The extra work that you have to put into vacant land to turn it into a livable property is well worth the effort. By buying a piece of vacant land, you get control over where your house will go even if you aren't ready to build. When you are ready to improve your land, you can improve it in the exact manner you desire, which should give you a better home and save you money.
Low Entry Cost
Buying a vacant lot is almost always less expensive than buying a comparable lot that is already improved with a building. If you know that you would like to own a house in a specific area in the future, buying land now can be an excellent way to lock in your opportunity to live there.
While you're holding on to your vacant land, you might be able to have it help pay its own bills. For example, if your lot is wooded and you don't need all of the trees, you might be able to sell the right to harvest its timber. Alternately, you might be able to lease your land to a farmer who will use it for their crops, if it does not violate zoning or homeowner's association rules. When you're ready to build, you can cancel the lease.
With a vacant lot, you get to decide where your house sits and in which direction it should face. While you'll have to follow your community's zoning and setback restrictions, you will still have much more flexibility that you would have if a house was already on the parcel. If you like to watch the sunset, rotate you house to the west, but if you prefer natural light during the day, a southern orientation is better.
When it comes time to improve your vacant lot, you'll be able to improve it with the exact custom house that you want and can afford. Instead of having to take an existing house and spend money to modify it to suit your needs, the house you build will be turnkey. You can also save money by not building features that you don't need.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.