Finding land or a suitable deconstruction (“teardown”) lot is the first step in building your Blu home. Our knowledgeable Sales staff can help you start this process, including introductions to Blu’s professional realtor and development partners. Once your land or infill lot is identified, we send our skilled site team to evaluate and plan everything you’ll need for delivery and beautiful site orientation.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Blu homes generally perform better in a variety of site conditions thanks to our durable steel-reinforced framing, and the 3rd party engineering that comes standard with every home. Before purchasing a lot, or if you are narrowing down 2-3 potential land options, we recommend a Blu site visit to ensure successful home delivery. During your search, consider the variables below that affect site costs.
Blu homes fit on almost any building lot, and are also great for teardowns. Typically, we recommend lots of 5,000+ sqft. and 40’+ wide. Blu frequently does teardown projects in infill areas, and verifies our delivery and site plan within a delivery assessment. Larger lots can be fantastic, but often require longer utility runs. When you have found a potential lot and ordered a Conceptual Design Study, we create a site sketch that accounts for local planning department requirements.
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 but can include the extra square footage of a “walk out” or fully finished basement;
- 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 great lots that have some of the best views, proximity to town amenities, and low cost utilities, are teardowns. While there are definitely beautiful homes that should be preserved over the ages, there is also, like cars, a significant amount of aging ‘used’ housing stock that is incredibly inefficient, expensive to maintain and renovate and lacking in basic building technology and comfort. We recommend the deconstruction process for these homes, which can be eco-friendly and offer tax benefits.
Teardown lots can be more convenient
- Teardowns are often available in established neighborhoods and school districts that often do not have vacant land available. Utility lines or “runs” (electric, gas, water, sewer) will often be in place
- In some cases you are able to reuse existing septic systems
- Require less hardscaping and land remediation
It usually costs from $6.00 to $10.00 per square foot to demolish a home. Blu can help you identify 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)
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. These are typically small developers, and are committed to Blu’s vision of thoughtful design that respects and showcases the surrounding land. Please ask our sales consultant if there are any Blu home developer projects 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 if they are a member of Blu’s referral program, they can be eligible for an incentive from Blu.
There are many 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!