What To Look For When Scouting Land For Your Custom Home

Building a dream home can be one of the most exciting ventures in one’s lifetime. Nothing compares to walking into every room in your home, knowing that it’s your creation, exactly as you imagined. But this process all begins with finding the right property to build on, and there’s more to locating that ideal piece of land than just looking at vacancies and picturing your home there. Far too many have learned the hard way that simple oversights regarding the property can lead to unwelcome surprises down the road. Here are some of the most important factors to consider while scouting for land for your custom home.

Zoning and Utilities

The first thing you should determine before purchasing a property is its zoning designation. Zoning regulations determine how properties can be used, and what can be built on them. If a plot is not zoned as “residential,” you won’t be able to use it for your dream home. Because this is such a show-stopper, it should be the very first thing you look into. After zoning designation, utilities are going to be a big concern. Urban areas have more immediate access to utilities such as electric lines and sewer systems, but this is not the case for undeveloped land. Consider the costs and challenges associated with gaining access to these utilities. While developed land is more expensive, the cost of having to get these utilities in place could leave you with a much higher bill.


It goes without saying that you can’t just build anywhere, but all too often, homes are built in locations that are prone to natural disasters. When considering a property, it is very important to consider where your home will be in relation to a floodplain, as homes tend not to do well under water. Additionally, you will want to get a soil test performed to ensure the ground is suitable for a home’s foundation. A home’s foundation shifting can spell disaster for the homes structural integrity in years to come. Lastly, getting a survey to determine risk for sinkhole formation is a very good idea. Sinkholes are a very real threat that literally consume homes in the U.S. every day. Being proactive and making sure your home is safe from natural disasters should be among your top priorities.


The view you have from a home is one of the most important things to consider. When looking at a property, take the time to actually walk around and look at it from every angle. Many people immediately find a spot that they like on their property and start building there. A lot of these homeowners discover better viewing spots on their property years after building, and regret not having taken the time to look around in the beginning. Also consider surrounding properties. You don’t have control over what your neighbors are going to do with their land, but you can use your judgement to determine foreseeable changes. Does your view contain a large quantity of vacant land that is pleasant to look at? What happens when someone purchases that land and starts building? Use a bit of foresight and determine if your view is likely to change, and how much of an impact it will have on your home experience.

Making the Dream Home a Reality

Building a dream home should be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, and a big part of making that dream a reality is avoiding the nightmare. From zoning issues to natural disasters, simple oversights in choosing the right property in the beginning can turn your world upside down. Having an idea of what to watch out for is going to allow you to focus on what matters most: customizing your dream home to be the best it can possibly be. Gordon James Construction offers premier home construction and remodeling services. We are committed to executing the unique vision of every client. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call (763) 479-3117 today.