When looking to buy land and home together, many people will ask a common question?
“Should I find my land first?”
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a variety of answers. Here is a process that we have seen work well…
Step 1) Consult with a Housing Specialist.
You’re going to have questions. LOTS of questions. Seeking the advice of a housing specialist you trust can really work wonders. A good housing specialist will be knowledgeable about houses for sale, and have some insight into land costs in the area you are looking.
The housing consultant will also talk with you about your budget, to ensure you are getting the most house for your money.
Step 2) Find a house that fits ALL of your needs.
Your housing consultant will take into account your housing needs, including your budget, and show you a list of homes that may work for you. You may see a large number of homes, so find the one that fits your family the best.
Tip: Resist the urge to ask for customization to your floor plan. When you ask for a special change from the manufacturer, you are basically asking for a home that is a prototype. And prototypes are always riddled with problems. The builder engineered that floor plan for a reason, so stay within the options list available.
Step 3) Get an approval from a lender.
This is where most people mistakenly start shopping for land, and it’s a common misstep. Before looking for land, have your housing consultant submit your offer to buy your home to a lender for approval. This is wise for several reasons:
- a) You now have a land budget: The lender will tell you how much they are willing to lend you for your land purchase up front. It will look something like this:
Land / Home Loan Value: $150,000
Home Price: $109,000
Land Allowance: $41,000
Now that you know you have $41,000 available to buy land, your land search has become much easier!
- b) You now have buying leverage: Land owner get offers to buy their land all the time from people with no real ability to buy. When buyers show up with an approval from a lender proving their ability to buy, land owners take them more seriously, and are far more likely to cut a deal to get their land sold!
- c) You are not locked into anything: An approval from a lender is not a binding agreement just yet. The lender is merely giving you their terms to issue you a loan for the house you have chosen. You are not required to accept those terms if they are not attractive enough to you, and any deposit money you have made to start the buying process is fully refundable.
Step 4) Shop for land!
Now that you have your lending offers squared away, it’s time to go out there and find your land that will become your homestead. Happy hunting!
Image Credit: Richard Nolan
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