A Guide to Buying Land & Building a Home in Erie, PA

If you’ve been searching for that perfect home for sale but just can’t seem to find it, or maybe you’re feeling the allure of custom designs and modern amenities, then it’s time to start considering buying land and building a home. Here’s what you need to know about building a home in Erie.

Why Buy Land and Build a Home?

happy couple after building a home in erieBuying an already-built home and moving right in seems like the easier and faster way to go. And truthfully, it is. But there are lots of benefits to building your own home. Here are just a few:

  • You get the exact home you want. From floorplans to finishes, it’s all yours!
  • There’s less competition. No need to worry about getting outbid by other buyers.
  • Everything’s new. New appliances, new roof, new siding, new HVAC… NO repairs!
  • Designs are modern. Say goodbye to dark and dingy or to impractical layouts.

How to Buy Land and Build a Home

Great! You’re ready to build… but how do you get started?? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Find an Agent Experienced in Buying Land

working with an experienced realtor for building a home in erieThe most important thing you can do is find a great agent who’s connected and experienced with buying land. Your agent can help guide you through the process, from finding a builder to getting a loan to signing the closing paperwork.

Tip: Speak to several local agents to find out their experience with buying land and working with builders.

2. Hire a Builder

talking to builders about plans and blueprints when building a home in erieBased on recommendations from your agent or from people who’ve built locally, start calling up builders! Find out where they build, what floorplans or options they offer (or if they’ll custom build), whether they offer financing, and if they’ll provide references for some of their more recent sales.

Tip: Get bids from multiple builders to compare what they offer and at what prices.

3. Secure Financing

getting a loan for building a home in erieUnless you’ll be paying outright in cash (at least for the land), you’ll need to meet with some lenders to find out about the different types of loans available and which will work best for you. The most common type of loan is a Construction to Permanent loan, which allows you to work with one lender and set one closing date to buy the land, build the home, and pay for the home once it’s complete.

Tip: Other loan options include a short-term Construction loan used for buying land and building the home, which is then paid off with a permanent home loan, and a Lot Loan, which is used only for buying land.

4. Find the Perfect Piece of Land

beautiful open land for building a home in erieFinding land is kind of like finding a home, with a few key differences. You’ll still want to pay attention to things like your location and proximity to amenities, the values of home in the surrounding neighborhood or area, and other planned developments in the area.

But unlike with buying a home, buying land typically requires a little more research. You’ll want to uncover any zoning, subdivision, or environmental restrictions. You’ll want to know if the land is too hilly for building or if the water table is too high.

Tip: Don’t forget utilities! If you’re building farther away from town, be sure to look into things like water and electricity access, sewers or septic options, and other utility providers.

5. Start Building!

unfinished home being built in erieOnce you’ve found that perfect piece of land, it’s time to meet with your builder to finalize plans and break ground. Now comes the fun part—sitting back and watching your dream home start to materialize!

Are You Considering Building a Home in Erie?

If you’ve been thinking about building a home in Erie, then it’s time to contact Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services. As your guides to real estate in Erie County, we’re here to help you explore the area, discover the perfect community, connect with a premier local builder, or even buy the perfect home for sale.

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