Finding a suitable lot for your Blu home is the first step in the building process. Blu can help you find land through our realtor and development partners, and by giving you some advice and guidelines to get started. Once lots are identified, we will send our own team to evaluate lots for construction.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Blu homes can generally be built anywhere a typical stick-built home can be, and our homes perform better in a variety of conditions thanks to our durable steel-reinforced frames. During your initial search, you should consider the variables below that affect site costs. Before purchasing a lot, we recommend a Blu land evaluation and site visit to ensure successful home delivery.
You need to ensure that your Blu home will fit on the home site you are selecting. Typically, lots need to be bigger than 5,000 square feet and more than 40’ wide for our larger homes, and 30’ for our smaller homes. The buildable area of a lot is typically smaller than the total lot size, after accounting for setbacks (typically 5’ on each side, and more in front and back). When you have found a potential lot, ask your realtor or seller for the buildable footprint. We can also create a site sketch that takes into account the width of the lot and regulated planning department setbacks.
Lot properties that affect building cost
Besides the cost of the land itself, taxes and closing costs, your Blu team will help you estimate and identify costs driven by the land location and characteristics:
- Proximity and cost of utilities such as electricity, gas, septic/sewer and water/well, all of which require permitting and construction;
- The cost and extent of site development; for example, steeply sloped lots increase excavation, grading, and foundation costs significantly, as does the length of your driveway;
- Additional design features, such as decking, trellises, finished lower levels and site-built connectors;
- Environmental restrictions such as wetlands, conservation, or coastal areas;
- Access to the site for delivery and installation.
Resources you should request
We recommend that you request the following resources from the seller before you put an offer on the land:
- Boundary survey that contains property lines, setbacks, contours (topo map), location of utilities (water, sewer, electrical, septic restrictions) and environmental restrictions (wetlands, conservation land, etc.)
- Soils Report (if applicable) will detail geology and seismic data so a structural engineer can determine necessary foundation requirements
- Planning Dept. Regulations (using your site’s Assessor Parcel Number or ‘APN#’)
- Find out if your local jurisdiction requires any special planning reviews such as Design Review, Historical Review, etc., from the local building department;
- Photographs of your site in .jpg format.
Many Blu clients opt to purchase a site with a home to be torn down. Teardowns are popular in urban neighborhoods and can be quite cost effective and environmentally friendly. Be sure to get all of the same information you would get if you were purchasing vacant land.
Teardowns can be more convenient
- Utility connections (electric, gas, water, sewer) will already be in place
- Sometimes you are able to reuse existing septic systems
- Teardowns are often available in established neighborhoods and school districts that often do not have vacant land available
- Require less hardscaping and land remediation
It usually costs from $6.00 to $10.00 per square foot to demolish a home. Ask a local demolition company for a quote.
Key cost considerations:
- Presence of harmful materials like asbestos adds $2.00-$3.00 psf (EPA requires proper abatement)
- Landfill and hauling fees for the debris
- Building materials of the house (concrete and durable materials like brick increase demolition costs)
- Blu‘s durable steel framed homes require very robust foundations. The foundation of your teardown will be removed and replaced with a specifically designed foundation that matches the incredible strength of your home
Your teardown can be green & cost-effective
Tearing down a home does not have to be a destructive process, nor does it have to be expensive. With some additional planning, clients can perform an environmentally friendly deconstruction and salvage the materials of a home for donation to charities such as Habitat for Humanity.
Blu does not perform deconstructions, but there are many experts who do. After factoring in the tax-benefits of donating your deconstructed materials, the net cost of deconstruction can be near zero.
DEVELOPERS & REALTORS
A great option for a streamlined sales process is to purchase a Blu home in conjunction with a site through one of our developer partners. They are committed to Blu’s vision of thoughtful design that respects and showcases the surrounding land. Our sales consultants would be happy to connect you with home developments in your area.
We partner with land agents to find clients land. Our well-defined building process and in-house land evaluation team means that Blu clients can move quickly through a land transaction. Land agents receive their customary commissions, and in certain situations, are eligible for an incentive from Blu.
There are tons of real estate search sites for finding land. We have curated our favorites and listed them by geography. In the section below, you can browse through local and national online land listings. The links for each area are pre-filtered for lots that are over 0.25 acres; fitting Blu homes on lots smaller than this is difficult. You can adjust the budget filters to match your land price range. Happy Hunting!