You’ve just purchased a beautiful lot of land to build a home in a safe neighborhood. Congratulations! Now you and your family are excited about the opportunity to custom build your new home from the ground up! But, before a shovel or bulldozer hit the ground, we suggest taking a few critical steps to protect your investment from preventable legal mistakes.
If this is your first significant investment, be sure to check out our guide to investing in real estate!
“Working with a real estate agent when you purchase a home helps you navigate the finer details like negotiations, due diligence and closing the deal. But when you’re purchasing land, it’s important to hire an agent who has extensive experience negotiating land deals specifically.” US News
Legal Advice for Custom Home Building
Know Your Zone
A common misconception about buying a plot of land is that you can simply buy your very own piece of land and build anything you want on it. This idea is a myth! Each state, county, suburb, and city have different zoning rules and regulations. A zoning ordinance can mandate what type of structures can be developed in a specific area. Zoning laws often dictate the height and the style of homes that are allowed to be built on the land. There are even historical zoning laws set up to protect pieces of land that have a significant history associated with the area. Make sure you research the area well before buying the plot to meet your building criteria.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you’re asking yourself if you need an attorney, then you most likely do! At the very least, a real estate attorney can be used as a trusted consultant or advisor based on their many years of experience. Just because you are purchasing an empty lot, that doesn’t mean the transaction is any less complicated than buying a pre-existing home. In all legal situations, before agreeing to sign any documents, you should always consult an attorney! At 23 Legal, we highly recommend reading through these important documents with a knowledgeable attorney like Ben Weaver. Get more information on the importance of having a trustworthy attorney on our blog.
Cash is King
Did you know most plot sales are completed with cash? And land purchases are often made in cash because lenders are less inclined to provide funds for undeveloped land? These types of real estate deals can be cash in the six figures! With loans off the table, the responsibilities of figuring out property, sales, and any other taxes are left on you. There are so many tangible assets on the line, having a real estate attorney involved from start to finish is a smart choice! Take a look at the amount of cash you have or can secure before purchase, and determine your budget that way.
Be Patient for the Best Offer
The first offer may not be the best. Another benefit of reviewing legal decisions with an attorney is they can give you sound advice. Sometimes when purchasing a home or lot, bids may be placed. There are even financial bids on contracting offers depending on the property’s size, location, and timeline. If you are unsure how to recognize or accept financial requests, having an attorney guide you through the process is the wisest choice. Here are some more tips on negotiating the best deal for your property.
Creating the Blueprints
Once the documents are sorted and you’ve closed on the land you want, you need to do your research on local contractors and home builders in your area. Established real estate agents for your residential construction site often have experience working with various architects, home builders, and specialty contractors. If you’d like assistance acquiring a real estate agent, Ben Weaver has a network of well-respected agents who are eager to assist you in choosing the right professionals for your build. Unsure of the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor? Learn more here!
Reviewing Home Build Contracts
When people imagine building their own home from the ground up, they typically envision the beautiful surroundings, perfectly designed rooms, and happy family enjoying the home. In reality, when building a custom home, you must consider zoning codes, construction permits, gas, water, regulations, and street layout. This is just the tip of the paperwork iceberg. Specific requirements must be met before the construction on the site can even begin! Hiring a real estate attorney is helpful to oversee all legal documents involved with your custom home build.
The typical role of a real estate attorney with any home build project is to draft the contract and then review the contract with both the property owner and the builder. These particular contracts are fundamental. This document can protect the homeowner from some of the following common disputes that can arise with construction contracts:
- Scope of work
- Timing of the work
- Changes to the scope of work
If you’re currently in the middle of a construction dispute, a real estate attorney can help with negotiations; this is called dispute resolution. Learn more about how attorney Ben Weaver can protect you from these types of situations!
Haven’t worked with a real estate attorney before? No worries, browse our blogs to learn more:
- Common Real Estate Situations That Require An Attorney
- What Does a Real Estate Law Attorney Do?
- Q&A with Real Estate Attorney Ben Weaver
A real estate lawyer is someone whose job it is to be an expert regarding the rules and regulations related to real estate transactions in your state. In certain states, you can’t buy or sell a house unless a real estate lawyer is present. Real estate attorneys specialize in legal matters related to property, from sale transactions to disputes between parties. They help their clients understand contracts and other legal documents. Attorney Ben Weaver is a proud member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association, ready to assist you on your journey!
Just as the vision for your future home on the new property is clear, so should the steps be to make it come to life! When you have a trustworthy lawyer with experience in such matters, the process becomes much more manageable.
Avoid unnecessary legal mistakes when building a custom home by contacting Ben Weaver today!
Attorney Ben Weaver is known for going above and beyond for his clients. Whether you request guidance in buying or selling your home, have an estate planning question, or another legal problem in regard to real estate, you’ll need a reliable, reputable lawyer who cares!
Please feel free to contact us for assistance or with any questions you have. Click here to read 5-star client reviews!
Why Choose 23 Legal
23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.