Hey there, guys!! If you’ve been following my Instagram these past few months, you know we closed on a piece of land! I wanted to share the details here, give you a few tips on what to do when looking for land and answer your questions. We just started the process to BUILD. I really can’t believe it!! Here we go again…
Since selling our modern farmhouse a little over a year ago, we have been on the hunt for land! Luke and I were looking for the perfect spot to build a home for our family. AND no, we do not call it our “forever” home. LOL With us, you never know what’s going to happen and where we end up! BUT for now, this is where we want to be and raise our boys.
Before looking we had a list of priorities. Here’s what they were: private, majority flat (not on a hill), 5+ acres, no HOA and in the county. A number of the items I listed are a bit different than when looking in a city/populated area. Since we are in a small town in Idaho, we could check all of these boxes when finding land.
It took us about a year to finally find the piece of property we now own, however it was not an easy process. We looked at SO many things, even older homes to tear down. If you are looking, I suggest taking your time. The right home/land will eventually come up that works for you/your family. Since our land ended up being in the county (which we wanted), we needed to figure out water rights, a road system, power and a few other smaller items. This took time/money, but in the end, we made the deal happen. Many that came before us didn’t want to put in the work so lucky for us, we got it!
It’s private, flat, 10 acres, has no HOA (so we can build what we want) and in the county! WoooooHoooo!
Now that we closed, it’s time to start planning for the new house. It has begun! We’ve hired an architect and are in the initial phases of design as well as found our builder. I will be sharing A LOT more about the process here on SBKliving.com AND sharing videos on my YouTube channel. The design phase we are in now will take about a year. We plan to break ground next summer!
Below I’m answering your questions from Instagram. If you have anymore, leave a comment on this post!
How did you find the land – realtor and/or app?
We used our realtor and friend, Brad DuFur, that we’ve used on numerous deals. He’s very knowledgeable in the market we are in (Wood River Valley) and has a lot of experience with finding homes and specifically land for people. It’s important if you are looking for land in a county like we were that they understand water rights, road systems, pulling power, mountain overlay, avalanche studies, etc.
What are the next steps after you purchase the land?
Here are the basic steps. I will go into the details about the process and write blog posts as we get further into it.  Hire an architect, landscape architect and interior designer (if using one).  Start the design phase  Engage a builder.  Once the design of the home is complete – meaning floor plans, electrical, window package etc. Hand over to the builder (general contractor) to start bidding out the project.  Look at bids and decide on all sub contractors.  Lock in budget with builder as well as their fee.  Walk through building timeline and set date to break ground.  Begin to order finishes – sometimes interior designers do this but many builders do too.  Time to build!
Is it less expensive to build a home than to remodel one?
Not necessarily – we have done both. In theory it should be less expensive to remodel a home as you are using existing foundation and most likely other elements. However many times you will find/come across things you did not anticipate.
What part of Idaho?
Who gives the permission on if power and water can be accessed at a potential site?
Idaho Water Resources Department – rights for irrigation
Permit from the county – allows to pull power and natural gas
How do you know best placement for the house?
We have spent a lot of time on the property, at different times during the day, looking at the sun patterns. I suggest taking a look at google earth to see sun placement throughout the year. You can also get sun studies done by a professional.
Best advice for find a good and trustworthy builder?
REFERRALS!! This is SO important. Find people who have used them AND if you can tour any of their work that’s always a bonus!
How does the budget compare to buying a new home that is already built?
When buying a home most people look at price per square foot as well as when you build. It shouldn’t be much different.
Will you have the same kitchen flow as your last modern farmhouse?
Yes – very similar! I loved the back kitchen.
How do you determine landscaping?
We’ve already engaged a landscape architect. I think it’s so important to design the home with the landscape in mind, especially because we live in the mountains.
Does your lot have an existing building envelope? If not, how do you determine?
It does not. We are not in a subdivision. We are building in the county so the only thing we need to abide by are the setbacks and mountain overlay.
Do you recommend using an architect or a website with home plans?
Since Luke and I are very involved in the design and know what we want, we hired an architect to work with. This way we can design alongside him.
Can you build multiple homes on the lot?
We can subdivide our land with the county to build multiple homes but don’t plan to do it. You can build multiple structures on our land like an ADU. We plan to have our home and a big barn.
Do they do loans for lots or just construction loans once you start to build the home?
Depends on the bank but yes, they do loans for land and construction of the home.
Are you using the same architect and builder as the modern farmhouse?
How long will the process be?
The design and biding phase is going to take a year. We plan to break ground next summer. The house will take about 20 months.