You’re finally ready! You know the home that you’re going to build, decided on options, settled on a price. You’ve got it all; What, When, and How. All that matters now is Where!
Homesites are as unique as you are. Each one has a different view, has a slightly different orientation, contains different landscaping features, and is uniquely located within the community. And, what’s most important, living in your home on one homesite will be slightly different than living on another site. After the selection of your floor plan, choosing your home site is the most important new home decision you’ll make.
To properly evaluate a homesite, you’ll need a few tools. First, you’ll need a copy of the floor plan for the home you’re going to build. You’ll also need a length of rope, a tape measure, a can of landscaping paint, your smartphone, and a hand compass (or a compass app for your phone.) The builder may even have most of these items at the model to help you!
The builder will tell you the homesites that will accommodate your floor plan. This may sound strange at this stage, but not all plans will fit on all homesites. There will probably be two different types of homesites that they’ll present to you. The first will be those homesites that will come included in the price of your home. These will represent the bulk of the homesites available in the community. The second will be those homesites upon which the builder will place a premium or additional fee. These premium homesites will generally have some unique features that make them more valuable. Premium homesites can be oversized, can be situated on a street corner or in a cul-de-sac, back up to walking trails, parks, pools, or lakes, or have a unique view. Builders will place a price on these homesites that the buyer will have to pay over the price of their home if they wish to build their home on one of them. The price of homesites, like the price of almost anything else, is negotiable, so don’t be discouraged when you find out the price of the perfect homesite is more than you planned. Remember, it’s not where you start the negotiations, it’s where you end!
Once you determine the homesites that you’d like to explore, the fun begins. First, you’ll want to see how your floor plan sits on the land. The builder will help you with this by letting you know how far from the curb you can build the home. Your home will need to line up with all the others in the neighborhood. Make a note of which direction your home will face and the position of the sun throughout the day. In some cases, you may require that your home face in a certain direction, and that will eliminate some homesites from the start. In all other cases, determine if your home will get morning or evening sun? Are there trees that can shade your home during the hottest hours of the day, or will shade be unnecessary due to the orientation of the home?
Now, you’ll want to use your tape measure and rope to create an outline of the home on the homesite. Make a note of where the large windows in the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom face, as these will be the primary vistas you’ll see whenever you’re enjoying dinner, spending time with your family, or waking up in the morning to greet the day! And, since you know where the sun will be, you can determine the times you may or may not have bright sunlight streaming through your windows.
You can use the piece of rope to outline any deck or pool that you’re going to put in the back yard as well. Now, stand in your kitchen, living room, bedroom, deck and look out the window. Do you like what you see?
Apply the knowledge that you’ve gained on one homesite to other homesites in the neighborhood, including some of the premium sites, to determine the perfect homesite for your new home. Take plenty of pictures of all the homesites you’re considering and review them at home before you make your final decision.
This exercise is certainly fun, informative, can involve the entire family, and will help you make the perfect decision about your new home.