Should I Build in a Community or on My Own Lot?

When you’re planning to build a house, one of the biggest questions you have to ask yourself is, “Should I build in a community or on my own land?” Each option has several advantages to consider when figuring out which homebuilding route to take.

Benefits of Building a Home in a Community

Benefits of having a home in a community include:

  • No soil inspection: When building on your own lot, one of the first things you have to do is perform a soil inspection. This will determine whether the lot is safe to build on as well as tell you what problems you might encounter during the construction. In a community, however, the contractor has already taken care of this step.
  • No land preparation: If you decide to build on your own lot, you’ll likely spend considerable time preparing the land. This includes excavation, moving earth and cutting down trees. Lots in communities, however, are already prepared for homes to be built on them.
  • No need to build a driveway: While building a driveway may not seem too complicated, it often involves installing culverts and grading that must adhere to local codes. In a community, you won’t have to worry about these things.
  • Utilities are already installed: If you choose to build on your own lot, there is a good chance it has not been equipped with utilities. This means you’ll need to put in sewer hookups, power lines and establish a source of water. Communities already have all of these utilities in place.
  • Communities tend to offer a variety of amenities: Housing communities commonly include amenities like sidewalks, playgrounds, parks, nature trails, fitness facilities and buildings for social events.
  • Neighbors offer security: Being surrounded by close neighbors means you can easily get help when you need it.

Some people hesitate to build their homes in a community, fearing that their home will end up looking like every other home in the development. However, most communities still give you some freedom when it comes to designing your home.

Benefits of Building a House on Your Own Lot

Although building on your own lot requires more time and money, it also offers many benefits. These include:

  • You can enjoy greater design flexibility: By building on your own property, you avoid homeowner’s association (HOA) restrictions, meaning there are fewer limits to what you can design. You’ll have the freedom to customize the design and integrate the natural features of your lot. Building your dream home is much more feasible on your own lot.
  • You’ll have more space: Generally, lots you own will be bigger than those in housing communities, which means you have the opportunity to create a great outdoor living space, with items like outdoor kitchens, waterfalls, covered patios and garden spaces.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to expand: Housing communities often have guidelines when it comes to additional structures like guest houses, outbuildings and detached garages. If you own your own lot, and it is big enough, you will be free to build additions later on. For instance, if you want to build a workshop or cozy cabin for your aging parents, this can be done with clearance from your area’s zoning officials.
  • You can enjoy nature: If your lot is several acres of wooded land, you can put a house on it while still preserving many of the surrounding trees, allowing you to enjoy nature. This also means you’ll see fewer cars and neighborhood lights.
  • You can enjoy your privacy: Larger wooded lots may also allow you to stay out of sight of neighbors and those walking on the street.
  • You can boost your property’s value: One of the top reasons to build a home on your own property is if you happen to own property already. If you inherited a lot or bought one in an advantageous market, putting a custom home on it is an excellent way to boost the property’s value. Even if you don’t sell it, you can still benefit from the equity.

Choosing the Best Option for You

If any of the following describes you, you may want to consider building in a community:

  • Your budget is limited: If you’re building in a community, you won’t have to worry about preparing the land or setting up amenities — the costs of which can be unpredictable when building on your own lot.
  • You feel safer with neighbors nearby: If you prefer having neighbors nearby who can help if something goes wrong, a building in a community may be the better choice.
  • You enjoy having public amenities nearby: If you enjoy walking on sidewalks, visiting parks and going to the gym, keep in mind that many communities offer these amenities.

However, if the following better describes your situation, you may want to buy a lot and build a house:

  • You are building a very custom house: The more custom or unconventional your home is, the higher the chance it will not meet the HOA regulations of a housing community. When building on your own lot, you’ll have more flexibility to build the home of your dreams.
  • You enjoy peace and quiet: If you are building on your own lot and it is sufficiently big, you can more easily build a secluded home far from the noise of the street and neighbors.
  • You’re looking to make an investment: If you happen to already have a lot, putting a house on it will greatly increase its value.

Build your Home with Green Diamond Builders

Green Diamond Builders is a knowledgeable and experienced family-owned business that has worked with more than 300 businesses and families since 2004. From your first concepts to when we award you your Certificate of Occupancy, we’ll oversee every step of the building process.

If you’re looking to build your dream home, Green Mountain Builders can help you make it a reality. With every custom home we build, we strive to help realize the dream of its owner. Visit the gallery to browse floor plans and photos of the beautiful custom homes we’ve built. You can use one of our floor plans or let us know what you have in mind, and we’ll work hard to create a plan that best suits your needs and desires.

If you want to build in one of the six Delmarva communities we serve, feel free to contact us using our online form or give us a call at 302-505-1777. You can also visit us at one of our easily accessible Sales Center locations in Dover or Felton. We look forward to speaking with you!

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