Top Ten Things to Think About When Choosing a Home Site

Obviously, you can’t build your “House On A Dime” unless you have a site to build it on.  Even if you’re buying an existing home, you need to pay careful attention to the site.  While it’s true that the foundation is the most important part of your house, don’t forget that the foundation starts with the piece of dirt that it’s sitting on!

Some things to consider when choosing a site:

  1. Drainage: Be absolutely certain that your site drains well, and that the water can be directed away from the house.  (Water is NOT your friend!)
  2. Access: What type of roads lead to your house?  Are they full of potholes?  Our road beat our cars to death!  That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t live in the middle of nowhere…just make sure you understand what that means!
  3. Distance: Will you be commuting from your “House On A Dime”?  What is your fuel cost going to be?  There were times that my gasoline bill was almost $1,000/month!  (Hmmm…maybe I should have bought a car with better mileage!)
  4. Terrain: Is there a suitable home site on your land?  You might be shocked when you find out how much those 100 dump truck loads of dirt are going to cost! Or, the excavation of the side of a hill.  Find a spot that will require minimal dirt work.
  5. Utilities: Are they available?  What’s the cost of getting a water meter? (Probably more than you think).  Can you even get city or community water?  Will you have to drill a well?  What about electricity?  You might be surprised that you often have to pay to bring the power from the edge of your property to your actual house site…SO, if you build smack dab in the middle of 50 acres, the costs can add up!
  6. through 10.  HELP ME OUT HERE! Someone comment or ask a question about site considerations.  I’d love to get some input!
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5 Responses to Top Ten Things to Think About When Choosing a Home Site

  1. Kyria says:

    This might fall under the title of “terrain”, but what about looking at existing trees, whether or not to keep them, etc. And which direction do you want your house to face? Sun/shade and prevailing winds, that sort of thing.

    • Tim says:

      That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about! When siting your house, be sure and take advantage of passive solar and cooling by using existing trees and proper house orientation! Plan for more windows on the South side of the house to take advantage of the sun’s heat during the winter, and limit the number of windows on the North side to lessen the impact of cold north winds. Put porches on the west side of the house to block the afternoon summer heat.

      Our grandparents knew all about these things. They used tall ceilings to keep their houses cooler. They used white paint and light colored roofs, which helped reflect heat. Older houses in the South have lots of porches to block the direct sun. We can learn quite a bit from the past.

  2. toobigtonotice says:

    Leave it to God (no pun intended) to create the perfect energy-saving gadget–a tree. Broad-leafed trees soak up the blistering rays during the summer, and drop those leaves at the right time to let in the winter sun…saving us dollars. Not only that, there’s a certain elegance to that way of living!

  3. toobigtonotice says:

    Noise. It pays to visit a possible home site at different times of the day to see what kinds of noise permeate the place. When we moved into the house in which we now live, our country living hunger was satisfied that first morning by the sounds of contented cows mooing and munching just over the back fence. The kids thought that was so cool! Then, about dusk, we got to “enjoy” another country sound we hadn’t counted on–some kind of heavy machinery, I think it was an oil well pump, monotonously marking the minutes with screeeeeeech, hhhhmmmmm, screeeeeeech, hhhhhhmmmmm… for hours at a time. We enjoyed that sound, as we lounged in the lawn chairs in the cool of the evening, for many days. Then, we were fortunate, something happened, I don’t know what, but something shut that machine up, and quiet returned to the neighborhood.

    Also, you never know just what kind of hobbies the neighbors might enjoy after work. At one place we considered buying, the neighbor happened to enjoy stock car racing and liked to go out and tune up his car in his garage after work. Maybe some college students enjoy partying with a rock band on Friday nights. If you can’t check it out personally, ask a neighbor or two, “What’s it like living out here?” You might also get an idea of what they themselves “sound like.”

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