Building a home from scratch is the dream for many people. You get to decide exactly how your house looks, where it is and every single thing that goes into it. But the first step in this process is buying the land the house will be built on.
In theory, this isn’t too difficult, however, if you’re not careful you may find that the land you purchased has a range of issues that could prevent you from building your dream home. We spoke to our Realtors about the process and they provided some questions to ask yourself before jumping straight in.
Before choosing an area to build your home you should know what the long term plans for the area are. Pay a visit to the planning department at the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and take a look over the long term general use plan for the surrounding area. This will detail any projects in the pipeline that may interrupt your slice of paradise.
Knowing what the future holds for the area allows you to plan properly and make a more informed decision.
It is essential to look at the zoning regulations for the land as this will dictate what you can and can’t do, along with the intended use for the land. Check the surrounding land as well to see if there are plans for industrial, commercial or other residential use in the area.
Depending on where your land is located there could potentially be some access issues. Most of the land for sale in Whistler is easily accessed by a frontage road, however, in some cases (especially during building), you may need permission from neighbours to ensure better access to all areas of the land.
Depending on the location, hooking up utilities can be as simple as running new pipes and cables to attach to mains supplies. However, in some cases you may need to install your own septic tank or potentially drill a well for water.
Other considerations include electricity and Wi-Fi availability, however, the majority of Whistler is easily connected by current infrastructure.
When purchasing a plot of land most lenders require at least a 20% down payment, and in some cases, they can require as much as 50%. This is a sizeable amount and it’s good to know what is expected of you. Be sure you can afford both the land and development costs prior to discussing with a lender.
Check a recent land survey and ensure that your boundaries are clear. Building, or even planting on a piece of land that isn’t yours can get you in deep trouble, so be sure to do your research in advance and work out exactly where your land starts and ends.