Get Your Guide "How to Buy Land and Build a House in Chicago in 2022"
Right now America is experiencing one of the biggest housing booms in its history. The need for a "Safe haven" in the post-pandemic world has created a new demand for buying land and building a house on it.
Chicago iL is one of the most sought-after destinations in the country — it is important to choose the land, plan the building process and count construction costs wisely. Fortress Home experts have prepared this step-by-step guide for you to successfully purchase land and build your dream home on it.
Step 1. Understand how much land you need
Before purchasing land, you need to figure out what size of the plot you really need. In our experience, many homeowners overestimate their capabilities of managing their own premises.
Do you really need so much land to build? Or maybe you belong to the modern category of buyers who prefer to invest money in a better house, have a solid down payment, and pay the mortgage faster?
Sit down with your family or with a good real estate agent and create a realistic list of your housing needs.
- Begin with the main house and its area in square feet (plus the garage, patio, etc.). The average American house is 2000 sq/ft
- Add the desired objects or outdoor spaces and their areas in square feet (art studio, pool, playground, garden, etc.). Let's say, 500 sq/ft more
- Be honest with yourself and decide what area of vacant land is too much for you — do you really want to spend extra on the gardener and pool maintenance? Today, the average backyard in the state of Illinois is 12,000 sq/ft. But, let's say, you have decided to save on the land purchase and have a 7,000 sq/ft lawn
- Multiply your future real estate area — in our case, it is 9,500 sq/ft or 0,218 acre — on the average land costs / per acre in the Chicago area ($663 000). Land purchase would cost you about $144,534.
This simple "exercise" helps to realistically compare your dream home expectations with real financial possibilities, as well as to understand that you are on the same page with your family members.
Step 2. Going solo or with an agent?
To find land — is the most important step of all. After you have chosen the desired area and have a few options from your online research, you can go only two ways: simple or complicated.
- To get a completely undeveloped raw land and perform the local zoning, soil, water tests, and other preliminary processes yourself
- To purchase land from a builder/agent who has already subdivided the land, legally approved it for the residential construction, prepared the plot for development, and has all the needed legal documents for the deal.
We advise the latter. By buying land from a reputable developer, you can be sure that all the paperwork is legal, coding and zoning ordinances have been maintained, water quality, as well as the quality and the safety of soil, are approved and, what is the most important — there are no building restrictions.
Looking for a general contractor in Chicago? Fortress Home has been in business for over 20 years!