Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Mr. Gatti
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by Mr. Gatti » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:03 pm

We are looking to build a new house and are torn between 2 choices and looking for input, opinions, or things we may not have thought of. We have the plans drawn up and thought we were set and then found another lot that is now available. We feel comfortable/confident with either builder. Each builder owns their respective lot.

Option 1: Neighborhood in town. Larger neighborhood, maybe 150-200 houses/lots in neighborhood. Neighborhood itself is probably 20-25 years old. Mostly built on but still several lots in newest addition that have not been built on yet. Houses range from $325K-$500K. My wife and I both like to run and this neighborhood has sidewalks and would be very good for running. Most lots in this neighborhood are around 1/2 acre. Lot is backed up to woods that shouldn’t be developed for quite a while. The price of the lot quoted is $65k. Overall quote to build plus lot from this builder is $540K.

Option 2: Neighborhood on edge of town but within city limits (Fire, police, water, etc.) Not on city sewer - would need septic system. Neighborhood first developed maybe 15 years ago but a couple houses built within last year or 2. Neighborhood has about 15 lots/homes. About 3 lots not built on. Lots are about 2 acres each. As far as jogging, from one end of neighborhood to other is about 3/4 mile so could make a loop of about 1.5 miles. Homes in this neighborhood are closer to size and price of ours. Values of houses in this neighborhood are about 400k-650k. The price of the lot quoted is $100k. We are getting a more detailed bid from builder on house but expect this builder to build the house for a little less than Option 1 builder. At first glance at plans, builder thought it would be $560K-$575K including $100K lot. Option 2 is about a 10 minute drive to most places we go vs about a 5 minute drive for Option 1.

Thanks for your input.

Mr. Gatti

User avatar
celia
Posts: 8472
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by celia » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:25 pm

Other things to consider:
How close are the lots to work and places you frequently go to? (Consider walking distance as well as driving.)
How good are the closest schools (regardless if you have kids or not)
Are there houses already existing next to the lots under consideration? (I would be wary of building someplace only to see something ugly be built the following year, right next to me.) Besides the house, you could also consider the landscaping.
If you are allergic to any specific trees/plants, do those exist near the properties in question?
What is the turn-over in home ownership in each neighborhood (ie, does one property currently have more homes for sale than the other, proportionally)?
Who owns the nearby wooded areas and what are their plans for it?

If you have kids:
Are there kids nearby of the same ages? (That would tend to also mean their parents are roughly your age.)
Is it safer for the kids to walk to the local schools & parks at one place vs the other (eg, major roads with speeding traffic or needing to walk through a tunnel under the freeway).
Is there a public area the local kids can play in (park, cul-de-sac)?

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14336
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by Watty » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:07 pm

Mr. Gatti wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:03 pm
Lot is backed up to woods that shouldn’t be developed for quite a while.
But it will be built on sometime.

My parents bought a house in the middle of subdivision where one side of the subdivision had a private gold course along the side of the subdivision. The lots next to the golf course cost a lot more.

About 25 years later the golf course was sold to the city and became a municipal golf course.

In the area where the driving range was at they put in the municipal pool so the people next to that went from having a premium lot to having a lot of noise all summer.
Mr. Gatti wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:03 pm
Houses range from $325K-$500K. ..... Overall quote to build plus lot from this builder is $540K.
Be sure to also add in landscaping costs which may not be included.

I would be concerned that you are building too expensive of a house for that neighborhood.

If you sell the house in 25 years the other houses in that neighborhood will be around 50 years old and may be past their prime which could impact the value of your house.

OnTrack2020
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:24 am

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:34 pm

Do you like lots of space? If so, the 2nd option with the two acres would be nice. Do you mind driving an additional 5 minutes? Do you mind having a septic? For many years when our kids were younger, we had lots of issues with ours, but also have a lot of trees.

delamer
Posts: 6257
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by delamer » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:44 pm

While it was many years ago, my parents had a lot of hassles related to owning a home that was on a septic system.

I recommend investigating that thoroughly before you decide.

Being on a 2-acre lot gives you more privacy but also incurs more maintenance time/costs versus a 1/2 acre lot.
Last edited by delamer on Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nowizard
Posts: 1582
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by Nowizard » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:57 pm

Some septic systems are maintained by the town or closest locality. If so, then I would have no concern about a septic system (Our circumstance). A two acre lot can have substantial maintenance costs if you have others do the work unless there are many trues and it is left natural. The trees can be challenging when leaves fall, and some will almost certainly die during construction or require removal. An irrigation system is very helpful with larger lots, and wildlife can be enjoyable but create some issues as well, particularly if you have moles and armadillos in the area. What about taxes? Are they substantially different? I would also raise questions about a 35 year old subdivision lot and why it had not been previously purchased. Raise questions about HOA fees, if any.

Ti

gostars
Posts: 439
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by gostars » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:39 pm

Mr. Gatti wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:03 pm
Houses range from $325K-$500K. ..... Overall quote to build plus lot from this builder is $540K.
I would be wary of owning the most expensive home in a subdivision when it comes time to sell. Buyers will look at sales of nearby homes and not want to pay a premium, even if said house is demonstrably worth the premium

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48533
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:44 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
Socrates28
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 10:27 pm

which has the better chance of appreciating

Post by Socrates28 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:11 pm

as the better neighborhood in 5-10 years.......every town has regions which are considered the best part of town.......I would go with that

carolinaman
Posts: 3283
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:00 am

Option 2 would be most appealing to me as I have lot of 2+ acres and have enjoyed it for more than 45 years.

Option 2 is a better fit for the house you are building. Generally, you should avoid having the most expensive house in the neighborhood.

If you plan to live in the home for a long time, most likely development will occur, perhaps sooner than you think. How would that affect either choice?

Septic systems are expensive, but if properly done should not be a big problem.

If the large lot has a lot of trees, that will create some ongoing maintenance with raking leaves and removing dead trees. Generally speaking, there will be more maintenance of option 2 but it may well be worth it.

livesoft
Posts: 62776
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:09 am

My reaction is that I would not want either lot for myself and that you didn't give us enough information to give advice.

One trick is to imagine what everything will be like in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years. Be sure to include what you will be like in the future, too. Our neighborhood is different from when we bought it, but with all the nearby construction, it is exactly like we imagined it would be more than 20 years ago.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Mr. Gatti
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by Mr. Gatti » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:26 pm

celia wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:25 pm
Other things to consider:
How close are the lots to work and places you frequently go to? (Consider walking distance as well as driving.) Abt 4 mins vs abt 7-8 mins for most places

How good are the closest schools (regardless if you have kids or not) Our kids’ private school is less than 1.5 miles from Option 2 vs abt 3 miles from Option 1. One of the reasons the area is growing close to Option 2 is bc of said school and people wanting to move closer to it. The public schools in the city are fair to good.

Are there houses already existing next to the lots under consideration? (I would be wary of building someplace only to see something ugly be built the following year, right next to me.) Option 1 has some lots across the street that have not been built on but they are backed up to a small pond so they may or may not be built on. Option 2 has one empty lot down a bit but others are built on.Besides the house, you could also consider the landscaping.

If you are allergic to any specific trees/plants, do those exist near the properties in question? N/A

What is the turn-over in home ownership in each neighborhood (ie, does one property currently have more homes for sale than the other, proportionally)?Option 1: Several houses for sale but wouldn’t say high turnover. Option 2: I can’t rememver a house out there being for sale. There was a foreclosure or 2 out there several years ago. There have also been a few foreclosures in Option 1 in the past as well.

Who owns the nearby wooded areas and what are their plans for it? The builder for Option 1 is a the wooded areas. He says it won’t be developed but I take that with a grain of salt. The way it is laid out it is back off the highway a good bit but that could eventually be a concern. Another part of the neighborhood did have a retail development build right behind them several years ago.

If you have kids:
Are there kids nearby of the same ages? (That would tend to also mean their parents are roughly your age.) Some. We are in a neighborhood now that is full of kids the same age and we were actually trying to get away from all that a little bit.

Is it safer for the kids to walk to the local schools & parks at one place vs the other (eg, major roads with speeding traffic or needing to walk through a tunnel under the freeway). Neither is walkable once you get out of the neighborhood - traffic

Is there a public area the local kids can play in (park, cul-de-sac)?Both are on a cul-de-sac.

Mr. Gatti
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by Mr. Gatti » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:32 pm

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:34 pm
Do you like lots of space? If so, the 2nd option with the two acres would be nice. Do you mind driving an additional 5 minutes? Do you mind having a septic? For many years when our kids were younger, we had lots of issues with ours, but also have a lot of trees.
I think we would enjoy the space and more privacy. I don’t think we would mind the additional 5 minute drive. We are a little concerned about the septic. We have never had one and are doing some research on that. The good thing is there are no trees on this lot so roots shouldn’t be an issue.

“When [your] kids were younger” - younger like diapers or younger like still living at home?

Mr. Gatti
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by Mr. Gatti » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:35 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:07 pm
Mr. Gatti wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:03 pm
Lot is backed up to woods that shouldn’t be developed for quite a while.
But it will be built on sometime.

My parents bought a house in the middle of subdivision where one side of the subdivision had a private gold course along the side of the subdivision. The lots next to the golf course cost a lot more.

About 25 years later the golf course was sold to the city and became a municipal golf course.

In the area where the driving range was at they put in the municipal pool so the people next to that went from having a premium lot to having a lot of noise all summer.
Mr. Gatti wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:03 pm
Houses range from $325K-$500K. ..... Overall quote to build plus lot from this builder is $540K.
Be sure to also add in landscaping costs which may not be included.

I would be concerned that you are building too expensive of a house for that neighborhood.

If you sell the house in 25 years the other houses in that neighborhood will be around 50 years old and may be past their prime which could impact the value of your house.

Good point about in 25 years, the other houses that are 25 years old now will be 50 years.

That is a terrible story about the golf course lots ending up next to the city pool.

User avatar
TxAg
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by TxAg » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:11 pm

For similar money, I'd prefer 2 acres over 1/2 acre.

sciliz
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by sciliz » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:57 pm

I don't know much about the location (city/state) you are in, but I'd check what happened around 2008.
I saw several areas that matched the description of #2 where there were multiple foreclosures around the same time. You have to remember 2 houses out of 15 in a neighborhood *feels* worse to prospective buyers (and, likely, banks) than 20 houses scattered among 150.

For real estate values, what you really want is an appropriate number of comps to pull. If, on the other extreme, everybody in the smaller neighborhood stays put for 10 years and then you want to sell, it may be harder to demonstrate a house you paid $575k for is now worth $600k, simply because the last two houses that were sold in the area sold for $400k. People are concerned about having "the most expensive house in the neighborhood" but from what I've seen of Real Estate you really just want "peer houses" for your house to increase the sense (among buyers and banks) that your house is priced reasonably. Having more neighbors helps.

I myself would never buy a 2 acre lot without trees. As a runner, only being able to go 1.5 miles from my house on foot would feel constrained, and I'd prioritize sidewalks.
That said, I think if I were building new, I'd ask a LOT of questions about septic and expect very detailed and reassuring-about-modern-systems answers from a builder but not let that be a deal breaker. And being closer to my school of choice might make it *much* more appealing (though again, if you can't walk/bike it's less relevant).

OldLearner
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 11:59 pm

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by OldLearner » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:40 pm

Check the covenants on the properties and find out everything you can about the HOA(s) if applicable. A bad HOA or covenants that are too strict (or too lenient) can turn a dream house into a nightmare.

mouses
Posts: 3808
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by mouses » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:29 am

My area has septic systems. If given a choice, I would never have one if sewers were available.

3504PIR
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:46 am

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by 3504PIR » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:56 am

Depending on where you are, consider not being in a neighborhood at all. I currently own a home on 12 acres and couldn’t be happier. I cannot imagine living in a,neighborhood/subdivision again. Food for thought.

furikake
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:13 am

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Post by furikake » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:26 am

If it were me, I'd want the 2-acre lot. We're on a 1.5 acre lot now, with a septic system. No problem at all. We have a maintenance contract, which is required by the city to have. The maintenance is done quarterly. We put in the septic tablets monthly, the system runs very well, no problem at all, no smell either. Just don't flush down anything that's not flushable, and don't pour oil into the drain, you'll be fine.

Post Reply