Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The 6 "S's" of Home Site Selection

If your realtor hasn't mentioned the incoming boom of new construction yet, be prepared.  Over the past several years, builders have been on the sidelines, waiting to get back in the lucrative game of building quality new construction.  In Northern Colorado, we have been very under-built, meaning that the majority of the home sales have come from existing homes, not new builds.  We have a pent up demand for homes, and new construction is going to have to fill it. 

So, if a brand new home is on the horizon for you, how do you pick a site?  Keep in mind there are a couple different situations in which you'd be selecting a new home site.  Either your new home site will be in a planned neighborhood, with permitted lots, or, you'll find a nice plot of land on your own to build a custom home.  These tips can apply for both situation, however, if you're in a planned neighborhood, chances are the majority of your options are out of your control.  With a planned neighborhood, you get to select the best lot that is available, but there is little else you can select - keep this in mind.  As with all home selection ideas, begin with the end in mind.  Know exactly how you want to enjoy the home.

When selecting your home site, the elevation change and terrain play a big part in your decision.  Do you want a walk out basement or maybe a pool?  The slope will play a huge role in either.  On top of that, if there is a big elevation change on your site, it could affect the style home you select and the amount of stories.

Within a planned neighborhood, location is one of the most valuable considerations.  Great locations within a neighborhood are typically being near a park, on a corner lot, or being off a main street.  Corner lots are usually touted as being valuable, due to lack of neighbors, where as end of cul-de-sacs have the advantages of being quiet and more secluded.

Setting, Situation, and Sun
The orientation of your home within your lot can save you a lot of money and make your home feel more open and bright.  Nobody wants to live in a cold, dark home.  In Colorado, it makes sense to have some nice southern exposure for extra heat in the winter time.  Situating your home on the site can also save money on heating and utility bills.  Get the best view of the mountains as possible, but skew it correctly to avoid the blazing heat of direct western exposure.  The correct setting will give you sun and shade right where you need it, for either gardening or summer backyard entertaining. 

Your lot's shape plays a big role in your site selection as well.  In certain neighborhoods, shape will affect the size of your home's footprint.  On top of that, an irregular shape could leave you with a big chunk of un-usable space in your yard.  Understand what is most important to you, whether you need some significant depth, or maybe just some space between your neighbors.

Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado.  Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans.  For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at or email him at

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