Homeowner associations offer a certain convenience, but buying land for sale near Northern Virginia in a planned development could limit the style, finish, and size of house you’re permitted to build.
Rough Transcript: Welcome back to my site selection video series.
If this is the first video you’re watching, this is really just a short video series to educate people who are thinking about buying land to build a home in Northern Virginia.
As a quick recap, in the first three videos I covered things like water, utilities, and waste management; flood zones and environmental concerns; and road access, soils, and topography.
If you haven’t seen those videos, here is a link to the video series.
In today’s video I’m going to encourage you to think about the neighborhood and nearby amenities when you’re evaluating land for sale near Northern Virginia.
In terms of the neighborhood, think about whether the lot is part of a planned development or a standalone lot.
Planned developments are typically operated by an association, and they’re designed to provide amenities and services to their residents. They offer a certain level of convenience – road maintenance, snow removal, community parks, and things like that – but you might find that you’re tied to working with specific builders or limited in terms of the style, finish, and size of the home you’re permitted to build.
Even if you’re not building in a planned development, you still want to think about the size and appearance of the surrounding homes in your neighborhood. From a future resale perspective, if you build something that is completely out of character with other homes in the area, then you might have a tough time selling your home.
Try the commute before you buy!
If your building site is in an urban or busy suburban area, or if you’re building in a rural area and planning to commute to work, then visit the site and do the commute during rush hour.
Be honest with yourself—if you hate the rush hour commute, it’s going to get old really fast, even if you love the site.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet, make sure to get out of the car and walk the site to figure out if the noise from rush hour traffic is going to bother you.
Noise? Odors? Anything else that would turn you off?
Beyond the immediate neighborhood, study maps and drive surrounding areas to identify all the desirable and undesirable features of the area.
If there are nearby commercial or industrial facilities, visit them during business hours to see if they create noise, odors, or anything else that would detract from your overall enjoyment of the location.
Other conveniences and amenities…
Find out if your lot is inside or outside city limits and who maintains the roads you’ll be using on a daily basis. We do occasionally get heavy snowfall in this part of the country, so be sure to find out who is responsible for snow plowing the streets in your neighborhood.
Finally, think about access to airports, hospitals, groceries, schools, and other amenities that might be important to you.
That’s it for this video. I’ll be back to discuss zoning, legal, and title issues in my next site selection video. In the meantime, if you’ve got any questions about buying land for sale near Northern Virginia, you know how to reach me!