time!