Buying Land To Build a House: A Handy Checklist

Introducing a handy checklist for buying land to build a house.L. Patten & Sons specializes in custom-built homes in Collingwood and the Blue Mountain area - contact us today to get started!


Buying Land To Build a House: A Handy Checklist

1. Choose Your Location

  • Consider accessibility and proximity to amenities [ ]

  • Consider your neighbours and surrounding lots [ ]

  • Consider accessibility to power, water, gas, and internet [ ]

Choosing your location is a crucial factor when you are buying land to build a house. You may want a nice, private and remote location, but you also want to make sure you’re able to easily access not only the home itself, but also whatever your family will need on a day to day basis - schools, shops, etc.

You also want to consider who your neighbours will be - Are they residential, commercial or even industrial? Is there a quarry, airport, or train tracks nearby? Is there farmland nearby? If so, what do they grow, and will they be spraying fertilizer or pesticides? If it's livestock, will there be noise or odour issues to contend with? If the land around you is vacant, what could possibly be there in the future?

And don’t forget to assess how easy it will be to get power, water, gas and internet at the house! 

It can be a real balancing act, and it’s important to determine your priorities and desired lifestyle when assessing land opportunities.

Location is a critical decision when buying land to build a house.

Location is a critical decision when buying land to build a house.

2. Know the Zone

Ontario zoning bylaws control the use of land in your community. They outline the following things you need to know:

  • How land may be used [ ]

  • Where buildings and other structures can be located [ ]

  • The types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used [ ]

  • The lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street [ ]

Moreover, many municipalities have a comprehensive zoning bylaw that divides the area into different land use zones, with detailed maps. The bylaw specifies the permitted uses (e.g. commercial or residential) and the required standards (e.g. building size and location) in each zone.

You need to be familiar with these designations before you purchase in order to ensure compliance.

Around Collingwood and the Blue Mountains, you’ll also need to take into account Conservation Authority Regulations. Learn more here:

Make sure the land is zoned for residential buildings.

Make sure the land is zoned for residential buildings.

3. Inspect Your Building site

The location may be nice and zoned appropriately, but you want to make sure when buying land to build a house that there’s a suitable site for the structure itself.

It’s important to know where the water table is on any piece of land you are considering. If it’s high, you will either have to prepare to prevent a wet basement, or be willing to forego any basement at all.

There are ways to manage a wet piece of land, but it’s best if you know this going in to the design stage. If you discover it as you dig the hole for the foundation, that’s a problem!

Other questions to ask include:

  • Would we have to do a lot of site work to put the house where we wanted? [ ]

  • Is there enough slope to build in a walkout basement? [ ]

  • Would we have to spend a lot of money grading the land and taking out trees? [ ]

  • Is there there a good place to put a driveway? [ ]

  • Is there enough sunlight to install solar panels? [ ]

Your designer and builder will certainly be able to help with the questions above before you purchase.

Your designer and builder will certainly be able to help with the questions above before you purchase.

4. Choose Your Builder

Establishing a manageable partnership to get your dream home built is crucial. It’s important that you have trust in your builder, and that you feel good about letting them guide you through the process, beginning with buying your land to build the house. 

Having a builder involved at this stage is recommended, as they can help you design a beautiful home that is also more efficient to build. They will know where you can simplify to save money, and where the best places are to spend a little more for the biggest impact. 

For more, be sure to read our article on how to find the best custom home builders in Ontario.

You can also save and print off this checklist to help you get started with the custom home building process, with space left open to add notes and other to-do items as they pop up.

Handy Checklist For Buying Land To Build a House (1).png

Trust L. Patten & Sons With Your Custom Home Build

L. Patten & Sons Limited brings over fifty years of custom home building experience to every project we undertake. We take pride in building custom homes that are as beautiful to look at as they are comfortable to live in.

“Great process from start to finish. Very experienced and informative work force. We appreciated the attention to detail and all our requests were listened to and acted upon. An excellent quality build carried out by excellend trades. We are thrilled with our dream home. Thanks L Patten & Sons (Jerry, David, Jamie etc).”

-Cheers, Kevin and Gillian Marchant

Read more testimonials here.

Quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and complete customer satisfaction are what sets L. Patten & Sons apart in Collingwood and the Blue Mountain area.

Contact us today to get started.