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How Much Should You Spend on Land for Your Rochester/Finger Lakes Home?

Posted by John Graziose

Thu, Jan 21, 2021 @ 10:01 AM

How Much Should You Spend on Land for Your RochesterFinger Lakes Home?

Home costs are influenced by many factors, including the floor plan, square footage, number of stories, and additional features and finishes. After considering all of the costs, homebuyers often forget about the cost to buy a lot. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to create a realistic budget for your new home if you don’t know how much land costs in Webster, Perinton, Ontario, Greece and surrounding communities.

So, what can you expect to pay for land around Rochester? As you can imagine, prices vary. Here’s a look at current pricing to give you at rough idea of land costs in our area

.96 Acres in Rush, Monroe County, NY

At nearly an acre in size, this lot is big enough to accommodate any floor plan. $23,900


.4 Acres in Wolcott, Wayne County, NY

If you’ve been dreaming of a waterfront location for your new home, you’ll want to take a look at this beautiful .4 acre lot on Blind Sodus Bay. $100,000


1.9 Acres in Mendon, Monroe County, NY

There’s no need to sacrifice convenience for privacy. This quiet, wooded site offers plenty of seclusion, yet is just minutes from Route 96. $50,000


.69 Acres in Canandaigua, Ontario County

Candandaigu’s shops and restaurants will be just a few minutes away when you build your new home on this conveniently located level lot. $49,900


.9 Acres in Sodus, Wayne County, NY

Already cleared and ready to build on, 7621 Fairway Drive offers impressive views of Sodus Bay Heights Golf Course. $25,000

As you can see, there’s wide range of lot prices. Although building costs vary depending on the specifics of the project, industry experts recommend allocating no more than 25 percent of your total budget to land costs.

How Much Land Do You Need?

The size of your lot will affect the total price of your new home. If you want a secluded location, paying a little more for a large lot will be well worth the bump in price. Before you decide to buy a particular site, check with your builder and local government to determine if nearby lots will eventually be developed. Future development could disrupt your privacy and make your lot much less appealing.

Large lots offer more privacy and plenty of space to add a pool, tennis court or garden to your backyard, but bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to lot size. Smaller lots offer several advantages, including:

  • Less Yard Work: If you’re downsizing or don’t want to spend your Saturdays mowing acres of land, a smaller lot may make more sense.
  • Easier Snow Removal: Smaller lots often have shorter driveways, which will reduce the amount of time you’ll spend shoveling after a winter snowstorm. (Of course, you can also opt for a shorter driveway for a large lot too.)
  • Lower Prices: When you pay less for your lot, you’ll have more money to spend on upgrades for your new home.

Where Do You Want to Live?

Lots in highly desirable areas will be priced higher and may be smaller than those in remote areas. You’ll probably pay more for waterfront lots, those that offer dramatic views, or sites located close to recreational or other activities. The local school district will also affect the cost of your lot. Lots in good school districts are in demand and will cost more than those in lower-quality districts.

How Much You Need to Pay to Improve the Lot and Prepare It for Building?

Lots that are near established water, electricity and sewer lines can be an excellent deal. Paying to extend these services, or install a septic tank or drill a well will add to the cost of site preparation for your lot. You’ll also need to consider the terrain. Heavily wooded areas offer privacy, but may require the removal of multiple tress. If the building site is hilly or rocky, you’ll pay more to prepare the site. New Home Source notes that unimproved lots may extend the building timeline and make it harder to get a bank loan. It’s a good idea to check with home builders when you’re ready to build your home. Sites purchased directly from builders are more likely to be improved, which can save you time and money.

How Will You Use the Property?

Some homeowners want to use their properties for purposes other than just building a house (perhaps for animals). But before you buy a home, you may want to make sure it's zoned for that use. If you don’t investigate zoning restrictions, you may discover that you can’t use the property the way you planned.

What About Resale?

No matter what your reason for purchasing a piece of land, you need to keep resale possibilities in mind. Will the property you purchase now be desirable when it’s time for you to sell? If you buy a large parcel, will you be able to divide it in the future if necessary? Will each parcel offer access to a road?

Are There Any Rules and Regulations?

Although you probably won’t have deal with many restrictions with remote lots, those in established communities may come with a few rules. Before you sign a contract, ask about local ordinances and homeowner association rules. Depending on where you buy, rules may be in place regarding home maintenance, landscaping, the number of vehicles in your driveway, trash collection or noise. Looking into the rules and regulations can help you decide if a lot is really the right one for you.

Revisit Your Budget

How much you spend on your property depends on what you can afford—both now and in the future. If you buy a larger parcel of property, will you be able to sell off part of it if you need to do so? What about the mortgage and taxes? Will you be able to pay both easily if you lose your job or retire? With so many factors to consider when choosing a lot, the task can be a bit daunting. This post highlights some of the ways we can assist you with your selection. The good news is that there is really no need to hire an outside consultant to help you find the right piece of land for your new home. Gerber’s NO FEE land consulting services include:

  • Locating the lot
  • Site cost evaluation
  • Suitable floor plan recommendation
  • Septic or well requirements
  • And much more!

We would love to help you find a property that fits your needs and plans—and your budget! Give us a call and tell us a little bit about your ideal lot.

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