Different Yard Strategies

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Your house may stop at the front door, but your property doesn’t. What you do with the remainder of your lot plays an important part in the overall look of your house. There is more than one way to go about planning your yard, and this article briefly looks at three different strategies.

1. The Traditional Grass Lawn

Most suburban houses boast immaculate green lawns. This staple of North American living is non-negotiable for some, but keeping that lawn perfectly manicured can be a lot of work. Larger plots of grass may require a lot of extra effort to keep maintained.

Consider what type of climate you live in?

Some climates are definitely better suited to growing the beautiful bluegrass you see in commercials than others. If not, consider native types of grasses that are available. Also, be sure to the methods of watering your grass if you are in an area prone to droughts. Additional care, such as mowing, aerating, and fertilizing your lawn can be done by professionals.

2. Grassless Landscaped Yard

A great alternative to grass in a smaller lot is to add stone, gravel, and garden bed features to your lawn. This route involves more initial planning, but can result in easier upkeep. In a small lot with a high fence, a meticulously landscaped grassless yard can almost appear an extension of the home, rather than a distinct outdoor space.

3. Wild Yard

While only really an option in more remote areas, letting your yard stay wild is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of your new home. This requires minimal upkeep, primarily in the form of clearing away underbrush if you live in a forested area and removing hazardous plants such as stinging nettles or poison ivy.

Of course, you can incorporate features from any or all of these three approaches into your own lawn. Make sure you use the natural features of your lot to your advantage, and never discount the effect a great yard can have on making a fantastic home.

How To Buy A Lot

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1. Contact a REALTOR®

Lots can be found all over, sometimes there are existing buildings, sometimes they are listed as “commercial” properties.
Talking to a REALTOR® about what you are looking for in a lot enables them to help you find the type of property that will work best for you.

2. Get your finances in order

If you will be getting a mortgage to purchase this property, now is the time to contact your mortgage broker and fill in a mortgage application. Get a 90 day hold on the credit offered. Secure buying power is key to making sure your lot purchase doesn’t fall through at the last minute.

3. Go see properties

Now that you know your price range, start seeing the properties your REALTOR® finds. If you see something you like, go to the development or land department in your city. Find out:

  • What does the zoning allow for?
  • What is the OCP (Official Community Plan)? Cities and towns will have a plan for 30 years or more into the future. This will help determine potential value.
  • If rezoning is possible. This is important if you’re looking to rezone for long-term investment, and less so if you’re just interested in living on an acreage.

This is also the time to figure out what sorts of amenities the lot has, including utilities like electricity and natural gas.

4. Check comparables

Don’t let one lot win you over and offer the full asking price up front. Check on comparable lots and recently sold lots nearby to help inform you on a fair offer to make.

5. Write an offer

Enter negotiations with the property-owner, by writing an offer using the information you gleaned from checking out comparables.

  • Work out the price, timing, and dates.
  • Determine the subjects (which include a survey of the land, and engineering report, and other things your REALTOR® might suggest.)

6. Come to an agreement

After a few rounds of offers and counter-offers, you and the seller have reached an agreement! You will remove the subjects by having your surveys and engineering reports done, and ultimately you will pay a deposit, usually about 5% of the agreed-upon price of the lot.

7. Select a notary and lawyer

Your REALTOR® will help suggest a notary and lawyer to help finish up the transaction. Register in the land titles office to secure your ownership of the property.

8. Build your house

Congratulations! You now own a lot and can start construction of your dream house or new investment property.

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All information courtesy of Oscar Barrera – www.obsold.com

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