Checklist for Lot Buyers
Thinking about buying a lot? Here's a checklist to make sure you've covered all of your bases!
Loan Structure and Disbursement
- What is the amount of equity available for your lot purchase?
- What is the method of financing the remainder?
- Will you be looking for both a lot acquisition and construction loan?
- Have you compared lot sales, improvement costs and area home sales to see if the lot is fairly priced?
- Will the seller be offering any financing?
Loan Structure and Disbursement
- What types of personal documents will the lender require for processing the loan?
- What documents, inspections and reports will the lender need to support your project's feasibility?
- What will it cost and how will you pay for those inspections the lender needs?
- Are you getting the best loan-to-value available? Is it based on an accurate appraisal?
- Are you eligible for a line of credit?
- Will you be getting a commitment for permanent financing?
- During construction, what will the disbursements be based on? (progress inspections, completing specific work items?)
- Who will be verifying the loan draw requests?
- What is the type and depth of bedrock?
- What effect will bedrock have on excavation, the placement of utilities and other structures, roadbeds and foundations?
- What effect will engineering costs have on the overall feasibility of building?
- What soil types are present, and where?
- Are there any poor percolation rates? Any soils with collapse potential when under excavation? Any shrinking or swelling characteristics when soils are dry or wet?
- What effect will the soils engineering costs have on the feasibility of building?
- Will special construction methods be required to install building foundations, driveways or utilities? What effect will those special methods have on costs and feasibility?
- Is the site too flat or too steep to be cost-effectively engineered?
- How will slopes affect the installation and function of stormwater systems, utilities, driveways and buildings?
- Is the slope of the site conducive to installing open stormwater systems?
- Are the cut-and-fill requirements balanced? If not, how much excavation or importation of fill will be required?
- What methods will be used for stabilizing cut-and-filled areas?
- How will cut-and-fill engineering costs affect the feasibility of building?
- What methods will be used to limit erosion and sedimentation before and after site development?
- What is the location of the site in relation to services, amenities, and commuting distances to work?
- Will property values increase in the area or remain stable?
- Is the site located in a strong demand location with good schools, and a low crime rate?
- Are there any designated floodplains or frequently flooded areas on the site?
- Are there any federally designated wetlands on the site?
- Are there any areas which appear to be wetlands on the site?
- What would be the effect of wetlands on the location of buildings?
- What type of existing vegetation can be found on the site?
- Are trees and vegetation sufficient to avoid importing significant amounts of landscaping materials?
- What effect will costs for clearing vegetation have on the feasibility?
- Are there any special features on the site, such as large specimen trees, hills, rock outcroppings or other special landforms that are visually appealing?
- Are there any areas with important views to a water body, mountains or hills, or other special natural features?
- Were there any former uses on site that could have caused deposits of hazardous materials?
- What type of inquiry should you consider to prove due diligence in discovery of possible contamination?
- What would be the costs of cleaning up hazardous materials if found on the site?
- What effect would public awareness of hazardous materials have on future value?
- Are there any electric or magnetic fields caused by power lines either on or adjacent to the site?
- Are there any existing structures currently on the site?
- If so, could these structures be incorporated into the project?
- If the structures are unusable, what is the cost of demolition and removal?
- Is the site located within a recognized historic district?
- Are there any structures on the site considered to have historic value?
- Will an historic preservation survey of existing buildings or foundations of historic structures be required?
- Will any historic structures be required to be preserved or restored?
- Is there any archaeological significance to the site?
- How many owners will you be negotiating with to acquire the land?
- Are all of the owners willing to sell?
- Do the owners have clear title to the property?
- Is there a current survey of the site?
-Codes and Ordinances
-Environmental Permits and Special Studies
- Are there any neighborhood associations or other organizations opposed to you building on this lot?
- Have meetings been held with the appropriate groups to determine their concerns?
- How much time and money will it cost to work with the various groups to develop alternative strategies to address their concerns?
- Can the public utilities current capacity accept the demand of your building?
- Are tap-ins and hookups for all utilities conveniently located?
- If not, what effect will bringing in utilities have on costs and your building?
- If utilities are not adjacent to the site, is the local utility company able to extend the utility infrastructure to the site?
- Is discharge of stormwater runoff into available public infrastructure permitted?
- Is there safe access to a frontage arterial road?
- Is fire and police protection adequate for the home?
- Are there any undesirable land uses contiguous to the property?
- If so, what effect will screening undesirable uses have on your costs?