Okaza Real Estate

Factors To Consider When Buying Land

Land is very important in real estate. When buying land to construct a house you need to consider a number of factors. Some of these factors include:

Zoning Requirements

Here you need to check with the local authorities and determine the zoning ordinances. You should also find out if you are allowed to construct the type of house that you have in mind. The future is very important; therefore, you should ask whether there are plans to improve the infrastructure in the area. For example, you should enquire whether there are plans of constructing airports and shopping centers.

Natural Hazards

You should contact the authority in the area and obtain a natural hazard disclosure. The disclosure will tell if the land is ideal for building. As rule of thumb you should stay away from a land that is prone to natural hazards.

When determining the natural hazards in the area you should also find the elevation of the land. If the land is located near a hill you should determine the chances of the land moving. Remember that the slab of your house can easily crack if the land is unstable.

If the land is good, but near water bodies you should consider constructing your building using a raised foundation. You should also ensure that you get flood insurance.


For you to live a comfortable life you need to have utilities in your home. One of the most important utilities you should have is water. Remember that you can’t dig wells in some areas. To be on the safe side you should determine the depth of your water table and find out how difficult it is to dig a well.

Electricity is also very important. If the area doesn’t have power you should determine how expensive it will be to bring it to your home.

You should also consider the sanitation in the area. If you can’t hook up to a sewer you should do your calculations and find out how costly it will be to install a septic system.


These are some of the factors that you should consider when buying land to construct a house. When making the purchase you shouldn’t be turned off by the restrictive covenants that might be on the area. Remember that these restrictions are meant at ensuring that the houses constructed in the area conform to given standards. Always go through the restrictions and understand what is allowed and what isn’t.

Benefits of Custom Homes

When it comes to investing your hard earned cash into a home, you have two options. You can buy an existing property, maybe do some renovations to make it your own, or you can build your own custom home based on your unique needs and requirements.

For many people the building process is a long and daunting one, often one they don’t want to go through, but with the right builder by your side, a custom home provides you with a range of benefits you wouldn’t ordinarily get when it comes to buying an existing property and changing it accordingly. In fact buying an existing property and making changes will cost you more in the long run than building your own.

The first benefit to a custom home is that you get to enjoy a unique design that has been drawn specifically for you based on what you like and your particular family needs. You aren’t restricted by an exiting design or by a chosen design based on area, you can create your own space, working alongside an architect who will incorporate what you feel is important to create your dream home for you to enjoy for years to come.

When it comes to a custom home you get your preferences rolled into one with your house being designed from top to bottom to suit your needs and requirements from materials to number of bedrooms and spaces to additional extras and more. The architect will sit down with you, learn about you and what you like along with what you feel is important. They will then create a design for your approval which will incorporate all that you have spoken about to provide you with a finished design that ticks all the boxes.

If you are looking to enjoy a greener lifestyle, focusing on using environmentally friendly elements to create your dream home, then this can be added. This is your chance to build a custom home focusing on energy efficiency, lowering your carbon footprint and building a home you believe is going to meet your needs well into the future, a home you want to live in now and moving forward.

With a custom build you can identify what you feel is important for you and your family and have those important elements added to your design. You may collect vintage cars and need a large garage to accommodate them or you may work from home and you need a big office space to run your empire. You may even want to run your beauty business or art studio from home and need a spacious and light space where you can conduct your business with ease and confidence.

Another benefit of a custom home that you may not have realized is how reduced maintenance costs are. Remember everything is brand new, your building work, garden and even your appliances. This means those are under warranty, so in the event that something goes wrong and they need require, the cost is not for yours. This helps you save money in the long run.

A custom home is a brand new home that has been built for you. You are part of the process from your wish list of what you want included to watching the property be built from the ground up using the materials and accessories you have chosen along the way.

The day you officially move your furniture in and make it your own, you can look back on the custom home process and for many, they want to do it all over again, adding things they may not have thought of the first time around.

Property Easements


Easements are one of those seldom thought-of items that when they do rear their ugly head can be a source of frustration and even litigation. The right of a third party-a person or entity-to access and/or use land that you own for a specific purpose, easements come in many varieties of scale and impact. Some are minor, such as a neighbor needing part of your driveway in order to gain entry to his yard; others, falling under the term “easement appurtenant,” could be as potentially disruptive as a beach access road or path open to the public crossing over your property.


Among the most common property easements are those held by utilities and the Department of Transportation. Such easements allow power companies to install and maintain towers and power lines and entitle the DOT to expand a road and replace water pipes as the need arises. Property owners can still utilize this portion of the land as long as their use does not impede the easement holder’s ability to use its easement. Erecting a non-permanent fixture such as a fence is permissible, while putting in a garage or other type of permanent structure will be considered to unduly interfere with the rights of the easement holder.


Regardless of the type of easement, property values could suffer because of the potential for unsightliness and inconvenience. In addition, easements don’t typically come with expiration dates, so even as a new owner of a property you’re still inheriting the previous owner’s responsibility to observe the easement holder’s rights and privileges. It’s also important to note that no matter the percentage of land under an easement, property owners are still obligated to pay taxes on the entire parcel.


Given the potential headache an easement can become, it’s crucial that you’re fully aware of any restrictions and requirements tied to a property before proceeding with a sale. Thankfully, there are several options available to you in order to determine the number and type of existing easements.

If you are purchasing a home, typically you would obtain title insurance along with that purchase. As part of the title insurance process, a title company conducts a search to ensure that the title is legitimate and will also generate a report that details any and all issues associated with the property, including easements, outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments or unpaid taxes.

If there is a suspected issue concerning easements on your property you can hire a title insurance company, or private title searcher, to perform a search for easements on the property in question. Depending on the complexity of the search, they may charge a fee for their services, but a good title company will provide you with a comprehensive report.

The deed to the property is another source of information and will have the easements listed and defined as part of its legal description. If a copy of the deed isn’t readily accessible you can obtain one from the county clerk or recorder. Be sure to have the address, parcel number, and current property owner’s name when making the request.

Similarly, the county or city zoning/mapping department is often in charge of keeping records of surveys and plot maps. These documents will contain information on a specific property’s easements, including the exact measurements of the portion of the property considered the easement.

Lastly, you can also contact the utility company or public works department with equipment on the property and request easement information as well as the particular rights of the easement holder.


No matter how you do your research it’s well worth the time and effort to be informed of any easements or other issues related to the property you want to purchase, before a sale is finalized.

What Are Construction Home Loans

You’ve looked high and low and you can’t find a place you want to call home. So you decide maybe you’ll just have the perfect home built for you on a piece of property that you have either found or already own. When it comes time to finance the project, you can’t just take out a traditional mortgage. Instead, you need to obtain what are known as construction loans. The steps to obtaining these funds are a little more difficult than a traditional mortgage is.

Getting Construction Loans

When you buy a home, you put some money forward as a down payment and the bank uses the property as collateral on the note. However, if you are obtaining funds to build a home, there is no building in existence for your lender to use a collateral. In order to get one of these loans, you will have to have some sort of banking history. There are also special guidelines, that vary from lender to lender, that govern how these funds are released.

In one of the first steps in getting the funds to build your own home, you will need to present the project’s “story.” This is simply a set of detailed plans and a realistic budget that the lender can see. There should also be a timetable that shows how long it will take to build the residence and plan for payment dispersal.

If the request is approved, you will not receive a check for the total amount. Instead, you will be put on what is known as a bank draft. The draw schedule for the draft will follow the outline of the project’s timetable. A representative from the lender will also monitor the property closely to ensure that the home is being built as planned. The lender must approve withdrawal of funds from the draft by verifying progress has reached the point of the next disbursement.

After Construction

Typically, the original loan term is one year. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with the funds for your new home one year after it is built. It is simply a reasonable period to having the new property built.

When the contractors have signed their lien releases and a certificate-of-occupancy is issued, the borrower’s liability then rolls into a traditional mortgage. Usually, the lender combines the construction terms and the mortgage into one 30-year mortgage and you pay the closing costs. The good part is, because of the construction-to-permanent financing, you will only pay closing costs once instead of twice.

Important Information You Should Know

Construction loans are not common; they make up a very small part of the percentage of mortgages. As this type of financing is a higher risk than a traditional mortgage, you will find that lenders often won’t cover the full cost. Usually, they only offer up to 80 percent of the total amount. You will have to come up with the additional funds yourself. Some will allow you to use land you own as equity to obtain the funds.

When planning your timetable you need to be realistic. Delays due to material availability and weather are common. Make sure you add extra time into your plans to cover these issues.

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