A custom building project can apply to more than just a single-family home. That’s the beauty of custom, after all. When you’re looking for land, think about everything you can get out of that property – whether it’s directly for your occupancy or for others … or both! Maybe you’re looking for a plot that’s part home, part business headquarters. As one of the premier home builders in Ohio, we’ll help you avoid any snags in the process or second-guessing as we unpack the various property options to consider before building.
Whether you’re looking for quiet, private space in the country, or you want to build an income-generating property in a more urban environment, there are plenty of property options to consider.
If you’re interested in a large, rural property that can accommodate a barn or extra garage as well as farmland, consider a homestead. These can be confused with farms, but homesteads occupy under 100 acres compared to 400+ on the average U.S. farm. The other distinction is made with the food that’s grown on the property. Homestead food benefits the family that resides there, while farms produce for a profit from the general public (and usually focus on one or two key crops).
Most of the custom homes we build are single-family homes. This means they are free-standing homes – there’s no shared walls or outdoor space. We’ve built some single-family homes on independent lots without community restrictions, and we’ve built others within developments where homeowner associations (HOAs) set the guidelines for residents. Either way, homeowners are responsible for their own home and lawn maintenance, and they have an opportunity to profit from the increased value of that property.
Divide a single building into two or more separate family spaces and you’ve got a multi-family home. Sometimes called a duplex or triplex, these properties can be built by someone who wants to live in one of the adjoined homes, or they’re built as a business investment and owners rent the homes to multiple tenants. Each unit in the home includes its own kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms, along with an independent entry, garage and outdoor space(s).
Renting an apartment is ideal for those who can’t commit to buying a house – either because of a down payment or because they don’t plan to stay in the area long term. These single units within a larger building mean neighbors are closer (and can be louder), but rental contracts give you the ability to decide on a specific time period for occupancy. It’s often 12 months, but in some cases, you can negotiate a shorter lease with slightly higher cost per month. You won’t own the space and can’t paint or do any major cosmetic updates. The upside to that is the maintenance costs fall solely on the owner, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Like apartments, condos are attached to similar units, but the difference is the occupants own that unit. You’re responsible for maintenance and updating, too. However, most condos don’t come with a lawn to take care of. That could be covered by the homeowners association (as well as other amenities, even insurance on occasion). This aspect makes them attractive for seniors, and for anyone looking to rent their condo as a vacation property. Size varies – condos can be quite small or more expansive with incredible views (especially those in high-rise buildings).
Though they can appear in suburbs, we often find townhomes (or row houses) in more urban areas and big cities. Townhomes share walls with the next home but offer individual entries and street access. Some even offer personal outdoor space in the front and/or back of the home. Expect a good amount of steps if you decide to build a townhome because these often cover multiple levels of living space.
Maybe you don’t need a ton of space or you want something portable. Consider building a tiny house! A tiny house gives owners the ability to maximize natural light with lots of windows (especially when built for a scenic location), and minimize major upkeep and mortgage payments. There’s still a sleeping area, bathroom, kitchen and living space, but with less privacy and on a smaller scale. While anything under 600 total square feet is considered a tiny house, the average size of a tiny house in the U.S. is 225 square feet.
Most of these properties fall under residential land use, but depending on your full building vision, there are some potential limitations to consider as they could affect the value and what you do on that property in the future. Perhaps you wish to launch a small business on the same property alongside rental units, or use extra acreage for hunting. Before setting your heart on specific plots of land, be sure to examine the zoning laws.
Zoning regulates real estate development and future land use and essentially prevents an odd mix of commercial and residential property within a small area. Instead, zoning designates specific commercial-only or residential-only spaces, or sometimes a mixed-use property. Commercial land appraises differently than residential land because it’s a space where more income can be produced for the economy.
Also pay close attention to how land is designated under tax laws, as your plans may not fit in with the existing designation. For example, you might think you’ve found the perfect rural plot of land for a single-family home, or even a homestead, but it may be designated as agricultural land property. Perhaps there’s a tax incentive for commercial agriculture, so if you use the land for something different, you’ll end up owing extra money to the government.
Need Help Finding Property or Ready to Build?
The good news: you know you’ve got plenty of options for what to build. The best news: you already know an expert builder. Weaver Custom Homes can build on your family farmland, craft urban townhomes, add flair to new construction communities, and so much more. Come in and see our diverse portfolio of projects for yourself, and start down the path to your custom building project today.