Magnolia Custom Homes of SC
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Tips on Buying Your Lot

Buying Your Lot

Magnolia Custom Homes makes home ownership easy by building on your land or lot. If you don't already have land, we can make that part easy. We're happy to help you find a lot to build on, and we'll assist with financing, too.

Buying a Lot

It's easy when you know how! We have the ability to search the Consolidated Listing Service which contains listings of all the land available in the surrounding Columbia area. This makes finding the perfect property easy! Give us a call today and we can help make your dream a reality!

Choose a location

Start your property search with a map!

  • This step is very important for those individuals that are relocating to Columbia. There is quite of bit of diversity in this market. Most people narrow their search by considering the school district they want to be in and proximity to their work. Others may also want to consider the type of life style they want to live. Do you want to be close to shopping amenities, or after school facilities, downtown activities, or even close to the Lake? We have built homes all over the area for over 14 years and can help you determine what area is best for you.
  • Once you have found an area you want to explore, it is important to consider what kinds of homes are already in the neighborhood. Your home keeps its value best when it's comparable in size and cost to others in the neighborhood. There may also be covenants or zoning rules to consider. Even just from the point of view of aesthetics, your home will look its best when it harmonizes with the others on your block.
  • Explore the area and talk to the neighbors. Is there a racetrack, railroad, busy street or highway, or airport in hearing distance? Are there neighboring barking dogs or livestock to consider or are there open fields and ponds around? You'll want to know these answers. Any of these things - and a host of other details - might be positive or negative, depending on your point of view.

Get to know the lot

Next, examine the property itself. You may be surprised to learn that the terrain can affect construction costs. For example, hilly land may seem charming, but it may be more expensive to build your home there than on flatter ground. Ask to see photos of the land at different times of year and ask about matters like whether the driveway becomes hard to negotiate in the winter or in heavy rains.

What utilities are available at the property? Is it situated in a flood zone? These questions may not come to mind on a sunny day, but they are important to your future happiness in your new home.

Does your lot suit the house you want?

Make sure that the lot you're considering will accommodate the house plan you have in mind. Here's where our experience can really help! Each property can accommodate different types of foundations. Some of our clients want a basement while others may want a concrete slab. We can help you visualize where the house will situate on the property and what type of views you will be able to enjoy.

Think about trees on the lot, the kind of outdoor space you want and need, and the shape of the floor plan. We will personally measure and mark the lot for you so you can be certain that the house you have in mind will work with the lot you're considering.

Does your lot fit within your budget?

Budget is always a consideration for land. Sometimes a property is listed within your budget but due to the needed site improvements to get the land ready for a home, it may push you beyond your comfort level. Some of the major site costs that we consider are the following:

  • Number of trees that need to be removed to accommodate the house, driveway location, additional outbuildings, possible pool, and a septic system (if required) can dramatically affect the land improvement costs.
  • The slope of the land can affect grading costs and type of foundation you can do. A relatively level lot that is already cleared will typically have a lot less site improvement costs than a property that is heavily wooded and has 10' of fall ‚Ķespecially if you were considering a concrete slab as a foundation!
  • What type of soil is present? Fortunately most of the soil in the Columbia area is easy to build on, however, there are areas that are known to have rock which can make it more difficult to excavate for footings. Clay soil found in some areas is also more expensive for septic systems.
  • You also need to pay close attention to site drainage. It is more difficult to drain rain water away from your future home if the land is in a hole or all of the neighbor's lots are draining into yours! Underground springs, storm drains, and nearby flood plains can also affect the drainage on your lot.
  • Are there any existing utilities? City sewer and water is typically a lot less to tap into compared to well or septic systems. It is important to find out if the sewer and water taps are in place and if they are paid. If your site needs a septic system then you can obtain a perk test/septic permit to get estimates on how much you need to budget for this system. If a well is required, you can ask nearby neighbors on how deep their wells are. The total depth of the well will directly determine the cost of the well system.
  • It is also important to consider the length of driveway and accessibility to the building site. Can a heavy concrete truck, lumber truck, crane, or drywall truck access the building site without getting stuck? If not, gravel, concrete or asphalt may be needed to stabilize the access road to your future home, The longer the driveway, the more cost will be incurred.

The above list may seem overwhelming or intimidating. Fortunately, building on your land is what we do and it costs you no money for us to help you evaluate your property. Simply give us a call and we will be happy to check out the land with you.

Do the paperwork

When you purchase a lot on which to build your home, you'll need to have some survey and title work done. This is necessary to make sure that you will have clear ownership of the land and that it's safe and habitable. Fortunately, Magnolia Custom Homes can assist you with this task, which can otherwise be expensive and confusing.

Feel free to call Magnolia Custom Homes today at 803-600-3439 or 803-513-2481 to set up a meeting. We can work with you from the beginning to make sure that your new home is just what you want.

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