How To Pick A Lot For Your Indiana Custom-Build Home

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You’re all set to begin designing and building your custom-home.  You have a rough idea of what you want and where you should live, now it’s time to take the first step and pick a lot in Carmel, Westfield or Fishers.  

There’s plenty to consider when picking a lot.  From neighborhood concerns to land easements, it can seem overwhelming at first.  But, if you take things one step at a time -- and have the right help -- finding the right lot can be a rewarding experience.  

Pick Your Builder Before You Pick Your Lot

A design group will help you visualize your custom-build before you pick a lot.

A design group will help you visualize your custom-build before you pick a lot.

Chances are, you already know approximately where in the Indianapolis area you want to live in.  You may have even spent your Saturdays scouring community websites looking at lot maps and virtual tours.  The idea is that once you find the right piece of land, you can then hire a builder to design the perfect house around the lot’s dimensions and peculiarities.  

However, you might want to lock down your builder before you pick a lot.  That way, you can get a clear idea of what you want in your home, and pick the lot to fulfill that vision.  A quality builder can ask the questions and make suggestions that you may miss yourself.  These conversations may even change what lot sizes and community selections initially appealed to you -- saving you from a big mistake.

Your builder should also know how to take a walking assessment, so you’ll be sure you make an informed decision.  Easements, water tables and drainage slopes may not mean much to you, but they are crucial when building your custom-home.  Even little things, like curb facing and driveway positioning can change the perfect lot to one that goes immediately to the reject pile.  After all, if you don’t want to shovel snow all winter, then you don’t want a lot where your front steps face a northern exposure.

The Neighborhood Is Just As Important As The Lot

A community lot map is nice, but it doesn't tell you about the character of the neighborhood.

A community lot map is nice, but it doesn't tell you about the character of the neighborhood.

Once everything is set on the design side, you probably will want to look at a specific community or two.  You may want a neighborhood that’s close to work or in a preferred school district. Or maybe you have that dream neighborhood you’ve been secretly coveting for a while.  Keep in mind, though, that your community and lot still needs to accommodate your design needs. If the first community you looked at doesn’t work, your design group will have plenty of suggestions of where to look next. 

Luckily, Indy’s North Side is filled with nice neighborhoods, and one should be able to accommodate your custom-build. You may even find the “new” community is a better fit.  The best way to judge a lot, then, isn’t on a map, but in person. That way you can find out if the neighborhood fits your personality as well as if the lot will fit your home.  

By touring a variety of different neighborhoods, you also can see what community amenities are crucial.  Do you prefer well-lit sidewalks or do you want your lot to go all the way to the street? How important is access to the Monon Trail?  Is the commute acceptable, or will it be more of a headache living so far from 465? The only way to find out is by doing your own investigation before you buy. 

It helps if you know what your desired community looks like on both sunny and snowy days.

It helps if you know what your desired community looks like on both sunny and snowy days.

Just go at different times of day and weather.  The area may appear calm and peaceful during your Saturday’s morning visit, but during Friday’s rush hour, it’s a different story.  Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield have also changed in the last 10 years, so don’t think that you really know a community until your drive around there multiple times.

Be Flexible In Your Lot Expectations

When picking out your lot, it’s easy to fall into using a strict list of requirements.  Some are necessary, like lot size, but some others may start to feel restrictive. For instance, you may have always pictured your custom-build with a large oak tree in the back with a tire swing, but that’s a pretty specific order request.  Are you ready to walk away with the perfect location and lot just because of a minor imperfection?

Your design group will know how to make your custom-build adhere to your lot size.

Your design group will know how to make your custom-build adhere to your lot size.

As you and your builders walk around the lot, they can show the specific advantages and challenges.  Each lot is different, and even though you have a design in mind, you may have to be flexible. Try not to get frustrated when you have to compromise on a minor design choice, as once your home is built, the altered design will work perfectly for your lifestyle. 

Old Town Can Help You Chose Your Lot

The first step in picking the right lot is to pick the right builder.  Old Town Design Group understands Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville, and has plenty of lots available in a variety of communities.  Or they can help you build on your own lot. Just contact our New Home Consultants at 317.816.3151, and we will get you started in finding you the perfect lot for you.