Acquiring a plot of land and building a home on it has been ideal for many Americans for many years, but not always possible. Careful and painstaking research and work culminate in designing a house, building it from the ground up, and personalizing its space. If you share this dream and an opportunity to purchase some land arose tomorrow, would you be able to determine its value? 

At Paradigm Homes, we believe that luxury homes come from diligent preparation. This process begins before drawing boards or meetings with builders; it begins with choosing a proper plot of land. When a plot becomes available, you should know what to ask about, what to look for, the county regulations, and our team can help you figure that out. As affordable Home Builders, our custom Design/Build process easily guides you through home planning to move-in day. Plus, while your new home is built in Arlington, VA or the surrounding Northern Virginia area, our charitable arm,  Paradigm Foundation uses some of its proceeds to build homes for those in extreme need around the world. 

Below, we outline some crucial questions that you should ask when considering to purchase a plot of land: 

Questions for the Seller

Through the purchasing process, you will speak with several different parties. Each of these has distinct interests and fields of knowledge, so plan your questions carefully. You might want to jot down some ideas to keep yourself organized. 

First, consider what questions to ask the party (or their agent) that’s selling the land. We recommend you also ask for documentation and then follow up with local utility companies and the town’s health department: 

  1. How has the land been used up to now? – Has anyone else owned it? Have any other structures been built on it? Is the lot (and surrounding land) buildable? Is there any restriction with tree or parkland preservation? 
  2. Does the land come with any strictures? – Does any other party hold liens, easements, or other deeds on it? Are there homeowners association fees? Are the land’s boundaries clearly defined? Are any boundaries contested? 
  3. Does the site have access to utilities? – Can electricity, clean water, gas, and sewer lines be run to the home? Is there a septic system in place, or have you conducted a perc test?

If you need further guidance on these points, explore Paradigm’s lot & land, financing, and consulting services

Questions for the Town’s Building Department

Next, you should determine which town the land sits in and reach out to its building department (which may overlap with its zoning department). Every town has individual requirements and restrictions that your home must conform with: 

  1. Are there restrictions on house size & placement? – Also, are there restrictions on house height or floor plans? How many bedrooms are allowed? Where can the house be placed within the plot?  
  2. Are there restrictions on lot coverage? – Are there setback requirements as well? Will there be adequate access from roads to your plot? Are the roads publicly maintained?  
  3. Are there any fee permits or other costs? – As Paradigm maximizes housing in and around Arlington, we carefully follow these guidelines to ensure your home meets all requirements. 

Questions for Your Family

And last, the most important people to ask about the land will be those you live with. While the land purchase and Design/Build processes may consume your attention, don’t forget your family. Visit or share pictures of the property, then ask them: 

  1. Do we like the space and surrounding views? – Is there enough light and room for us? Do we want a home surrounded by undeveloped land or one in a tight-knit community?  
  2. Do we like the area? – Are there schools nearby? What about stores and downtown areas? Will there be long commutes to work or town?  
  3. Can we picture ourselves here for years? – How will the area change over time? Will open land develop? Are the associated costs within our budget?

As you discuss these questions, you may also consider the pros and cons of buying vs. building a home. Take time for a thorough discussion, and move forward with everyone in agreement. 

Build Your Luxury Home in Arlington, VA with Affordable Home Builders

Making your dream home a reality calls for specific contributions all around – the right questions from you as well as support from your builders. Luckily, you have a professional team of affordable Home Builders at your disposal: Paradigm Homes. Our Custom Homes throughout Arlington and Northern Virginia illustrate our commitment to luxury and positive home building experiences. Interested in creating your ideal home at an affordable price? Call us today at (703) 476-5877 or fill out our online form